Yes, tools are neutral. With that proviso, and my bias on my sleeve:
Adhering to established net.custom was once a utilitarian necessity due to the
outrageously high cost of everything involved. If you've been on the net long
enough, you'll recognize this timeless little gem offered by most newsreading
This program posts news to thousands of machines throughout the entire
civilized world. Your message will cost the net hundreds if not
thousands of dollars to send everywhere. Please be sure you know what
you are doing.
Are you absolutely sure that you want to do this? [ny]
Now that's also in a number of FAQ's all over the place, but the number who
bother with that "tired old nonsense" is growing every day. Costs are
distributed and rather negligible due to scale and a host of other factors.
True cost is downplayed or hidden by almost any business in order to convince
customers they are "getting more than their money's worth". Really, the net is
becoming more like real life because more people are on it, and there's no
But I'd hate to see the net become like everything else, dumbed down to the
lowest common denominator. rusty, you were right on the nose: People tend to
rise to your expectations of them. Let the rising tide lift everyone's boat;
let everyone aspire to excellence.
The costs are still there, but coming down every day. Which makes it even more
imperative that arguments are structured from a moral/ethical standpoint
rather than a utilitarian one. Do good because it's right, not because it's
cheaper or more efficient. (That's what making a profit is for...and there is
no profit without honor :)
Think of it in terms of maintaining balance against entropy. Maybe even
carving out a temporary advantage. In the long run, we're all dead; and you
can use that to rationalize nihilism, fight the good fight, or anything in
between. It's my considered opinion this Hipcrap is destroying the village in
order to save it. Just one more thing to watch out for in the nasty global
village of nation-states, crazed neobombers and everyone along the way. But
the nasty thing about abuse of trust is that it destroys trust. It breaks down
the "network of trust".
People respect law (authority) when it is worthy of their respect. Authority
is not necessarily pejorative or authoritarian. True authority is like the
title of "sensei" or "hacker"; never self-bestowed, earned through actions,
rather than words. People respect authority that proves its competence through
merit rather than power which flows from the ability to mesmerize or
brutalize, the power which flows "from the barrel of a gun" ; that power which
rather than convincing to follow inspires only fear, and eventual rebellion.
Hence the need, as Charles Platt put it, to
channel that rebellion,
to focus it in as constructive a manner as we can muster. Otherwise the
collateral damage, both physically and philosophically, has the potential to
cause a lot of misery both now and for a long time to come.
PS: Additional Deja URL's for background information and further fodder for
as a reasonably random cross sampling in my brief searches.
[ Parent ]