The Heroic Social Service

There are many things that annoy me.  For example, Volkswagen Passats.  There are things that I dislike, such as garden peas.  There are also, though, things that I despise, and one of those is people who do things “so it doesn’t happen to other people” and which usually involve said claimant receiving large sums of money in compensation.

My contempt is for any number of reasons.  Such a mechanism assumes that an offender (if that’s the right word) would not seek to improve from a mistake of their own volition, without having to receive further loss.  I think it can quite often be an abuse of personal injury laws that were designed to help those genuinely in need.

However, the main reason is because most of the time I see the “I’m doing it so it doesn’t happen to anyone else” comes in cases where someone is suing the National Health Service.  Taking money out of the NHS, with its already stretched budget and variety problems that may be at least partially solved by increased money to spend, does help other patients.  It helps the person receiving that money.

Sure, I understand that mistakes are made and some people might need to be compensated for a loss, and that’s fine.  But do it for that reason and stop pretending to do it for a greater good.

What if an organisation actually did do something in court for the greater good, though?  It turns out that this may have happened when IBM was recently awarded US Patent no. 9547842.  This patent refers to the use of Out Of Office replies.

Yep, those e-mails that you send people automatically to tell them that you’re not there to read it is now owned by IBM.

Apparently IBM did it to stop other people owning the IP to make vast sums of money from you and I telling our colleagues that we’re sunning ourselves on a beach, at a medical appointment or just otherwise can’t be bothered working that day.

It’s not quite the same as someone putting lives at risk because they don’t like the shape of their scar but, if I put my cynicism to one side for a second, this story may need to make me reassess my attitude to the heroic social service.

Let me be your hero

Would you dance if I asked you to dance?
Would you run and never look back?
Would you cry if you saw me crying?
Would you save my soul tonight?

Would you tremble if I touched your lips?
Would you laugh? Oh, please tell me this.
Now would you die for the one you love?
Hold me in your arms, tonight.

I can be your hero, baby.
I can kiss away the pain.
I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.

Would you swear that you’ll always be mine?
Would you lie? Would you run and hide?
Am I in too deep? Have I lost my mind?
I don’t care. You’re here tonight.

I can be your hero, baby.
I can kiss away the pain.
I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.

Oh, I just want to hold you.
I just want to hold you, oh, yeah.

Am I in too deep? Have I lost my mind?
Well, I don’t care. You’re here tonight.

I can be your hero, baby.
I can kiss away the pain, oh, yeah.
I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.

(I can be your hero, baby)
I can be your hero.
I can kiss away the pain.
And I will stand by you forever.
You can take my breath away.
You can take my breath away.

I can be your hero.

Hero by Enrique Iglesias

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