Ministry of Propaganda

Ministry of Propaganda - 29/Jan/2005: "Back to Blogging"

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Back to Blogging

Having cleaned the flat and passed the property check (I'm renting and the letting agent comes around for a property check every four months) as well as completed my tax return (yes, I know I left it quite late) I now have time for some blogging again. Let's see what I can find in my bookmarks to blog about:

Isle of Jura

A few days ago I mentioned the WalkIslay walking week. One of the walks will be on neighbouring Jura. During the walk on Jura last year Mike Richardson mentioned the importance of local services including a good health service for the local community to survive. After the last doctor retired the Argyll and Clyde Health Board had problems filling the post. Then the islanders took matters into their own hands and it looks like they were very successful. And there's more happening from the community: I'm not sure when it went live, but there is a very nice new Isle of Jura website by The Feolin Centre. Lots of information and pictures, well worth a visit. And for literature buffs, Jura is where George Orwell wrote 1984 at Barnhill.

Glasgow Science Tower

Somehow that thing seems to be jinxed. I still haven't been on it, mainly because it was usually closed for repairs whenever I was in Glasgow. It is open now (well, at least it was until now), but it is in the news again. This time the lift got stuck 45 metres off the ground. Apparently the occupants are well and are asking for the football scores.

And I still intend to visit it and take the lift to the top, should the opportunity arise.

Blog Scaremongering

Apparently blogs are heaven for paedophiles. Without any specific examples about actual events a forensic psychologist develops various scenarios how paedophiles could potentially use blogs. To me this sounds like scaremongering. Blogs are in the news a lot at the moment but most people don't really know what blogs are, so lets construct a few scary scenarios. Gives a few nice headlines and allows politicians to show some activity without addressing the real problem.

Kids could upload pictures to a moblog allowing paedophiles to build up a picture of the child's everyday life, which would allow "grooming" without contacting the child. And they could be informed immediately through the RSS feed what the child does, even leading to abductions. Yes, could happen, at least theoretically. Still sounds far fetched to me. Let's assume the paedophile finds a child blogging within reasonable distance (What's the point if the paedophile sits in New York but the child in London?). And then? From what I read about the topic so far "grooming" means gaining the trust of a child and arranging a meeting. How is that supposed to happen without contacting the child? To me the link to blogging is a very weak one, if any.

She described a scenario where a group of paedophiles could exchange information on a child's movement, potentially leading to an abduction. Now what does that have to do with blogging, or even the internet? So the paedophile sits at home and waits for the child to post to the blog where it is? Or the paedophile ring blogs about where the child is? That sounds rather complex to me, apart from the possibility that the child could have moved on by the time the abductors arrive after reading their blog. Just using a (mobile) phone to communicate seems a bit easier to me (and probably leaves fewer, if any, traces).

So some law will come out making it illegal for paedophiles to read blogs by children. And probably children will mostly ignore the warnings they are likely to receive in some awareness campaign. But the real problem hasn't been addressed: That there are paedophiles out there, who need to be identified and need help to be stopped. Some symptoms and weak links are being doctored around with, but the sick people out there aren't cured.

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