19.610 Google

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of David Gants) <dgants_at_ROGERS.COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 19:18:47 -0400

              Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 610.
      Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                    Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

        Date: Fri, 17 Feb 2006 19:04:26 -0400
        From: Patrick Durusau <patrick_at_durusau.net>
        Subject: Re: 19.591 Google



> the extent of the censoring activity is awesome, "Google or not
> Google". i was sad and discouraged after reading those pages by
> Zittrain and Edelman.
> but at the same time we can - through their research, and through the
> Internet - know all this, speak of it on the base of documented
> evidence; and we can save and print on paper those web pages in order
> to remember. we are in debt to the censored people all over the world
> and we, who can't do nearly anything for them directly, can partly pay
> our debt remembering what happened to them.
I would not advocate forgetting the various current and past outrages
and offenses against humanity, but remembering doesn't seem to have
prevented their repetition. And were I in a similar situation, I rather
doubt that being remembered by others would be of much comfort.

So, rather than spending time remembering or being concerned, why not
take more direct action?

Surely there are world class hackers at the various universities where
most of the Humanist subscribers reside. The software and hardware used
by the Chinese government couldn't be any better than that offered by
most vendors. Rather than writing trivial viruses to annoy millions of
users, why shouldn't they try to do something that is a real benefit to

Perhaps graduate seminars on breaking censorship firewalls, free
software to avoid them (perhaps embedded in commercial/free software) or
academic prizes for the same?

Very little change is accomplished with remembering or concern. A good
deal may be accomplished by action.

As individuals we may lack the skills to take action ourselves, but we
certainly could seek out and support those who do.

Hope you are having a great day!


Patrick Durusau
Chair, V1 - Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface
Co-Editor, ISO 13250, Topic Maps -- Reference Model
Member, Text Encoding Initiative Board of Directors, 2003-2005
Topic Maps: Human, not artificial, intelligence at work! 
Received on Fri Feb 17 2006 - 18:43:26 EST

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