It seems that almost a month doesn’t go by that the media will invent a new term. Generally, the new terms are part of a lexicon used to describe events or people in society. One of the more troubling additions to the prevailing jargon is the “social engineer.” These “social engineers” are people who are adept at “psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information.”
In fact, the much -vaunted Artificial Intelligence, known as AI, is being successfully applied to mimic the voice of a young person, and that AI voice calls the grandparents, claims to be a grandchild in a jail, and needs thousands of dollars in cash to bail them out. The savior of society, AI, is already being used to steal from people, and, as it becomes more prevalent, this will only get worse. What would be the proper punishment for one of these “social engineers” who took away an elderly person’s life savings? If the punishment is to fit the crime, it is to take away everything the “social engineer” has made, via crime or any other endeavor.
The “social engineers” are, in reality, cybercriminals, a far better term to describe them, and I find cloaking criminals in a positive nickname utterly despicable. A quick search describes a cybercriminal as “typically teams of skilled criminals targeted on control, power, and wealth.” Incidentally, the description continues, “these attackers are profoundly prepared and well-funded.” After all, it takes money to make money.
One of the presently incarcerated profoundly prepared and well-funded criminals is the “Dread Pirate Roberts” whose real name is Ross Ulbricht, who has been in the custody of the federal prison system for the last ten years, after he created the “Dark Net” also known as the “Silk Road” where illegal drugs, weapons, and other burdens to society could be purchased. While Ulbricht never directly committed any felonies himself, (he only facilitated these offenses via that wonderful internet) he has been sentenced to two life terms in federal prison, with an additional forty years just for good measure. If you search the internet, you can find that Ulbricht has asked for a pardon from President Biden, in a two-page letter that his legal counsel has made public. On the internet, of course.
The “social engineer” moniker almost sounds like someone who makes contributions to society, like other engineers such as industrial engineers or chemical engineers. Being a “social engineer” sounds good until you find your bank account empty, or that you bought a twenty-grand Rolex on your credit card in a country you never lived in or even visited. According to Statista, our poignant “social engineers” have damaged the global economy to the tune of six trillion dollars in 2023, and from the indications of its expansion, that number will be twenty trillion by the year 2026.
The “social engineers” are, in reality, cybercriminals –
In order that we might be more sensitive to those who have treated their fellow citizens with contempt, disrespect, and misconduct, in the same mentality as the phrase “social engineers” we need to rephrase our terminology. In fact, from personal experience, I have come to understand that the names and descriptions used for crime, in places such as courts of law, are not the jargon of the criminal class. To illustrate our growing sensitivity to this fact, I recommend we alter some key phrases. While “social engineer” is one of the most deranged politically correct agnomen ever, it would be better if we played their game back on them.
I once worked with a private security guard whose brother had “boosted” cars. Unfamiliar with criminal parlance, I had to ask him how the batteries in all of those cars had gone dead all at once. I was then advised that “boosting” cars was, in fact, stealing them. My correction in language, that his brother was in fact stealing cars, was dismissed out of hand, and this person’s behavior was to be referred to as “boosting” and not some other derogatory term. After all, calling his brother a criminal would be impolite, now wouldn’t it?
So with this new jargon, I am suggesting some new phrases, that say the same thing in a less derogatory and accusatory tone. The “criminals” or, to lessen the accusatory tone, “offenders” will now be described differently.
- Murderers are now “population reduction specialists.”
- Thieves such armed robbers and burglars are now “wealth redistribution advocates.”
- Rape will now be described as “mistaken amorous engagement.”
- Locking up, or in the softer parlance, “incarceration” will now be described as “selective home relocation.”
- A criminal sentence will be referred to as a “lifestyle modification interval,” or, the ever-popular “guest of the state.”
I think you can understand the importance of political correctness in these troubled times. Thank you for your attention, please don’t hurt me.
Jeffrey Neil Jackson is an
Educator & Literary Mercenary