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Journal: Censorship.. I do not think it means what you think it means

Journal by Matt Ownby

I've noticed that Slashdot seems to enjoy to stir fear into everyone's hearts by posting stories of perceived Censorship injustices.

Ok... so... if my hypothetical son came into my house with a bag full of horse manure and wanted to spread it all over the rug and stink up my house... if I say 'No!', I am censoring him because I am preventing him from experiencing what it would be like to smear manure on a rug and sniff it in? I don't think so. But if my son came home with a filthy video or magazine and wanted to read it, am I censoring him because I won't let him read it in my house? Strangely enough, some Slashdot users would say yes. To me, both these scenarios are exactly the same. They both involve someone coming into my home and wanting to spread filth around, but since it's my (and my wife's) home, we're the ones who call the shots, not our kids. The kids can pour as much manure on their rugs in their own houses when that time comes if they choose to do so. Of course, we will advise them that they won't enjoy the consequences of that action, but we will realize that it's their decision to make.

Now regarding the issue of "censoring" bad parts out of movies... let's say that you came to my door with an awesome suit but had manure on the bottom of your shoes and you wanted to come in. Would I say "No under any conditions" ? No, I think I'd probably say "You can come in if you clean the crap off the bottom of your shoes." And then would you say "What? But that would totally change the artistic expression I am trying to present with this suit with crap-covered shoes! You are censoring my outfit!"

That is, of course, ridiculous. It's equally ridiculous in my opinion, if I buy or rent a movie, and want to edit out the parts I deem to be filthy, that some people actually have a problem with this and think I am desecrating their art. I've got news for those people.. it's not art.. it's crap. The reason I am editing it out is because it is crap and it smells. If they don't want me tinkering with their movie, they maybe should think about cleaning the crap off the bottom of the shoes before they try to get it into my house.

What I've described isn't censorship at all in my opinion.

Censorship is when a government tries to suppress information that could lead to people becoming more empowered. Censorship is when a government tries to deliberately cripple people in order to maintain power over them. Censorship's goal is to stifle growth.

User Journal

Journal: Time for video game makers to take some accountability

Journal by Matt Ownby

I think that saying video games never teach people that violent principles are acceptable is as irresponsible as saying video games always teach people that violent principles are acceptable.

I think video games do present a message, even if it's as something as obvious as "Spending countless hours playing this MMORPG is definitely worth your time!" I think that violent video games present a message that at best says violence may be necessary in certain situations, and at worst says that acting on violent principles produces happiness.

I personally have little sympathy for video game companies who produce games that teach us that "violence makes you happy" and then hide behind the "It's your parents' responsibility to teach you that what we're teaching you is a lie!" Every person is accountable for what they strive to teach other people.

User Journal

Journal: Even logic shows that human beings are relatively weak

Journal by Matt Ownby

Our physical bodies are clearly gifts given to us. They know how to reproduce. Our minds don't know how to reproduce without using our bodies' built-in reproductive functions. Therefore, something more advanced than us must have created our bodies, therefore, our bodies are gifts given to us.

User Journal

Journal: Moderated down again

Journal by Matt Ownby

I visit slashdot because I am interested in various software developments such as free software, linux, open source, cool projects, clever hacks, etc, etc ...

I discovered a while ago that the news items of this site seem to have a rather biased politcal agenda motivating them which I will list here:
- censorship must be blindly opposed in every form
- extreme paranoia about privacy is encouraged
- people who steal music/movies/software are viewed in a very sympathetic light

Basically, if you want to get moderated up around here, you simply have to post a strong message promoting one of those 3 opinions. If you post anything that disagrees with those 3 points, you will be moderated down as a troll or as flamebait, even if you had no intention of trying to stir up negative reactions.

It's really pretty sad that users who think of themselves as "anti censorship" try to make differing opinions "go away" as quickly as they can...

User Journal

Journal: God

Journal by Matt Ownby

When bad things happen to people, they tend to remember God and be humble. When times are prosperous, people tend to forget God and become prideful. Wouldn't it be nice if we could always remember God during prosperous times?

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito

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