They WANT to be repressed!

Some­body help me, please! I’m awash in a sea of stu­pid­i­ty.

My human­i­ties class­mates are full of ideas like:
“it isn’t real­ly that big of a deal unless you have some­thing to hide” — it being gov­ern­ment sur­veil­lance.

…they won’t tar­get you or real­ly care about what you are doing unless you are doing some­thing wrong” — tell that to Peter McWilliams. Oh, you can’t, he’s dead!

…the cam­eras don’t lim­it free­dom, you can still do what you want” — as long as “what you want” is with­in the cur­rent cul­tur­al norms, and there isn’t a pow­er-hun­gry fun­da­men­tal­ist decid­ing what to do about what they view.

Those exam­ples are from just ONE post. The class is full of peo­ple who are say­ing, over and over, very explic­it­ly, that they wel­come ANYTHING the gov­ern­ment does to “make us safe from ter­ror­ism.”

I’m scared.

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David Mamet and Political Views

There’s an essay over at The Vil­lage Voice that you want to read before it goes away:
“Why I Am No Longer a ‘Brain-Dead Lib­er­al’ ” by David Mamet Here’s a brief excerpt.

This is, to me, the syn­the­sis of this world­view with which I now found myself dis­en­chant­ed: that every­thing is always wrong.

But in my life, a brief review revealed, every­thing was not always wrong, and nei­ther was nor is always wrong in the com­mu­ni­ty in which I live, or in my coun­try. Fur­ther, it was not always wrong in pre­vi­ous com­mu­ni­ties in which I lived, and among the var­i­ous and mobile class­es of which I was at var­i­ous times a part.

And, I won­dered, how could I have spent decades think­ing that I thought every­thing was always wrong at the same time that I thought I thought that peo­ple were basi­cal­ly good at heart? Which was it? I began to ques­tion what I actu­al­ly thought and found that I do not think that peo­ple are basi­cal­ly good at heart; indeed, that view of human nature has both prompt­ed and informed my writ­ing for the last 40 years. I think that peo­ple, in cir­cum­stances of stress, can behave like swine, and that this, indeed, is not only a fit sub­ject, but the only sub­ject, of dra­ma.

Some thought-pro­vok­ing stuff in there. It’s good to see some­one brave enough to change his views, and talk about it polit­i­cal­ly. Since I con­sid­er the Voice a very lib­er­al pub­li­ca­tion, it’s espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing to see the piece there.

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I hate it when that happens

I had an entry almost com­plete­ly writ­ten, and it was good. Then I hit some­thing bad­ly with my numb hand, and my brows­er backed up a page. Now the entry is all gone. Yes, I should have saved some­time while writ­ing, but I was on a roll.

So you’ll have to set­tle for know­ing that I spent the day recov­er­ing from yes­ter­day but my body is still pis­sy at me. Oth­er­wise, I think the ACLU is very con­fused about what “pub­lic” means. Accord­ing to the APA, I am not myth­i­cal (which is a big relief), and researchers at the Uni­ver­si­ty of San Diego say that same sex rela­tion­ships may be health­i­er than oppo­site sex cou­plings. Final­ly, the Queen is firm­ly “low­er­ing the ‘chav’ fac­tor” at Roy­al Ascot, which is sure to make the world a far safer place. Or some­thing.

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Red/Blue, Strict/Nurturing Families, and Inherited vs. Negotiated Commitments

I know that I read Red Fam­i­ly, Blue Fam­i­ly: Mak­ing sense of the val­ues issue by Doug Mud­er sev­er­al years ago.1 I clear­ly remem­ber post­ing a link to it in Suzette Haden Elgin’s blog, and hav­ing her pick it up and pass it on enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly.

A friend post­ed a link to it again this week, and I re-read it today. I don’t know why, but it made even more sense this time around. Mud­er uses the work of George Lakoff (Moral Pol­i­tics : How Lib­er­als and Con­ser­v­a­tives Think and Don’t Think of an Ele­phant: Know Your Val­ues and Frame the Debate–The Essen­tial Guide for Pro­gres­sives) and James Ault (Spir­it and Flesh: Life in a Fun­da­men­tal­ist Bap­tist Church) to explain things that have pre­vi­ous­ly seemed inex­plic­a­ble.
Read the rest of this entry »

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What is network neutrality?

From Research­Buzz:

Net­work neu­tral­i­ty” (also called “net neu­tral­i­ty”) is the idea that an Inter­net access provider must pro­vide access to all parts of the Inter­net with­out prej­u­dice — with­out block­ing areas com­plete­ly, with­out slow­ing areas down, etc. Accord­ing to net neu­tral­i­ty an access provider should treat all Inter­net traf­fic equal­ly no mat­ter what it is (e-mail, Web page, video, game, etc.) or where it comes from.

This is a major issue, folks. If you haven’t been there yet, get your­selves over to Save the Inter­net and Do Some­thing Now.

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