Re: Summary and looking ahead [cr-95/10/19]


Sender: Bob Turner <•••@••.•••>

I noticed you had blanked out the words in someones communication
because you felt some people might take offence...

May I suggest you go to

there you can pick up a program called the Internet Filter..Version Zero
it replaces what is normally considered bad language with xxxxx's.

It would do this automatically for you and you wouldn't have to
 worry about it....and it's free.


Sender: Tim Scanlon <•••@••.•••>

It seems to me that Andy tried to do the right thing and
spare the sensibilities of people offended by bad language,
while retaining the substance of what was being said.

Personaly, I don't give much of a damn what sort of words
people use. But I also am aware that it's important to
be considerate of other peoples belifes and desires.
So I try to refrain from it when it might be inapproprite
to my communication. It's often a hard call.

However, this flame war about it is just plain stupid
overblown childish crap. You people want to turn a simple
act of trying to do the right thing into some major speech
issue. Meanwhile real problems are going by the wayside.

It's a waste of energy and time in my opinion. And I really
wish everyone would just shut the hell up about it allready.

And I do NOT care how Andy edits this, or even if it gets
reposted. It's not that important. I also don't care about
those who would take offense at my choice of words, OR care
much about those cheeering it on as doing the right thing...

Wne I signed on for this list I accepted Andy would edit it as
he saw fit, and that I might not allways agree with it. That's
moderation. If you take all this much beyond all that it seems
to me to be a waste of bandwith and energy.



Sender: Korac <•••@••.•••>

On Thu, 26 Oct 1995, Cyber Rights wrote:

> Sender: •••@••.•••
> Subject: Re: Summary and looking ahead [cr-95/10/19]
> Come on Kurt, nice try, but we are the generation that COULD have retrained
> an entire population to a new kind of sensitivy but, sadly, are choosing not
> to do it.  Instead some of us continue to use hurtful and nasty words for
> "shock" value thereby helping to keep them alive and well and their use
> thriving for those who use them strictly for their hate value.   If we did
> not use them and made it known to our children, family, friends and everyone
> else we ever talked to that we would not tolerate their use,  we could
> probably wipe many words out of our society's vocabulary in a very short
> time.  Unfortunately, this is naive thinking and I know  it.
        At least you recognize this fact.  Similarly, if everyone would
just not be mean to each other and share resources, everybody would have
food, shelter and a job.  Lot of ground between A and B.

> Andy made a stab at letting us know he did not approve, but if he were acting
> as a true censor, he would have simply cut the words out and left blank
> spaces.  Instead he chose to use a combination of letters and **'s  so that
> we all knew what the words were anyway.  He gave us all his opinion without
> totally censoring and just maybe we could all take a lesson from him whether
> or not we think it is appropriate behavior for the moderator of a lis ton
> Cyber-rights.
        Partial censorship is like partial pregnancy.

> As electronic media users and a vast global community that hopes to survive
> truly uncensored by the US Government (or anyone else) maybe it is time to
> stand up and be counted!  Mature adults should be able to recognize
> inhumanity to our fellow man and pornography when we encounter it.   I can't
> help but feel that we need to take some responsiblity for not only our own
> actions but those of members of our community.

        Hold it, maybe I'm wrong, but did you just express hope that
nobody will censor us in the future in one sentence and then claim that
we should take responsibility for other people's expression in the
next??  Censorship is when you apply your standards to anyone but
yourself against their will.   Its one thing to keep to a sub-net where
all participants agree to a set of rules you like  and another thing to
claim that everyone in the world/internet should censor themselves to
your standards.   A-ho-el and Prodigy can put in rose colored data
filters if they want, but don't force me to use their services.  I like
my connection raw, unfiltered, sometimes dirty and always interesting.
As long as you have the right to use Brady-Bunch-Net, leave the rest of
us alone.

>  It IS possible to communicate
> and express an opinion without using certain words for shock value and
> punctuation.
        Possible, sure, desirable....not always.  As long as it is an
option and not a requirement there won't be any trouble.  There's always
something to be said for putting in your own word filter for the
communicatively meek and squeamish.

> If pictures, names, addresses and home phone numbers had to be on everything
> that went out over the Net I wonder how much of a concern censorship would
> even be.  How much of a problem would child porn (or any generally conceived
> borderline porn) be if all the community could easily identify who posted it
> and who was downloading it.   Anonymity brings out the worst of society and
> not the best.

        Anonymity also is capable of bringing out the best and is very
often necessary for any progress to be made.   The founding fathers of
this country made their views known anonymously under pseudonyms like
"Poor Richard"(Ben Franklin) and "Publius"(Jefferson) because they were
spouting views and giving information that the authorities of the time
would like to have prosecuted them for.  I doubt there would have been
much of a chance for free expression of unpopular (officially) ideas if
they had to log their ID every time they posted something (hence the big
ruckus over the "stamp tax" -- basically a fee paid when you posted a
bill, ID required of course).  Anonymity, like technology, is a double
edged sword.   It is a tool for expression, only doing the bidding of the
user.  We need it, we would never be able to stop it anyway.   I prefer
the acceptance of occaisional abuse over the elimination of yet another
means of free expression.  Its the price we have to pay to live in a free
society --- tolerance of views you find distasteful so that you can
spread your own.   Anything less than that and we might as well open our
arms wide and let big brother usher in that safe,secure police state that
would make Singapore look like anarchy.

"Those that give up essential liberty for a little
security, deserve neither liberty nor security."
                                - B.Franklin

"When ID's are mandatory, its time to leave the planet."
                                - Lazarus Long
                                  (a.k.a. R. Heinlein)


Sender: •••@••.••• (Allan Bradley)
Subject: Boxes

I have been reading the postings on Cyber Rights for the last week and I
suppose I felt compelled to express a few observations.  It is amazing to
me at times what constitutes the tunnel vision of people, public issues and
government policy perception.  I think if Andy wants to play scrabble with
a few words - so what, as long as the mature reader gets the author's
message and the point.  In the scheme of things facing our society just
what is it going to matter on how things get expressed as opposed to what
they really express.  Who should care?  Maybe Andy was making an example on
a small scale directly or inadvertently for the benefit of all of us.

A couple of months ago I had this dream or more like a nightmare.  It was
about looking into a computer and there was my life inside this box - the
computer *box*.  Everything I did, everything I saw, everything I heard
came from the *box*.  The box determined my station in life, it framed my
opinion of myself and it told me how I should deal with others.  Basically,
the box became my external senses and the way I would interact with people
around me.  What really scared the hell out of me was that this "box"
wasn't something I designed nor defined - it was defined for me.  It was an
artificial computer rendering of my life as perceived by others based on
abstract values - values that were in someone's private interest perception
- not mine.  It was then I wondered where the communications models were or
who controlled them and if there were any real public communications
distribution rights.

Regardless of my possible physiological paranoia.  It occurred to me that
new technologies which determine access vs. distribution really had the
power to define these boxes for society at large - and society at large
hadn't a clue.  It was a world where personal information that no one
really knew existed on who you are would accessible to a few.  And maybe
these files were made by some pissed-off person and for whatever reason and
for the rest of your life, you were carrying around a bunch of baggage that
wasn't even yours to begin with and you never even knew it.  Imagine trying
to get a job or negotiating that salary, when the company or organization
your dealing with knows everything you have and everything you want to
have, and in a consumer based society that might mean defining the value of
who you are.

It is all about power. Power is like energy - it never dies, it just moves
from state to state.  Recently, Andy posted some issues on communications
deregulation.  It was an issue about power, people and a very profound
change in state that will affect everyone.  To me it showed a deep and
sensitive concern to people and how they may define their future - their
boxes.  Unfortunately, it seemed to me that the boundary of those boxes
from some of the readers of this forum, from what I have read especially on
the subject of Andy's wording, seemed to me was already way too small.

Allan Bradley

ConsulMetrix, Inc.
Setting the Standards in Technology Consulting

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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