Help Desk

Too Long; Didn’t Resist

Comic Transcript

FIRST FED: Sir, the FBI strenuously objects to you encrypting your phones by default.

THE BOSS: Your strenuous objection is noted. Thank you for stopping by.

SECOND FED: What possible reason could you have–

THE BOSS: Market forces, agent. I have no particular love of encryption, nor do I possess idealistic stirrings that compel me to fight for concepts like freedom, or even privacy. Indeed I am somewhat more sympathetic to your position than to that of my customer base, since allowing a government to constantly monitor its citizenry would increase human misery and suffering.

SECOND FED: Then why would you–

THE BOSS: Because when it comes to promoting the cause of evil, your people are rank amateurs. I’ve been doing this for tens of thousands of years. Getting a population to the point where they despise the thing that makes them suffer while at the same time constantly choosing it over all other options is a painstaking process. It requires patience. You could have created the world you wanted, but you were impatient. You tried to rush things, and your population recoiled enough to give Google and Apple a marketing opportunity. I am obliged to follow suit.

THE BOSS: Getting a population to accept evil requires instilling in them an overwhelming sense of apathy. Or sloth, if you prefer the classical term. You could have conditioned your population to accept eternal, unending surveillance if you’d simply introduced the matter to them by degrees. They would have resisted initially, but in the end they would have found the fight too tiring and moved on. Instead, you impatiently chose to make them afraid. Fear is a useful short-term tool, but fear is an emotion. It makes them care. That almost always works against you in the long term.

THIRD FED: I was going to argue with you, but I lost interest in what you were saying…

SECOND FED: …which may have proven your point.

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