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Monday, November 21, 2005

If you are reading this, do you make a sound? 


Let's start with a statement by Vadergrrrl:


I like posting on my Wickedly Insane Brilliant People Myspace group because I feel like its less pressure than writing on my blog. Too many people were reading my blog and then using my words to haunt me. That takes all the momentum out of me as a writer. I may post this dribble on both sites because since my disappearance from the blog world, few seem to bother me for my rants these days.


I hadn't really thought about the differences between various media, and said so:


I've never really thought about the medium which one chooses for expression, and how that affects what you say or what you don't say. However, I'd be willing to bet that if you shut off the blog and went to myspace, the negative comments would occur there too. I consciously made a decision to move off of Usenet several years ago....


After some other comments and wishes and whatnot, I then posted the following:


Merry Christmas Shi Tao (more later; you got the first hint, for what it's worth).


Yup, boys and girls, it's time for another November Project.

The recent reposting of many of my blog entries at keywordblogger.net got me thinking - what if you didn't want to appear all over the net? The keywordblogger people themselves don't take everything:


No adult feeds will be accepted or any other subject matter deem not suitable in the sole discretion of Keywordblogger.com.


Of course, keywordblogger isn't the only entity that's filtering posts. Remember China?


Asian blogs and news reports revealed that MSN Spaces blocks Chinese bloggers from putting politically sensitive language in the names of their blogs, or in the titles of individual blog entries.

The words and phrases blocked by Microsoft include "Taiwan independence," "Dalai Lama," "human rights," "freedom" and "democracy."



The Chinese didn't do this, or block their citizens' ability to access "controversial" websites, by asking for new products. They merely reconfigured the products that already exist:


Alberstein has a point when noting that Cisco products have not been modified for the Chinese market. The technology that can be used to block Chinese from accessing information on "democracy" is the same technology that can be used to block Yahoo or Cisco employees from surfing porn during business hours.


So, those of us in the USA say, "Nasty nasty Chinese." Yet perhaps we'll be inspired to do the same. My employer already blocks my access to questionable sites (even lottery sites are inaccessible). Someday, some government agencies might block access to the REALLY controversial material. They're already restricting employee access to this material in other ways:


According to the UK publication The Daily Mail, staffers at that country's Inland Revenue Department have been asked not to donate during work hours to a charity that deliver toys to tots for Christmas because of the group's Christian connections.

Since the 1990s, more than 100,000 Revenue employees have packed shoeboxes with stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, balls, puzzles, pajamas, candy, and personal hygiene products to be sent to children around the world via Samaritan’s Purse....

A memo from Michael Scott, assistant director of the National Insurance Contributions Office, has discontinued IRD's participation in the program, saying it does not conform to the agency's diversity policy:

“We are not dictating who you can or cannot support, but you will appreciate that as a department we cannot be seen to promote activities that do not broadly fit with our philosophy or which could bring us into disrepute by association.”



It's just a matter of time before someone decides that using government computers to access religious sites could be a government endorsement of a specific religion. Once that happens, the same firewalls that prevent visits to porn sites and (for Chinese surfers) news - whoops, propaganda - sites could be used to prevent access to religious sites.

Hence

Merry Christmas Shi Tao


If you're going to restrict a post's propagation, it's good to make it run afoul of more than one content blocker. If I had just said "Shi Tao," then only the Chinese firewalls would block it. If I had just said "Merry Christmas," then the blockers would have included the atheists.

But perhaps that's not enough. Let's play with the phrase a little.

Merry Christmas Shi Tao. Peace Now.


Well, that should exclude the baby seal clubbers from reading this.

Merry Christmas Shi Tao. Peace Now, and a Pussy Cat Under the Tree.


True story - while backstage between scenes, I was leafing through an old children's song book, and ran across a song about a pussy cat. Except it didn't include the word "cat." Which reminds me:

Merry Christmas Shi Tao. Peace Now, and a Pussy Cat Under the Tree, and a Faggot of Wood for the Fireplace.


Of course, this will not offend anyone with any smattering of history, such as college professors.

Merry Christmas Shi Tao. Peace Now, and a Pussy Cat Under the Tree, and a Faggot of Wood for the Fireplace. Tenure is Archaic.


Check. Who have I missed? How about the artists, who believe that every expression of art is valid?

Merry Christmas Shi Tao. Peace Now, and a Pussy Cat Under the Tree, and a Faggot of Wood for the Fireplace. Tenure is Archaic. Don't Fund Urine Displays.


That's enough for now...

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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