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Separation of Church and Microsoft

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    See that 'Church' in the title? Where did that come from?

    FTFA-
    "Other groups of viewers may include a parent-teacher association, a religious-based community, or any other subculture wanting to provide standards and boundaries for program viewing selections."
  • Who cringes at stuff like this mostly out of the fact that it will be used against (intentional word choice) children/teenagers to enforce a parent/group's own set of values upon the youngster who might not even share them? Yeah yeah I'm all for people's rights to raise kids however they want, but I'm also for the rights of kids to not be brainwashed by david-koresh-worshipping freaks or indoctrinated into neo-nazi-ideology and such at an age where they are too young to have an educated opinion about it ..
    • by exploder (196936) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:48PM (#20466835) Homepage

      ...it will be used against (intentional word choice) children/teenagers to enforce a parent/group's own set of values upon the youngster who might not even share them?
      That's called "raising" a child, and it's generally accepted in most places that parents have that right.

      • by Pojut (1027544)
        I think the OP's point is that this may be used in such a way that the parents don't bother devising their own system for raising their child based on their own child's needs/interests/wants...basically, using someone elses "system" for raising their own child.

        I think I would have to agree. I can understand if you want some website to give you the rundown on what is in a movie so that you as a parent can make an educated decision about whether you child should see it or not. However, I wouldn't (and don't
        • I think the OP's point is that this may be used in such a way that the parents don't bother devising their own system for raising their child based on their own child's needs/interests/wants...basically, using someone elses "system" for raising their own child.

          Also known in the USA as "public school".

          Seriously, I've filtered my childrens web browsing through squid since RedHat 7.2 (how long ago is that?). What's with the patent? Usually, restrictions have less to do with inappropriate content, and mor

        • by E++99 (880734)

          I can understand if you want some website to give you the rundown on what is in a movie so that you as a parent can make an educated decision about whether you child should see it or not.

          That would be screenit.com [screenit.com].

          I think the OP's point is that this may be used in such a way that the parents don't bother devising their own system for raising their child based on their own child's needs/interests/wants...basically, using someone elses "system" for raising their own child. ...
          However, I wouldn't (and don't) a

      • by be-fan (61476)
        Right, but there is such a thing as raising a child properly and raising a child badly. We have laws against certain forms of child abuse, but unfortunately other forms are still allowed...
      • by Tribbin (565963)
        Yes indeed.

        If I want to raise my kid from birth to be specialized to safe humanity from the robot-uprising in the not too far future, that is my fair right.
        • by Surt (22457)
          Really, putting humanity in safes is just what the pusher robots want, your child will just be an unwitting pawn. The only way your child can truly help is if you educate them about our protectors, the shover robots.
    • by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:50PM (#20466887) Journal
      Who cringes at stuff like this mostly out of the fact that it will be used against (intentional word choice) children/teenagers to enforce a parent/group's own set of values upon the youngster who might not even share them?

      The alternative? You want the government to raise them?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Colin Smith (2679)
        Why not? Your average "citizen" is perfectly happy to abdicate all their other responsibilities, and therefore freedoms.

         
        • The same could be said about more than the average number of senators, and congressmen and women...
      • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @02:27PM (#20467475)

        Who cringes at stuff like this mostly out of the fact that it will be used against (intentional word choice) children/teenagers to enforce a parent/group's own set of values upon the youngster who might not even share them?
        The alternative? You want the government to raise them?
        Well, we could always use more troops. My SUV ain't gonna fill itself.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Arathon (1002016)
      Completely agree with the previous response. Also, you don't give enough credit to the "children/teenagers", who, if they're intelligent in the first place, will more than likely see through "crazy belief systems".
      • Also, you don't give enough credit to the "children/teenagers", who, if they're intelligent in the first place, will more than likely see through "crazy belief systems".
        And who will be able to figure out how to bypass the restrictive system itself.
    • by Chyeld (713439)
      We've all been brainwashed as youth, as long as we are going to allow free thinking, we are going to have to deal with the results of people going to extremes outside of what we consider acceptable.

      Any argument along the same lines as the one you presented can be boiled down to the same sentiment: "My belief/moral/cultural system is superior to theirs."

      In some cases many would agree with you, in some cases not. Isn't what is currently being discussed simply the same argument that you've presented, only with
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by be-fan (61476)
        "My belief/moral/cultural system is superior to theirs."

        At what point can we say that a certain set of beliefs (not necessarily a whole system, but certain ones) are indeed superior? Stupid ideas in religious have been losing the war ever since the Enlightenment. When can we draw the line on certain things? I mean, for god's sake, even the Pope has excepted evolution, can't we call out people who teach their children otherwise for what they're really doing --- lying blatantly to their children about fundame
        • by Chyeld (713439)
          There are plenty who have done the same, with less intent. My parents happen to teach in a small rural area, the amount of pure, for lack of a better word, "disinformation" provided by some parents to their children is scary. And while this is an example is in a rural area and thus easier to swallow for most here, given stereotypes, the same sort of thing happens everywhere.

          Yes, people who raise their children outside of the 'norm' of culture are typically looked down upon and if these people weren't alread
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by be-fan (61476)
            I'm not advocating government intervention here, but more active social ostracization. Society is far too accepting of these lunatics (as evidenced by the fact that we somehow have 3 presidential candidates who actively spout this nonsense).

            Of all the ways parents fail their children, not teaching them to think has to be one of the worst, yet simultaneously it is one of the most accepted. People are shocked at parents whose emotional abuse of their children leave them emotionally scarred as adults, but are
          • I would agree with you there, but it isn't limited to small, rural areas. We have problems with minority groups in the area not having a concept of law and legal proceedings. Many times, this mistrust of government leads to the racist and conspiracy cards being played. According to local minority leaders, a local politician got thrown into jail due to the racist white conspiracy. I know the local FBI agent that arrested the politician. Most of the crimes of this minority politician involved ripping off the

      • by Brickwall (985910)
        Any argument along the same lines as the one you presented can be boiled down to the same sentiment: "My belief/moral/cultural system is superior to theirs."

        And yet, from my understanding of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, the basic morals are all pretty much the same: don't steal, lie, or cheat your neighbour; don't kill; treat people the way you would like to be treated; take care of your family (parents and children); don't screw around. My understanding of Hindu, Buddhist, and other religions i

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by E++99 (880734)

      Who cringes at stuff like this mostly out of the fact that it will be used against (intentional word choice) children/teenagers to enforce a parent/group's own set of values upon the youngster who might not even share them?

      It's the right and duty of parents to determine the atmosphere most conducive to the development of their children, and moreover to instill values in them. It's not the right or duty of ABC or CNN or Fox or even the Government. Relinquishing the responsibility for your child's environme

  • kdawsonfud (Score:5, Insightful)

    by everphilski (877346) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:46PM (#20466785) Journal
    the patent nowhere mentions a collusion between church and Microsoft. The patent submission suggests several applications, including, "groups of viewers may include a parent-teacher association, a religious-based community, or any other subculture wanting to provide standards and boundaries for program viewing selections.".

    Labeled as kdawsonfud.
    • by Otter (3800)
      And given the apparent obviousness of this invention (unlike most of the nonsensical "Microsoft Patents [some ancient computing feature]!!!" stories here), it's odd that this silly aside about religion is what was chosen to complain about.
  • don't the Christian Scientist have prior art on this?

    • The Church of Scientology [xenu.net] would certainly want this. The Church [xenu.net] already has the Scieno Sitter [wikipedia.org], "a content-control software package created by the Church of Scientology, which, when installed on a computer, blocks certain Web sites critical of Scientology from being viewed." Perhaps, as in the case of the Scieno Sitter [lermanet.com], subscribers of MS COS television wouldn't even have to be told about the censorship program. After all, we wouldn't want people finding out about Xenu [wikipedia.org].
      • Christian Science church != Church of Scientology, they are completely unrelated religious groups.

        Christian Science are a little bit crazy with their faith healing stuff, but are not pathological bullies, liars and cheats out for money like the COS.
  • Over-reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shbazjinkens (776313) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:49PM (#20466847)
    So basically this is NetNanny for TV and it's "censorship?"

    Churches, schools, rec centers, libraries, etc have been applying this kind of technology ever since the internet got popular, I don't see what the big deal is. If you want to watch porn go home, don't do it at your church, right?
    • So basically this is NetNanny for TV and it's "censorship?"

      If it's voluntary I can't see how it could be classed as censorship. Subscribing to a community with content standards is quite a bit different than some community trying to project their standards on the rest of society. Like that group of religious right freaks who bombard the FCC with content complaints.

      If a group or community wants to shield themselves from porn or anything type of content, they should have that right. As long as it's se

    • by jimicus (737525)
      If you want to watch porn go home, don't do it at your church, right?

      Where's the fun in that?
      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        If you want to watch porn go home, don't do it at your church, right?

        Where's the fun in that?

        Hell, I wanna join that church!!!!!!!!!!!

    • So basically this is NetNanny for TV and it's "censorship?"
      You mean Microsoft is applying for a patent for Existing Technology X, only not on the Internet?

      </headexplodes>
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:49PM (#20466853)
    Though I suspect that this patent is probably designed not as a submarine patent or a patent troll, I have to wonder about its validity considering the existence of rating systems and parental controls, as well as technologies such as "flag this post" and "flag this user" which allow community-based censorship of content.

    That said, this type of technology would be immensely useful in DVR devices. Rather than seeing this as a means of restricting your (or your kid's) viewing habits, a rating system that grew to be more appropriate to your particular tastes would mean less time spent channel surfing and more quality time with the boob tube. You would, in an optimal system, only be presented with programs/media that fit your profile which you generate as you watch and rate shows.

    The less time spent in front of the TV the better, I always say (seriously, I say it all the freaking time). If you can get your daily dose of porn in a single block of recorded programming, you all of a sudden stop being fat, lazy American porn-loving slobs, and you become efficient Japanese tentacle fetishists. Or whatever kink you're into.

    Information overload and underload is the biggest problem with media (mass or otherwise) today. What we need are sources of content that give us the right amount of load so we can be satisfied without getting worn out.
    • by kebes (861706)
      I further question the patentability considering that "Internet Accountability Software [google.com]" of various types already exist, such as: x3watch [x3watch.com], accountable2you [accountable2you.com], InternetAccountability.com [internetac...bility.com], etc. (Note: I have never used any of these products and have no affiliation with them.)

      Apparently these systems send reports about internet surfing habits to other members of the community. The idea is to self-censor by willfully allowing another "accountability partner" to see what sites you're viewing. This self-imposed m
      • by rtb61 (674572)
        I actually read though the diagram several times, as a rating system it makes no sense. Get the viewers to watch a program and then rate it to see whether or not the viewers will watch it, I would have thought it kind of defeats the purpose if you had to watch the program to rate it to decide whether or not you would watch it, either that or M$ has just patented http://www.stumbleupon.com/ [stumbleupon.com], go microsofties, the market leaders of patenting already public ideas that have not yet been patented.
  • by stoicfaux (466273) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:50PM (#20466889)

    Content ratings and recommendations is described in which embodiments provide that a viewer can create a rating system that other viewers can then subscribe to which forms a group, or subculture, that collaborates to identify and rate television programs, movies, and other programming choices for the viewers of the group. This adaptive and flexible approach enables individual viewers to discover like-minded subcultures, benefit from a rating system that represents similar viewing choices, and optionally, participate in identifying media content and rating the viewing choices.

    A group of people willingly subscribe to a group that recommends TV shows they would be interested in and blocks those deemed inappropriate/off-topic/irrelevant. It's like Slashdot for TV.

    Is there any chance that Slashdot moderators can apply 'Troll' and 'Deliberately Misleading Flamebait' to article titles and summaries?

    • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:56PM (#20466987)
      Look at which "editor" posted the "story": KDawson. Mr. Dawson has become the Poster Child for misleading Slashdot headlines and summaries. I'm as anti-Microsoft as the next reasonably sane guy, but Dawson's editing generally has little relationship to the actual story.
      • by Arathon (1002016)
        Agreed. =P That's THE most ridiculous headline I've ever seen on a Slashdot article. #1. Unbelievable.
    • by stoicfaux (466273)
      To answer my own question: you can tag the article with 'misleadingheadline'. Type in 'misleading' and you will get a dropdown list of 'misleading*' tags. Although I'm curious as the difference between 'misleadingheadline' and 'misleadingtitle'. Can we tag a tag as redundant? =)
    • It's like Slashdot for TV.

      You just found some prior art as well!

      Is there any chance that Slashdot moderators can apply 'Troll' and 'Deliberately Misleading Flamebait' to article titles and summaries?

      Slashdot editors clearly want flamebait. Look at the number of irrelevant religion related stories (see "Will the Pope declare Google evil?", for example, with yet another misleading title), when they know perfectly that the typical Slashdotter will argue passionately about religion from a position of total ig

  • by grassy_knoll (412409) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:52PM (#20466913) Homepage
    As in, could one use this to block all religious programing? Or all $FOO that the viewer doesn't want to watch?

    If so, and it's controlled by the viewer... problem?

    A switch to block $naughty_things ( cancel or allow? ) doesn't seem as useful, but if it's user controled content filtering it might be ok.
    • by nospam007 (722110)
      As in, could one use this to block all religious programing? Or all $FOO that the viewer doesn't want to watch?

      If so, and it's controlled by the viewer... problem?

      --
      Could it censor on content?
      I have relatives who'd want any reptiles or spider scenes repelled no matter if it's in movies, news or soaps.

      That would be worth a fortune with all the phobics I know.
      • Could it censor on content?
        I have relatives who'd want any reptiles or spider scenes repelled no matter if it's in movies, news or soaps.

        That would be worth a fortune with all the phobics I know.

        Sounds like you're onto something!

        Think of the possibilities of dynamically altering incoming video:

        • Bush's head gets horns and flaming eyes.
        • Hillary's head replaced with an overweight bucktoothed medusa.
        • Crotch shots of Paris Hilton overlaid with the 'Easy Button'[1].

        Yes, I'm being a bit silly... but does sound like f

    • by calciphus (968890)
      Did you even bother to RTFA? That's exactly what it's for.

      Here's a more useful article summary, from someone who's hatred of Microsoft doesn't get in the way of appreciating a cool new technology:
      A user (read: anyone) defines a set of rating guidelines, and anyone else can subscribe to that rating system, and then selectively filter their content based on how it scores on said rating system. It can also IGNORE the "default" rating system imposed by the MPAA.

      Despite this editor's Anti-MS vitriol, this is act
    • by PPH (736903)
      I don't think this will work in reverse as well as you would wish. Filtering systems depend on tagging the content to identify the various types of 'undesirable' content one wishes to block. The user can set their filtering rules based on these tags. How are you going to convince the Evangelical Christians (for example) to support tag types that could be used to block their produced content?

      While you are figuring this out, maybe you can find out how the NFL managed to get an exemption on V-Chip blocking of

  • by dazedNconfuzed (154242) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @01:52PM (#20466925)
    Ya know, some people would like a little more information about what a movie contains so they can make a rational* choice about what they choose to watch - and there's nothing wrong with that, nor with getting a little technical help from the publishers etc.

    * - just because YOU don't agree with their reasoning doesn't make it wrong.
    • by tygt (792974)
      > * - just because YOU don't agree with their reasoning doesn't make it wrong.

      Yes, but you did mention "rational", and given the submission's title.......

      However, TFA as others have pointed out doesn't live up to the hype of the title of the posting.

  • Sounds like this is going to be little more than a V-Chip, which is prior art and already mandated in all PCs currently made, IIRC...
    • by l4m3z0r (799504)
      s/PC/TV/ and you are correct. Still I think they are patenting a new use for the V-Chip. The V-Chip itself allows you to block programs deemed too violent, too sexy, too whatever but it doesn't combine a group think dynamic to it where you say I would like to get all the blocked settings that the Catholics are using also combine that with the stuff that my neighbors block.
    • by jabberw0k (62554)
      I understand new televisions come with a V-Chip but I've never seen one in action.

      Can you program it for a minimum level of sex and violence? I only want to see things at least R rated...

      Or - With the new process, will we see, "This program has been approved by the Catholic Church but banned by the Episcopalians" ...?
  • I always knew... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jd (1658)
    Microsoft was a religion and that Bill Gates was its God.

    Seriously, it must be obvious to everyone why Microsoft is pulling this. We have an American election in which the right-wing conservatives have been "amiable" to Microsoft's continued monopoly and dubious practices (such as buying out standards bodies). It is in Microsoft's interests at exactly this time to be seen to be "friendly" to those same right-wing conservatives and to win support from the very power-base the politicians are relying on. The

    • by Arathon (1002016)
      Are you serious? I know I shouldn't be feeding a troll, but...goodness sakes, man! That doesn't even make any sense as a self-contained argument, much less when applied to reality. I mean, I totally agree that Microsoft couldn't care less about religious groups, etc., but...colluding with a right-wing government? This is Microsoft, for crying out loud! They're based in Washington State, and if you know anything about Microsoft's politics, or the politics of their employees (a generalization, I know, bu
    • That OLPC will need to sell in the US


      Why?
    • Wow, _somebody_ learned to hide their meds under their tongue when the nice orderly comes by every morning.
    • Microsoft was a religion and that Bill Gates was its God.

      I tithed my 640k this month, did you? :)

      (I kid, I kid, although I did buy a Vista laptop this weekend)
    • by RexRhino (769423)
      Look, I know that you don't like "conservatives", and you don't like Microsoft... but really, get a grip. There is no connection between the two. Microsoft is located in the heart of a "blue state", has supported progressive policies like same-sex partner benifits even when doing so put them under fire from conservatives, and Bill Gates donates billions to groups that promote abortion rights, birth control, and family planning.
  • ...which describes how religious-based communities and other 'subcultures' can use the patent-pending process to prevent their members from viewing undesirable television programs and movies."


    That wouldn't have anything to do with the Fox Blocker I read about off Daily Kos [timblair.net] now would it?

  • It's plain as day.

    MS's only real money makers are Windows & Office, so they're trying to diversify the L. Ron Hubbard way and are preparing to start their own religion. That's where the real money is.

  • The most important sub culture for MSFT is that group of CIOs and CTOs of big corporations who should not hear about ODF, vendor-lock, upgrade-treadmill, defects in OOXML spec and other such nefarious and deleterious concepts. They all should get a carefully constructed message from their local MSFT sales manager. That is the most important subculture MSFT is talking about.

    Aum MSFT! Aum MSFT!! Aum MSFT!!!

    Become... one... with... MSFT!!!

    Aum Nirvana.

    Aum Shantih Shantih Shantihhiii

  • Brilliant ! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Now you have a rating of a television program after it aired. That is going to be usefull.

    If you ask me this is just an elaborate excuse for hypocritical pervs watching porn.
    "I'm not a porn watching pervert, I was just rating it."
  • big deal, they are trying to patent a rating system where an identified user can join a rating list to filter shows/news/etc. BFD, rating systems already exist and this rating system within a rating system shouldn't even be patentable. Besides, isn't Tivo already doing this with their Recommended Lineup thing? It's not blocking shows but instead providing shows which others also liked/watched. Not patentable due to prior art. IMO.

    LoB
     
  • Just turn it off. Heck, unplug it. Snip the cable. Flip the breaker.

    Sell your TV, and read a book.
  • The FCC (in addition to other functions) does a lot of censoring to protect society from rogue nipples and people who swear on the basis that everyone has access to television and therefore television shouldn't offend the sensibilities of anyone at all. Well, let's say you're deeply offended by boobies and monk seals. You join a ratings block of like minded folks who also are offended by boobies and monk seals. I, who happen to adore those things but am deeply offended by Jerry Lewis, join a block that refl
  • It's been done. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Irvu (248207) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @02:28PM (#20467505)
    This is essentially how most if not all censorship or group filtration has been accomplished. Noteably the National Legion of Decency [wikipedia.org] used this method to review and filter movies for their participants with a selected subset of their members (usually the priests) viewing films and then delivering a content rating to their remaining members via the pulpit often along the lines of "You'll go to hell if you see Mae West!" This became the basis of the existing MPAA ratings which use a selected set of individuals to rate a film for others and in some cases (e.g. X ratings) censor it from widespread public view.

    This is also how other churches have censored things for years, how school boards go about banning books, how large political organizations censor materials, etc.

    Basically Microsoft is trying to patent censorship as it has been practiced for centuries.

    How exactly do you cite the Spanish Inquisition as prior art?
  • Now the crazy parents who don't keep track of their children can use this instead of parenting. ...And they can stop trying to pass legislation to restrict MY television viewing.
    • by PortHaven (242123)
      Exactly, allow people to be able to utilize personal censorship and you won't need legislation to censure the entire glutt of TV. ;-)

      "Personal Censorship" = a very good thing
  • how religious-based communities and other 'subcultures' can use the patent-pending process to prevent their members from viewing undesirable television programs

    And here I was hoping to see how a church could enlist the help of the USPTO by submitting a carefully crafted patent that, by its nature, made it illegal for church members to watch the undesirable shows.

  • In sociological terms, a subculture is just a subset of a larger culture with its own tailored set of values. For instance, geeks have own our subculture. We're part of where we live, but have our own values and way of speaking and criteria for membership. Certain occupations, such as police, have a subculture. You can also fairly say that a religious group has their own without having to qualify it with irony quotes.

  • by PortHaven (242123) on Tuesday September 04, 2007 @03:20PM (#20468261) Homepage
    So what if I as a parent want to subscribe to a viewing community that helps me screen out certain content that I as a parent deem inappropriate. For a site that often exclaims the personal right to choose Slashdot's article posting seems to be on the wrong side of the fence on this one.

    First off, with the rate of new show turnover these days combined with the number of channels and shows on TV. There is no way a parent could preview ALL the programming without it being a full time job. So anything that makes that task easier is a plus for caring parents.

    Second...shows change. I've been watching Smallville over the years. The early seasons I'd consider a family friendly show. Perhaps a bit flirtatious but nothing too out of bounds. A couple of seasons back Smallville decided to take a turn toward a more adult tack. For example, the Smallville Halloween scene insinuates female vampires biting off a guy's penis and drinking his blood. That might be a fine scene for your children. But I'd rather not have my children watch such a scene. A content rating like the one proposed above could allow people to be alerted to when a show or even a particular episode goes down a track that might not be what you want your 7 yr old watching.

    Lastly, we're talking personal screening. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH AN INDIVIDUAL CHOOSING TO CENSOR WHAT THEY OR THEIR CHILDREN WATCH.

    "Government Censorship" = evil.
    "Personal Censorship" = freedom.

    Somewhere along the way we have seemed to confused the two. Look, politics and political views aside. Taking away personal censorship and forcing people to accept content is an extremely bad thing. You have to look at such laws and concepts from an either or view. You may think these parents are wrong for wanting to censor certain content and that they should not be able to edit said content or even avoid it. But I am sure you'd hate the reverse. How many of the people ranting against this personal censorship have the "Foxnews" channel skipped/blocked out of their channel listings? Would it be right if someone told you that you could not choose to do so?

    Come on folks...can we have liberty before politics!!!!

    Slashdot can we have "News for Nerds" without the political slants. Otherwise, we should consider changing the name to "Slantdot". Which would be a crying shame. I love Slashdot because it's filled with geek news instead of the constant glutt of political news. I don't mind if an issue is inherently political (ie: politics and Diebold voting machines). But I am tired of submissions which have to twist 359 degrees in order to turn the topic into something political.

    *blech*

    - Saj
  • "Choice" is (or was, anyway) an important theme in Christian religions; you choose the faith, to follow the teachings, etc. I've read a number of comments here that seem to make the assumption that this technology would be applied to childrens television viewing habits, but from what I've seen of the current state of Christianity, church leaders would seek to apply it to everyone, adult and child alike, essentially removing the element of choice from their lives -- which seems to be a more and more common t
  • I understand the Libertarian -- anti-regulation bent here. Perhaps there is an assumption, since most people here are reasonably well educated, that we can actually just let people "make up their minds." I'm sure that, if it's only a small minority of folks who have chosen to shut out the real world and only watch what Pat Robertson wants them to watch -- it's all personal choice.

    But we are fast approaching a test-taking, brain dead society. Sure there are smart enough people to hire and do work -- but how

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