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The Silk Road Trial
Having finally finished reading through this, I commend Ars Technica's coverage of the trial of the Dread Pirate Roberts over the past few weeks. It's fascinating reading, especially if you start from the beginning of the story (the bottom of the page) and go from there.

I confess, early on I was in innocent-until-proven-guilty mode, at least mildly sympathetic to this guy's case, but the prosecution's story as described here seems pretty airtight. (And the defense surprisingly flimsy.) There is a lot of strangeness here, culminating in the final story -- the detailed logs of what purported to be a murder-for-hire scheme, but appears to have been an elaborate scam that ripped off DPR (who seems to have been a somewhat competent engineer but a mediocre criminal) of about a million dollars...

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That was weird. You'd think he'd realize people would scam him if they could...

I think there's an important lesson here: people are, by and large, good at seeing how anonymity on the Internet helps *them*, but most don't internalize all the ramifications of *others* doing so.

Plain and simply, most people, most of the time, instinctively take others at face value, and don't really grok how easy it can be to carry out a deliberate and well-planned lie. I was telling Alexx about this incident yesterday, and as I did so, it occurred to me how similar it is in general contour to some of the scams we have documented back to the SCA period...

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