Friday, January 16, 2004

So often, we're assured by our little warm-hearted liberal friends that "human nature is basically good." My response to that is usually to ask them if they have locks on their doors, and if so, why. I haven't gotten a coherent answer yet. But it does demonstrate the power of a pithy aphorism against all contrary evidence.

A recent little picture of human nature: last weekend in College Station, Texas, somebody discovered that an ATM machine gave him twice as much money as he had asked for--and a receipt that didn't show it. According to KBTX-TV in College Station:
....[T]he word spread like wildfire and before long there was a line of people waiting for the handout.

No telling how long this was going on when a police officer noticed a long line gathering at five o'clock Saturday morning at that machine. He noticed the users putting their coats over their heads as not to be identified by the photograph device built into the machine. Like many others, one woman received $1,000 after requesting just $500.

Asked by police if she thought she was doing anything wrong, she said "being a broke college student, I had to take the chance." She told investigators that a friend called her at two o'clock in the morning to let her know about the ATM.
It seems to have escaped these geniuses that not being photographed by the machine still won't negate the fact that they put their bank card into it.

Now of course, none of us are naive enough to think this incident wouldn't happen. But if human nature is basically good, how is it possible that not a single person called the police to tell them there was a problem with the machine?

Even more scary: Some who read this will think "What's the big deal? I would've probably taken the money too."

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