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Golden Rule

The Egg

A wonderful short story from Andy Weir, The Egg, all summed up in this quote:

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

In less than 5 minutes you can be enlightened. A very real Golden Rule.


Albert Einstein said:

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

Which is a reminder of the instruction by Leviticus (19:16) in the Old Testament:

Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened.

It is worth remembering that we should follow the Golden Rule, and treat others the way we would want to be treated. We cannot stand idly by while another is being mistreated.

Jerome K Jerome "The Idle Thoughts of an Idle Fellow"

Nigerian Scams Revisited

Tales of scams seem to be a recurring theme around here. Way back in the early days of this blog, 2006, I had a post about a group of people that were going out of their way to scam the Nigerian Scammers [^]. At the time I said that I wasn’t sure how this would sit with the Golden Rule [^]; which is do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Nigerian Scams

Sarah Lacy at TechCrunch has posted a story about the lives and motivations of the Nigerian scammers [^], and the environment that they live in. After reading that it seems that my initial reaction was the right one. This isn’t something that they do gratuitously or for kicks. These people are doing this to survive, to feed their families, and to try to get ahead.

The interesting thing is that despite legal and technical crackdowns the scams continue, but they’ve evolved: “It’s not the glamorous, quick-money world it used to be. Today being a scammer takes smarts and stamina.” Gone is the quick hit replaced by long cons around online dating.


Grumpy’s blog at the Swindon Advertiser has an interesting bit about roundabouts:

It comes down to this. If anything you do on the road causes another driver to brake…. you’re in the wrong. (Grumpy Blog on Roundabouts [^])

This is probably one of the most sensible things that I have read about roundabouts.  Hurtling through a roundabout without regard to other road-users, or not indicating, is not just bad manners it is downright dangerous.  This is another case of the Golden Rule coming into play; do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Grumpy goes on to single out BMW drivers as being prime culprits in the "this is my road" mentality.  There is only one thing that I would like to add to  the discussion – Mercedes drivers are as bad, if not worse!


I Hate Chain Mail

No it’s not mediaeval battle amour that I don’t like, it’s the sort that can clog-up your inbox.  It can range from the sickeningly sweet to vitriolic all in the one document.

I know that chain letters pre-date the internet and email, and probably even chain mail. The only way of dealing with it is the same as we would a virus – send it to digital purgatory.  It is everyone’s duty to break the chain, and save your friends some bandwidth.

The sentiment in this one, the Irish friendship wish, is laudable enough. There is no threat of terrible consequences for failing to forward it (in this version), and the promise of good luck, etc if you do. The sentiment would be even nicer without the tacky how much luck, and how fast you get it at the end.  If you really care about someone enough to send this go and buy them a fridge magnet, or a T-Shirt (with “been there, done that, got the t-shirt!” printed on the back).  If you do think that it will brighten-up a friend’s day do that person a favour and trim the crap off of it first!  Remember the Golden Rule [W] – “do to others what you would have them do to you.”

The Urban Legend website has a nice spin on this email here [^], with an in-depth analysis of each line of the “wish”.  Sophos [^], the anti-virus and -spam vendor has another version of this email and advice that: “Forwarding unsolicited chain letters wastes time and bandwidth.”  Sound advice indeed! 

Oh, did you want to read it?  Sorry I’m not going to post it, it has already polluted the internet enough, I am not even going to link to it!