"Voluntary Censorship" vs. Govt Legislation

Kent Crispin kent at songbird.com
Wed Aug 6 17:33:49 PDT 1997

On Wed, Aug 06, 1997 at 04:44:08PM -0600, Jim Burnes wrote:
> Actually I have nothing against categorization.  Sci Fi, Dick and Jane,
> Romance Mystery, Horror, Erotica.  Those are categories.  The difference in
> Meatspace is that Mommie and Daddy usually don't let little Susie go to the
> bookstore alone.

I think you missed my point about spatial segregation.  It's not that
I don't let little Susie go to the bookstore alone -- I live 10 miles
from the bookstore, and she *can't* go to the bookstore alone.  In
other words, I don't have to watch her all the time in meatspace,
because there are *safe areas* where I can let her play without
supervision.  You get this kind of "categorization" of space for free
in meatspace -- it's a fundamental topological property that
cyberspace doesn't have. 

And in fact, no parent I know watches their children all the time --
it is simply not possible for most people.  Every parent I know builds
or finds "safe areas" where children can play unsupervised.


> As far as I'm concerned parents have a moral duty to filter what their
> little ones read,  I just don't want the Feds or Microsoft deciding what
> the categories are.

Neither do I.


> On the other hand I don't want a "surgeon general's warning" on
> Lady Chatterly.  I know you think this is voluntary, 

No, clearly you don't know what I think.  Please do me the courtesy of
disabusing your mind of that thought.  When I said "voluntary" I meant
voluntary, not some Orwellian variant of the word, OK?  Voluntary.  Not
"mandatory voluntary", not "surgeon general's warning", not
"government approved", not "war is peace".  Voluntary.  So, keeping
your mind firmly wrapped around that, remember that I said I saw value
to voluntary labels.  I did not say I favored government mandated
labels, or Microsoft mandated labels.  Voluntary labels, like the big 
adult sites already use.  Voluntary labels, like the "k12" usenet 


> In fact I really like
> the idea of having churches sell their own filtering software.  What
> better way to check your values.

Filtering and labels are orthogonal (you can filter on things other
than labels), and, of the two, I prefer filtering.  Filtering creates
virtual neighborhoods, and gives a more complex topology to

Kent Crispin				"No reason to get excited",
kent at songbird.com			the thief he kindly spoke...
PGP fingerprint:   B1 8B 72 ED 55 21 5E 44  61 F4 58 0F 72 10 65 55

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