Friday, January 08, 2010


So for everyone that didn't catch it, it was reported yesterday that the European Union website had been "hacked" (more along the lines of defacing, not exactly hacking) and that the picture of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero had been changed to Rowan Atkinson's face.

In related news, the website of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was also hit, but instead of different images, the "hackers" left a few messages, as told by Mahmoud, making references to Michael Jackson, an incident during Iranian elections last year and also Ayatollah.

Now, this sort of thing might sound funny... and well, in Zapatero's case, it does make you giggle a bit. CNN is reporting it as a case where hackers can install backdoor programs into your computers. I think differently. The issue I have with this is the reasoning behind this sort of action. I compare this to people defacing election candidate's pictures with mustaches and fake beards.

The underlying emotion is that people don't like that person or disagree with something they've done or said. And, in today's political world, one can't really blame anyone for being a bit ticked off. Politicians are corrupt, financial interests take priority over basic rights, such as healthcare or education and "Law&Order" is almost a myth.

But just as important as having solid reasoning behind being angry at something is the manner in which you express yourself. What good is an opinion if you can't express it in what is widely regarded as a civilized fashion?

Now, I'm not a prime example of "coolness". There have been times where I let myself get emotional in debates and I lose track of objectivity, falling into a spiral of mutual insulting that leads nowhere other than me losing a valid argument over a dumb and emotional move on my behalf.

But is the realization that we can fall down like this, reason to ignore everything and go overall ballistic... or is it reason to continue to try and make a civilized argument? There are so many actions one can take in these regards, that letting yourself drop down to a level where you can only deface a site to make your point across... I don't know, it just sounds dumb as hell.

I share the opinion that there are two kinds of actions: the immediate, not thought-through action that leads to an emotional response in the moment, but lacks momentum to carry it's weight forward... and the more organized action, that might not have an impact at the moment due to several reasons (red tape, for example), but is so strong in itself that it carries a lot of momentum, making certain people take notice of it and your efforts, and that can create a snowball effect, that leads to actual change.

I vote for the second kind of action.

I'll see you around! ;)

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