Saturday, October 23, 1971

Numbers Claim Their First "Comput-er Hacking" Victim!

Long have I warned my readers about the dangers of comput-er use in our working lives. Computers are governed by numbers. And, as we all know, numbers are not to be trusted.

And now, it seems, the numbers and their tools of corruption - comput-ers - have put an innocent man on trial for the alleged "hacking" crime of so-called "code theft."

29-year-old comput-er whiz Hugh Jeffery Ward of Palo Alto, California, stands accused of so-called "comput-er piracy" for allegedly "stealing" a computer program from Oakland-based Information Systems Design (ISD). Allegedly, Mr. Ward used a telephone and a special code to allegedly gain access to ISD's memory-banks and allegedly "pirate" a $25,000 program.

This accusation is, of course, complete balderwash. Nothing has been stolen from ISD, as examplified by the face that ISD still has their comput-er program!

I will try to explain this using an analogy.

If, hypothetically, someone were to break into my house and steal my sofa, then I would no longer have a sofa. The alleged crime allegedly committed by the alleged Mr. Ward is the equivalent of someone breaking into my house and writing down my sofa. That is not what I or any sane language-speaker would consider theft.

But, of course, there is more to this. I fear the draw-strings of this case pull far beneath the surface, hinting at a behemoth of numerist corruption lurking in the murky depths of our comput-er age. It is completely obvious that Mr. Ward was obviously under the influence of the numbers when he allegedly committed his alleged crimes: using a telephone (numbers) and a special code (numeric) to obtain a comput-er program (containing numbers).

This, I fear, is but the first of many such cases we will soon see as the numbers and auto-mation and comput-erization take over our businesses and our lives. These incidents of comput-er "hacking" will increase as more of us fall under the influence of these tools of numerist hegemony.

I have hereby predicted!

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