Why imagine killing avatars when you can imagine something much bigger?
I don't remember how it came up (probably a discussion about movie plots), but a friend and I thought up a couple of scenarios where real killings are tied to the Internet. They depend on technology that's not really available on a large enough scale and provides truly anonymous, untracable content and cash.
In one of them, a kidnapper simply lets a victim starve to death (like the sloth in Se7en) on a webcam. How many hits would that get?
Then he could do another one without the starvation, but instead the victim is tortured (hit, cut, shocked, whatever) automatically when a when a viewer clicks a button. Anyone can watch, but will there be anything to watch? Maybe you wouldn't click, but do you think no-one else would?
Or make visitors vote on whether to kill the victim. What do you do when a person is being starved or tortured and begs for death?
Another scenario has an elite hitman or crew of hardcore former black ops of some kind soliciting contracts from the public at large on the net. If you want someone killed, you vote with your wallet. When the bounty on any one person is sufficiently high, the hitman goes to work and collects the cash. Would you vote for anyone? Saddam Hussein? Slobodan Milosevic or Ratko Mladic? Li Peng? A doctor at your local abortion clinic? (He'd be cheaper than a head of state, obviously)
Perhaps I'm being irresponsible in spreading these ideas; someone might want to actually do this, but I think that anyone who could set up the network part of this would also realise it's just not possible yet. And what of the future? When Freenet makes some of this possible (the anonymous ecash will probably naver happen, so the hitman idea is out)? Well, maybe we need to think about that now, rather than later.
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