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The Illogical People’s Court

11 Sep

September 11, 2015

My  Photoshop skills in effect!

My Photoshop skills in effect!

Mercy me, but I watch The People’s Court on TV every day. I record it on my TiVo and watch it late at night. Recently, there was a case that befuddled my sleepless brain. It had nothing to do with either my lack of sleep or any legal complexities the case presented.

As I understood it, the defendant was selling a broken printer on eBay. The plaintiff bid on it and won. The defendant, suspicious that anyone would want to buy his broken printer, canceled the sale. And that was it. The defendant prettied up the defense with accusations of harassment (the plaintiff actually dared to contact him to ask why the sale was canceled) but in the end he won because he had some odd eBay rules on his side.

It was a perfect logical trap. He wanted to sell his broken printer, but he believed that anyone who would want his broken printer would have to be up to no good, and he wouldn’t sell his printer to anyone like that. Given those circumstances it was impossible for him to sell the printer he wanted to sell.

The judge, perplexed by the defendant, asked him if he was still willing to sell the printer to the plaintiff if the plaintiff was still interested in buying it. The plaintiff was. But even after the judge offered to draft an agreement that left the defendant totally without any legal responsibility if anything at all went wrong (And what could go wrong? No one seemed to know.) the defendant still felt “something suspicious” about the whole thing and kept his printer.

Why did the plaintiff want the printer in the first place? The printer was an industrial printer and the plaintiff was a printer repairman. He was sure he could fix it and sell the printer at a profit, so he took the defendant to court to get the sale of the printer reinstated. He went home with nothing.

The defendant kept his broken printer, which he could have sold for $158, and went home with his belief that there was “something suspicious” about the sale.

How do people have time to go to court for nonsense like this? And worse, why would they agree to put this sideshow on TV? I don’t get it.


Star Wars Card Trading on eBay: Not Getting Your Money’s Worth

16 Aug

August 16, 2015

People are stupid. They’ve always been stupid. That’s no surprise to anyone who has ever tried to drive down Bay Parkway in Brooklyn. There, the rule of thumb for pedestrians is “there are no cars. None. Bay Parkway is an empty street. Shut your eyes and meander randomly in the middle of the road.” In other words, when driving down the stretch of Bay Parkway that runs from about 65th to 70th streets, you can expect to have to slam on your brakes and swerve out of the way of people who decide, for no logical reason, to cross, stand, stop, or eat lunch in the middle of the street. Walk and don’t walk signs are a foreign (language) concept to most of these people. Red lights? Green lights? Doesn’t matter since no one looks at them anyway. Is it a good idea to stop in the middle of crossing against traffic in the middle of the block to take a sip of your egg drop soup as you step out from between two trucks? No, but it happens anyway.

But as stupid as people are, they are getting stupider. Here’s proof.

Someone will buy these!

Someone will buy these!

There’s an app called Star Wars Card Trader. You can use credits to buy virtual packs of cards that you can trade with other people on the app. Many of the cards are rare or limited. Like real cards, the contents of the packs are random. They cost nothing to buy, though you only get a small number of credits per day. Helpfully, Topps allows you to buy more. But remember, you don’t have to spend a penny and the cards are free.

Most cards range from 5,000 to over a million printed. Some are as few as 50. But recently, Topps came out with a card limited to 10 and the users went crazy, spending all kinds of real money to buy credits to get this virtual card which does not physically exist and has no monetary value at all.

And according to the terms of the user agreement, you don’t really own any of these cards, Topps does, who can delete or revoke them anytime they want.

But people went totally gorilla-balls nuts for this ultra-rare card and you can find a few on eBay for $900 – $950.

Crazy! Who the hell is going to buy these? And I have no doubt they will be bought. What will you do with a card that can disappear as soon as the internet falls apart? Once again, I think the economy must be amazingly strong if people are buying these. Either that or people are getting stupider by the day.

But it gets worse. Topps made so much money selling credits to people who didn’t get the card that they released yet another ultra rare (and ugly) card. And you know what? Despite all the grumbling, moaning, and complaining on the message boards and forums, the users went gorilla-balls crazy and spent mucho dollars on credits again.

Pink Vader? Is he the new Hello Kitty?

Pink Vader? Is he the new Hello Kitty?

If there is a character less suited to pink I don’t want to know. But at least the seller for this one has helpfully allowed you spread your stupidity over six months. This way, instead of one regretful purchase, you can regret it all over again every month when the bill comes in.




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