“All posts that belong to the Dark Side are going to feature some ideas that might be a little evil or at least require some flexible ethics. Some things will be downright horrible, and you should not do them, but are either for your information or simply for the point of interest (and will be noted as such). Your judgment and actions are your own, so think before you do anything you read here and only use your dark side for good.”
—Adam Dachis, ethics corrupter, in the “Dark Side Disclaimer” that accompanies his column on the website Lifehacker, called “Secrets from the Dark Side.”
His current “Secrets from the Dark Side” column is entitled “How to Lie, Cheat, and Steal Your Way to a Perfect Flight,” which is an accurate description of its contents. Some of Dachis’s “tips” (scams? cheats?) are interesting, some are humorous, and all (well, maybe with one exception) are unethical. Dachis, for his part, doesn’t have the guts to advocate outright the conduct that he is explicitly promoting, nor does he condemn it. As his ethically incoherent ( “Only use your dark side for good”) disclaimer demonstrates, he thinks ethics is a game of some sort, and that being a “little evil” is cute, or trivial, or something.
A true ethics corrupter, Dachis wants to avoid personal accountability for the unethical acts of his readers spurred entirely by his post, while at the same time getting credit for his cleverness. This is the Richard Nixon approach to ethical corruption, planting seeds and disclaiming responsibility for the crop, telling followers, “We could do that, but it would be wrong.” Wink, wink.