On 09/03/2013 12:33 PM, Delirium wrote:
> I certainly agree with learning from history, but when it comes to
> censoring encyclopedias or similar reference works, are there good
> examples that might more concretely narrow down the specific type of
> thing we ought to be learning from history?

Not that I know of, but that's because the model of what an encyclopedia
/is/ has changed a great deal -- they used to be centralized
distribution of knowledge and subject to an unknown number of pressure
points (including, most dangerously, self-censorship).

Wikipedia, and the Net in general, have changed the landscape
substantially and -- accordingly -- the attack vectors.  I don't think
we have much left to fear from attempts to repress individual bits of
data so much as attempts to change the landscape back to top-down
control (through legislation, disinformation, and so on).

Certainly, the Défence Nationale's attempt to rubber hose information
out of the French Wikipedia is a recent and very visible failed attempt.
 I've no doubt that for every very visible and embarrassing failure like
that one, there are a dozen that fly under the radar.

> Are there more successful attempts?

It would be difficult to enumerate successful attempts since, by
definition, they would have been successful at not being known.  :-)  I
don't disagree that it would be very difficult, perhaps even nearly
impossible, to completely censor information in this day and age and
under our current political climate -- but that is exactly *because* we
reflexively fight authority figures attempting to control information
not because there is no longer a desire or attempts to do so have gotten
less frequent.

Gilmore was already noting in in 1993 while the 'net was still the
province of the elite geekdom; there is no reason to believe this has
gotten better since (and lots of reasons why it could have gotten worse).

-- Marc

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