“It’s a hoax — and it’s not funny,” said Gov. Deval Patrick.
No, it isn’t a hoax, and no, it’s only sort of funny. It’s not funny to spend a bunch of money on a false reality. That is to say, a waste of resources on what could easily have been avoided or at least curtailed.
What it would have taken is one of millions of cellphones with cameras taking a picture. Sending that picture to a publicly available website, and waiting the 30 seconds for someone to reply, “That’s a TV show thing, Cartoon Network, Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”
Yeah, in the first 29 seconds you should begin to isolate the areas, but at t+30 you should be able to downgrade the threat level to brain matter gray and have wasted what, $1,000 as opposed to the supposed estimate of $500K?
Eyeballs and brains are good things when you use them properly. When ants start panicking or when whales with inner-ear infections lead their pack to shore there is a sad breakdown of sociality. We should seek to minimize any such effects.
Governments should stop being followers or stalwarts of technology and start actually leading us forward with awareness, transparency, and the like. The fact that they don’t makes me wonder why the hell we employ them in the first place.