Excerpts from Electric Degeneration, Degenerate Press' semi-weekly e-zine, free and ad-free. A full episode contains sections for music reviews, upcoming events, blasphemy, classifieds, and anything else we feel like saying. If you'd like to subscribe just contact us.
You can surf the entire archive.
BLASPHEMY has apparently hit a nerve. The saga continues at the end of this
"On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure."
Oscar Wilde, from The Importance of Being Earnest
>>Tell me WHY, in other words, capitalists are immune to the principles ofDemocracy and human rights and why they ought to remain so one second longer.
I don't believe they should be allowed to do with their property whatever they
will if other basic human rights are abused or ignored along the
[SOS] "Okay, let me get this straight. The freedom to post on an internet service is
a basic human right? What about all the people who don't even have a computer
in the first place? Are they being deprived of -their- rights?"
[RVI] Nice attempt at avoiding the question. First, the basic freedom in question is
one of expression or speech; secondly, as Net access is increasingly necessary for basic
satisfaction of these rights, yes, lack of access to computers - and phones - are
begining to fall under the category of 'failing to respect human rights.' Basic change
in media act as change in how certain rights are actualised or satisfied. But more
basically, for our purposes, after access has been established, by what authority is one
deprived of use of the technology in question? BY government, only after it is shown
one has broken law -- OR by a private interest who has been allowed to control the
medium for profit and whose rules are arbitrary and bear no resemblence to law?
[SOS] "You might have a point if the Time Warner had some kind of monopoly on the the
internet. BUT THEY DON'T!!!"
[RVI] Well, yes they do; they have a monopoly on their site which is the most visited
site on the WWW. No one can reach as unified and sizeable an audience as one can by
means of PATHFINDER's bulletin boards - thus making its situation unique amongst BBS
sites... a virtual monopoly.
[SOS] "Do a web search and you will find pages of as
many racist rants as you could possibly stomach."
[RVI] So what? I can also find Betty Crocker recipes. The problem is that (A) I can't
find the racist rants on TIME-WARNER's boards and (B), they would be there were it not
for censors acting 'in loco governmentis,' yet with no respect for law or the 1st
Amendment - as if money absolves a corporation from such messy considerations.
[SOS] "Unlike newspaper publishing, web publishing is (comparatively) cheaper and easier
to be used by any yokel with an opinion. That's one of the darn nifty things about it.
(Then again, that's also why so many pages suck as badly as they do.)"
[RVI] That's why many fora such as PATHFINDER have attempted to make a buck off the
'phenomenon' of publicly expressed opinion; but when, in the course of making that buck
they suddenly wish to play some other game and not take any of the liabilities (e.g.
allowing unpopular speech) for their Internet experiment, I cry 'foul.' There is no
root for the belief that one can or should profit from speech while silencing the speech
of those whom one does not agree with -- as if neo-Nazis cannot be argued to a
stand-still once they are allowed to bellow.
[SOS] "There are =numerous= venues for 'unfettered' speech
on and off the internet, so if Time Warner declines to provide one, you can
simply ignore them and go elsewhere."
[RVI] No one, least of all me, has called for 'unfettered' speech; I am simply calling
for recognition of and respect for 'Constitutionally protected speech.' If such speech
is too burdensome in the course of TIME-WARNER's investments, too frightening, then I
suggest they simply get out of the business of human communications technology. Because
they have no call blatantly disregarding American law and precident on this topic, the
very law that has made it possible for them to amass their fortune in this field. If
they will not serve the public good, fine; let them go find another sort of work and
never again bother with the press.
Contact Degenerate Press
Take me to Degenerate Press' home page!
There's no place like home... no place like home...
All content on this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2002, All Rights Reserved