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September 16, 2006


Brian Yamabe

Interesting how you can tell me that I should never assume anything, then assume that I didn't read the whole post. I read your nod to personal responsibility ("In the end, it does come down to personal responsibility. We should each be held accountable for our actions".) Then your turn to pushing at least some of that responsibility onto some one else. ("But what about the companies that enable crimes? Should they all be treated with the same set of rules?")

Hey, I asked a couple of questions and you preceived that they were unfriendly. I asked those questions to see how far you would extend the logic of culpability by the enabler. If you don't want to examine those questions, then blow me off. I apologize for asking the questions and will stop reading and commenting on your blog as to not upset you.


Perhaps this is what occurred. Brian Y. read the post concerned with terrorism (Bruce Scheier) and this particular post ruffled his feathers. Then once he began reading your entry, "Products that enable crime", he seized upon the opportunity to express his anger/frustration. This may also be why he used a suggestive tone with the terrorism/hate crime "question".

As the sender it is your job to make sure that what you write/say is crystal clear. The problem with your original comment was that nothing you asked ended with a question mark. Instead you appear to be making a statement or insinuating something (I assume that if your comments section were used to initiate a terrorist attack or hate crime you would immediate turn yourself in as an accessory). You did not ask a question that is where you failed. Also if you are going to suggest that a blog can be used as a means to a terrible ends then you must first argue in context of the original entry “Products that enable crime”. Brian you should have first framed the idea that blogs can be a product then asked a question as to that blogs use.

Your response to this blog entry appears to be apologetic without being apologetic (I apologize for asking the questions and will stop reading and commenting on your blog as to not upset you). It may be a tad hypocritical to leave such comments on other individual’s blogs and then regulate the comments on your own. Your blog focuses on the topic of religion, so how does that go “do unto others…….”

Jon Strande


I think that for me it was a combination of things. First, we've never met, you never commented on my blog before and your tone seemed sort of hash - child porn, terrorist attacks, etc. Second, I went to check out your blog and it was filled with religious themes, and the post that really got under my skin is where you insinuate that all Liberals are elitist. I'm not sure how old you are or how much time you've spent with people who don't share your worldview, but I can assure you that not all liberals are elitists. As Julian comments, you claim to be a man of god, yet you seem to have no affection for anyone who doesn't share your point of view. You took the response of one person and cast that on an entire group of people. How sad. My hope is that you won't let that perception control your life moving forward and you'll take some time to listen to people who don't believe in the same things you do, maybe you'll learn and grow as a result of it – if nothing else, you’ll be able to use it as further evidence for what you choose to believe.

Now, back to your original comment. Based on what you wrote, "I assume you would agree", seems to mean that you think that those organizations (Yahoo! et al) should be held responsible. I sort of agree with you and you sort of agreed with the premise of my post - there should be a standard set of rules applied to organizations that enable this behavior. The comment you made about the terrorists was a little odd however. I monitor my comments quite closely and I delete ones that I deem inappropriate. You see, we have a basic human right in this country and it's called Free Speech. Anyone can say whatever they want. If someone were to comment on my blog and say that they were going to cause destruction, I can choose to leave the comment or delete it. In no way could I be considered accountable for their actions any more than the cell-phone carriers that criminals use today, maybe even less so. It's called free speech and it means that we are able to say whatever we want without fear of prosecution.

My blog is not a product, I do not profit in any way from this space and I make every attempt to encourage rational discussion. If two people happen to use my blog to plan some terrible act and I don't pick up on it, I'll feel terrible. Truly. But short of not reacting to them specifying dates, times, and specific acts, how on earth could I even be considered complicit? In other words, if two people came along and started commenting on this blog and wrote that they were going to do X on such and such a date at a specified time and I left those comments up there, well, yeah, maybe I could be considered an accessory. It just seems a little far fetched to me.

Now, about your comment on this post: good point. I did assume something about you, I assumed that you would read the entire post before commenting on it. Whoops! I then took responsibility for potentially misreading and overreacting to what you wrote. As I mentioned, it wouldn't be the first time for me. It's called humility. It's being able to admit that I'm human; I'm not perfect... I make mistakes. You, on the other hand, seem so sure that you are 100% correct - condescending almost. Again, you were agreeing with the basic premise of my post... I think... that organizations should be held responsible (to some extent) for the crime they enable. Had you come along and said something to the effect of "good post - I think this extends to..." or "I agree. I think these other organizations..." - we wouldn't be having this follow up conversation (maybe this was a good thing?). Again, I end most posts with a question to encourage the discussion not to have people assume what I would or wouldn't think or do. Tell me what YOU think, not what you think I do.

I don't want you to stop reading my blog and I'd love you to continue you commenting on it! If you do, please, please, please, don't assume that people share your thoughts. Play nice with the other kids in the sandbox... share your toys. Love your fellow man (or woman). No one here hates you or wishes you any ill will. Relax and enjoy life. Don't be so sure that you will always have all the answers, you might find some day that you were wrong about something and missed an opportunity to meet someone nice as a result of it.

I appreciate your (sort-of) apology. Don't ever feel like you need to apologize to me for anything. Just join the discussion and share your thoughts! I'm never going to grow and learn if I don't embrace people who view the world a little differently than me.

One of the other things that I should have shared as part of this post is that I have a deeply held idea that we are all more alike than we are different. Sure, people love to classify or categorize - it's our brains way of cutting up the world to make sense of it - but deep down, we all have much more in common than those few things that make us different. I’d be willing to bet that had you and I “met” under different circumstances that we might find that we share something in common… and could possibly have a great friendship. I love hockey and technology and soccer and music and movies… could it be that you share a passion for any of those things? Maybe more than one or two of them?


Good point. Perhaps that terrorist post was the catalyst for his actions. Wow, Brain doesn't have comments enabled on his blog? Yikes!

Both - thank you extending the discussion. I'm smarter as a result of reading the thoughts of others. Critical thinking is a crucial skill in this world.


Hi Jon. I'm very late to the show, but I had a peek at your friend Brians' blog.

"The liberal response? “What people think is in their own self interest, really isn’t.” Wow! I don’t know what’s reeeally in my own self interest."

Interesting. Because, and I know Mike D. would agree here, a read of Bob Cialdini's book "Influence" shows that being human is what makes many of us, liberal, conservative or otherwise deeply susceptible to being fooled as to what's in our "Self-interest".

Brian, if you're reading this, Cialdini's book is apolitical and about how our brains and our cultural confditioning leave us vulnerable to many frauds and manipulations--it what keeps the BBB in business and political elections necessary. If you like "think and grow rich", you'll like Cialdini's book.

And yeah, hit and run isn't allowed on the road to Damscus.


Damascus, too.

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