About Me

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Deep South, United States
Consultant, inventor, mentor, chess coach,. Current projects involve No Till Farming and staving off blindness due to cataracts among other projects. I also do confidential ghost writing (without taking any published credit. My current blindness makes me put this on hold for a while. I should have one eye working again in about four months. Fact, fiction, all subjects considered. I have heard My daughter Jennifer is alive. I would love it if she were to contact me here. I understand she would like to know me. I have sent a message by circuitous route. I can only hope. My posted Email works as well. We have four decades to catch up on.

This blog has been up for more than a year. The intent was to generate dialogues about serious problems and ideas. It has been almost exclusively a monologue. I have not been looking for large numbers of participants.

I would be quite happy with a few dozen imaginative, creative, thoughtful and inventive people who wish to address serious problems and issues. If anyone has any ideas about how to attract such a talented group I will certainly pay attention. I am not as computer conversant as I would wish. Anyone who could help in this regard would find me receptive to sharing my skills in other areas.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A Censorship Controversy

This is a communication with a moderator of a forum over some recent censorship.

Hello __, hope you are well.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

No one is obligated to agree with everything I say. The free exchange of ideas is something that must be fought for on a regular basis even in free and democratic countries.

I note with dismay that even my copies of the posts on this thread have been removed from my profile. I am unable therefore to review them any longer to find the error of my ways.

I have always been a staunch supporter of Skin Cell Forum. I have told hundreds of people of the group. I am also a patriotic individual in spite of my rights sometimes being abridged by bureaucrats who have the force of law behind them... sometimes laws or policies which I have taken issue with. It is only resistance to tyranny that prevents it. It is a duty.

I am not a revolutionary who believes that the entire fabric of the social contract needs to be destroyed so that we can start fresh. Anarchy is no solution. We must improve things, not destroy everything and start fresh.
You may argue that you changed but a single word. I responded responsibly, reasonably gently, but with some vigor, entirely appropriate to the situation.

What happened next? The entire thread was removed. Why? Because it was making an addict uncomfortable with her addiction. It could well have had impact on other lurking addicts. We will never know. This particular addict is very probably beyond my help or anyone else's.

I do not fault Nick for making his comments. I applaud that. None of you have any obligation to agree with me. All of you can get on with your disagreements with me in an open forum. We will all grow in that kind of interchange. That is what the free exchange of ideas is all about.

Instead, you made my comments all disappear. And you sent a message to the addict as well. This wretched lady is in extreme distress and is bringing the greatest bulk of it on herself. She needs serious help. She does not need people feeding her Munchhausen Syndrome by giving her hugs and commiseration for ongoing and repeated failure and procrastination.

That is what most of you are doing. In most cases, a supportive attitude is a really excellent tool to help people and if you once again take a close look at my posts you will see that two thirds of them were congratulatory and extremely supportive.

What you have done here amounts to a Star Chamber Proceeding. The censorship of but a single word was responded to in a civil and appropriate way. The response was not addressed in any way.
Instead, you packed up the entire thread and locked it in a box which will never be opened again or ever see the light of day, as far as I can tell.
It is chilling __. It is wrong. What can it hurt to redact a single word? It opens the door to capriciously and dictatorially eliminating an entire quite useful thread a day or two later.

Look over those posts carefully. I tried on numerous occasions to simply withdraw. The addict herself said "No, don't do that. I came here for help." Then later she complained that my help was mean, uncompromising. You ALL enabled her to continue her addiction entirely without impediment "until she is ready." You sharply reduced her chances of success.

But worse, all the other addicts lurking and wishing to quit no longer have this reference material. You have kept the peace at considerable cost in my opinion.

It does not mean I won't be your friend or a friend to the other moderators who have joined you in this decision. It just means my friends sometimes err. So do I.

I did not make these remarks in the Rant and Rave section. I made them to you, someone who knows with certainty that I practice what I preach when it comes to censorship.

I present choices. I say "I can publish this and respond to it. Or I can simply delete it. You are the author. What do you want me to do?"
That is the only editorial latitude I employ on my blog.


(I got a letter back today which assures me that the matter will not be in limbo forever... and that __ would have preferred never to have gotten involved with this controversy. So, who knows? Perhaps one day soon the thread will return to its' previous position and be unlocked so that people can decide for themselves based on the facts.)

As a later final edit, I would like to say I hold no ill will toward this moderator or the moderating team, and that even as this was being posted here, the moderator was doing the job that needed to be done and doing it pretty well I might add. Moderators are peacekeepers. I am a rather strong willed free thinker. I do shake things up now and then. I do it purposefully and in a good cause in almost all cases. (Sometimes I might get a little exasperated and go a bit further than makes everyone entirely comfortable.)

No permanent harm was done here. Good may have been done for a lot of people. Even the addict may have ultimately been helped in some way. I hope so.

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