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Censorship: Internet Filtering

Documentation of Internet Filtering Worldwide, a project of the OpenNet Initiative, is seeking to document and analyze Web pages that have been blocked by, for example, countries wanting to restrict access to information for their citizens, or businesses that wish to disallow viewing leisure sites on company time.

"With this project we seek to document and analyze a large number of Web pages blocked by various types of filtering regimes, and ultimately create a distributed tool enabling Internet users worldwide to gather and relay such data from their respective locations on the Internet. We can thus start to assemble a picture not of a single hypothetical World Wide Web comprising all pages currently served upon it, but rather a mosaic of webs as viewed from respective locations, each bearing its own limitations on access. As various countries, companies and other entities employ or consider employing filtering software, documentation of the specific details, successes, and in some instances flaws of existing filtering efforts may prove helpful. (See European Union Internet Action Plan - Filtering & Rating, among other entities considering filtering.)"

Here comes everybody

Clay Shirky gave a talk last month (click on the image to get to the video) at the Berkman Center for internet and Society covering some of the ideas from his incredible new book Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations. The focus of the talk is Shirky's notions about the enabling power of the Web and along the way he has a lot of interesting things to say about sharing, conversation, collaboration and collective action. There's a lot of power in sharing and Shirky points to several interesting examples of that power.

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations (Event Video/Audio)

Doris Lessing Blames Internet for Decline in Reading

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:

In the speech she [Doris Lessing] prepared to accept this year’s Nobel Prize in Literature, she describes regularly visiting rich schools and even universities where she is told that some students don’t read books at all, and that the library is half-used.

“We are in a fragmenting culture,” she wrote, “where our certainties of even a few decades ago are questioned and where it is common for young men and women who have had years of education to know nothing about the world, to have read nothing, knowing only some speciality or other, for instance, computers.”

She goes on to lay the blame on the Internet, which she said “has seduced a whole generation into its inanities so that even quite reasonable people will confess that once they are hooked, it is hard to cut free, and they may find a whole day has passed in blogging and blugging etc.”

Be sure to read the comments after the article as well.

Lessing's full speech, courtesy of Guardian Unlimited.

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