Via 24-hour Drive-Thru:
SOME EVIDENCE FOR OPTIMISM.. U.S.S. Clueless. Steven Den Beste writes about how he accidently left his HP Jornada handheld computer at the mall. “I felt a bit sick. Of course, there was no chance I was going to get it back. A thousand bucks down the tube… ” But he got it back after all – likely what happened is some honest person found it, and turned it on to a mall restaurant, where likely another honest person tucked it away in a bin somewhere, where it was likely passed by several OTHER honest people who didn’t steal it, and finally brought out to Steven’s waiting hands by yet another honest person. He writes, “It’s easy to get cynical about people, to assume that down deep inside everyone is evil. It isn’t true.”
I have a similar story. I once lost a cell phone in a Las Vegas taxicab. During Comdex, where about a quarter-million people flood the city. I mean, this phone was gone. But the next passenger in the cab found the phone, and worked though the address book and found the entry Home. He pressed Send. My wife answered. She paged me. I returned the page, and she said, “You dropped your phone. Call Bell Taxi and ask for cab number” something-or-other; “the driver has it.” Twenty minutes later, I had my phone back. The cabbie got a large tip, but I have no idea who the samaritan was.