Historically, the common denominator of civilized man has been the rule of law. Without law we have anarchy. Without law we have chaos. Without law it is every man for himself. The internet is governed only by the laws or limitations of technology. The internet is a vast and open frontier. People like to come here to enjoy the scenery, to breath the fresh air of freedom; but they risk being scalped, or mugged, or having their identity bludgeoned with the heavy primitive club of human selfishness.
We bloggers live on the edge of the frontier. Other more settled communities on the internet have established some rules. Places like Amazon and Ebay have managed to build walls and fences and have a militia to protect their customers from the dregs of society, the predators, the capitalist wannabees.
We bloggers moved to the frontier to enjoy the freedom of movement, the lack of regulation – We do not want anyone telling us what we can or cannot say. We make figurative moonshine in the backyard and host a revival of ideas every day. People come to visit. Some of them are rascals who come to complain about the moonshine. Rot Gut, they call it. Others come to laugh with us. You and I have built a campfire and we invite others to sit with us, to look in awe at the moon and the stars, to imagine freely and to talk openly. Our campfire is fueled by ideas, by wit, by humor, by sarcasm, by honesty, by integrity, by creative use of words, by the artistic endeavors of man.
But the vagabonds have found us. The pornographic predators who prey on the fundamental goodness of others have been sneaking into our camp, stealing our firewood to build their own fires. This behavior is no less than burglary. They build fires with our fuel to pretend they are us – baiting unsuspecting fellows who are innocently looking for a quite evening around a friendly fire.
The only way to stop this is to build the walls and fences of the more established communities of Amazon and Ebay. One day we will have to codify our ethics, to write the laws of blogging. The limiting of free exchange of ideas will dim the brightness of the stars. To defend against predators we will lose some of the freedom that brought us to this wild and peaceful frontier.
In the United States most crimes happen after dark. Crimes of burglary and vandalism usually occur in the wee hours of morning, like 2-3:00 Am. Our Government (We the People) could stop this by imposing curfews – no one out of their house after 10:00 PM. But we consciously choose not to impose these laws. The price of burglary and vandalism is the cost of freedom. We suffer some indignities to maintain freedom of movement.
This blog, thefiresidepost.com, has suffered the indignity of burglars in the night. We felt personally violated, someone was rummaging in my dresser drawer. The pornographic predators have stolen our material to attract others to their lowly swamp of muck and grime. It is a Kansas City based porno ring with cheap, unprofessional, pictures of naked men and women. But what would one expect form thieves in the night.
There are ways to stop these burglars, but there is a cost. We bloggers must weigh carefully any action – I like living on the edge of the frontier.
“Relativity applies to physics, not ethics” – Albert Einstein
“It is curious – curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.” – Mark Twain
See Also: On Writing, Blogging, Journalism