This Article IsCreated at don't-know-whenLast Modified at 2022-12-30Referenced as ia.www.b04

Social Denial of Service

I have seen many cases, where one person violate public expectation so much, that the authority has to introduce an overly strict rule (sometimes draconian). And the rule makes everyone worse off. An example of this is the sudden “upgrade” of airport security after 9-11. Even till this day, there is still too much “security”, and the time wasted for a full-body search is not worth the security benefit.

In short, even if the slapstick rule only targets the mischievous 0.001, the rest 0.999 are forced to suffer inconvenience. I call this kind of problem “denial of service attack”, named after a (conceptually) related kind of attack against computer networks.

Although this name is not quite apt, since the mischievous often doesn’t intend to make everyone else’s day worse. If you have a better name for this, tell me.

Anyone, as a sociologist trained with statistical tools aimed to precisely solve a problem like this, seeing rules like this in person makes my head hurt.

If you are subject to stupid rules like this, challenge it; propose a less intrusive solution. (more often than not) If the relevant authority doesn’t listen to you, then you have a bigger problem to worry about (I recommend non-cooperation).