David King

full stack developer

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Sitting on the anti-porn fence

23 Jul 2013

You've probably read that the government wants to Block Access to Pornography by Default, you may have read articles for and against. Me? I want to be in the smack bang in the middle argueing both sides for two reasons: it's fun and it's right.

We need to protect our children I agree!

Phil Bradley would have you think that if you want to protect your kids you can do so by installing a netnanny on your home PC:

"You can add filtering software yourself if you want to protect your children. The woman from the (I think) NSPCC was complaining that it was 'too difficult' for parents to do it. If parents are capable of buying a computer and setting it up, they're capable of installing software that is designed to be easy to do just that. How insulting - how insulting to assume that it's too complicated for people to do. And, if it is, then parents need to damn well step up to the plate and learn how to use the computer in their household. They either care enough about their children's safety to do something about it, or they don't."

Err, yes, yes it is complicated; I couldn't confidently do it and I'm technically minded! His argument appears set in the '90s when there was a single shared family PC; but here in the future we have mobile phones, games consoles and TVs that can access anything online. Oh yeah, and they can do it over mobile networks too. So that's not an option.

We need to protect our freedoms Err, I also agree!

As an open-source contributer I have directly gained by the reality of this; our "freedoms" have enabled me to learn a skilled trade (programming) and help others do the same. I can communicate accross the globe to my peers in countries with vastly differring political and social environments, I learn from these people and hopefully they learn from me too. Freedom means I can have my opinion, but it also means that I should be able to change my mind when I hear your opinion.

Sit on the fence!

Here's a story that I rarely divulge. When I was very young, my Grandad told me:

"black people are just white criminals painted black, you can tell this is true because they pray when they're sprayed and that's why their palms are white."

...and at 4 years old I knew it was true: Grandad told me so. I learned otherwise when I repeated it to my teacher at school - what a bollocking I received! And in the moment I didn't know why.

That bollocking and subsequent remorse was the most important lesson I received at school. The truth is, all parties were good people: my teacher certainly, I hope I am and my Grandad was a good person (his sense of humor belonged in the army in Africa is all) and somehow I managed to harbour a truly awful belief. From that day on I've tried not to take sides because I can never know the all facts.

Mind you, it made me love playing devils advocate! Out of the frying pan and all that...

So what should we do?

I think we should say: IF the law was passed, how can we protect our civil liberties?

Can we come up with a solution that satisfies both parties? To do this everyone would need to put their toys back in the pram; stop screaming and start thinking. I mean having a right good old think. This is just a puzzle to be solved right?


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