Censor Us! Our Poor Little Minds Can’t Handle It!

(A reply on slashdot regarding filtering software)

Re: Censor Us! Our Poor Little Minds Can’t Handle It!

I have the feeling your subject didn’t get quite enough attention.

Censorship fulfills a purpose: It keeps our “impressionable children” from viewing things they “shouldn’t see”. It also keeps employees from looking at porn while supposedly working on their latest paperwork.

If our children are _so_ impressionable, why does the trend not exist to impression them with self-discretion? If they are taught to choose between looking at porn or watching the Barney Lobotomy TV show, and they can think and act on their own, this censorship for the ignorant and incapable will be limited to a small few.

This same idea of placing responsibility at the individual also works well in proper business. If you are hiring the type of employees that prefer to look at porn all day instead of doing their work, you are hiring employees with a very poor work ethic (or your work environment really sucks). Get a better interviewing policy and hire better workers.

American culture has been leading the charge of dissipating responsibility for reality since the end of World War II. We have lawyers suiing lawyers because they didn’t play nice in court. We have people suing fast food restaurants for them spilling coffee on themselves. We have grown children dying because they ride a bicycle into traffic, and the manufacturer is somehow held responsible. It is very rare that we have a valid situation (such as the Firestone Tire fiasco) where responsibility needs to be corrected by a lawsuit.

Instead of turning off the TV, we censor the TV shows. Instead of closing the browser window (or going to a different site), we censor the content. We find a problem, and we try to edit the result, like applying a `|sed -e “….”` to a program’s output, rather than just fixing the program (the root of the problem) in the first place!

I certainly hope I am not the only person who sees this cultural syndrome and actively disowns it.

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