Wednesday, 11 October 2006

New light through old windows

Started a new gig. Very exciting! I'm doing ten weeks with a group of third year undergrads at LCC and we're talking about new media. For those who don't know about "new media" this includes - blogging. I suppose I'm slightly surprised because I'm an old bloke who blogs yet I think the web (and the net) is "old" media as I've lived here for so long.

Anyways. I found a piece about Internet censorship and I thought you guys may be interested. It's written by a bloke who is an associate professor of such things in the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Arlington. So I guess we should take some notice but I'm afraid it simply supported what I already thought:
It is found that those with kids, who are married, who are older, who use the internet for religious content, who work in the public sector, and who think pornography or privacy are the predominant issue concerning the Internet tend to favor Internet censorship. On the other hand, those who are male, live in urban environs, use the Internet for political content, have more Internet experience, are more comfortable on the Internet, work in information industries, and who feel government regulation or censorship is the most important issue concerning the Internet tend to be against Internet censorship.
I'm a bloke and I use the Internet and I've worked in the information industries and I'm not at all comfortable with the bunch of numpties we elected last time round.............

Serious point - "What the net will become is still, in large part, up to us" - that's the last line in "The Virtual Community" (2000) by Howard
Rheingold

6 careful considerations:

Bluefluff said...

Well, speaking as an anti-censorship married older mother living in a village & working for the OU, I think their demographics are slightly askew. Either that or I'm an awkward s*d. Hmm...

Nogbad said...

You inviting votes? :-) Upfront I think he's supported my view of the mythical "middle America" we all read about and in that way it's comfortable but it clashes with my view that we can't drop people, real flesh and blood, into these categories. This gadgy is an associate professor and thus getting somewhere warm to spend his days but it seems flawed because it strikes me as agiven (Gibson's theory on research is that if it supports my views without critical analysis it's got to be duff)

kat said...

Happy gigging

Black River Eagle said...

Hi Nigel,

I really stopped by today to say thanks for continuing to link to "Jewels in the Jungle" for such a long period of time. It's funny to read that you consider yourself an "old bloke" as I consider myself to be the same. Everytime I pay a visit to your blog and see your photo I am reminded of my wild romps (actually they were assaults) across the English countryside back in the '80's with my friends from New York and our buddies from up North (Lincoln and Nottigham area). Kent is still one of my most treasured memories of England, an absolutely beautiful landscape and very nice folks to boot.

I have to chuckle when I hear or read about Europeans and Brits (the two are different, aren't they?) comment about people from mid-America because midwesterners are about as diversified and colorful and intelligent as people from... Kent! After all, zillions of American midwesterners can proudly trace their heritage back to your neck of the woods.

I know that I can (the Parker sisters from England married into our family ca. 1820, pre-Civil War period. They were born white, but their obituaries in the local Illinois newspapers ca. 1900-1912 described them as being "colored"). That my friend was mid-American press censorship in action. We've come a long way since those good ol' days.

Good luck with your new gig at LCC and make sure that you teach those youngsters to fight (unnecessary) censorship whenever it sticks its ugly, pointed little head up.

Cheers and ciao for now. Bill.

Nogbad said...

Hi Man! Where ya been?

I have to chuckle when I hear or read about Europeans and Brits (the two are different, aren't they?) comment about people from mid-America because midwesterners are about as diversified and colorful and intelligent as people from... Kent! After all, zillions of American midwesterners can proudly trace their heritage back to your neck of the woods.

I'm not sure that claiming to be from Kent is a good thing - I'm certainly not from round here :-) My aunt and her husband emigrated to Wyoming from Scotland before I was born (they are both now gone). When I met them I was amazed at how narrow-minded and parochial they were - apparently anyone related to the indigenous people of the Americas would always be a drunk and a crook. I fully agree that we must never generalise about anyone but the view we are presented with in the UK is of a group of people who don't travel and who view the world through the lens of a Fox TV crew.

I know that I can (the Parker sisters from England married into our family ca. 1820, pre-Civil War period. They were born white, but their obituaries in the local Illinois newspapers ca. 1900-1912 described them as being "colored"). That my friend was mid-American press censorship in action. We've come a long way since those good ol' days.
Huh? The Civil Wars were from 1642 -
1649! Did you guys have a falling out too? ;-)
Good luck with your new gig at LCC and make sure that you teach those youngsters to fight (unnecessary) censorship whenever it sticks its ugly, pointed little head up.
Cheers mate - I think we agree on far more than we don't and I certainly try to get people to look beyond stereotypes. Bet we could argue over what we feel is "necessary" censorship? :-)

N

Black River Eagle said...

Re: "I fully agree that we must never generalise about anyone but the view we are presented with in the UK is of a group of people who don't travel and who view the world through the lens of a Fox TV crew."

Perhaps the people responsible for presenting the British people with views of America or themselves narrow-minded and using eyes and cameras that are locked-down to a tight field of vision. I could never figure out why that is so, why several professionals in the media choose to present their own agendas vs. presenting the facts about differenct places and people of the world.

So your uncle and aunt were Scots who emigrated to Wyoming, huh?. Ranching, farming, timber, or mining entrepreneurs? If they were involved with any of the above, chances are they wouldn't have a kindly view of the indigenous locals.

Land disputes and rights to resources was one thing that the American Civil War didn't settle. To the contrary, the follow-on military campaigns after the war setoff a brutal land grab and several acts of ethnic cleansing against native American people west of the Mississippi. Lot's of 1st and 2nd generation European immigrants were involved with that nightmare, plus a few regiments of Buffalo Soldiers. Plenty of bad blood and bad memories still affect people out that way.

That sad history may account for their conservative viewpoints even today along with the carryover from their transatlantic ancestral roots.

Cheers.