There is a craze at present in Italy, (where I live), about recycling. It’s the big new thing. Everyone needs to recycle because it’s “good”, which then means if you don’t recycle you are “bad”. Apart from glass, I don’t recycle. There are a number of reasons for this, but it’s mainly to do with the fact that I am not a lazy brain duped moron. And furthermore, I refuse to buy in to the enormous con that is recycling. Recycling is one of those things that makes people feel good, like they are actually doing something, when in reality they are doing fuck all. I went to a dinner party at a friends house here in Italy a few months ago. They are proud recyclers. Their small 50 square meter apartment is full of recycling bins for different products, (nothing like turning your house into a garbage dump to make yourself feel good). They went on and on about recycling, as did the other guests, while I sat through it because I was hungry. Then they served dinner on plastic plates, with plastic utensils, and plastic cups. So they didn’t have to waste time washing up.

But they recycle, so it’s all okay, right?

Recycling is a mistake for two reasons. Firstly, it is looking at a problem in the wrong way. We shouldn’t be focused on recycling as much as we should be focusing on our daily habits that lead to the build up of garbage. I don’t recycle because I have very little recyclable waste. I do most of my shopping at little markets, or buy direct from the producer. I try to buy whatever I can in glass. I am not going to take up half my home to divide material waste, (particularly as I have first hand knowledge that most of it gets tipped in all together at the final destination, but that’s another story).

The second mistake, and the bigger of the two, is that the current recycling mania targets the wrong group – the consumer, when it should be focusing on the producers of these goods. Walk into any supermarket and have a look at the astounding number of different packaging that companies use to sell their products. A popular yogurt drink has three different packaging components in the one item: plastic, tin foil and paper. But it’s easy to guilt trip the entire population into believing that it is their responsibility to solve this problem and then let social pressure sort out the few that realise that this is a load of nonsense.

You know I’m going somewhere with this. reports that guild rankings can be set to have an authenticator requirement to the account. This of course doesn’t concern me one bit, as The PuG guild has no guild bank, so I can’t see Gevlon caring about this at all. But the idea behind it is what interests me. The authenticator is the lazy fix for people who can’t be bothered to practice proper internet security on their computer. Blizzard won’t ship these with every Cataclysm box sold because it is not in their interests for everyone to have one. If every account had an authenticator then the hackers would be motivated to find a way to crack them. They’d have to, and they would. So it is the lazy way, both on the customers part and on Blizaards part to keep things moving along, just so the amount of hacked accounts doesn’t completely overwhelm Blizzards support staff. The autheticator creates its own social guilt trip issue, just like recycling. It’s “only” €6, when in fact the shipping costs to some countries come in at almost €100. But even if it wasn’t that costly, why should we have to pay for Blizzard to do their job? I mean, this is the same company who had the fucking brilliant idea of making our email our account name and then sticking it on a global chat system, which means that hackers only have to work out one code instead of two.

But the real point here is that the authenticator attacks the problem from the wrong direction. It puts the onus on the consumer to solve the problem instead of the company, in this case Blizzard. It is Blizzards problem that people are getting hacked as it costs Blizzard time and thus money to fix these cases. So it attempts to shift the responsibility and cost for this onto the consumer, knowing that the community will police itself by calling people who get authenticators “good” and those that don’t as “bad”. And all the while the real problem of hackers remains, in all their forms.

I am not happy at this in-game change requiring an authenticator to experience the game in full, (with Blizzard once again passing the buck by saying that it is at the GM’s or guilds discretion to activate it when we all know very well that they all will). Like I said a while ago with the Real ID mess, this is just a first step. What other parts of the game in the future will I not have access to due to the fact that I do not have an authenticator? I think that it is outrageous that I already pay my full monthly fee but come Cataclysm I will not have full access to the game due to the fact that Blizzard is too lazy to actually deal with this problem.