Saturday, June 11, 2005

Want to use the Web? Your fingerprint, please. |

Reading the The Library Bitch tonight and came across this interesting item...

Creepy-ass story about the growing push to restrict user rights to electronic resources and create barriers to information access.

Want to use the Web? Your fingerprint, please. |

All to protect the children from wicked rock bands, naked people, and other types of debauchery. Wow. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, I grew up in a community half-way between Jerry Falwell (Lynchburg, Virginia) and Pat Robertson (Tidewater region), I heard this kind of garbage all the time.

I'm a firm believer in raising smart, educated children who know the difference between right and wrong. I believe folks have the right to raise their children anyway they please. But asking for fingerprints to use the Internet in a public library? Isn't that going a bit too far?

Kids and adults will always abuse technology. Those of us who live in the Western World invent newvices every day to help us escape the responsibilities we have, our lives, our very existence on this planet. We're instructed by our marketing gurus and tech wizards to adopt the latest entertainment technologies NOW, before we somehow become uncool. Our culture says "fuck information literacy, buy an MP3 player. Yeah, we know you'll be half-retarded by the time you're 30, but you'll be cool." While Developing Nations are pining for the latest in telemedicine, better information infrastutures, and less government control, the Western World is all about playtime in cyberspace.

Unless we start teaching users of information technologies that reason, social responsibility, and ethics play the most vital roles in how we live in cyberspace, our society is royally screwed. Snapping scans of fingerprints isn't the answer. Its a band-aid on a bullet wound.

Here in Oxford, I hear disturbing stories of 13-year-olds getting knocked up by 30 year-olds. I've heard rumors of Miami students not reporting sexual assaults because they don't want to get some "cute guy" in trouble. We as a culture have, really, bigger fish to fry before we even begin discussing Internet filtering. In the US, we've lost, in the span of a century, a good portion of the freedoms men and women spent parts of three centuries securing. We've voluntarily given up many of the ideals that make Americans Americans in the name of fighting Communism, Terrorism, and various social vices.


Smurf said...

As we talked about the other night, we need to teach how to think for oneself and even though problems won't go away, they will lessen. Why would one need a filtering system if values are instilled in kids and they know how to think for themselves? It becomes a nonissue rather than an issue that is focused on and makes the problem gets worse. If you are told not to think about a PINK ELEPHANT... what are you going to think about? A pink elephant!
;) Love ya!

The ZenFo Pro said...

Shirl, you sure you're not a librarian ;)