Sunday, July 30, 2006

every parent wants to protect their children

The USA House of Representatives has passed the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) by a 410-15 vote. Source

The struggle for freedom against reaction will always be with us. It is possibly restrictive to see something that has just happened, such as DOPA, as a single issue. Single issues have to be fought but it is useful to see the overall context. The USA House of Representatives vote is not an aberration but part of a huge battle already happening on numerous fronts.

Here is a progression in thinking and doing, which is happening around us all the time:
  • Save the children
  • Censor the adults
  • Make money from passive consumers
  • Treat adults like children
  • Fascist governments who use terror or the threat of terror against their citizens
  • Proprietary institutions who accommodate fascism, eg. Yahoo, MicroSoft, Google
All the above things are related, connected and intermingle with each other

The response from Conservatives / Reactionaries:
The internet / www is under constant attack and threat from multiple sources

Issues to consider:

The ability of obnoxious, disgusting and statistically improbable threats from an extreme minority to dramatically change the behaviour of the vast majority (eg. kidnapping of children in democracies)

Things we don't like about the internet / www (on line predators, hate speech, spam, trolls) being used to destroy the things we do like about the internet / www (dramatically enhanced human augmentation in collaboration and communication)

Not understanding that the internet / www is a radical and glorious experiment in freedom that is corroding and undermining ALL social institutions (School, Parliament, Business, etc.)

For discussion:
  • It is not possible to have the good without the bad
  • No construction, without destruction

1 comment:

Bill Kerr said...

I posted the above message to it teachers lists in SA, Vic, NSW, oz-teachers and TALO, which is public.

There was a couple of negative responses on the SA list, where it was suggested that I was promoting a conspiracy theory (which I am not), and one positive response on the NSW list

I haven't found anything else linking the DOPA specifics to the general trend by reactionaries to attempt to destroy internet / www functionality - by preparing the children to accept censorship we train them to accept censorship and internalise their own lack of freedom as adults. Do we have a current generation of self censored adult teachers? Is that the problem?

Earlier I posted about the threat to net neutrality to the same lists. There were no responses at all to that.

The DOPA issue on it's own has received wide coverage, however, in the edu-blogs (eg. leigh , graham , wil , doug )

Teachers already using blogs are naturally concerned when they are blocked or threatened. But it seems that teachers who are not yet using blogs are not concerned at the erosion of freedom in cyberspace.

Nice quote from artichoke at leigh's blog:
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." C S Lewis

Good quote from Wil's site:
"... DOPA does nothing to strengthen penalties orincrease prosecution of criminals who prey on children. Instead, it punishes the potential victims and educational institutions chartered to serve them, by denying access to interactive sites at school and libraries"

Of course, we already have DOPA implemented in South Australia.