Aug 242015
 

I’d call the AshleyMadison.com debacle a train wreck, but that’s not enough. It’s like a train carrying a tanker of airborne Ebola virus crashed into a trailer carrying an unstable nuclear warhead.

It’s now apparent that the average paid AshleyMadison.com user spent hundreds of dollars on the service, and some spent thousands. “What are they spending money on, exactly?” Lea asked me. “How should I know?” I replied. Heh. (I can remember someone asking me once what “the average hooker” charged too. Really?)

Well, the Wikipedia article is instructive (and though I haven’t checked the edit history on it, probably newly extensively so). Men have to pay to communicate with women. If a man wants to send a woman a message, that costs money. A woman can send a man a message for free, but the man has to pay to read it. After two members have established contact, further messages between them are free.

Ah, but there are wrinkles—big ones.

It seems 90-95% of the service’s members are men. Also, all of the women aren’t real. AshleyMadison.com routinely uses computer-generated female profiles to make it seem as if more women are on the service than actually are. Gets kind of hard to follow the lies, doesn’t it? How much outrage is appropriate for a customer seeking to be systematically dishonest finding out the organization he sought to do so with is also systematically dishonest?

Well, two Canadian law firms think $576 million of outrage is about right. I wonder what the number will be on the eventual American class action suit?

Happy Monday. I promise I’ll post about something else tomorrow.

 Posted by at 7:50 am
Aug 212015
 

It’s hard to overstate how disruptive the AshleyMadison.com data dump could ultimately be. It’s an event without precedent. The sociology could be fascinating for years.

Despite my longstanding strong feelings about cheating, I have significant concerns about this. Doubtless there are people caught in this who registered, then repaired their marriages and forgot about their AshleyMadison.com accounts. There are others who really were just curious (though not nearly as many as are probably playing that card). Here’s hoping the victims in these sorts of situations find them navigable.

The data dump will certainly hasten the destruction of some marriages that had little hope anyway. But it will also create new rifts that may never have appeared any other way. I hurt for these people and their children.

I’ve encountered a lot of yammering—some of it downright shrill—about how these people didn’t deserve this, privacy should be sacrosanct no matter the circumstances, and so forth. Fine, but at best that’s a secondary point, isn’t it? I wish I saw a similar number of people taking this opportunity to vigorously defend fidelity.

 Posted by at 10:43 am
Aug 032015
 

You may have heard there are some secretly-recorded Planned Parenthood videos floating about. The links are volatile, so I’ll let you find them yourself if you haven’t seen them and want to. This is probably a good start. So then a friend had a link to this (language warning): Now, upon seeing this video you […]

 Posted by at 7:31 pm
Jul 282015
 

I was less intellectually and spiritually sure of myself in college than at any other time in my life. That’s just how it should be. Higher education is about many things, but it must be about questioning everything we think we know. It should be more difficult to be fat and happy with your beliefs […]

 Posted by at 8:49 pm

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