This tactic has been used in auto sales for years.
Selling customers at closing "undercoating, rustproofing and fabric protection" that are already part of the car, but get people to shell out extra coin for. Extended warranties fall into the same category. Just extra profit if nobody questions it.
I guess all those unemployed car sales-bodies have to take a job somewhere.
Uh oh, input error. Will anybody care about my car?
When I lived in Beantown, I used to take my care there on occasion. You couldn't know a more down to earth and practical individual. I will mourn his passing.
Was it similar to the donkey show in "Clerks 2"?
What's not to be cynical about?
Sure. Correct the flawed stereotypes with more subjective flawed stereotypes by a naive observer.
She was correcting her engrained 'Revenge of the Nerds' stereotype of hackers with an equally arrogant attitude, similar to those of parents who visit a zoo, point to the gorillas and say to their children -- "Hey little Johnny, look at the big monkeys! (while tapping the glass under the sign that says DON"T TAP ON GLASS) Look, at those hands and fingers -- They're just like ours!" -- concluding with huge collective swigs from their BIG GULP clones.
She seems to be aiming to take the logical, thoughtful, democratic behavior hackers exhibit -- which should be the vanguard for all human interaction -- and bending it into an amusing sidebar for WIRED as to the hackers "unusual" habits. All for a chance to get her name in print for some future book jacket blurb regarding "... her insightful and seminal work as she risked her name, sanity and possibly even her life as she descend into the seamy hacker underworld to collect research data..."
This is all much like the gorilla inwardly cringing whenever he's called a monkey.
Ma Bell is a mean mother!