Now, I don’t have kids, but some day I will, and like all of us I’ve certainly been a kid. But the Internet and Security, these things I DO know well, both personally and professionally, and it is from the perspective that I have a lot to say in response to this. After awhile I started writing down some of my reactions to the fearmongering articles. Upon noticing that I had paragraph after paragraph to share on these items, I’ve decided to turn my notes into my first topic on this blog. I hope my series can help dispel some of the FUD about the Internet, and help focus those concerned on real problems and real solutions. Please feel free to comment and/or ask questions, which will help me tune my level of detail and presentation.
Today’s article regards teens beating each other up and putting it on youtube. (I’m not going to summarize these articles; please click through and read them on your own.)
Is it indeed, as Aftab claims, just that these children are simply looking for their 15MB of fame? Is the Internet suddenly motivating kids to do things that kids haven’t been doing for ages? The fact of the matter is, teens AND adults have been fighting since before they were recognizable as humans (or, if you don’t believe in evolution, you’ve seen West Side Story, right?). The gang-up is much more common than the even battle, and probably conferred reproductive advantage on the individuals following the tactic, thus encouraging it to persist, both as a biological drive and a social meme. The taping and the fame is NOT why these beatings are happening, that is simply ridiculous.
I happen to be pleased that in modern days these violent crimes are photographed and taped for an increasingly wide audience, because it makes it much easier to catch everyone involved than when it’s just one person’s word against another. We’re actually more capable of addressing these issues and serving justice upon them now. If there’s any fear to be generated to kids about the Internet here, it should be the fear of getting most thoroughly caught and punished!
What of the problem of the violence? When I was a kid, when a kid was getting bullied, their parents enrolled them in self defense, and bought them mace. If there was an actual life-threatening danger, the cops were brought in. Since moving to large societies, we have developed all sorts of tournaments, competitions of mind and body and tactics in an official capacity, with fame AND prize money to the victor. It is the job of parents to redirect those violent and competitive impulses, which are completely natural, to such arenas. It is the job of parents to empower their children, to help them overcome fear and adversity, not to save them from it. Teenagers need to differentiate themselves from their parents, to have opportunities and guidance for developing their forebrain which is at this time going through a violent pruning and restructuring. The do not need to be pulled back under the protective apron, they need to learn independent problem-solving, coping, and life skills. Pulling your kid out of school because they’ve been bullied is not giving them coping skills for later in life when they’re bullied again, it’s teaching them to run and hide and live in fear, and it’s teaching them to be a victim.]]>
a) Can it (the sidebar) basically be mirrored over to the right?
b) How much work would this involve for, say, you?
c) Can you do it?
d) How long would it take / what kind of bribe would I need to offer you?
e) The author claims it’s kinda weak under the hood. Do you know of something with a similar feel that’s better built under the kimono?
The ideal solution will come in the form of you telling me “go to this file and where it says:
BLAH FOO BLAH MOSH
replace it with
BLAH BAR.FOO.dance-magic-dance MOSH
Also okay would be “install this other theme (link)”.
Chief Seattle, of the Indians that inhabited the Seattle area, wrote a wonderful paper that has to do with putting oneself in tune with the universe. He said, “Why should I lament the disappearance of my people! All things end, and the white man will find this out also.” And this goes for the universe. One can be at peace with that. This doesn’t mean that one shouldn’t participate in efforts to correct the situation. But underlying the effort to change must be an “at peace.” To win a dog sled race is great. To lose is okay too. - Joseph Campbell]]>