1996-07-19 - Re: Filtering out Queers is OK

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From: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: ffe3d8f62d6bfc16c193851736fb7e60246bae9f4453abdc4b6011cae3fee7af
Message ID: <199607190748.AAA08518@netcom2.netcom.com>
Reply To: <ae143914000210044473@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1996-07-19 11:29:47 UTC
Raw Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 19:29:47 +0800

Raw message

From: mpd@netcom.com (Mike Duvos)
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 1996 19:29:47 +0800
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Filtering out Queers is OK
In-Reply-To: <ae143914000210044473@[]>
Message-ID: <199607190748.AAA08518@netcom2.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

tcmay@got.net (Timothy C. May) writes:

 > Filtering is not "wrong," Cerridwyn, it is a rational
 > response to garbage being spewed constantly. I filter lots
 > of items. I read "Scientific American" and "The Economist"
 > because they filter (or "censor," in the sense some are
 > objecting to here) nonsense about "queer rights" and
 > "peircing fashions," to name but a few things I have no
 > interest in hearing about.

Filtering is wonderful.  Long live filtering.

I used to read "Scientific American" too, back in the days when
the table of contents wasn't illustrated with cute little icons.
Back then, reputable scientists, as opposed to staff writers and
less reputable scientists, actually wrote all the articles, which
were about science, and not political screeds mascarading as

And to conserve bandwidth, please reread the above paragraph
substituting "Nova" for "Scientific American" and "watch" for

Having offended "Scientific American" and PBS, let us now proceed
to the main agenda item, offending homosexuals.

 > If I had kids, I'd make sure that lots of negative memes
 > were kept away from them until they reached an age where it
 > no longer mattered, where there views are already basically
 > set.

If I had kids, I would be overjoyed that the new technology of
the information age permitted them to investigate any topic of
their choice in the safety of their own home.  Of course, there
would be some reasonable limits during their very early years, if
only to prevent them from waking up screaming in the middle of
the night, but I expect most of these could be eliminated by the
time they reached their early teens.

If I had kids, I am sure Tim would support my right to give them
access to the entire universe of human knowlege and thought as
early as possible, and to let them form their own opinions on
every conceivable subject, even if those opinions differed from
my own.  Where I suspect we differ, is that I would not only
advocate such an advantage for my kids, but for his as well.

The problem with giving parents the absolute right to control
their childrens' input of memes until the children are too old
and stupid to learn anything new, is that it creates generational
propagation of obsolete ideologies.  All the Dole children think
exactly like Bob.  All the Hitler children think exactly like
Adolf.  Same for the Mengele children, the Nixon children, the
Stalin children, the Netanyahu children, etc...

 > I see nothing wrong in this. Anyone who disagrees is, of
 > course, free to set his filters differently, but not to
 > insist that my filters be changed. And the government is not
 > free to pass any laws about what filter sites can and can't
 > do.

Before the days of home computers and filters, we had things
called public libraries.  They provided all citizens with
unfiltered access to information of their choice, even children.
Members of the American Library Association are pretty good at
torching paper trails of what people choose to read, and allowing
children who have reached the age of reason access to almost
everything in the library, as long as they don't talk too loudly
or stick gum to the seats.  Parents may not like this, but up
until now, the librarians have stood their ground.

The movement towards accessing information from home PCs, coupled
with the new "parents rights" movement and filtering software,
creates a situation where no one under the age of 18 can have
access to any information their parents don't want them to see.

As the Web replaces the library, young people won't even be able
to preserve the same anonymous access to controversial
information they have always had in the past.  This is a step
backwards for youth rights.

 > Unfortunately, I think many on this list are so taken by
 > "liberalistic" notions that they think the State needs to
 > intervene to stop me from filtering my son's access to "The
 > Joys of Queer Sex."

 > (As a libertarian, I really don't care what sexual
 > practices others practice, so long as I am not forced to
 > either fund or witness their practices. And so long as I am
 > free to filter out their practices as I see fit, including
 > for my minor children and/or members of my household.)

The age of filtering has arrived.  You can filter your childrens'
access to sex manuals, grandma's access to the elder abuse web
page, and your underpaid Ethiopian leaf blower operator's access
to anything having to do with laws against sub-minimum wages or

 > Some parents simply get tired of spending time each night
 > trying to undo the propaganda taught in many public school,
 > such as books like "I Have Two Mommies." Many of these
 > parents eventually give up and put their kids in religious
 > or private schools (even though they continue to pay taxes
 > for schools their own children are no longer using).

I certainly believe that the education dollar should be in the
hands of the education consumer, that the NEA and the AFT should
be splintered into a million pieces and scattered to the winds,
and that providing educational services should become a
competitive business run with the efficiency of Federal Express.

Nonetheless, I am not going to panic when the kids come home
after having read "Uncle Bruce's Asshole Has Two Uses" or
"Grandma Visits the Euthanasia Clinic" in class.  The solution to
bad speech is more speech.  Older kids can make up their own
minds about such things after hearing all sides, including their
parents', and younger kids generally take what is said at home at
face value anyway.

 > Queers are, as far as I'm concerned, perfectly free to
 > practice their AIDS-spreading practices to any and all
 > receptive anuses they can find, but I eschew this lifestyle
 > and will fight to the death for this right to avoid their
 > practices from being forced on me or my children (if I had
 > any, which I don't).

As an individual who has no desire to engage in gay sex, or watch
it being performed while I am eating, I must admit my attitudes
towards the "gay community" have undergone a certain evolution in
recent years.  Back in the '70s, gays supported a wide-ranging
platform of human rights issues, and a lot of activists whose
work I admired on many issues I supported "happened to be gay."

Now that the gay community has narrowed its focus solely to the
issue of consensual adult sodomy rights, and shown alarming signs
of sucking up to the Radical Religious Right, I really don't have
warm feelings towards it anymore.  They have marginalized many of
their former supporters and seem more interested in pleasing
Jesse Helms than in showing anything resembling ideological
integrity.  I really believe the gay movement of today would sell
out almost anyone if they thought it would guarantee the right of
homosexual men to join the Republican Party and plug each others
assholes in private in the community of their choice.

A right I support, of course, as long as I don't have to watch it
or pay for it.

 > I think of AIDS as "evolution in action." Retroviruses
 > which have existed for millenia now find new vectors for
 > spreading in our population. I cry no tears for those dying
 > of AIDS, and work to reduce to tax dollars spent on such
 > things as "AIDS research." Let those who introduced the new
 > vector pay for the research.

I'm not sure this is "evolution in action", as much as the "law
of unintended consequences." Kind of like feeding ground up sheep
to cows and discovering that the brains of hamburger eaters are
turning to swiss cheese.  Not a morality issue at all.

Homosexual transmission of HIV is not the significant vector in
most of the world anyway, with the exception of the US and a few
other countries where the virus happened by pure accident to find
its way into a high risk population.

 > What do you call ten million AIDS deaths?  You figure it
 > out.

If this is like the lawyer joke, it isn't very nice.

In any case, to summarize...

   1.  Let a thousand filters bloom today.
   2.  Filtering what you read is good.
   3.  Filtering what other people read is bad.
   4.  Choosing your own perversions is good.
   5.  Making other people watch is bad.

     Mike Duvos         $    PGP 2.6 Public Key available     $
     mpd@netcom.com     $    via Finger.                      $