Class war meets the War on General Purpose Computers


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2014/09/25/class-war-meets-the-war-on-gen.html


#3

Would a low-power short-range GPS jammer help?


#4

How long before ransomeware can hijack thse and starts locking people out of (or in!) their cars, demanding a cryptocurrency payment to unlock the vehicle?


#5

Imagine what kind of person it takes to willfully take advantage of others for their own gain.
It’s sick.
I have a friend who’s a lawyer that sued a shady lender. This guy preyed on active military members - and was a former Marine himself - selling or leasing cars to them with terrible terms and the like.
The sailor for whom she sued was deployed and his wife was driving the car he bought and it was towed. They were NOT behind on payments, but because the lender was notified of the towing, they swooped in and repossessed the car at the yard - per the “terms” according to the lender.
They sold the car at auction, and then demanded that the sailor and wife pay off the loan.


#6

If I were designing one of these (and I wouldn’t) it would auto-lock if it lost the GPS signal for an extended time.


#7

As deplorable as this tactic is, people should stop, use some restraint, and make purchases with plans they can afford. I was surprised the year I delivered turkey dinners for the Salvation Army how many people had brand new cars in their drive way.


#8

Yeah it’s really sad that our economy is so shitty to people - I mean you go from dual income living well to need assistance with one setback or a layoff - considering how many people this has happened to in the last decade - it’s amazing when you think about it.

Of course my latest car had 150k miles on it when I bought it - but the outside looked good - in fact sitting next to a new on the lot one - couldn’t tell. Guess the advances in metallurgy and plastics kind of make you an asshole if you expect people to always have a rustbucket if they are down on their luck.

My 11 year old van had one small ding in it when the deer finally killed it one night - other than that when it had a wash it looked brand new as well (and had been paid off for 5 years to boot) - hate to think that some jerk was judging me for owning my car and taking care of it. Guess that’s what people do - judge others from facile outside appearances - next time I’m broke I’ll make sure to go cover everything I own with dirt so I fit the idea that people in money trouble must live in a dirt shack with a hole in the ground for a toilet before they are needy.


#9

People, people. This will all be a non-issue when self-driving cars are the norm. Instead of simply shutting down, cars will be redirected to a local repo facility, where the driver can be safely extracted, and fined or consigned to a re-education labor camp, in accordance with their means.


#10

It’s a good thing you aren’t designing these, then. GPS signals rarely penetrate parking decks, so you’d end up trapping a lot of people inside or outside their cars.


#11

I wonder what the alternative to all of this is. Instead of getting a car that takes me places when I pay for it, I have to take the bus. Back in the day, it was all about lower income people hiding their cars so that they wouldn’t get towed. I had a friend that BEGGED me to use my garage because he was late on his payments…ironically, this was the same friend that owed me several thousand dollars and bought a huge flatscreen (at a time CRTs were the norm), and always was pawning one thing for another.

Then again, this is 99% of the poor people out there, for one reason or another, they have no control for delayed gratification. And you quickly find that if you live in a population where everything could be taken at once leaving you with nothing, delayed gratification becomes something that only rich people can afford. And yet we judge them morally based on the worldview that they were born into.

Still, why should a business owner have to worry about this? To me, it actually sounds like a way to aid that lack of delayed gratification. When you can’t escape your bad decisions by hiding from them, you start to plan more. Either that or an industry starts up that counteracts these sorts of devices and someone else gets rich in the underground economy.


#12

What’s a general purpose computer again? to me that sounds like a desktop computer.


#13

This is class warfare rhetoric.

No one has control for delayed gratification. The poor just suffer more because of it.

The idea that the antitode to poverty is self-control is unrealistic and morally vile.


#14

I’ve heard the argument that this is class warfare rhetoric before, and like the argument that it refutes, I generally accept it as plausible but unproven. Are there any studies that prove this one way or the other?


#15

Yes, that’s right, its a computer. You might want to watch/read this for more context: http://boingboing.net/2012/08/23/civilwar.html


#16

Your intellect is superseding your heart…hence why your 99% of poor people comment is ignorant, incorrect and classist.


#17

< 5 years.


#18

“extended period of time.”

Sheesh. The specs for that alone run to 175 pages, and you want the full dump in a comment?!?!?


The majority of people who take out car-loans that they can’t afford aren’t rich?

True, I do not have any statistics to back this up; but I would be surprised if the number of Jaguar purchasers who have a hard time making their payments is larger than the number of Honda purchases who have a hard time making their payments.


#19

Unless I’m misreading cliftyt’s comment the suggestion being made isn’t that the “99% of the poor people out there” who allegedly suffer from a “lack of delayed gratification”* need self-control. I believe clifyt is suggesting that tracking devices are a tool business owners can use to help the poor overcome their defect, or at least effectively deal with the consequences of the natural tendency of the poor to make bad decisions.

That’s a whole other level of vileness.

*This should go without saying, but, citation please.


#20

Hence extended period of time.

Edit: Anyway, it isn’t like the loan sharks doing this seem to particularly care if people are inconvenienced.


#21

It goes even further than that. I’ve encountered a lot of evidence that lower tolerance for delayed gratification is a symptom, not an initial cause of poverty. Here’s one article I turned up with a quick Google search:

My recollection of the argument is that people who have lived in poverty, particularly as children, have been exposed to a situation where future rewards are often very unreliable. Taking smaller, immediate rewards or pleasures ends up being a rational strategy in some cases. Of course, the situations where that’s not the case often end up worsening the situation, allowing someone who’s had the luxury of long term planning their entire life to point and say, “Well, there’s your problem!”

Stress has also been cited as a component. Being broke is obviously a stressful situation and there would appear to be an instinctive response common to most animals to more highly prioritize short term gains when under high amounts of stress.

Edit: The above link didn’t directly tie the increased impulsiveness to poverty, but to a environment that’s unreliable for any reason. Here are two that talk about it specifically in the context of poverty:

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/109074/chapters/How-Poverty-Affects-Behavior-and-Academic-Performance.aspx