The Faithful Techno-serfs, part 1

I’m hoping that this sentence is sufficiently dull. I want to make sure that my blog does not fall into the trap of beginning each post with a cheesy hook. You know: draw the reader in by beginning in medias res, stuff like

It was only a little moment. Nobody would notice, I was pretty sure.


A grown man is pretty heavy when he passes out at the altar and has to be carried into the sacristy.


I avoided looking at the thermometer. What would I do if the reading was too high?

Who knows? Who cares?

Nobody, the instant they realize they are being manipulated!

So, from here on, for a while, until I figure out a better way, I am beginning each post with a dull sentence.

Dullness successfully established, what can I tell you? I know. Today’s high was something like 78 degrees, and it got me outdoors not once but twice. I raked. I closed up the screen house. I put away flower pots. It was a beautiful day but wrong, all wrong. You know it, and I know it – at least, you know it if you are old enough to remember normally seasonal New England temperatures.

OK, that was pretty dull, too. Now, how about a non-cheesy question.

Is this a parable:

A young man was good with computers. He hacked into the medical records of an insurance company and looked for information about abortions, sexually transmitted diseases, and other sensitive health issues. Then he investigated the patients and figured out who he could blackmail. He devised a system for receiving payments online and then vanishing without a trace. He did this for years and became obscenely rich.

All this work eventually grew tiring, so he decided to take a long trip. He gave 62.5% of his database to one techno-serf, 25% to another, and 12.5% to a third. Then he went on vacation.

When he came back, Techno-serf #1 proudly showed him that she had not only successfully terrorized and wrung money out of her share of the database, but she’d identified and blackmailed an equal number of new prospects.

“That’s terrific!” the man said. “For this, I will reward you with still more opportunities in the future!”

Techno-serf #2 reported that he had done the same, and the man likewise showered him with more praise, and more opportunity.

Techno-serf #3 said “I know what you’re like and I know what you’re up to. I have to work for you but I don’t have to follow in your footsteps. I zipped and passworded the database records I was given, and I stored them in the Wayback Machine, which everyone knows will last until the end of the Age. Here’s the password and a link to the original files you gave me.”

“You pathetic loser!” the man screamed. “You could at least have given them to a Nigerian partner who might have spammed them with ransomware and earned me at least a little!”

The man attacked and overpowered Techno-serf #3, and with ropes and chains dragged Techno-serf #3 behind a Lexus SUV for miles, finally abandoning the body at the transfer station in the industrial part of town, but only after searching the body and stealing the wallet and cell phone.

Part 2 of this post is here.
Part 3 of this post is here.
Part 4 of this post is here.

November 8, 2020 COVID-19 Infections and Deaths

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