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Saturday, December 06, 2003
Studs Terkel's Self-penned Epitaph: Curiosity Did Not Kill this Cat

Dig this Sri Lankan dude's interview with the guy who really invented the internet (sorry, Al), Arthur C. Clarke on Information Pollution.

And here's a cat-filtered clip of the Slashdot conversation spurred by Clarke's interview.

But first, here's cat's comment to those comments: Isn't content delivery a subset of communication? Like, all this commenting on the comments about comments. To me one of the greater issues is the inevitable personal impact of commercial use of the web chasing just ahead of our formal and informal webrules and webethics, and fucking annoying the crap out of us just like it does at our snail mail boxes and answering machines.

Already slashdottted... (Score:2, Interesting) by (463614) on Saturday December 06, @06:01PM (#7650412) ( But anyway, I can add my sentiments to the debate. Information pollution ? About time we bring this up.

Does the world really need that every peon around the world has his or her own web page with rants raves, and pictures of cats/gerbils/whatever ?

Do WE need it ? Sure, freedom of speech, expression and open communications, but...

I wonder how Google will tackle it when every human being on this planet is online with its own web page. Ouch. [ Reply to This ]

Re:Already slashdottted... (Score:4, Insightful) by drinkypoo (153816) on Saturday December 06, @06:06PM (#7650434)

( | Last Journal: Friday November 21, @04:31PM) Does the world need twinkies and B-movies? Nyet. But nonetheless we have them. Do twinkies and B-movies hurt anyone? Only those who choose to partake of them. Ditto for blogs and pictures of open, cavernous rectums.

Re:Already slashdottted... by Neop2Lemus (Score:1) Saturday December 06, @06:35PM Re:Already slashdottted... (Score:5, Insightful) by Kennric (22093) on Saturday December 06, @07:33PM (#7650852) (

I don't mean to insult you personally, but I must take issue with that argument. It's idiotic, and I get sick of hearing it.

Personal pages are important and necessary, and they embody what the web is meant to be - a commons where anyone can communicate anything with anyone. A lousy web page demands no more bandwidth than it should, if its lousy, no one looks. They don't pollute good search engines, either, because good search engines index pages by how relevant is the information they contain (ok, I know thats an ideal, but the flaw is a flaw in the search engine, not the number of personal pages). I frequently find answers to technical questions in small blogs and personal web pages. I don't see bad poems or cat pictures, because I don't search for them.

Just to drive the point home, think about what it would take to 'fix' this 'problem'.

Let only geniuses put up web pages? Ok, who decides who is a genius, who vetts what is good content and what isn't? Corporations? Governemnts? Comittees? How do you enforce it, a web page license? Who issues it?

I think what you are looking for is not the Internet, but TV, where content is vetted and professionally produced, and delivered in easy to consume chunks.

The Internet is not a content delivery medium, it is a communications medium, and that means people communicating, whatever they damn well want to whoever will listen. And it has to be open to every idiot with a bad poem, too, because the alternative is for it to just becomes a one-way delivery system. You should revel and delight in the existance of personal web pages, they are a good and healthy sign of a properly functioning communications medium. Revel and delight in the fact that you can toss one up if you want, when you do have something to say - even if no one really cares what you have to say.

Futhermore, you don't have to look at anything on the web you don't want to, you don't even have to skip past it, or setup a filter to block it. Thats a glorious and amazing thing, think about it. Everyone on the world with access to a computer can toss anything they want into the pool of information, absolutely anything. And how much does this affect you finding or reading Slashdot? At the same time, if you want, you can read any one of those endless bits of information flying around, the bad poem, the cat picture, the firsthand account of the bombing in Bagdad. This would not be possible in any scheme where content was vetted, licensed or controlled.

Sigh. Sorry for the rant, just pisses me off when people think bad web pages are the web's big problem, when the alternative is corporate/government controlled content-delivery.

Anyway, I commend you on not putting a web page up if you have nothing to say. If only 1 person wants to read it, though, a web page is worth putting up, and if no one does, then putting it up isn't hurting the millions who aren't reading it.

Do we NEED any of it? No, you NEED nothing more than water, air, food and shelter. So destroy everythign that isn't food, water, air, shelter? Sheesh.

permalink posted by cat 9:24 PM

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Studs Terkel's Self-penned Epitaph: Curiosity Did Not Kill this Cat