Censorship – Society’s Black Hole

Censorship is a prickly issue at the best of times as we all have different ideas about what we should be allowed to access. It seems as though what I describe as “techno censorship” may be entering our society and possibly not for the better.

Guns, both a technological masterpiece and one of the most destructive things we have ever created, definitely requires regulation of some degree. I think many of us want to see as few guns in general society as possible but would hope that anyone who does own a gun is of sound age and mind, is fully versed and trained in the operational aspects so they have minimised their risk to others and themselves. In Australia this strict “censorship” we have in regards to firearms is one where those in power have got it right.

Another technology which most of us use regularly, usually for a large part of our lives, are motor vehicles. There are also strict rules about what we must do to qualify to operate any motor vehicle, then what we must do to maintain that licence as well as what we can and can’t do while “behind the wheel”. Most of us operate our vehicles in safe manner a majority of the time and would agree that the best training is being exposed to all conditions as a learner and probationary licence holder. Thus recent calls by many in power and interest groups to limit passenger numbers and impose night curfews on the more inexperienced drivers seem ludicrous as these restrictions would only hinder their learning. I think these same people forget that most drivers sensibly pass through this phase of their driving experience without real incident and are better for the experience of being exposed to all conditions. Instead of knee-jerk reactions which punish the overwhelming majority and obstruct everybody’s learning, why not improve the way we train new drivers.

With all forms of technology we as a society always want to resort to making ever more rules to “censor” the use of that technology every time an issue arises. However if we paused to think for a minute we would realise that often we already have the appropriate rules in place and are ultimately reducing the enjoyment for the responsible majority of the many wonders we have created.