Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Young and Sort of Free

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  • Hadyn Green,

    cannabis remains prohibited

    Canadian tourism just took a big hit (no pun intended)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Opt-out is absurd.
    And can't you just see the spin now "Oh yeah, well our records show <<insert-generic-enemy-here>> opted-out of internet filtering. Guy loves his child porn obviously"

    F'n'ay.

    However, if your objective is to get people to 'voluntarily' do something they don't want to do, opt-out is perfect. Like religious instruction in schools.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    However, if your objective is to get people to 'voluntarily' do something they don't want to do, opt-out is perfect

    Especially if what they see is a generic error message rather than a specific "this page is blocked by cleannet here's how to opt-out" message.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 719 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    Especially if what they see is a generic error message rather than a specific "this page is blocked by cleannet here's how to opt-out" message.

    Hello, Telecom? Yes, I'm having trouble with my internet access. I seem to be mainly getting 404 errors when I'm surfing. What websites? Ummmm, nevermind.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    cannabis remains prohibited

    When I was in Canada a couple of years ago I smelt it often enough just wandering around the streets that I assumed it was legal.

    Apparently not, just not policed very aggressively a friend told me.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Gregor Ronald,

    I'm no kiddie-fiddler, but I certainly didn't find that picture (Kevin Rudd's "inarguably disgusting" example at http://avatar.bardicweb.com/files/ghetsuhm/PAS/art_monthly_37085a_37197t.jpg) disgusting at all. In fact it looks rather sweet and innocent. Some people seem to have trouble separating nudity and sexuality, methinks.

    When I was a lad in flares and paisley, the first Blind Faith album cover caused a similar fuss; you can read the artist's explanation at http://www.angelfire.com/wi/blindfaith/vvcov69.html

    Even if there is porn on the web, I trust people to exercise their judgment; shouldn't politicians also treat the voters as adults?

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    cannabis remains prohibited

    When I was in Canada a couple of years ago I smelt it often enough just wandering around the streets that I assumed it was legal.

    Apparently not, just not policed very aggressively a friend told me.

    And so it has always been - I had dinner with my high school literature teacher once, a couple years after graduation, and he was trying to describe where a new addition to the school had been build. "Near the North entrance" he said - I drew a blank - "Where that housing development was planned but vetoed" - again, no idea where he meant "where you kids used to toke up before you came to class" to which I responded "Oh, I know where you mean".

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    In fact it looks rather sweet and innocent. Some people seem to have trouble separating nudity and sexuality, methinks.

    To be sort of fair on Rudd, this came straight after the furore over the Bill Henson photographs. (That link has NSFW pics in the sidebar, but it's a good discussion of the issues.)

    I'm finding the Art Monthly cover very useful, though, for showing people who are absolutely sure they can define porn. You can't ban or filter it, after all, if you can't define it to start with.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm finding the Art Monthly cover very useful, though, for showing people who are absolutely sure they can define porn. You can't ban or filter it, after all, if you can't define it to start with

    And how do you define "offensive content" -- seriously, the ten minutes of High School Musical I forced myself to watch would have been seriously offensive in its social and gender stereotypes if it wasn't also so crushingly banal. Not something I'd want my child exposed to without a loaded gun held to my head.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Slightly off topic, but there was a timely article in the weekend Herald relating to medicinal use of cannabis in California:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10530801

    Wiki has the answers wrt to the legal status in Canada here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_legalization_in_Canada

    And one of Canada's biggest exports to the US is now BC Bud:

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,682290-2,00.html

    I read somewhere recently (but can't find the source - think it might have been McMafia) that NAFTA basically put a lot of Canadian loggers out of work, and they now mainly make a living cultivating cannabis and exporting it to the US.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    So are they gonna block all of flickr or just bits of it ?

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 790 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    And how do you define "offensive content" -- seriously, the ten minutes of High School Musical I forced myself to watch would have been seriously offensive in its social and gender stereotypes if it wasn't also so crushingly banal. Not something I'd want my child exposed to without a loaded gun held to my head.

    So, you shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material you understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, but you know it when you see it?

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    So, you shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material you understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, but you know it when you see it?

    Well, Rich, I sure don't think my life would be worth tweenie spit if teh interwebz was being filtered to my standards of "offensive". But I was trying to ask a serious question, and I think the Potter Stewart Test is a good way into it. Not quite so problematic when you assume you're living in a homogeneous society were everyone's cultural, social, religious and ethical norms are pretty much in the same place.

    But I've living in a pluralistic, multi-cultural society where things I find utterly innocuous (websites containing headshots of women wearing cosmetics, advice on how to slaughter and dress cows and pigs, fan sites about Harry Potter) that are eye-wateringly "offensive" to other.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Craig, I get that you were asking a serious question - 'how do you define "offensive content"?'

    My point, albeit somewhat clumsily made, is that the Potter Stewart test appears to be the best we can come up with - there is no convenient empirical definition of what is 'offensive' or 'pornographic'.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    the Potter Stewart test appears to be the best we can come up with

    Just to clarify, after "I know it when I see it", Potter said, "and the motion picture involved in this case is not that." And he wasn't defining 'obscenity' but 'hardcore pornography', which he believed was the only thing the First Amendment permitted to be censored. It's since been replaced by the Miller Test.

    The thing is 'I know it when I see it' can't be used as a legal basis, because it requires that everybody see the same thing.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It's since been replaced by the Miller Test.

    Which is problematic in much the same way. Who the hell gets to define what an "average" person is, or what constitutes "serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value"? I wouldn't seriously argue Lady Chatterly's Lover meets the SlAPS Test. (Then again, I'd have to stretch a point to describe it as pornographic, because it's hard to imagine anyone getting aroused by Lawrence's clotted prose, let along achieving any kind of orgasm.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    (Then again, I'd have to stretch a point to describe it as pornographic, because it's hard to imagine anyone getting aroused by Lawrence's clotted prose, let along achieving any kind of orgasm.)

    My copy of The Rainbow actually got eaten by a bookworm. I didn't ask it how much it enjoyed the experience, I was just surprised it could digest the prose.

    Which is problematic in much the same way

    Yep. It's subjective, which is the essence of the problem. It's a gray area, which is surely why we should let people make their own decisions about what's 'offensive' as much as possible.

    Even censors seem confused about what censorship is.

    (Disclaimer: god-awful job, wouldn't want to do it)

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    I'd be surprised if the filters will trap the really hard core material, like these plans to build an atom bomb.

    PSS'T, it's hidden in the source code. View source code...

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Hamboy:

    How long before an MP here promotes it here?

    Trevor Rodgers attempted to 'censor' the Internet nearly 15 years ago, but Parliament had the good sense to bin it and have a quiet guffaw.

    And in relation to Justice Stewart's famous remark, J Edgar Hoover will be forever remembered for this:

    I regret to say that we of the F.B.I. are powerless to act in cases of oral-genital intimacy, unless it has in some way obstructed interstate commerce."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    I once in the context of my academic lab job, made the mistake of searching the internet for 'muscle anatomy'*. Fortunately I was alone in the office at the time.

    You can bet Clead feed will not be applied by the Universities, so all you need is a student account or a Uni job and Bob is your kind under the counter Uncle.

    *The lab copy of Grey's Anatomy was rather old and I needed up to date figures on variations in it in humans.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Carolyn Skelton,

    It seems pretty clear that trying to censor porn on the Internet at ISP level is not going to be very successful or desirable. Then this raises the question as to why governments are so keen on it, rather than promoting computer level filters?

    IMO the issue is then getting into the issue of concerns about preparing the way for politically-motivated censorship by governments. Is this something we should be worrying about, or is it just that the Aussie government is misguided in its aims to censor net porn?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Is this something we should be worrying about, or is it just that the Aussie government is misguided in its aims to censor net porn?

    Can I say one from Column A and one from Column B? I've seldom seen a politician who could resist blundering through the fashionable moral panic de jour like an elephant in a flock of sheep, have you? Especially when you've got some Helen Lovejoy wailing "Will someone please think about the children!"

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    Filtering is a nasty business. If parents want to delude themselves and install filtering software in the hope that it'll actually function with 100% accuracy, thus saving them from the need to do their fucking jobs and be involved in their childrens' internet experience, so be it. Better to take the time to encourage safe browsing habits, and a close relationship such that if the child comes across something they don't understand they'll talk to dad and/or mum about it. But that would require parenting above-and-beyond the call of the television babysitter, and we can't have that.

    For the rest of us, fuck that shit! It's not that long ago that Watchdog was blocking non-porn sites that might be offensive to the delicate sensibilities of the fundamentalist Christians whose bigotry was being parodied. Google is replete with examples of outright censorship on the part of companies that run the back-end systems on which filters are based, including AOL blocking the Democrat Party website.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Getting away from sexually explicit material for a moment, I've been thinking about graphic images, that show the results of suicide. I found such a sight. It came with a warning that what I was about to see will be shocking. I would imagine that a web-sight like that, would be deemed objectionable by a great many people, then filtered, by the ISP, if commissioned by government.

    If that happened I would object to the material's status, primarily for several reasons. One being, that I am an artist, I sometimes paint in high quality oils, some of reds, particularly the cadmium, deserves to be spent on serious observation. I feel, an actual photographic image of something as emotionally disturbing as traumatic death, is acceptable , in my own artistic research. Obviously, if I decided to pursue such an emotive subject, I would need to take it all very seriously and develop a strong ethical platform. But the Internet is a good starting point, if only to discount the idea.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4414 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington,

    I can only hope I never work out how to 'press P on the internet' so I can avoid getting punched in the face by bingo-porn.

    Maybe the guy was pressing the 'pee' button?

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 949 posts Report Reply

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