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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sticks And Stones

We all know the difference between sticks and stones and words.  Or at least we all should.  A Milwaukee man said two words on a bus and got slapped with a $500 fine.  What are swear words?  Why are they offensive?  Who are they offensive to?  Whose quality of life goes down when they hear a word?

What are words?  Words are letters arranged in a way as to express a meaning.  Inherently words are neither good or bad, they simply are.  Words can only be bad or good if we assign that meaning to them.  We own the words, the words don't own us.  Words aren't dangerous.  Censorship of certain words isn't meant to prevent certain words from being said, it's to prevent certain ideas from being expressed.

In a supposedly free society, why are certain words taboo?  The Bible, a book many tout as holy and infallible, uses "damn" and "hell."  Yet when used in other settings, those two words can be offensive.  The definition of "sex" is the same as the definition of "fuck," and yet one is taboo.  According to some sites, the three most offensive swear words, in order of decreasing severity are: cunt, motherfucker, and fuck.

We've discussed "fuck."  In meaning, it is as harmless as the word "sex."  I don't understand why "motherfucker" has such a negative stigma attached to it, I mean, all fathers in heterosexual relationships are motherfuckers, and more than likely proud of the fact.  Cunt means the vagina, and only those who are intimidated or incapable of respecting women would consider that word offensive.  Life springs forth from the vagina.  Ok, maybe it doesn't spring as much as it squeezes out in a bloody mess, but you get the idea.

Examining these words one wouldn't think they were offensive at all, and in reality they are not offensive.  People mistakenly believe these words are offensive because of superstition.  Profane means something outside the church.  By that definition child molestation is not considered profane, as long as it occurs within the church.  If these words don't differ at the base level from accepted terms, how could they possibly harm anyone's quality of life?  Words are words.  If someone calls you a name, it doesn't make it true.  Superstition grants power to certain words which on their own are harmless.  Superstition has no place in our society.

Just as people used to stop dead in their tracks if a black cat crossed their path, some people to this day turn white at the mention of one word.  If you break a mirror you will not have bad luck for seven years.  If you say fuck in a group of people, those people aren't going to turn into homicidal maniacs.  Grow up people.

Do you realize that as a culture we burned people we thought were witches?  We did that because of superstition.  Luckily we learned how terribly we were mistaken.  How many people died for that superstition?

As for the undercover officers on the bus, the word police and thought police, I have a message for you: motherfuckers fuck cunts, it's just what they do.  Don't use my tax dollars to stick the proverbial soap into the mouths of citizens.  Instead, take the money you've wasted on undercover thought cops and buy some copies of the Bill of Rights.  Pay close attention to Amendment I.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never fucking hurt me.

© 2010 Nate Phillipps

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Government Takeover of Free Speech

With the Federal Communication Commission's latest decision with regard to the internet and the rights of the internet providers, our government is one step closer to gaining total control of the internet and our free speech.  This new ruling restrains existing internet providers from competing with others.  The FCC did say that they will allow internet providers to "reasonably manage their networks."  That may sound good, but with the government, when is anything reasonable?

This decision also mandates that the network management policies of broadband internet providers be made public.  No longer will individuality be tolerated.  No longer will success be allowed to flower in absence of weeds.  Now the government will swoop in and mandate that your business publishes its success tactics and chains you with non-competition legislation.

With the Patriot Act the government already gave itself the power to listen to our phone conversations, our internet posts, and whatever else they can manage to strain their ears to hear.  No longer do policemen need to obtain a search warrant; they can now enter and search based solely on probable cause.  Our lives are falling more and more in the overreaching view of the government.  The next big hurdle for them to overcome is the internet.

Saddling the internet with regulations under the guise of protecting consumers will ultimately allow the government to digitally enter our homes to keep tabs on us.  In the end, this will lead to a situation similar to the Chinese censorship of the internet.  For those who say it won't happen here, or that it can't happen here, the government already censors radio and television.  They can already prevent anyone from flying, simply by placing their name on the No Fly List, and to do so, they do not need proof or a reason, and their say is final.

By stripping us of our voices, they will soon be able to regulate unopposed.  Once it's illegal to disagree with the government it will be too late.  The internet is one of the last places free speech is allowed, and that soon will be gone.  The government is working hard to silence your tongue.  Just remember you can't voice your opinion when you're in a body bag.  This is an attack on our rights and on our lives.  Are we going to sit back and take it?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Clouds Hanging Overhead

Have you seen the Microsoft commercials where everyone goes to "the cloud?" Ever wonder what cloud they are talking about? There are some who say cloud computing is the next big technological breakthrough, but there is a darker truth lurking within the cloud.

To simplify the concept of cloud computing, it is best to think of an apartment building. In an apartment building, you rent the space you are living in, but you don't own the building. Cloud computing is similar, whereas your computer would be more of an access point than a work horse. Your computer would allow you access to a virtual server, which would be able to run all your applications and programs. If you have ever used remote access to log into another computer from your laptop, you should be fairly familiar with cloud computing. Basically, your computer would be the gateway to the unlimited resources of the cloud.

The cloud would provide all the memory, RAM, data storage, etc. that you would ever need. The upside is that you wouldn't have to buy expensive equipment but you'd still be able to run the most memory-intensive programs. You would also be able to log into your account at anytime and anywhere in the world.  If you use Hotmail or Yahoo, this is the basic concept behind their web-based email.  You would pay per use and not be subject to high traffic rates.  So what are the cons?

Cloud computing may be the next big threat to individualism.  Since your computer would only be a portal, your data would be stored in the cloud.  A company would store your data for you, and they would allow you to access it at any time.  Could the cloud ever claim ownership, like Google did with their Google Chrome User Agreement?

Microsoft already launched their Azure platform, which is a cloud-based operating system.  Cloud computing may soon be everywhere.  I am all for innovation, but it seems that with every new technological breakthrough comes ten different ways to infringe upon our privacy, individualism, and rights.

Stay smart.  Stay informed.

© 2010 Nate Phillipps