Last week I did a lot of ranting about digital censorship, especially the asinine random “filtering” system now being used by our overly-large bureaucracy.
But I wasn’t alone.
In the category of “I wish I’d said that”, Doug wrote a very pointed open letter to those who would go overboard in their restrictions on intellectual freedom.
Like me, Taylor the Teacher is also upset with the new filtering system just switched on by his school district, comparing it favorably (unfavorably?) to censorship by the Chinese government.
She also offers a great quote from the ALA’s Freedom to Read statement.
Most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental premise of democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad.
And that is pretty much the fundamental point of all this. By the arbitrary blocking of material on the web, we do nothing to help our “ordinary individuals” (aka students) learn how to develop their critical judgement.
By the way, our district has in place a system by which an adult can request that a site be unblocked (or blocked). It would be nice, however, if it actually worked.
It’s been more than a week since I submitted (and the boss approved) a request to unblock certain sites in our central office building (one where everyone is over 21).
I still need to use an unauthorized work-around to read the ideas of certain subversive educators. Not to mention my own crap.
Unfortunately, to be continued.