posted Oct 25, 2000

Classical Fuzzy Thinking: Censorware
Personal Commentary
10/25/2000; 10:40:35 PM

Just a general thought as I read the Salon article Don't let McCain censor the Net: People want censorware that will perfectly screen out what they don't want to see, or don't want their children to see.  Most of the comments against using this censorware has focused on the fact that none of it is ready for prime time. I think the fact that it will never be ready for prime time is getting lost in the noise.

People won't ever be able to agree on what they want to see from a censorware program.  Some will want to filter the left, some the right, some both, some neither, and some will want to filter Communism. Everybody fuzzily imagines this magic solution in their own head that works perfectly... but if any one of these solutions was realized, it would only please the one person's solution we chose... if indeed they understand things clearly enough anyhow.

Censorware fails the human test: If a human being can't be trained in how to censor in such a way to make two people happy, how do we expect computer software to ever even come close?

This is the idea behind "parents should take responsibility for their own children"... it's not a societal cop-out, it's a recognition that the service that parents are requesting can't exist. 

(Who filters the filterers?)


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