UVLUG presents Pete Ashdown on Open Source, politics and government *PLUS* an installfest!

Richard K Miller richardkmiller at gmail.com
Wed Feb 22 23:09:16 MST 2006

On Feb 22, 2006, at 1:49 PM, Kyle Waters wrote:

> Richard K Miller wrote:
>> But there were other issues on which Pete and I differed.  Two that
>> came up were internet pornography and social security.  He's in favor
>> of offering porn filtering to consumers who want it, but no   
>> government
>> involvement.  I, OTOH, think the negative societal effects  of
>> pornography are big enough that it ought to be treated more like a
>> drug. (I.e., the government doesn't let people enjoy cocaine in the
>> privacy of their own homes, nor child porn for that matter.)   On
>> social security, he seemed apt to keep the program and other
>> "entitlements", while I'd be apt to get rid of it or completely
>> privatize it.
> This is what I love about conservatives.  People can protect  
> themselves
> from poverty but not from porn.  So the government needs to raise my
> taxes to create ineffective filters(John Dougal is an idiot) so people
> can't harm themselves with porn, but government needs to stop giving
> money to poor people because people starving to death is not harful to
> society.

I haven't been able to follow this thread in real time (so maybe I  
should let it go at this point?) but I'll just point out that I'm not  
so much interested in what people do privately as I am in what spills  
over into society.  And I think there is some evidence that  
pornography addition has negative consequences on society,  
notwithstanding anecdotal observations posted here.  Serial killers  
Gary Bishop and Ted Bundy both cited pornography as an influence on  
their behaviors.  Obviously they are the extreme outliers, but the  
much lesser "crimes" include disrespect for women and marital  

I agree that poverty is also a societal ill that needs fixing.  But I  
believe my own private philanthropy will do far more good than any  
government program using the same amount of my dollars, simply  
because private enterprises are more efficient than bureaucracies.   
On that note, it's probably irrational to think the government could  
efficiently administer any program to combat the ills of  
pornography.  In reality, any concerned citizen or parent would  
probably be better off finding a "private" (technological?) solution  
to that problem. Anyone concerned about government intervention on  
this issue can rest assured that I think we're far from erring on the  
side of censorship.   But I still think it's a societal ill, and I'm  
willing to stand by that position even if the facts aren't  
overwhelmingly conclusive yet.  (Call it intuition?)

Anyway, thank you all for your thoughts on this.


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