In the age of traditional media, information used to be the property of professionals who could present their expert opinions and engage in face to face or other forms of open debates. They could do so without a fear of verbal attacks or insult to their character. Regrettably, internet has changed all that. Because it is open to the public and is so full of easy to reach resources, internet has blurred the gap between experts and non-experts.
People can find any kind of information on internet, can say anything they want, brag and boast as much as they wish. And, they can do so with impunity. Some may not be able to resist the temptation to engage in information crime as long as they can hide behind the shield of anonymity. It takes a strong person with high moral values to avoid wrongdoings when there is no witness, nor consequence, to his/her action.
Economists tell us that people become careless, or change their behavior if they are not held responsible for the consequence of their action. For example, when I have a full insurance coverage on my automobile with zero deductible, I may become less vigilant in caring for my automobile. Or, I may drive in any street any way I want without being worried about the possible accidents, theft, or act of vandalisms. For the same reason, if I have a health insurance policy that provides me with 100% coverage and no out-of-pocket expenses, you expect me to go to doctor for every twinkle of an eye. I am insulated from risk at the expense of insurance company. In other words, all the resulting costs of my careless decisions are born by another party.
Have you ever been in one of those all-you-can eat restaurants and noticed how much food people waste while eating at these places? They will be, of course, more cautious if they have to pay for everything they order. These are all examples of the problems created by moral hazard. Human beings do not make sensible decisions unless they are held accountable for the outcome of their decisions what ever that may be. In nowhere moral hazard manifests itself more keenly and destructively, than on the internet.
Despite being so useful, internet has created a breed of beasts who can hide behind the wall of anonymity and do whatever they want. Look at those people who bombard you with embarrassing emails trying to sell you something that supposedly help to enlarge certain part of your body! Look at some of these shrewd salesmen who try to spread the fear of unknown in an attempt to rip you off, or those who try to steal your vital financial information to commit financial crimes under your name. Don’t you wish there was an effective way to get rid of these people?
Internet is a safe heaven for those who cannot put up with the face to face encounter. It is like a variety garden you can grow anything in it. It is a guiding light, a deterrent, a facilitator, depending who is using it. If it falls into wrong hands, it could be awfully destructive.
The sad realization that some distracters react to our writings in irresponsive ways should not deter us from coming back to this forum and voice our opinions. I think we should not grant them legitimacy by responding to them directly. By remaining silent, however, we may embolden these people. Only through dissemination of sensible information, we can undermine the presence of the information criminals.
As one sensible reader put it “some can always find something ugly to say” about a person. These are the glass-half-empty people who always complain about negatives and are ignorant of the positives. They apparently think it is fashionable to insult their fellow Iranians? They would be embarrassed to show up in public but not on internet, they think it is ok. These are the individuals, I am guessing, who are obsessed with their past and frustrated with their present. Some time I see some young kids resort to awful-looking body piercing as a method of expression. I tell them you don’t have to resort to body piercing to express yourself. There are lots more better ways to do that safely and more artistically.
Thank God, after information revolution and the surge of public awareness, the hate groups have been dismantled and public bigotry has long been restrained. Even a small exhibition of bigotry would be quite costly at this day and age. Remember, New York radio talk-show host Don Imus whose insensitive racial slurs created national outcry and his employer was forced to terminate his contract? He could simply get away with it if his crime was committed under the cover of unanimity.
Remember, never lose your leniency and your sense of humor in public and if the logic and the civility offend you, do not participate in this forum, or any other, for that matter. We can always see better if we stand on the shoulder of others.
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