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Author Topic: Don Lapre died sorta recently  (Read 873 times)
TaoPhoenix
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« on: June 22, 2012, 06:28:48 PM »

You may remember him as the king of late night infomercials.

"I'm Don Lapre. I made $$$$$$ out of my One Bedroom Apartment by placing tiny classified ads."  I used to do impressions of him for a couple of friends. He had a raspy voice that I think he cultivated for effect.

Except after a few bumpy years, just last year it all went wrong. He got tagged with "41 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and promotional money laundering related to his Internet businesses. He was arrested on June 24, 2011, for failing to appear in court to face these charges."

Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Lapre

And someone def. edited his Wiki page because a couple years ago he was fighting stuff, but as of whenever that last edit went through, they decided all that no longer mattered. He committed an apparent suicide on October 2, 2011 while awaiting trial in federal custody.

And so ends a smaller chapter of early just-before-internet lore.

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IainB
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2012, 12:52:47 AM »

...And someone def. edited his Wiki page because a couple years ago he was fighting stuff, but as of whenever that last edit went through, they decided all that no longer mattered. He committed an apparent suicide on October 2, 2011 while awaiting trial in federal custody.

The key could be in the phrase:
Quote
"...they decided all that no longer mattered."

Wikipedia editors can arguably be said to fall into 2 main groups:
  • 1. "Official" editors.
  • 2. "Everyone else who edits either as anonymous or (like me) under a pseudonym.

But these groups can be further divided into degrees of bias/rationality, including, for example:
  • (a) People whose contributions are relatively straight up-and-down - balanced and objective.
  • (b) People whose contributions are wonky and biased due to belief in some religio-political ideology (which arguably could include activist atheists).
  • (c) People who are intrinsically a bit wonky - e.g., they may have a bee in their bonnet about something, or a chip on their shoulder.
  • (d) People whose contributions are merely internet vandalism or graffiti.

Somehow, the above pattern is supposed to enable "crowdsourcing" of a sifted collection of accurate, factual and credible human knowledge.

Hmm...
I can't see it myself. The sieve has a lot of holes in it. Unless maybe you could call Wikipedia "homeopathic knowledge", I suppose.    cheesy

The problem is exacerbated by the fact that groups 1 and 2 will each have their degrees of bias in (a) -->(d).
There have apparently been reported cases where Wikipedia have fired their editors - for example, including one who lied about (invented) his academic qualifications and used his position to bias any articles that did not align with his particular religio-political ideology, and remove any countering arguments. - i.e., he was a wacko, if not borderline psychotic.
However, those few instances cannot be expected to stop the tide of natural human irrationality.
Without proper and objective editorial control, Wikipedia could just become an increasingly large ocean of information, true knowledge with an an admixture of propaganda, myth and absurd nonsense.

Which is why I stopped contributing to Wikipedia, after  - in my naivety - initially putting considerable effort into it.
I took the articles that I had created and recreated them somewhere else where only I and some people who I knew cared about the truth and integrity of the subject matter could edit the material, leaving the Wikipedia stuff for entropy to take care of.
(Which, incidentally, is what led to some friends asking me to develop a website about a famous plastic surgeon whom they hold in high regard for his very real help in improving the human lot.)

So maybe someone could do likewise - i.e., create a website about Don Lapre, and tell his true story - whatever that may be.
Shakespeare probably had it right with his ironic:
"The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 01:14:11 AM by IainB; Reason: Minor corrections. » Logged
TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 06:33:33 AM »


So maybe someone could do likewise - i.e., create a website about Don Lapre, and tell his true story - whatever that may be.
Shakespeare probably had it right with his ironic:
"The evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred with their bones."

In the footnotes, there's a couple of good long articles. It's not so much that Wiki is factually wrong - more like by omission the tone changed when they removed a lot of stuff where he began to fade and began regretting parts of his early career. The guy was a talented salesman; the saying goes that you only parody people who become successful enough to become known for a theme. (Aka trying to parody someone too obscure leaves your audience puzzled.)

Vaguely from what I recall, those earlier pages talked about some corporate shenanigans where media execs started using his name and maybe even his picture to endorse things that he (Don Lapre) didn't get paid for sales. I was satisfied with all of that, he was just one more "where is he now" entry. Of course the guy was sleazy, that's why it was good college-kid fun to watch those infomercials. But it's just a little sad that it all crashed hard with a 41 count fraud charge and suicide.
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