Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tory Maguire, Paul Colgan, and a couple more bricks in the digital wall ...

(Above: Mr. Leon Greenman showing his number 98288. Details here).

And another thing.

There's Tory Maguire in The Punch seemingly puzzled, befuddled and bemused, and compelled to ask the question Why do people get so worked up over ID numbers?

Gee, Tory, I've got no idea. Why on earth would people get worked up over ID numbers?Perhaps they have it as a psychological issue. A subconscious scar? Perhaps they have a sense of history? I know history's not fashionable in the antipodes, as we live in the lucky country, and can count our blessings and our numbers, but others haven't been so lucky.

From where I sit everybody loves to have numbers and be described by numbers and called up as numbers. Why, whenever I'm in a branch of the ANZ, it just warms the cockles of my heart, to hear C069 report to the counter for a transaction. Or whatever other number the machine spits out to tell me I'm in a queue.

And so it seems does Tory:

Off the top of my head this is a list of the numbers I’ve had during my life: HSC exam number, Tax File Number, university student number, driver license number, Medicare number, Private Health Insurance number, various patient numbers during treatment, many employee numbers, bank account numbers, booking numbers, frequent flyer numbers, car registration numbers, account numbers for facilities… oh I’m tired now.

None of these numbers have made me feel less than a person, under Tony Abbott’s definition. Nor have they made me feel like I was living in a nightmare out of the pages of a George Orwell novel.

Perhaps Tory might feel differently when someone calls her number out, to tell her that her number's up. You always need to make sure you've got the right number:

Meanwhile, Paul Colgan seems to have gone tabloid righteous batty in his old age as he wages war against Facebook, demanding answers to a series of impossibly stupid questions, which only the introduction of Stephen Conroy's 'great big new filter' could satisfy. Not solve, but satisfy.

It seems Colgan has embarked on a one person campaign to clean up the net, or at least Facebook, as he froths and foams, and perhaps wonders where the share value in Chairman Rupert's MySpace business went. Nobody cares about MySpace anymore, so nobody knows if it carries offensive content. I'm sure it does - you can only moderate real time millions so much - and it'll usually come out in the communal wash, but who cares. (Why MySpace and the Internet Could Kill Rupert Murdoch).

You can read it all here in Obscenity on tribute walls: Five questions to Facebook, but it's so impossibly tiresome and righteous, it's difficult to read. Perhaps this gives you the tone of the capeless crusader:

If this happened in a newspaper or on a major news website the editor would be at risk of going to jail.

If I happened to be moderating The Punch, Australia's most wretched free conversation, Colgan would be moderated off the air. Because that's what you're supposed to do when you put up a Facebook page - moderate it - and objectionable content like Colgan's can then be taken down as quickly possible. Or go private. A private Colgan would be a joy and a relief.

After reading these two contributions to the digital scribbles that are clogging up the already full to overflowing intertubes, I thought I should put up 'comfortably numb', but perhaps in the spirit of Tory, we should think about bricks in the wall. Numbered of course:

1 comment:

  1. First up, it's a pain in arse to have to "Open up this frame in a new tab" so I can get my spell checker to worx. How about getting rid of this free rubbish at Blogger and paying a whole USD5 a month for a real blog?

    Anyway on topic for a change I love the way that Gillard says "it's for the parents to tell how their kids are doing when they change schools". This might be news to Gillard but many parents have more contact with a new school than just by the internet. Honestly, she has no idea, she thinks parents should swap schools like she changes hairdressers (oops!.
    Then we have the truth "it's to be published on the My-School website" so the government can something or other.

    I suggest that all our tax information is published using our TFN, no-one could ever hack that info could they?

    Like a vegan in charge of a salami factory.


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