First day of packing, and, well, we didn't get much put away in boxes.
We did get more tape and shrink wrap, though, and we cleared out all
of our deposit bottles, along with a huge number of jars of various
sizes and shapes that we'd collected over the last four years. The
cupboard they were stored in now appears rather bare.
We also cleared off the kitchen table, which had lots of miscellaneous
paperwork scattered across it, which means we can use the table as a
staging area for packing books. I hope to make some real progress
Check out the Librarians Are
Corrupting Kids site, which tracks censorship attempts and
encourages kids (and adults!) to read censored books.
A controversy recently popped up on
debian-legal. A user
wanted the Project to remove all of the messages he'd sent to various
Debian mailing lists from the archive,
apparently because he didn't like the way they cluttered up the
results of searches on his name (!).
Anyway, that spawned a discussion about the
header, which was essentially created by DejaNews to allow USENET
folks to opt out of their archive, and whether or not that header
should be respected by mailing lists.
The world has changed a lot since those heady days of old, when people
felt free to post anything they wanted to USENET—sexual
peccadilloes, sure, along with radical political opinions, screeds on
bomb making, intensely personal discussions, amazing flamewars, and
even some wonderfully useful information.
Then came DejaNews, with their plan to archive the whole of USENET,
and everything changed. Suddenly, USENET, which had been ephemeral
(articles “expired”, meaning that unless individual sites or people
made an effort to save copies locally, they no longer existed for
public access), became corporeal. Suddenly your boss, or lover, or
neighbor, or mother could read everything you sent to USENET.
Secrets divulged in the expectation that they'd go away, political
opinions expressed in the heat of the moment, confessions of
nontraditional activities were available to all.
Protest ensued, and the
X-No-Archive was born.
On the other hand, Deja provided a unique service. Before they began
their archive, participation in USENET required you to read groups
regularly. Stop reading for a week or so, and you could be hopelessly
lost when you returned. With Deja, all the messages you'd missed were
in the archive, so you could catch up.
Deja also allowed useful information to stick around. Experiencing
some annoying problem with your OS that isn't mentioned in the FAQ for
the appropriate group? Well, if some other people had that problem,
and there was a thread about it on USENET, you could now search Deja
and retrieve that thread and fix your problem. All without having to
post to the group and subject yourself to potential flames for asking
such an obvious question, too.
Deja, and mailing lists, are just the tip of the iceberg, though.
With so many people running personal websites, especially weblogs, the
world is a different place. To some degree, I am always aware that
what I say here may, someday, affect my ability to find a job, or my
relationship with coworkers, friends, and relatives. I have to weigh
the advantages and disadvantages of every piece of personal
information I consider writing about here. That creates a conflict
that I have yet to resolve. On the one hand, I am a big believer in
total honesty. I don't like bullshit, and I don't like pretending to
agree with people when I disagree with them (especially when they're
wrong!). On the other hand, I don't really want to hurt
people's feelings, or make life more difficult for myself. I expect
that society as a whole is going to have to deal with this conflict
before too long, as the pace of technological change makes the
collation of random pieces of data easier and easier to do, even for
relatively unsophisticated users.