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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  October 1996, Week 4

COMMUNET October 1996, Week 4

Subject:

Re: Dynamics of List

From:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 23 Oct 1996 18:17:18 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (102 lines)

Talk to the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh about offering free e-mail.  They
have done it, and they have some good and bad experience with it.  Also see
below.

At 01:43 PM 10/23/96 -0700, you wrote:
>On Wed, 23 Oct 1996 [log in to unmask] wrote:
>
>>         Some of your questions are beyond my experience, but I'd offer a few
>> responses below for your consideration.
>> 
>>         You might try talking with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh about
>> they handle this with respect to websites on their FreeNet.  Quite a number
>> of local community based organizations have taken advantage of the FreeNet
>> offer of free web space.  Dan Iddings, who runs this whole thing can be
>
>Thanks so much. I guess the issue for us is not so much looking to
>superior wisdom on how to run a system. We're doing that rather well,
>I think. And the fact is, we're one of three public libraries I know who
>have tackled this in the way we have. There are any number that have
>forged some sort of alliance with the local free-net. Basically, the
>approach has been, "We'll give you space in a corner. You handle it and
>we'll make a link to you." I know personally of several libraries in this
>category (seattle and vancouver, BC are close to me). That's all well and
>proper. I understand why they did that. But they are not going to be able
>to help me deal with some of these issues because they are in a
>fundamentally different position than we are in. 
>
>We were originally a dues-paying Free-Net(tm) but at the time I had this
>awful feeling that if we called ourselves a Free-Net(tm) we'd wind up
>fighting over trademark infringement when nptn finally lost it. So we
>quite consciously called ourselves a variation just to avoid that problem.
>(Also, no one could come up with anything better). But because of the lack
>of support we expected from nptn (NOT that we SHOULD have expected it,
>mind you. I'm not blaming nptn) we "rolled our own" and created this thing
>out of the dirt of the net with scripts and freeware.
>
>You did express belief that as someone who *does* pay the bills you would
>be opposed to any curtailment of net activities. I think this is kind of a
>crucial point in community nets because it's exactly what the local
>community does not want to hear.  Forgive me, because my personal
>sentiments are close to yours, but around here, if you're from New York
>(or Philly) get a rope.

        I'm originally from New Jersey.  That may be just as bad in some
people's eyes!

>You do not pay the bills, even a little. The local
>folks do, and they want to set their own community standards, not adopt
>someone else's opinion.

        Fundamentally I see this matter as a classic civil liberties
problem.  Most of those who want to restrict the flow of information and
communication would be hard pressed to demonstrate such compelling public
interest or public safety risk that it would justify abridging free speech
or the free access to that speech, I imagine.  And if they don't agree, then
that'll have to be decided in the courts in many cases.  A Revolutionary War
was fought successfully against that sort of tyranny, as I recall.  *Setting
community standards* often turns into *burning witches at the stake*, if
we're not eternally vigilant, I believe.   

I'll give you an example close to home. I painted
>my house this summer: blue (I mean to say: BLUE!!!) with purple trim. It's
>beautiful, thank you very much, and lives in a sea of beige and grey. So
>the very next day my neighbor put his house up for sale, loudly
>proclaiming hatred at my decison.      
>
>That is an example of "community standards." And this is what local
>community networks need to deal with, forging LOCAL consensus while being
>vigilant for those who would curtail everyone's freedoms.

        There's an essential difference, here, though:  when you paint your
house people MUST look at it.  When information, pictures, arguments, and
bad words are aired on the Internet (just as when they're aired on TV, e.g.)
people DON"T have to look at that, if they don't want to.  And there some
fairly well developed protection devices for parents who want to shelter
children from information (which in some cases of young children,
especially, I can certainly understand.)  What the *community standards*
crowd is very often selling besides, however, is that they don't want you or
anyone else to look at that information, either.  And that's just plain
wrong in my view.     

                Regards,    Dave Farley.
>
>I do have one question for the list in general. If you know of any
>libraries offering free e-mail to the public, I'd appreciate knowing about
>them. I know of three, including us. But in my speeches and columns I
>don't want to miss someone out there just because I haven't heard of them. 
>
>
>      o o o o o o o . . .   _~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\_ _/~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~\_
>    o      _____            |   Kitsap Regional    | |   LinkNet Support  |
>  .][__n_n_|DD[  ====_____  |      Library         | |   'least we try!   |
> >(________|__|_[_________]_|______________________|_|____________________|_
> _/oo OOOOO oo`  ooo   ooo  'o^o^o            o^o^o` 'o^o              o^o`
>============================================================================
>Support: (360) 405-9131 Fax:(360) 405-9128 [log in to unmask]
>Michael Schuyler:     Voice:(360) 405-9139 [log in to unmask]
>
>
>

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