Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

A serious question: while I have nothing against Silk Road (the drug war is a waste of money anyways), aren't people afraid of putting stuff in their body that they had an anonymous person send to them? I mean, unless the seller has a reputation, isn't there is a substantial risk of using that drug?

Are my fears unfound? On one hand, the idea of buying drugs online is probably more safe than doing it on the streets, but the anonymity this offers has a potential downside like the one I mentioned above.




Your fears are no larger than those of a drug addict on the street, not sure what exactly is in the little baggies they buy. Frankly, I think online is safer, as the guy you're buying from online has a reputation system, and is less likely to stick a gun in your face and take your money. And less likely to sell you baby powder and run.


Do you ever buy anything at grocery store, drug store, restaurant that you put in your body?

There is risk in everything. Generally people aren't sociopaths and aren't out to harm others. Risk is minimal but exists.

Sellers on Silkroad do have reputation? Anonymous does not mean "unknown".


> Do you ever buy anything at grocery store, drug store, restaurant that you put in your body?

Not really a fair comparison. If a grocery store assaults or defrauds you, you have legal recourse.

There is nothing you can do if an illicit transaction fails.

The rest of what you say is true, of course.


You can leave bad feedback, and take it to the dispute center to force the seller to defend themselves to the SR admins.

This is more recourse than you have in practice against a grocery store if they refuse to give you a refund - what are you going to do, sue them?


If a grocery store harms you in an illegal way you they can be punished by the force of the state in a variety of ways. The same is not true of a anonymous person on an inbound tor site.


If someone sold bad shit on the silk road, they'd lose all of their rep and stop making money.

On the original silk road, it cost a very large amount to get a vendor account. So if you decided to start selling bad shit, you'd have to play nice for a while to break even, a while longer to build trust, and then go out in a blaze of bad shit.

I don't really see why anyone would do that. If you have good enough connections to get a good rep on the Silk Road (or similar site), you have good enough connections to never need to sell bad shit. As Stringer Bell would say, it's all about the product. If you have better product than your competition, you'll win in the end.


> If a grocery store harms you in an illegal way you they can be punished by the force of the state in a variety of ways.

Hypothetically. If you have enough money. And enough evidence. Good luck with that. I'd rather take my chances in SR's dispute resolution center...


You act like the health department is some kind of ivory tower


Not the grocery store, the guy at some factory somewhere that peas into the soup that eventually makes it way to your shelf.

Point is there is a huge web of people everybody trusts to not be evil. They are trusted for no good reason (other than as stated most people aren't sociopaths). But some are. Protecting against them isn't worth the tiny risk of exposure.

Likewise fretting over being "defrauded" by anonymous (but reputed) persons whom you buy illicit goods from is not worth worrying about. Same with ebay, kickstarter etc.


> Do you ever buy anything at grocery store, drug store, restaurant that you put in your body?

These are all inspected by governments. You can argue that this is imperfect, does not happen frequently enough, leaves something to be desired, won't catch everything, etc., but speaking personally, I do take those inspection scores seriously when I see them posted on the walls of places.


I'm rather sure that Anonymous does mean "(of a person) not identified by name; of unknown name."


It would not be controversial to state that the Federalist Papers were published anonymously, despite the fact that the authors gave themselves the pseudonym "Publius".


You've clearly been watching too much tv. Most people don't buy drugs from random dudes in sketch alley. They get them from a dealer a friend knows. This peer network will have a stronger safety record. A dealer would never risk selling something that's unsafe, as sales would dry up within days of hearing about a bad incident.


There are kits you can buy to test the purity of drugs you buy: http://dancesafe.org/products/testing-kits


There are actually some independent people who test various drugs on Silk Road. Obviously they could be wrong/rigged, but it seems like a far better step than buying anywhere else:

The LSD Avengers are a group of individuals that perform trip, reagent, and lab tests on LSD that is found on the Silk Road in order to verify the legitimacy of the product and to weed out scammers. Their primary goal is to aide individuals in easily finding the holy grail of psychedelics.


This applies to most recreational drug taking. It all entails risk. Dealers are shady and so are their sources. There aren't a lot of "completely trust this guy who sells me LSD" scenarios.

They do, but they take the risk. Shows how much people want that stuff in their body.


The fear of unknown chemicals in there is extremely warranted. However, I believe the fear of there being a higher probability online is unwarranted. Because of the anonymity between online and real personas, you're probably more likely to be buying from someone with a high online reputation, which would be more likely to give untainted products.


Same with any drug buying process. At least online you have seller reputations and reviews to go on.


They have ratings systems on there to help this - obviously it doesn't mean it's not possible to get stuff that isn't want you think it is, but it's not too much better or worse than trusting a local dealer on the street.


But dead people can't leave negative reviews.


killing your customers seems like a poor business plan though


Depends how long it takes.

If you kill people slowly, so, booze, fags, fatty food, pollution, and so on, then its fine. Killing people really fast, well, that's then it gets iffy. Oh, unless you are a government waging a jihad, or is it "war", on something.

Im sure they must be a line some where...


Unless you're a serial killer.


They also can't leave any postive reviews.. Nice way to stay at the bottom of the seller list.


Of course there are risks, it's a trade-off. But sellers are motivated to sell high-quality products.


There was a reputation system on SR similar to ebay.


Sellers have profile reputation system like on Ebay.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: