Tuesday, January 07, 2003

"Hey Buddy, Can You Spare A Byte?"

Beggars, Bums, Homeless, call them what you will. Most of us who have been in a large city have come across those who have either through life's misfortunes or choice have decided to eke out a living on the streets. Homeless advocates often use inaccurate statistics to promote their cause, though some admit that you just can't accurately count the number of homeless in the country.

That's all well and good, but worthy of additional scrutiny at a later date.

With the advent of Internet, why not move to begging online?

Yes it is real, and it is happening with greater frequency. You'd expect that most homeless don't have access to computers, and certainly not web-hosting facilities to put up a website, but that's not who's doing the begging.

The most famous case of online begging starts with Karyn Bosnak, who cyberpanhandled her way out of a $20,000 credit card debt. Yes, this is real and it did happen. In fact, she even has a book deal in the making. She bought too much 5th Avenue goodies and put herself in debt and then begged her way out of it. Many 'cyberbums' are young teenage girls, who beg for money for new clothes, makeup, and other items teenagers find that are absolutely critical to their existence.

Believe it or not, they find many contributors. Of course, most are probably from boys/men hoping that by giving some cash to the young women that they will buy a ticket into her pants. Yes, it's pathetic that some of us men are stupid enough to believe that we have a chance. That's why this works so perfectly for them, they are playing on our raging hormones. I'll leave the reader to come up with a new term for these high tech gold-diggers.

But hey, its not all roses. Karyn is getting quite a bit of negativity poured her way (deservedly so). The mainstream media has even picked up on the trend.

So in the spirit of the new fad, I'd like any of you with spare cash to help me buy a new Work/Gaming Notebook Computer. I recently started my own IT Consulting Company, and I've drummed up business at LAN parties (see below) that I've attended. However, I am getting old and its becoming a hardship on my creaking bones to haul around all the heavy equipment necessary for doing some serious game playing. A new 3.06 Ghz Notebook computer with 64MB of Video Ram would do quite well for me, and would save setup space for my fellow players at the gaming tables.

I only need about 2200 of you to send me $1 each, which is only 1/10th of what Karyn asked for. I'll report back here with the results of my experiment.

Stop laughing and click on the button below! (I'm trying to keep a straight face while typing this myself.)