Stupid people

All my life I’ve come across stupid people, I’ve come to expect people to be stupid, and I’m usually not let down by that assumption. When I find intelligent people I treasure them like Eskimos would treasure electric blankets covered in whale fat powered by a bucket sized cold fusion reactor. Of course I use the web more than is healthy, that’s one reason I always speak to stupid people, this is all fine and something I take in my stride. It’s when you come across people that aren’t meant to be stupid yet are that you lose that little faith you had left in humanity. It’s when an admin of a site which has thousands of members and has been running for 3 years doesn’t realise how bad it is that people can run HTML from PMs, signatures, usernames, forum posts or article comments.

You inform the admin about these flaws, explaining the dangers of XSS by taking the example of an attacker using JavaScript, you let them know they should run htmlentities() on all user input. What do they do? They either totally ignore you or they add some code to replace all instances of <script> with script. Idiots.

Here’s my theory; People who had Geocities accounts when they were 10 branched into 3 paths. They either 1) Got bored of the whole developer thing and started collecting Pokemon cards 2) Got good and now make efficient, secure web applications or 3) stayed at the Geocities level but got money and can afford their own domain. It is this 3rd category that now pollute the web with their binary waste. When you don’t realise that error checking is needed to prevent anyone from deleting a PM you need to find a cliff to jump off. When told so and your counter-argument is that no one can be bothered to manually browse to /remove_pm.php?message_id=1, …id=2, …id=3 Then a cliff simply won’t do the job, you’ll need to find something simpler. I suggest jumping on front of a car…. …yes, a moving one.

The lesson: I understand that people have to start at the basics of anything before they can get any better, but for the love of all that’s holy (Eskimos in their bucket sized cold fusion reactor powered, whale fat covered, electric blankets) read articles on the web, ask people, learn mistakes others’ made, experiment on your own computer or borrow books from a library before you go spending money to manage a web site. I understand that everyone makes mistakes but learn from them and learn to accept help from people who offer it.

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  • Art

    ” … yet are that you loose that little faith …”

    That’s LOSE, not LOOSE.

  • http://ebersys.blogspot.com Eber Irigoyen

    “I’ve come to expect people to be stupid”…

    …”read articles on the web, ask people, learn mistakes others’ made, experiment on your own computer or borrow books from a library before you go spending money to manage a web site.”

    seems you expect a lot from stupid people

  • http://www.whiteacid.org WhiteAcid

    I want to end the vicous of stupid people breeding more stupid people to produce more binary waste.

    In all honesty I expect common sense and enthusiasm in your site.

  • http://www.BeyondSecurity.com aviram

    There’s a nice saying that goes something like (wildly paraphrasing from my bad memory): “I’m not saying we should kill all the stupid people, but why don’t we remove all the warning labels and let natural selection do its thing?”

  • http://www.whiteacid.org WhiteAcid

    Thanks Art
    Aviram, I often think the same thing. A couple of weeks ago I was told that some people wanted to add fruits to the kids school menus to make it healthier but they decided that only fruit without any seeds/pips in it would be ok as kids could choke on the seeds/pips.
    I’ve eaten fruit all my life and afaik I’ve never choken on a pip. If a kid dies due to eating the apple core and choking natural selection should have gotten rid of him (or her) a long time ago. Natural selection did try that day with Bush and his pretzel but others interviened.
    Yes, I have no kids.

  • http://ALLOFTHEM.com stupidpersonh8tr

    I too hate stupid people.

    Stupid people DIE.