katiefoolery: (Failboat!)
So it turns out I'm an internet libertarian, engaging in dangerous "radical individualism", according to this blog.

This is news to me.

I thought I was actually someone to whom the idea of goverment censorship is distateful, appalling and actually just a little bit terrifying.

I thought I was someone who believed she lived in Australia, a reasonably open-minded, intelligent country, not behind the great firewall of China.

I thought I was someone who was allowed to make her own decisions about what she does with her life, rather than leaving that up to the government.

But no - I'm an internet libertarian. I'm expressing attitudes of radical individualism (gods damn me for wanting to be an individual! Why can't I just be a mindless clone instead?). I'm an awful, awful person who endorses child pornography and who knows what else. It's a wonder I can even live with myself. You must all be wondering how I can even sleep at night, considering how depraved and heartless I am.

And why? Because I don't want my government to apply a mandatory filter to my internet use. Hell, I wouldn't even want an optional one, but a mandatory one is just disgusting. It's like having your parents come and watch over your shoulder while you use your computer. It's like feeling guilty for doing something* completely innocent on the internet because, you know, you could be looking at porn. We've heard it's out there. It's CENSORSHIP under the guise of protecting children from the horrible things out there on the internet.

I have this crazy belief that most children actually don't need to be protected from the internet by the government because they live with people who are perfectly capable of doing that themselves. They live with people who can monitor their internet use. They live with people who can buy their own filters and install them on their own computers.

But no.

Instead, we have a government that's determined to do something; to pretend they're terribly net-savvy and aware and can have MySpace and Facebook pages and probably Twitter as well** and isn't that cool? Aren't we doing a fantastic job of keeping up with these young people and their high-tech ways? But wait... all these "working families" who voted for us in the election probaby have kids... and they need protecting from all this horrible porn... so maybe we should take all this new-found techy knowledge of ours and CENSOR THE SHIT OUT OF THE INTERNET create a protective net around undesirable content.

Because then we'll look like we're doing something. Being proactive. Protecting the children.

It won't become personal at all. Goodness, no. Look - other countries have the same optional compulsory filters on their internet, too! No, seriously. Completely compulsory.

Never mind that anyone can access a non-Australian proxy and bypass a filter.

Never mind that the filter has been proven to block innocent sites while letting wave after wave of porn and "undesirable" sites through.

Never mind that it can reduce the speed of your internet by up to 87%.

Ah, but I'm just being melodramatic and alarmist, according to this Clive Hamilton. This university Ethics professor - presumably a reasonably educated man - seems to think that a mandatory filter is the same as film censorship: "In the libertarian world where individual rights overrule social responsibilities we would have no film censor and kids could go to the cinema to watch whatever they liked". Apparently, rating films as acceptable for certain ages is the same as imposing a mandatory internet filter on everybody, regardless of age. It's not a case of saying, "Right - you're under eighteen, so you can't see this film and that, incidentally, is the worst fake ID I've ever seen in my entire life". No. It's a case of saying, "Well, we're the government and we don't think you should see this film at all. Or this one. Or... oh my god, no. Why? Well, sure, you might be over eighteen and quite capable of making your own decisions but we wouldn't let a ten year old see these films. So neither can you."

Remember a little while back, when NetAlert was introduced? A convenient, free filter that anyone could install to protect their children from things they shouldn't see? Or maybe you don't, because it was eventually discontinued. And why? According to Communications Minister Stephen Conroy it was because it represented an incredible policy failure and attracted "extraordinarily small usage".

A free filter attracted "extraordinarily small usage".

Suddenly, that explains why they're so keen on a mandatory one.

I believe that children should be protected when they're on the internet. I believe they shouldn't be exploited or abused. But I don't believe it's within my government's responsibility or godsdamned mandate to take control of that. Provide advice, yes. Provide optional filters, yes. Educate parents and carers, yes. Please, do all of that.

Just don't treat all of us like children.

* Only careful proof-reading allowed me to avoid leaving in the terribly Freudian "doing someone" I accidentally typed here...

** Turns out I was right about Twitter, too. Well, when it comes to the opposition, at least.
katiefoolery: (My country)
I am writing to you from my new place of abode, thanks to my mobile internet which works. Although, admittedly, sometimes the software likes to pretend the modem doesn’t exist, forcing me to connect through the network centre... but we get there in the end. And the dear little modem/router that usually deals with our ADSL is very generously giving me local and internet access via the home network, although I have no idea how it’s planning on making good on the internet component of that promise.

Things, in short, are going suspiciously well. Here’s how the tally stands:

Boxes: 0 Me: 1
Furniture: 0 Me: 1
Internet: 0 Me: 1

With no defeats yet suffered, I think I can call that a victory without being premature or anything. The place feels like a home already. Just this morning, I was sitting at the table, eating my breakfast and reading the paper. If that’s not civilised, then I don't know what is. (Yes, I may no longer be living across the road from a supermarket, but I am living around the corner from a milkbar and newsagent, which is almost as good.)

There will be photos. I keep running into hurdles with them at the moment. Firstly, I forgot that I needed to run a virus check on the camera I brought home from work... so that’s not going anywhere near my computer, despite the fact that I took a whole bunch of photos on it. Secondly, I took another set of photos with my own camera... until it ran out of battery. And thirdly, I don’t actually have any graphics programmes on my laptop, so I can’t re-size and fix the photos without first running my old desktop and getting some replacement batteries for the camera.

But the photos will come in time.

Pickle has settled in just as quickly, although she did throw a hissy fit when she discovered the lack of window-sills. The ones in the old house were perfect for a cat to sit on and watch the world outside. Not so with these ones. At present, she’s half on a window-sill and half on the couch. No, I tell a lie, now she's sitting on the frame... which can’t be comfortable at all.

And I’m sure I’ll get used to this strange silence eventually. It’s quite a novelty to be hearing bird sounds instead of six lanes of traffic, including bonus buses.

Oh, and the sound of rain falling on a tin roof takes me right back to my childhood. ’Tis lovely. :D
katiefoolery: (Goku is uncertain)
I need to write exactly two thousand, two hundred and ninety-seven words in the next few days if I hope to meet my November target of ten thousand words.  And you know what?  I can do that.  Easily.  Tonight, in fact, if I actually get my act together.

Of course, it’s entirely likely that I’ll forget this intention to write and instead spend the evening reading fanfic, messing about on messageboards and writing pointless lists of stuff.  But I shall do my best not to let that happen.  Well, much.

Besides, the pointless lists will be about writing, so they practically count towards my word count, don’t they?

*looks hopeful*

I really do need to make a list of these stories in my head, otherwise I’ll lose track of them.  And maybe if I write them down, that will keep them separate and they’ll stop bumping into each other and making new little baby stories to add to the litter.  I’m only one person!  I can only write so much.  And that procrastinating takes a huge chunk out of my time, too.

In non-writing news, I’m finding myself increasingly alienated from this person who used to be “Buneater”.  It’s quite a bizarre sensation, considering that’s who I’ve been pretty much since I first set foot on the ’net.  But she seems to belong in the past and she keeps pulling away from me, looking askance at who I am now and raising a disdainful eyebrow at the stories that come into my head these days.  And it’s OK with me, because I don’t really feel like “Buneater” any more.  I think I’m almost ready to start saying my goodbyes to her and move onto something new.  ’Cause there's a great deal of fun stuff in my life that isn’t related to Bunliness at all.  Yes indeed.

Mind you, there’s still a fair bit that is attached to Bunliness, but I can cope with that.  Being introduced to people’s friends and family as “Bunne” is quite a unique experience, really.

But I’d be interested to know if anyone else has done what I seem to be doing: switching one internet identity for the other.  Is it always such a strange experience?  Or is it just a matter of using a different name?  And how do you keep from potentially alienating people who have always known you by your first “identity”?
katiefoolery: (LJ addict)
I think I’m addicted to the internet.

I know it’s been said in the past and usually in jest.  “Oh, haha!  Verily, my life doth revolve around this inter-connected network!”  And I’d laugh it off and just accept that this was the way things were.

But now I'm in deadly earnest.  I seriously think I'm addicted to the internet.  As addictions go, it’s not too bad though, is it?  I mean, it’s quite social.  I’ve made many friends through the internet and my main sources of addiction are LJ and messageboards... which are all about people.

It’s not an expensive addiction, either.  It probably only costs a couple of dollars a day.

I’m not damaging my health with it, although I probably could get up and walk around a bit more...

But last night, my Timothy (or ‘the serious heads’, for those who know him differently) suggested that limiting my interent on my Fridays off might make me more productive, writing-wise.

I swear, I all but broke out in a cold sweat at the thought.

“But... but...” I stammered.

“You could still use it when I got home,” my Timothy said, oblivious to the fact that I was shaking and turning pale.  “It would be just the same as a normal work day.”

Which isn’t all that accurate.  “But I use the internet all the time at work!” I cried, in a desperate attempt to hold onto my fix.

It was probably at this point that I suddenly realised I really was addicted... and that I have to do something about it.  It won’t be anything drastic.  I couldn’t give up the internet entirely, but I really should cut back a bit.  I should read some more; write some more; spend a little time away from the addictive, glowing wonder that is the internet.

I can’t stay away for long, anyway.  It’s in my blood-stream now.
katiefoolery: (Welcome to the Tendo Dojo...)
Have you ever wanted to pretend you were someone else?

And no, I don’t mean in the sense where you pretend to be someone else to the extent where you convince little old ladies that you’re a completely lovely person, shortly before stealing all of their bank account details and running off with their life savings.

Thankfully, I’m talking about something a bit less larcenous than that.  Simply: The Internet and Identity... and you.

I’ve only been on the internet since 2000 and I haven’t always been the “Buneater”.  That took a while to develop and I’m fond of having such a silly name, since it was more or less given to me friends and fellow loons.  In all of those six years, I’ve always been me.  I’ve never tried to pretend I was something other than I was, mostly because it never occurred to me to do so.  Indeed, it took me long enough to summon up the courage to write my first post on the old Ober.net messageboards; there wasn’t enough time to consider being somebody else as well.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking of this issue of identity.  I’ve been wondering how it would be to start again on another messageboard with a different name.  Would I still be me?  Would I be influenced by the new people I met?

And above all: could I pretend to be someone different?

It would be fun to try.  After all, I do love my words.  In my favourite story, Postcards, I believe I successfully wrote in the voices of at least half a dozen distinctly different people.  I could probably develop a different way of writing and consistently apply it.  The question is: would I really want to?

And I’m also interested to know: does anyone out there have a double-identity?  Are you a different person when you’re on different sites or messageboards on the internet?  This nosy Buneater wants to know all!

10,000 Words in Ten Weeks
katiefoolery: (Inspiration)
If you have a google email account (or know somebody whose name starts with B and who happens to be writing this post and also just happens to have some forty-eight invitations remaining), then you'll be delighted to know that you can now create your own webpage with a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor and an easy-to-remember address.

Your google page gives you up to 100 megabytes of storage (that's more than enough, believe me - I used to have 15 meg at GeoCities and I only managed to use a third of it) and your address will be username.googlepages.com.  That's as easy to remember as your LJ address and much more memorable than some of the addresses provided by other free webhosts out there.

Why not have a look?

Found via ProBlogger
katiefoolery: (Default)
I'm waiting for my website to turn up as I write.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be a terribly polite website, as it hasn't phoned ahead and told me when to expect it or marked a train timetable so I know when to pick it up.  Instead, I'm imagining it dragging its feet down some street out there, looking disgruntled and muttering about being woken up without warning when it was having the nicest dream.

Actually, now that I think about it, I'd prefer it if it was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, making sure it was looking presentable enough before it summoned up the courage to knock on my door and introduce itself.

Either way, it's not here yet and nothing major will change when it arrives, because I haven't actually designed it yet.  It'll just be sitting there, all naked and shivering, waiting for me to cover it in pretty graphics and witty text.  Well, that's the plan, at least.

It's been a while since I had a website and even then, it was only a GeoCities one.  I used to love GeoCities - until I started using Firefox and saw what they did to my lovely, validated code.  At this stage in the Saga of Katie's Website, I decided to relocate to LiveJournal and to that end, I started storing my story excerpts here and pointing people in this direction in messageboard and email signatures.  At this point, I feel it's time to establish a place on the web once more, now that I'm actually trying to get my stories published.

(Ooh!  For a minute there, my website turned up!  Then it must have had to go and urgently powder its nose, for it vanished.  I'm sure it'll be back.  It left its drink here...)

So, as I was saying: if I'm trying to be a professional, published-type writer, then I think I need a place on the web to assist me along the way.  I could blather on about it more, but I think I've said it all there, really.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go back to sitting in my armchair, looking at the clock in a meaningful manner.

April 2011

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