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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Executioner's Lament

The "media circus" surrounding Gary Gilmore's execution was due to a few factors:

1) He was the first person executed in the United States after a 10-year moratorium

2) He never appealed his execution and, in fact, protested whenever it was appealed on his behalf

3) Perhaps most importantly, Rolling Stone sent his brother Mikal to cover the execution. It's a hell of a read. Google "my brother Gary Gilmore" and you'll find a .doc of the whole thing.

Something else to consider is that "humane execution" isn't exactly something the human race is just now grappling with. Most cultures settle on beheading which is messy as hell. All that blood spraying about tends to be seen as barbaric. Nonetheless, the guillotine is about as efficient and humane as we've gotten it. It involves a lot of apparatus, though, so firing squads pop up instead (unless there are religious reasons for the spilling of gallons of blood in the public square - lookin' at you, Saudi Arabia). Pretty soon, that, too looks barbaric.

One of the most gripping passages I've ever read is the first words of Bertil LIntner's Blood Brothers:

    It was execution day in Shanwei, an isolated town on the rugged, pirate-infested coast of China’s Guangdong province. Thirteen men, handcuffed and shackled, had already been herded into the town’s courtroom on charges of piracy. They staggered out soon after with their fates sealed: death by firing squad. “Doomsday arrives for ‘evil monsters’ of the sea” declared the local authorities with medieval relish, although afterwards they mellowed somewhat, and allowed the pirates to drink a large amount of wine, “to help take away the tension of being executed” as one official put it. Thousands of people gathered outside the courthouse for a glimpse of the damned men as they were led away to the execution grounds. By then, most of the pirates were profoundly drunk and singing loudly.

    To the people of Shanwei - indeed, to anyone familiar with the dark traditions of the South China Sea - there was nothing unusual about this scene. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, hordes of men and women were organized in confederated fleets of thousands of junks which dominated the entire coastal region of southern China. They were at one and the same time immortalized in local folklore - which often depicted them as Robin Hoods who stole from the rich and resisted the oppressive authority of the Emperoros - and, less romantically, feared by their victims, many of whom were actually ordinary people living along the coast.

    The spectacle in Shanwei, however, was not taken from ancient history. It happened in January 2000 - as was obvious to anyone who heard the drunken pirates sing. Jumping up and down in his rattling chains, Yang Jingtau, a 25-year-old pirate, led the chorus with a boisterous rendition of Ricky Martin’s theme song for the 1988 World Cup, ironically called ‘The Cup of Life’:

    Go, go, go!

    Ole, ole, ole!

    Go, go, go!

    Ole, ole, ole.

    Before Yang and his fellow convicts had time to sober up, they were trucked away to an open field on the outskirts of Shanwei, forced to kneel in a row, and dispatched one by one by an executioner with a Kalashnikov - one bullet through the back of the head, one bullet through the heart. A coroner was on hand to certify the deaths. Then, in the Chinese tradition, the families were billed for the ammunition costs.

Something not mentioned until later is that Chinese prisoners executed by firing "squad" (ie, a dude with an AK-47) are instructed to open their mouths so that the bullet will pass cleanly through their brainstem without messing up their faces. That way, their families aren't traumatized as much by the corpse. Which sounds barbaric as hell to our ears because we like our executions in the abstract - give the bad man some sleepy sleepy drugs and it ceases to be a problem.

What we're seeing here is the abstract becoming concrete.

That's the way we deal with the death penalty debate in the United States: "Do you, citizen, abstractly believe that an abstract prisoner who committed an abstract capital crime against an abstract victim should be put to abstract death by an abstract entity in accordance with abstract standards of morality and justice?" Because as soon as it becomes concrete, it becomes about vengeance, not justice.

John Oliver had a great take on it last Sunday. He made the point that even if you know 100% the criminal is guilty, and you know 100% that the victim's family wants the criminal put to death, do you want to live in a country that gives them what they want?

Sorry. Complex issue for me.

DioSoze  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It seems to me like giving them wine is some effort at being more humane. I recall reading recently that the "last meal" tradition in the United States had been removed in Texas, because of the idea that they didn't "deserve" any special final meal.

Regarding giving the family what they want, I think that would be an improvement. But they should be forced to push the button/pull the switch/pull the trigger. If they want that kind of revenge perhaps emotional burden should be on them to deal with it after the fact.

The forms of execution where no one knows who 'technically' killed the person - a firing squad with one empty rifle, a lethal injection with one inert button - those also absolve individuals from responsibility. If people are going to execute others, they need to own that as individuals.

Executions become much more difficult when they aren't abstract, as you said.

teamramonycajal  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Because as soon as it becomes concrete, it becomes about vengeance, not justice.

Then the issue becomes about whether justice and vengeance are in some sense the same thing and what justice really is.

    do you want to live in a country that gives them what they want?

It's not impossible for what a victim or their family wants to be the just answer. I'm not going to argue about what's just in this situation, because I don't know the answer myself, but it's up to debate.

My main objection to the death penalty is that it leaves no room for the innocent to be found innocent later. Whether it's a just punishment for someone who actually IS guilty of a heinous crime... well, I can't deny that there's a part of me that thinks the idiot whose execution got botched in Oklahoma deserved to die painfully for what he did.

kleinbl00  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm sorry, did I say something to give you the impression you get to just sort of talk to me as if you hadn't completely and utterly shit the bed? 'cuz if so, I regret your confusion.

You've got a lot of shit to answer for. I don't give the first fuck what you think about anything until you do so. And while I recognize that you are free to say what you wish to whomever you want, you need to recognize that if you respond to me I'm going to make it about you until you've learned some manners.

This is a place for civil discussion. A week into your stay here you chose to get all Gawker on my ass because you felt entitled to stir up drama on a Sunday fucking morning. Three days you've been shining it on as if you didn't drop a dookie in the punch bowl. Fine, whatever. Not my problem. You try and hand me a cup of it, though, and I will throw it in your face.

Are we clear?

teamramonycajal  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I spent the entire five mile walk trying to come up with a response to you.

Aw boo you're still angry about an online shitfit we had all of three days ago and it upset you so much you spent five miles of walk dwelling on it. I hurt your widdle feewings?

I saw what you were actually trying to say and moved on.

Oh, and you link to just one post you made instead of the entire thread. You're STILL remarkably full of yourself.

    The only real answer is you wanted to stir up shit in a clumsy and ham-handed fashion. Which I resent, and which embarrasses me.

Embarrassed on the internet. okay

    How does anyone - including yourself - benefit from having THIS discussion HERE and NOW when there are so many more valuable, more satisfying, more interactive and more useful ways to do it?

Christ, now who's the thread-derailer? At least I brought it up in the context of another comment. Also, this just sounds like an attempt to plug your ears and scream for people to not say things that might make you uncomfortable.

Move the fuck on.

Now I think we were talking about the death penalty here.

b_b  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  

    Aw boo you're still angry about an online shitfit we had all of three days ago and it upset you so much you spent five miles of walk dwelling on it. I hurt your widdle feewings?

I have no dog in the fight (and obviously kleinbl00 is competent to defend himself), but I'd like to interject here and just say that part of the philosophy by which we run this site is that each username represents a person. People do have feelings. Anger and embarrassment happen to be two of them. We don't have mods by choice, because we prefer each user to have the responsibility of curating their own experience. It's up to you to write what you want to write, but mudslinging probably isn't going to get you very far with the userbase around here. Just an FYI.

_refugee_  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  







edit: who badged bb because i was gonna but also i have so many sticks in this pile as it is

user-inactivated  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm not sure if your question is rhetorical, but if it isn't, when you click the badge, you can see who badged it. In this case, 'twas thenewgreen.

_refugee_  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Thanks 8bit. I did eventually figure it out. Part of the problem is I'm stuck using a junky outdated IE during most of my hubski time.

insomniasexx  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You should make a list of shit that doesn't work in ie as you encounter it. I'll try to go through and clean up the low hanging fruit. It's not hard to make it work in ie, it just takes a buttload of time and always seems to break everything all over again every time you make a minuscule change.

    99 little bugs in the code

    99 little bugs in the code

    Take one down, patch it around

    117 little bugs in the code

kleinbl00  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

...how many visitors actually use IE? 'cuz it seems to me that a costs/benefits analysis on the Microsoft problem might pencil out better with a "upgrade to an unsucky browser" popup. I mean, if you can't be draconian and obnoxious on a tiny social networking site, where can you be draconian and obnoxious?

insomniasexx  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  

I am 100% against internet explorer (especially older versions - the newer ones suck less) but I also understand that there are very few people that choose to use IE. Typically it is by force - at work, on a family member's computer, etc. I never really understood the work thing as older IEs are hopelessly insecure but a lot of webapps and older databases look good in IE8 but load weirdly on newer browsers. IT departments are also lazy and the thought of updating 2000 employees computers to Chrome can be scary. The thought of letting people install their own apps and dealing with 1000 viruses per day is even more scary. It's simply a tough situation.

I have used "upgrade your browser" pop ups on a couple of microsites and client sites. On Hubski, I'm against it because the amount of people who are visiting Hubski AND using IE by choice are so miniscule. People like _refugee_ don't have any other option. By including a pop up, we would just be adding insult to their misfortune. I'm sure they already know that they should upgrade their browser.

I am not promising to keep the code updated or bugtest Hubski on IE8 for every change we push. But if I can cut some of the most glaring errors so refugee's experience is slightly better, I think it is worth it. To be 100% honest, mk has ignored internet explorer idiosyncrasies since day one. I don't blame him - it's an overwhelming and depressing task to take on after you've spent days and weeks sorting out normal browser / code idiosyncrasies.

kleinbl00  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

So, IE compatibility sort of like cardiologists doing a term with Medicines sans Frontiers.

Hubski: compassionately coded for compatibility

_refugee_  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think you are very close to the issue with this comment.

    a lot of webapps and older databases look good in IE8 but load weirdly on newer browsers

At banks, a lot of applications run in your browser. I think they've mostly all been coded for IE, people know they "work" in IE, and I think that is part of what causes this huge ridiculous lag. whenever we upgrade an OS or a browser it's a Big Fucking Deal. I have to think it's somehow related to the applications we use in day-to-day work (which can be pretty sensitive) and potential upgrade issues there.

Also, there's not a single bank I've worked in that doesn't still use DOS systems at some point. Banks be old school as fuck, yo.

But I will be getting Chrome! So like I said...don't worry about me too much.

b_b  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I heard on the radio the other day that it's estimated that something like 60% of internet browsing is still done on IE. I'm sure these are mostly old people tooling around Facebook, and soccer moms buying crap on Overstock.com. Obviously, that's not the set we cater to, but we do have a handful of users who still use IE. I think _refugee_ has mentioned that her work mandates it. Sucks for her. If there's anyone insom would fix the CSS for though, it'd be her. Otherwise, I'd agree that "fuck 'em" is the best approach here.

wasoxygen  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    60% of internet browsing is still done on IE
It's not that bad.

insomniasexx  ·  2255 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That graph looks like a good overall breakdown. What's more interesting is how the browser stats change from site to site. Good web developers take the demographics of the specific site into consideration when determining which features to use and what browsers to code for first - just like marketers and copywriters chose the language and medium they use. I don't have the exact stats in front of me but Hubski has a very low percentage of IE users. My work's site (we sell b2b products) as well as the site we developed for internal coke employees is extremely high: up to 70% are on IE some days.

The discrepancies are even more dramatic for email marketing. Typically, 80% of opens from my work's email marketing are opened in Outlook. Maybe 2 or 3 are for Hubski Newsletter. It makes sense since we are selling b2b so everyone on that list should be someone at their job who would buy our products and offices overwhelming use Outlook.

_refugee_  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honestly I would expect it's a lot of work people too. I've been at three different banks in the past 4 years and the current one is the only one that even allows you to have other web browsers. (And thank god for that.) I haven't even bothered bringing up the IE problems because I know they're problems with IE and possibly not even worth fixing. Insom has encouraged me to try to get my workplace to switch browsers but in a company of 40,000 people (and see below comment where I reply to insom) I ain't makin big enough waves to talk to the right people. Nor do I work in tech - and tech probably knows it's a problem.

insomniasexx  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    If there's anyone insom would fix the CSS for though, it'd be her

You're right. I would do anything for refugee! I literally gave her the shirt off my back. :P

_refugee_  ·  2255 days ago  ·  link  ·  

You did and I still have it and aww thanks NO SLEEP TIL BOSTON

_refugee_  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well, see, that's kind of how it works. For starters I'll tell you I'm completely unable to click my notifications. Like, that orange spot in the middle of the hubwhell? Cannot click. Also, pictures fail to load, and videos load SUPER BIG to the point where they overlap other people's comments, or if they're in the post they'll often overlap the comment box.

I put in a workorder for Chrome because I got so sick and tired of it, so I should be getting it (had in fact been previously using Chrome but then were upgraded OSes) and then I think most of my problems will be solved.

IE also doesn't like the little pop-ups; like the "who badged this?" pop-up or the "followers" pop-up. i guess it would be more accurate to describe them as "sometimes they work, sometimes they take forever to work, and sometimes they don't."

insomniasexx  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The videos make sense. I believe I can fix that by adding a more thorough CSS rule. Pop ups as we'll - maybe. That could be a js error or CSS error causing it. It may just be more worthwhile to have the pop ups open in a new tab for older IEs rather than trying to figure out where and why it's failing.

The notification is super weird though. That's just a link. I'm going to take a guess and say another element is on top of it because of the way we positioned those things isn't supported by ie. are there any other elements in the top bar you can't click? Do any look out of position?

I just discovered that both my parents have an instance of windows XP on their macs. I'm going to be bug testing the new Americhip site this weekend using those I can do Hubski too. I assume you're on ie8?

_refugee_  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I found where the element is hidden. Or the link is hidden. Sorry, web-lingo.

Nothing looks out of place - that was an issue some months ago and maybe on an even older version of IE 8, but that got fixed. So if I click the number next to my hubwheel (the one that tells me how many badges I have left) it takes me to my notifications. I just discovered this today; I guess it's worth it to poke around some. So the link is very close to where it is supposed to be, just not quite.

The thing with the pop-ups I think is that they load at the top of the page within I.E., as opposed to just completely separate pop-ups, so if I click they don't always appear. I have found that if I scroll up however they're there. So that might be an easier fix? I don't know.

teamramonycajal  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Each username represents a person, and anger and embarrassment happen, but just because they happen does not mean other people are required to care about that person's anger or embarrassment.

mk  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No one is required to do anything. However, what we choose to do determines how others view us.

kleinbl00  ·  2257 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Aw boo you're still angry about an online shitfit we had all of three days ago and it upset you so much you spent five miles of walk dwelling on it.

Absolutely. You chose to start my morning with an exercise in character assassination. More than that, you assumed it was okay to project your personal need for drama upon my friends. Finally, you injected a heapin' helpin' of discord into a forum I value. Based on your reaction, you view this as acceptable behavior. It isn't.

    I hurt your widdle feewings?

No, you disturbed the clarity and utility of an interesting conversation in an attempt to satisfy your need for gossip. For you to hurt my feelings your opinion would have to matter to me. What matters is not your opinion but your behavior. It is in need of correction lest this sort of thing happen again.

    I saw what you were actually trying to say and moved on.

I'm aware of that. In fact, I called you on it ("Three days you've been shining it on as if you didn't drop a dookie in the punch bowl"). I'm not going to let you.

    Oh, and you link to just one post you made instead of the entire thread. You're STILL remarkably full of yourself.

I linked to the last comment - the one you didn't answer. You're the one who made this about ME.

    Embarrassed on the internet. okay

This site matters to me. Your behavior is inappropriate. I have no real call to address your behavior towards others, but your behavior towards me is entirely within my purvey. You don't get to do this with me.

    Christ, now who's the thread-derailer?

That would be me. You chose to address your comment to me and I'm here to let you know that I'm not going to let you do that. We WILL have this out. That's what civilized people do. Either that, or you can go about your merry way, interacting with everyone but me. Should you chose to interact with me, however, I will remind you that our interactions are necessarily colored by your past behavior.

    Move the fuck on.

No. Answer me.

    Now I think we were talking about the death penalty here.

Not anymore. If you wanted to talk about anything other than your antagonism about me (not even towards me or to me because that wouldn't be as gossipy delicious) then you should have directed your comment to someone other than me.

You quoted my statements just now, and used them as a springboard for your own. I'm not going to let you do that. You're well aware of the reason why.

Straighten it out, or shut the fuck up. You've had three days to either (a) amend your allegations to the point where I can answer them or (b) withdraw them and apologize. You've done neither. Consider this a "past due" notice.

teamramonycajal  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I do not care enough about you to do this. You're going to let me do it, because you cannot make me do it, you egotistical prick.

I called you out on some bullshit, you said I got you wrong, I acknowledged I got you wrong. That should be enough.

I don't give a fuck about the fact that I disturbed your precious morning. It's not precious to me.

By the way, this 'better with words' shit? I don't agree, but at least I can let my words stand on their own to let others make a conclusion about it instead of making a bombastic claim like that.

kleinbl00  ·  2256 days ago  ·  link  ·  

What I said I would make you do - deal with me whenever you respond to me - is entirely within my purvey. If I felt like it, I could make you deal with me whenever you post, presuming you aren't commenting in a thread where I've been muted. But I'm not going to do that, because this is about you and me, not you and everyone else.

I'm curious where you think you "acknowledged" that you "got me wrong." Because all I've seen is one condescending insult after another. Regardless, a general rule of thumb is to assume you haven't apologized if the injured party is acting like you haven't. All I know is that you deliberately acted like you didn't understand satire to stir up drama, when in fact our first interaction was you calling me out for not recognizing satire. Every interaction since then has been you flexing your muscle, padewan. The fact that you're pinned and the refs have counted you out only makes it tragic.

You move past this by saying "I'm sorry I accused you of sexism out of the blue without bothering to confront you first" or words to that effect. The only catch is you have to mean it. Let me know when you're ready for that; I suspect you'll find it cathartic.