Saturday, August 04, 2007

String Terrorist?

The organization for which I work loves training. An occasional subject is the topic of work place and other threats. The typical wacko who shoots up a business, school, or workplace usually has a considerable history of hostile and threatening behavior before he (it's almost always a he)comes in with guns blazing. Consequently, they say, the death threat, even if made in in a casual or seemingly facetious manner, is a bright red line which should never be ignored. Obviously there are exceptions - a friend may say to another "I'll kill you if you do that," and usually it's no more than an expression of disapproval. When the threat comes from a hostile individual, especially one with a history of somewhat unbalanced behavior, the situation is quite different.

Which brings me to the somewhat embarassing topic at hand. Our fellow blogger Lubos has gotten in trouble for threats before. When he rather indirectly threatened Peter Woit (I think the words were: "I hope you die soon,") Peter took the matter to Harvard. Perhaps that had something to do with Lubos leaving Harvard - I don't know.

In any case, his retreat to his castle somewhere west of Transylvania seems to have emboldened him, and this time I was the target. His comment was short of an absolute threat:

...I would be happier if the amount of misinformation were smaller - but to achieve this goal, we would have to get the right to freely shoot miserable pigs first. In current circumstances, if I shoot you...


But still much more direct than his threat against Woit.

Lot of bloggers get death threats, including very direct ones, and Lubos probably doesn't know exactly who I am. This threat is not exactly at the top of my list of worries, but it is annoying. In many ways I find it more disquieting than a similar or worse threat from some anonymous sorehead.

It does leave me with the puzzle of what to do. Anybody have any ideas?