ever since the earthquake, Ralph takes precautions when couch nappingAnyway. Work’s been alternately boring and depressing. I haven’t felt much like writing about life lately, which is why there have been few entries recently.

But apparently John Common can not pay his employees, not pay his suppliers, not pay child support, and get nothing but a slap on the wrist. <SARCASM> This really makes me think the justice system is working properly. </SARCASM> What are we supposed to do when faced with people like that? Our ancestors would’ve said, “Don’t do business with John Common, don’t work for him, and tell everybody you know he’s a slimeball,” and that would have (eventually) made it impossible for him to continue behaving like that.

However, the sheer number of people in the modern world makes that difficult. It’s also possible now to only read or watch news sources that cater to your biases, which used to be very difficult. If you think that the Alien Lizard Vampires are indoctrinating elementary-school children into building landing strips for gay Martians, you can find a website/community that believes those things and reinforces that belief. So people with various beliefs could/would self-segregate, and reject everything that didn’t come from their community as subversive or unclean or something. If you had a bunch of communities like that, and made it so that at least 40% of the people belonged to one of those communities, you’d have effectively Balkanized the body politic, and made it easy for a powerful or manipulative group to do whatever it wanted to everybody.

I don’t think we’re in that situation yet, but it’s one of those things that could happen. (In Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun, this Balkanization is how the intelligent machines eventually destroyed human society, though this is a pretty minor plot point in the series.) But it does seem that right now, it’s possible for a sociopath to gain more power and have more freedom than an ethical person. I wonder how this could be fixed (or even if it could be fixed) since having amoral self-interested people controlling everything doesn’t seem like it’d work well in the long term.