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1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:55 am UTC
by slinches
Image
Title text:
Spoiler:
Is he ALSO wondering at what point our thoughts diverged, if they even have yet? 'dude, I think he just took your credit card' AM I THE ORIGINAL? HOW DO I TELL?

I think this guy next needs to have a talk with white beret guy

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:58 am UTC
by Eternal Density
Drat, I finally gave in and started the thread and you beat me to it by a few milliNewPix!

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:01 am UTC
by rhomboidal
"Why can't this guy just have good old-fashioned claustrophobia like normal neurotics?"

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:13 am UTC
by slinches
Eternal Density wrote:Drat, I finally gave in and started the thread and you beat me to it by a few milliNewPix!

Yay! I ninja'd someone. I usually end up on the other side of the shuriken.

Of course I can't be sure of that. You could have stolen my identity and posted for me and it's really me who was ninja'd trying to steal ED's identity. There's really no way to tell ... or is there? I could ask myself a question only I could know the answer to and ... wait is it me asking or could it be someone else just pretending to be me?

Hold on, has anyone got a torch and a mirror? I may be lost in Plato's cave.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 6:48 am UTC
by The Synologist
Would be pretty cool if identity theft required the complete absorption of all the individual quirks and deficiencies of the person being stolen from. If the effects stacked, they'd all be schitzos after a few repetitions.

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:46 am UTC
by Eternal Density
slinches wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:Drat, I finally gave in and started the thread and you beat me to it by a few milliNewPix!

Yay! I ninja'd someone. I usually end up on the other side of the shuriken.

It's funny because I only tried because I noticed there was still no thread after I'd liked to the OtherComic in the OTT and remixed it twice. (once without really reading it, and once without changing as much, though that one ended up in the xkcdSW thread instead.)
The Synologist wrote:Would be pretty cool if identity theft required the complete absorption of all the individual quirks and deficiencies of the person being stolen from. If the effects stacked, they'd all be schitzos after a few repetitions.

Another thing to add to the 'list of ideas that would be nifty to write a novel about'.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:45 am UTC
by Rombobjörn
Is he ALSO wondering at what point our thoughts diverged, if they even have yet?

If your thoughts and his can diverge, then he didn't steal your identity, he copied it. If he did steal your identity, then you no longer have an identity, unless he left his own identity for you.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:58 am UTC
by jrkelly
On boxing day I had a phone call from my bank asking about certain transactions on my credit card. I got the feeling that the person who stole my identity was having a much better time with it than I ever have... :)

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:10 am UTC
by shelvacu
paralyzed by overwhelming existential dread

What, no one is going to mention this?

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:17 am UTC
by BAReFOOt
Oooh quit it! Just like all the undividuals out there, you didn’t have an identity in the first place!
You were just another clone drone!
You didn’t have more identity than the leg of an NPC in a dungeon with a billion instances has an identity.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:20 am UTC
by BAReFOOt
Rombobjörn wrote:If your thoughts and his can diverge, then he didn't steal your identity, he copied it. If he did steal your identity, then you no longer have an identity, unless he left his own identity for you.


Aaand now you have realized that one canon ever “own” information… but merely copy it… at best overwrite the other copies… but not “take”/“steal” it. And so it can never be “property”. Those words make as much sense, as “north from here” makes, when you’re right at the north pole.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:26 am UTC
by Klear
Rombobjörn wrote:
Is he ALSO wondering at what point our thoughts diverged, if they even have yet?

If your thoughts and his can diverge, then he didn't steal your identity, he copied it. If he did steal your identity, then you no longer have an identity, unless he left his own identity for you.


So... identity piracy? What if someone cracked your identity and made it available for anyone to download?

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:27 am UTC
by BAReFOOt
The Synologist wrote:Would be pretty cool if identity copying [Ed: fixed] required the complete absorption of all the individual quirks and deficiencies of the person being stolen from. If the effects stacked, they'd all be schitzos [sic] after a few repetitions.


They’d already be schizos after the first one. And frankly, most people in the US or middle-east would already be schizos, long before that (and call their second personality either “god”, “allah”, or “yehovah“).

Also, split personality is only the case in the worst form of schizophrenia. Usually the neural encapsulations are too small to be an entire personality, or even just have the mental power of a simple animal.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 10:38 am UTC
by BAReFOOt
Klear wrote:So... identity piracy?


What has any of that to do with stealing shit on the high seas?

Klear wrote:What if someone cracked your identity and made it available for anyone to download?


Well, I’m sorry, but most likely, most of you is already available online. (How complete would a profile of you be, if the NSA targeted you? How well could they impersonate you in front of other people?)
And let’s be frank: Most of you wasn’t very individual in the first place, was it? ;)) (You do eat [mostly non-species-appropriate] food, need a toilet once in a while [but probably don’t wash your ass afterwards], live in some shelter [with at least four walls and a roof, door, window, etc], probably shower [and probably so much you have to undo it with lotion], wear clothes even when there’s no reason for it, have a love interest/relationship [that’s likely rather dysfunctional], probably go outside once in a while, use the Internet, vote, buy products [you mostly don’t need], and most importantly are easily influenced by what others tell you [news, talking to other people, advertisement, …].)
(Which is partially OK, since otherwise life in society becomes a lot harder and less useful. And partially not OK, since others will tell you what to think and do and it ends up being bad for you.)

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:11 pm UTC
by cellocgw
Eternal Density wrote:Drat, I finally gave in and started the thread and you beat me to it by a few milliNewPix!


You do know that could be considered reverse heresy, right?

Anyways, if your identity were actually stolen, you wouldn't know who you were -- or possibly you'd know you were <null pointer exception>

This is because "identity theft" is yet another blatant attempt to couch copyright infringement in criminal terms. The bad guy just copied your identity, which may or may not be illegal, depending on what he does next, but it's not a theft, since you still are you. At least as far as you can tell.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:41 pm UTC
by Flumble
It sparks my curiosity: how easy is it to pose as someone else? And to what degree do you even have to to benefit from it?
It seems to me that in this day and age social engineering (or targeted malware) can get you access to email accounts and from there (depending on preference and country) access to webshop accounts, bank accounts and social media (access to private contents of social media should make assuming that identity a lot easier). And all of it behind 7 proxies. (Make sure your endpoint is near your victim — some time ago I was notified of a logon (attempt? I was startled nonetheless) from Vietnam by gmail.)


cellocgw wrote:This is because "identity theft" is yet another blatant attempt to couch copyright infringement in criminal terms. The bad guy just copied your identity, which may or may not be illegal, depending on what he does next, but it's not a theft, since you still are you. At least as far as you can tell.

While copying the identity in itself isn't theft, it is often paired with denying the original person his access to property/relations/events/anything, so it becomes theft as a whole.
I do agree that the semantics lead people to believe that there is such thing as "identity theft".

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:03 pm UTC
by pkcommando
Rombobjörn wrote:unless he left his own identity for you.

Identity Swap would also be really messy, depending on your level of awareness pre- and post-swap. Would you know you've been swapped and now possess the swapping ability? Then you would be caught in an endless battle of swapping back and forth. If you truly believe you were the thief/swapper afterward, would you know you'd made the swap or would you only remember you were about to swap w/ Other Guy? At which point you'd swap identities back and once again be locked in the same never-ending battle.



For Identity Thieves out there, I have 1 rule:
No backsies!

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:56 pm UTC
by speising
Flumble wrote:(Make sure your endpoint is near your victim — some time ago I was notified of a logon (attempt? I was startled nonetheless) from Vietnam by gmail.)


i got this everytime i logged into gmail while i was in vietnam. which i could still do regardless, so the notification is only irritating (at least, provide a "it's ok, i'm really there" link!)

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:06 pm UTC
by RogueCynic
Last night I joked about faking my own death. My identity would be available were I to do that. I had trouble logging to post, maybe someone stole my identity?

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:11 pm UTC
by Spectrum
The title text reminds me of the now-classic item from "Which language am I using?":

C++
You accidentally create a dozen instances of yourself and shoot them all in the foot. Providing emergency medical care is impossible since you can't tell which are bitwise copies and which are just pointing at others and saying, "That's me, over there."

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 3:43 pm UTC
by milN
"No, *I* am Randall Munroe!"

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:31 pm UTC
by gladiolas
cellocgw wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:Drat, I finally gave in and started the thread and you beat me to it by a few milliNewPix!


You do know that could be considered reverse heresy, right?



How is that reverse heresy? And what is reverse heresy?

I Googled the phrase and got lots of its but nothing informative.

I assume this is a reference from the "Time" thread?

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:58 pm UTC
by cellocgw
gladiolas wrote:
cellocgw wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:Drat, I finally gave in and started the thread and you beat me to it by a few milliNewPix!


You do know that could be considered reverse heresy, right?



How is that reverse heresy? And what is reverse heresy?

I Googled the phrase and got lots of its but nothing informative.

I assume this is a reference from the "Time" thread?

In reverse order:
yes
I made it up
we are not supposed to use "real-world" time units in the OTT
:mrgreen:

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:04 pm UTC
by pixeldigger
Klear wrote:
Rombobjörn wrote:
Is he ALSO wondering at what point our thoughts diverged, if they even have yet?

If your thoughts and his can diverge, then he didn't steal your identity, he copied it. If he did steal your identity, then you no longer have an identity, unless he left his own identity for you.


So... identity piracy? What if someone cracked your identity and made it available for anyone to download?


That would be TARGET

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:16 pm UTC
by gladiolas
Thanks, cellocgw.

This thread ought to appeal to Philip K. Dick fans (insert obligatory entendre here.)

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:33 pm UTC
by da Doctah
My theory is that it's not possible to actually have your identity stolen, but someone might get close enough to steal your congruence.

(Alternative joke: someone stole my identity but they weren't specific enough. Have fun being a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, bee-yotch!)

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 8:48 pm UTC
by Pfhorrest
Seconding critiques of the phrase "identity theft". Nothing is being stolen, and your identity is literally the thing which is it most impossible to steal from you. Only you can possibly have your identity. That is what identity is: the relation which every thing bears only to itself and no other thing.

However, someone can get their hands on your identifying information, and then commit fraud in falsely passing themselves off as you, using that information. I'm not sure what nice short verb would accurately describe the surreptitious acquisition of your identifying information with the intent to commit fraud with it, but it's not "steal", and the information which has that verb happen to it is not your identity.

It's also not copyright infringement, because your identifying information is generally not the kind of creative work to which copyright applies. If anything, it's closer to trademark infringement (but still not the same), inasmuch as both involve passing oneself off as someone else.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:36 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Pfhorrest wrote:Seconding critiques of the phrase "identity theft". Nothing is being stolen, and your identity is literally the thing which is it most impossible to steal from you. Only you can possibly have your identity. That is what identity is: the relation which every thing bears only to itself and no other thing.

However, someone can get their hands on your identifying information, and then commit fraud in falsely passing themselves off as you, using that information. I'm not sure what nice short verb would accurately describe the surreptitious acquisition of your identifying information with the intent to commit fraud with it, but it's not "steal", and the information which has that verb happen to it is not your identity.

It's also not copyright infringement, because your identifying information is generally not the kind of creative work to which copyright applies. If anything, it's closer to trademark infringement (but still not the same), inasmuch as both involve passing oneself off as someone else.


Identity fraud?

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:42 pm UTC
by blowfishhootie
I hope all of you being so pedantic about the phrase "identity theft" are equally annoyed when you hear somebody has "lost their mind," or when somebody who eats a big meal says "I'm stuffed," or when a sportscaster says a player who is playing really well is "on fire."

News flash: Words don't always mean the same thing in every context, and holding a word to a specific, literal definition in all contexts never actually works. Language changes, words and their meanings are flexible, and life goes on. There is nothing wrong with the phrase "identity theft" - it conveys a specific idea that almost all English speakers (Americans anyway, can't speak for other parts of the world) will immediately understand, regardless of what the two words independent of each other might mean in other settings.

What a boring world you all want to live in.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:02 am UTC
by keithl
I would benefit from an inanity theft.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:30 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
rmsgrey wrote:Identity fraud?

That would work for the crime of pretending to be someone else to gain illegitimate access to things supposed to be access-limited to them, yeah. But it doesn't quite work as a name for acquiring the identifying information necessary to do that, though, which seems to be what "identity theft" is trying to name.

But I guess nobody would really care about someone having that identifying information if it wasn't used for such purposes, and they would care just as much about someone using it for those purposes even if the perpetrator legitimately had access to the information (e.g. I know many of my clients' passwords because they've foolishly told them to me, but they don't seem to care because I don't go using those passwords to gain access to things supposed to be limited to them, but they would care a lot if I did do that, even though I only have that info because they willingly gave it to me, not because I "stole" it somehow).

So I guess the crime in need of naming in the first place is the one of fraudulently identifying yourself as someone else -- identity fraud, as you say -- and not the one of acquiring the information necessary to do so.

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:04 am UTC
by BlitzGirl
gladiolas wrote:And what is reverse heresy?

It's the name of my next band, that's what it is.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:12 pm UTC
by m.alessandrini
"AM I THE ORIGINAL? HOW DO I TELL"

Look at what fork() returned.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 1:32 pm UTC
by Klear
blowfishhootie wrote:I hope all of you being so pedantic about the phrase "identity theft" are equally annoyed when you hear somebody has "lost their mind," or when somebody who eats a big meal says "I'm stuffed," or when a sportscaster says a player who is playing really well is "on fire."

News flash: Words don't always mean the same thing in every context, and holding a word to a specific, literal definition in all contexts never actually works. Language changes, words and their meanings are flexible, and life goes on. There is nothing wrong with the phrase "identity theft" - it conveys a specific idea that almost all English speakers (Americans anyway, can't speak for other parts of the world) will immediately understand, regardless of what the two words independent of each other might mean in other settings.

What a boring world you all want to live in.


Thank you.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:06 pm UTC
by orthogon
Klear wrote:
blowfishhootie wrote:I hope all of you being so pedantic about the phrase "identity theft" are equally annoyed when you hear somebody has "lost their mind," or when somebody who eats a big meal says "I'm stuffed," or when a sportscaster says a player who is playing really well is "on fire."

News flash: Words don't always mean the same thing in every context, and holding a word to a specific, literal definition in all contexts never actually works. Language changes, words and their meanings are flexible, and life goes on. There is nothing wrong with the phrase "identity theft" - it conveys a specific idea that almost all English speakers (Americans anyway, can't speak for other parts of the world) will immediately understand, regardless of what the two words independent of each other might mean in other settings.

What a boring world you all want to live in.


Thank you.

Yes, theft generally involves taking possession of something without having the legitimate right to it, so it's an obvious extension to include copying, plagiarising etc. Interestingly the verb steal already has senses that apply to cases where the original possessor retains possession, or even where the thing is brought into existence by the act of stealing: one can steal a glance or a kiss. The OED has examples of this sense (e) going back to at least 1544 ("All translatours ought to vse the vsuall termes of our englyshe tounge..and not to breke..in to the boundes of the latyn tounge, to steale termes of it."), and sense (d) which refers specifically to the theft of ideas or inventions is first cited in 1275, although I admit I have trouble understanding the older quotes.

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 2:23 pm UTC
by jpvlsmv
BlitzGirl wrote:
gladiolas wrote:And what is reverse heresy?

It's the name of my next band, that's what it is.

Reverse Heresy dottumblerdotcom?

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:24 pm UTC
by m.alessandrini
Thank you, first poster, I wasted half an hour trying to figure out how to see the mousover text in the original pic on my smartphone's touchscreen!

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:39 pm UTC
by Rombobjörn
m.alessandrini wrote:"AM I THE ORIGINAL? HOW DO I TELL"

Look at what fork() returned.

But I didn't call fork. It was the thief forker who forked me, and now the forker is me, who didn't fork me, so there's no return value from fork anywhere.

m.alessandrini wrote:Thank you, first poster, I wasted half an hour trying to figure out how to see the mousover text in the original pic on my smartphone's touchscreen!

You might want to try http://m.xkcd.com/ and tap the word "alt-text".

Re: 1317: Theft

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 9:56 pm UTC
by Eternal Density
jpvlsmv wrote:
BlitzGirl wrote:
gladiolas wrote:And what is reverse heresy?

It's the name of my next band, that's what it is.

Reverse Heresy dottumblerdotcom?

Hilariously, the name of John Scalzi's next band is Mustard Plaster.

Re: 1317: "Theft"

Posted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:30 pm UTC
by rmsgrey
Rombobjörn wrote:
m.alessandrini wrote:"AM I THE ORIGINAL? HOW DO I TELL"

Look at what fork() returned.

But I didn't call fork. It was the thief forker who forked me, and now the forker is me, who didn't fork me, so there's no return value from fork anywhere.


In other words, you're totally fork()ed?