Thought Provocations

Four Day. Safely (?) returned from a motor to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill for provisions and staffage. Survival. And a bit of epiphany?

One of the biggest academic problems of our age is finding a way to effectively do science outreach to apathetic Bogs. Not that there isn’t a lot of outreach by academics and the get a lot of mana points for it, at least internally, but their effectiveless is not very good. Briefly, it’s a Double Sturgeon (as in Rule) because its 99% ineffective (crap.) 

But yesterday in transit I came up with a way to make science outreach effective in larnin’ apathetic bogs. All that is necessary is to broadcast it and tell the Bogs that it is “Reality TV.” And they will watch and gossip about it. 

And the amusing thing is that it really is reality.

On a similar azimuth, a member of the Alibam Council of Thieves from Vestavia Hills has introduced a bill in the legislature to make selling a cellular telephone or “internet reading device” without a porn blocker illegal.[Link] And any adult who wants to disable the blocker has to register and pay a fee.

I am assuming an “internet reading device” is a slablet? 

Anyway, this grabbed my attention span when I heard about this on the local “news” broadcast out of Nawth Alibam’s …

First of all, I understand one of those legal rights organizations is already talking about litigating this as unconstitutional. May be, but what it came across to me is an example of how ignorant Alibam (All?) politicians are when it comes to science and technology. And maybe business, which they pride themselves in prostituting themselves to.

So let’s explore this bill. This member of the CoT wants all cellular telephones and slablets (?) sold in Alibam to have an unremovable addition to the software that blocks “porn” sites. No indication of how they’re going to define porn sites so someone is going to have to come up with a list of such, keep it current, and distribute it. 

Let’s also mention that Alibam is less than 1% of the National cellular marketplace. Definitely not a demographic heavyweight. 

So do we expect Gooey or Fruit (or any of the other cellular OS companies) to modify their OS? Chances zero to minus one. IMHO.

So they can pay a third party to hack the OS and add the capability? Chances similar.

At this point we have to ask what are the chances the CSP will just quit selling phones and slablets in Alibam. Pretty fair. 

Chances that each CSP will have a blocking client added to their devices? Pretty fair. Chances that extra-Alibam retailers will do so. Zero.

I should comment here that this brain trust of one from Vestavia Hills seems to think that everyone in Alibam gets his/her from a CSP. So he/she hasn’t thought about those folks who buy their phones over the Internet – unlocked or otherwise.

I should also probably mention that we have lots of people who live near an edge of Alibam who go across the edge to buy lottery tickets. I hope the connection is obvious?

OK, so let’s assume that somehow the CSPs in Alibam get a blocking capability in their phones. What happens next?

  • The Bogs are going to get in their motorcars and drive across the state line. Or go on Amazon. If they have a Geek friend. Or a child above the age of ten or so.
  • The Geeks are going to install Opera (browser) and engage the VPN. Blocker shortcircuited. This solution will also be done by the kids withing a day, probably an hour.
  • The nerds are going to root their phones and disable the blocker. And maybe install a different OS that doesn’t have blocker capability.  Or cobble an app that goes around the blocker. 

This may sound bad, but let’s think about the good side of this. It’s a form of outreach. It will incentivize people in Alibam, especially the kids, to learn how to hack a cellular or slablet. So the benefit of this law will be to increase the education level of Alibam citizens. 

I might also mention that the Yankee Congress is also encouraging this behavior with their idea of letting CSPs and ISPs sell customer data to all comers.

And who says Politicians aren’t helping their constituency? Maybe backwardsly and stupidly, but definitely helping. At least here in Alibam.