Print 81 comment(s) - last by wordsworm.. on Jun 14 at 12:26 PM

Voluntarily censor one of the internet's oldest mediums

Sprint, Verizon, and Time Warner cable agreed to a nationwide block on access to Usenet newsgroups that offer child pornography, wrapping up an eight month undercover investigation and complaint from the New York Attorney General’s office.

“The pervasiveness of child pornography on the Internet is horrific and it needs to be stopped,” said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, speaking in a press release.  “We are attacking this problem by working with Internet Service Providers to ensure they do not play host to this immoral business.  I commend the companies that have stepped up today to embrace a new standard of responsibility, which should serve as a model for the entire industry.”

Usenet – one of the internet’s oldest applications – dates back to a time long before the World Wide Web. Its popularity died down as web sites and web-based message boards came into vogue, relegating it to a forgotten “back alley” frequented by niche crowds. One thing Usenet hasn’t been forgotten for, however, is its ability to store and distribute files such as music and, in this case, pornography.

Traditionally, ISPs have stayed out of enforcing restrictions on what its users’ access, citing the legal immunity granted to them by maintaining a policy of noninterference. That immunity has come under attack from a wide variety of sources. Previous aggressors include the content industry, frustrated with ISPs’ permissive stance on piracy, as well as the ISPs’ themselves as they explore ways to further monetize their infrastructure. Now, with its investigation concluding, ISPs can add the New York state Attorney General’s office to that list.

Investigators had to take an unusual course of action, however. Traditional approaches failed; ISPs responded with a routine disclaimer of responsibility for the content of their networks. Instead, investigators chose to invoke a section of each their service agreements that promised to take action against users who distribute child porn; when the contacted ISPs failed to act after receiving a series of anonymous complaints from investigators, the Attorney General’s office pounced by threatening to charge them with fraud and deceptive business practices. The ensuing agreement was a result of these threats.

Cuomo says the unconventional approach was necessary, because traditional methods are not working. Attacking individual distributors has “limited effectiveness,” he said, because American demand for child pornography is often supplied internationally, frequently hailing from countries doing little in the way of enforcement.

“The ISPs’ point had been, ‘We’re not responsible, these are individuals communicating with individuals, we’re not responsible,’ ” said Cuomo.  “Our point was that at some point, you do bear responsibility.”

As part of its agreement, the three ISPs will also pay $1.125 million to underwrite the investigation and “fund additional efforts by the Attorney General’s office and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to remove child pornography from the Internet.”

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Nice try, but...
By gtrinku on 6/11/2008 3:26:26 AM , Rating: 5
Sadly, just like drugs, as long as there's demand for this kind of "content", production and distribution will never be stopped, only hindered.

RE: Nice try, but...
By BladeVenom on 6/11/2008 4:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
But they aren't going after the producers. They are just covering up the fact that it is being made, by censoring it from being easily seen by casual internet browsing.

Apply the same thing to the war or anything else people find objectionable. Instead of stopping the war, you just censor the news. Instead of stopping pollution, just ban pictures of it. etc.

They are going after newsgroups, which is where it's pirated. They are actually protecting the producers by reducing the piracy of child porn.

RE: Nice try, but...
By nosfe on 6/11/2008 6:10:50 AM , Rating: 5
They are just covering up the fact that it is being made, by censoring it from being easily seen by casual internet browsing.

when have you last "casually browsed" to a usenet group? last i checked usenet isn't even known to the masses, let alone easily accessible to Average Joe

RE: Nice try, but...
By Garreye on 6/11/2008 6:31:02 AM , Rating: 2
Google Groups:
Searchable archive of more than 700 million Usenet postings from a period of more than 20 years

I've never used this, and I'm guessing that its probably censor and that you can't download binaries, but this and other sites like it could make it fairly easy to casually browse to a newsgroup page, because they come up in search results (ex: google 'cypress ez-usb fpga' check out the 1st 2 result). Although I'm betting the average Joe would probably not be aware they were on a usenet group message board..

RE: Nice try, but...
By BladeVenom on 6/11/2008 7:58:04 AM , Rating: 2
Browsing is the normal traditional way to use newsgroups. Newzbin and other indexing sites came later.

It's as easy to use as email.

RE: Nice try, but...
By mindless1 on 6/12/2008 5:45:53 AM , Rating: 2
Huh? Browsing isn't the normal traditional way, the normal traditional way was to download the list of groups your ISP or 3rd party offered in a newsreader, pick out the ones you want to subscribe to, and have the news reader download the current news postings for some period of time.

You then read thought them like you would your email inbox. I suppose you could call that browsing, but since it would be more like email and doesn't involve using a browser, browsing isn't quite right either.

Then came the forerunner to Google Groups, Deja News. Then you finally had some reasonably long archival and browsing capabilities. Many were saddened when Deja went under, assuming Google would never manage to maintain the growing archive and free access to it, and while many old usenet participants have been a bit irked over time that Google hasn't quite stuck to the traditions, that they maintain it and keep open access, even opening up access to more people that would never have known about it, is a lot better than nothing and in some ways an improvement.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice try, but...
By Digimonkey on 6/11/2008 8:13:35 AM , Rating: 2
I hope you're joking about the paintings. I'm pretty sure if that is enforced, book burning comes next.

RE: Nice try, but...
By BladeVenom on 6/11/2008 12:35:14 PM , Rating: 2
Book burning is already here. Naughty stories can get you arrested and have your website shutdown. If you're suspected of being a pedophile Miranda and constitutional rights no longer apply.

RE: Nice try, but...
By amanojaku on 6/11/2008 8:43:40 AM , Rating: 4
My question is simple: when will international governments come forward and ban the use of cherubs in Raphael's paintings and other early Christian paintings.

You're blurring the line between art and pornography. No normal person gets a woody from pictures of cherubs. Perverts get woodies just thinking of naked children. Pornography is sexually suggestive, which those old paintings and sculptures are not. Remember that the old European style of art had nudity everywhere, from men to women to children. Americans are just prudish, which might be part of the reason we have so many perverts. Women in foreign countries can walk down the street topless and few people would notice because nudity is simply accepted as a fact. No normal person bathes in his or her clothes, after all. Remember that at one time American television and movies showed couples sleeping in separate beds because it hinted at sex.

That being said, I think we need to take more extreme measures than banning child pornography. Removal of gonads comes to mind...

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice try, but...
By Kenenniah on 6/11/2008 10:09:52 AM , Rating: 1
Tough call for me. I'd have to think more on the subject of old art like cherubs etc. There is one major difference however. In child pornography, an actual living child is being exploited. A child is being made to pose nude or sexually suggestive.

In the case of art, is the same thing ocurring? Is an actual child being exploited? Possibly, they could have made a child pose while painting or sculpting, but there is that possible difference.

Of course there is always the matter of someone being turned on by child pornography then later acting on those feelings. In that sense I see the possibility of art being able to "feed the monster" if you will as well.

Hmm, guess I don't really need to think about it more. I'm with wordsworm on this one.

RE: Nice try, but...
By Digimonkey on 6/11/2008 10:55:53 AM , Rating: 5
Again it's the question of where to stop. Obviously we need to do everything in our power to stop the creation and distribution of pictures/videos of children being portrayed in a sexual manner.

However this talk of censoring of art that has already been produced and has been around for hundreds of years is asinine and a step in the wrong direction. If this were to happen you'd also have to censor books that depict sexual acts involving characters under 18.

If that goes through then what would be next? There has to be a line drawn and that line should be where actual exploitation of real, thinking, feeling children are involved. Not to try to fully eliminate some creep getting a woody. More than likely that same cretin could find arousal at a park where children we ban children from playing in public to protect them?

RE: Nice try, but...
By mindless1 on 6/12/2008 5:56:46 AM , Rating: 2
In my mind the question of where to stop is easy. Photorealistic images of nude children should not be presented, except possibly some exemption when they are not the primary object of the photo, such as when National Geographic goes to some impoverised country or a native tribe and there might be blurry background, distanced children without proper clothes on.

As for art, if a child was improperly handled during it's production, and inquiries should be made about that if the art seems a little too realistic or subject specific (not sure of the right words to write what I mean, if it seems to be identifying of an individual child) then the art should be seized, destroyed, and the artist charged with a crime. If it is simply some person's imagination, no nude child posing, that made a sculpture or similar even today, I might begin to wonder if that artist needed some psychological help, but wouldn't consider that - without any children being exposed to this undertaking - a crime in itself.

I agree the line has to be exploitation of real children, but also those who profit from it. We can't just put away the (perhaps one?) person who films a child porn flick then not equally go after those who peddle it, and ultimately those who continue to distribute it for free even if these people never directly caused any profit gain for the porn producer or themselves. These latter groups may not be even indirectly responsible for the exploitation of the children involved, but they need a stop put to their activites so they can have a controlled environment where they can get the psychological help they need.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/12/2008 9:28:00 AM , Rating: 2
when National Geographic goes to some impoverised country or a native tribe and there might be blurry background

The technology exists to blur a child's genitalia in both video and photos. As you say, since it's not the primary object of the photo, then there should be no issue with forcing National Geographic to follow a simple protocol.

no nude child posing
Ok, so fantasy depictions of children being molested is ok for you? I would have a problem with it.

These latter groups may not be even indirectly responsible for the exploitation of the children involved,
If people who are interested in nude children get access to this material in any form whatsoever, they will then fantasize that it is them that are committing the act. They might get ideas as to how to do it without getting caught, or simply forget the consequences in their desire to fulfill their fantasy. In any case, I'd love to see all child porn cease. I know killing it in newsgroups isn't going to fix the issue. Simply encrypting the files and sharing keys can keep the trade up. However, it would keep out the folks who don't understand this stuff, which in itself might reduce, in at least some way, both demand and the actualization of these sick fantasies.

In any case, the lines get blurry when young men/women look like young girls. I wish that there was a rule that could be made up that would kill the whole industry. I know there's no easy cure. However, I still think that attacking it in newsgroups is a good thing.

RE: Nice try, but...
By mindless1 on 6/13/2008 4:26:07 AM , Rating: 2
But I do not approve of blurring genitalia. There is a middle ground between censorship and pron. I would not even be looking at a child's genitalia, but when there's large blurs on the screen it is distracting, it stands out. Similarly so when anything is blurred on a screen. Maybe if the child were very close up blurring would be a good idea, but I don't think there is a need at all for a very close up picture of a nude child even for national geographic -like purposes.

Fantasy depictions of children being molested is very disturbing, but it is not abusing any child. Define fantasy depiction. If it is some crude sketch I'm not saying it should be publically acceptible but I don't think some perv is going to be captivated by it, jerk off to it, or whatever these pedos have in mind when they seek such (other) material. I would hold such works as more similar to a fantasy depiction of killing people or most other horrible acts, that it is just an indication a person has poor mental health.

As for killing a whole industry, certainly that would be great, but the problem is (I suspect) that a lot of it isn't an industry, just some sick old man who gets a kick out of filming and possibly molesting someone, then shares his exploit. It shouldn't be on usenet, that is certainly a good start and driving these people underground may not be the best solution but it is better than the way things stand at present.

RE: Nice try, but...
By jlips6 on 6/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nice try, but...
By Drexial on 6/11/08, Rating: 0
RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/11/2008 7:23:52 PM , Rating: 2
It was about celebrating how amazing the human body was, not sexually, but scientifically.

So what's to stop any pedophile from making the same claim about some nude pics of kids? I mean, as long as they're not engaged in getting raped, then it must be art. So, for as long as children are photographed nude in classic poses, soft core porn using children will live long and strong. Unfortunately, people continually defend soft core 'art' child porn. So be it. By the negative points on my comments, I can see that I'm obviously in the minority here.

RE: Nice try, but...
By Mortando on 6/12/2008 1:18:28 AM , Rating: 1
Cherubs don't turn me on, but Venus/Aphrodite is an altogether different story.

But... presumably you think that Venus/Aphrodite (along with Michelangelo's David, etc.) should *also* be banned, since they could turn certain people on and incite them to commit rape. Or is rape okay?

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/12/2008 9:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
Man, that is the heck of a leap of logic I can't quite follow. Venus/Aphrodite are depictions of fully, sexually mature women. As far as I know, David isn't getting raped.

RE: Nice try, but...
By Mortando on 6/12/2008 12:52:24 PM , Rating: 2
"David isn't getting raped"? Uh, yeah, no doubt you can't quite follow the 'leap' of logic.

RE: Nice try, but...
By tmouse on 6/11/2008 3:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
Well while I’m for making it as difficult as possible for pedophiles here is some food for thought. It may seem is easy to define child pornography it is not. Clearly pre adolescents are easy to pick out; but in the US pictures of anyone under 16 with any nudity is considered child pornography. The original child protection act (that was struck down by the courts) had phrases like real or simulated and there was serious doubt whether CGI or other art mediums violated this law some sites banned cherub CGI pictures and the like out of fear of prosecution. There is also Usnet binary groups that are not explicitly labeled so while it is easy to ban some groups how do you stop them from using these groups unless you moderate everything and I think that will be hard to do. I guess this is better than nothing but more flash than substance.

RE: Nice try, but...
By Yawgm0th on 6/11/2008 4:49:03 PM , Rating: 2
In the U.S., pictures of genitalia of anyone under 18 are considered child pornography.

RE: Nice try, but...
By mindless1 on 6/12/2008 5:40:36 AM , Rating: 2
You wrote "but they aren't going after the producers", but do you know this to be the case? I have to believe they are going after them, but what happens if they managed to wipe them out but there is still so much child porn circulating? It feeds the sickness of those who seek it, and given enough people wanting it, the general state of supply and demand is imbalanced such that it entices others to get into the business just to make money off of it.

I don't watch child pron, but what I would imagine happens is what I've heard happens in adult porn, that developers of it will put their URL or other contact information in the files in an attempt to distribute the free pron as a way to bring in customers for their higher quality stuff. Since they can't very well advertise in the local newspaper or TV, cutting off the few resources they have to attract customers will make it harder and harder for them to profit from it. I'd imagine some (producers) are not just sick, but have the same sickness as those who watch it and might still make it and distribute just to share, but if something can be done about the former group then let's do it and find other ways to deal with the latter. You dig a hole one shovel full at a time and fill it back up the same way.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice try, but...
By Digimonkey on 6/11/2008 9:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
Kids can buy/do drugs too. I remember hearing something about dealers adding flavor to meth like grape and cherry just for the kids.

RE: Nice try, but...
By Suntan on 6/11/2008 9:27:30 AM , Rating: 5
Unlike drugs, child pornography hurts children.

Yeah, it’s not like you hear a news story about the 4 year old’s dad that held his forearm onto a hot stove, severely burning it, because he was tweaked out on meth… …oh wait, that story was on the news last week.

If you don’t think drugs don’t affect children, go talk to any local grade school teacher in your area. No bias, no spin, they can just point out the children in their class that come from families that are affected by drugs. You can look at them yourself and then decide “if drugs don’t harm to children.”

My wife is a grade school teacher in a suburban school district, hardly anything even close to “the hood.” You can see it plan as day. It’s shocking, it’s obvious and it’s sad.

Feel free to have an ill informed view of what drugs do to society, but find a different lie than “drugs don’t harm children”.


RE: Nice try, but...
By MrBlastman on 6/11/08, Rating: -1
RE: Nice try, but...
By FITCamaro on 6/11/2008 10:37:51 AM , Rating: 1
How about we just kill them and spare ourselves the cost of housing them in our prison system? Regardless of whether they can procreate, it doesn't stop them from abusing more kids or raping someone else while they're still alive since the majority of them get out of jail.

RE: Nice try, but...
By PWNettle on 6/11/2008 2:31:42 PM , Rating: 3
"Legalize the rest of substances and that tragedy can only be increased greatly, particularly with our youth."

I disagree. If it's legal it's regulated and no child can just walk into any store and buy it. They have to have their parents or some other adult do it - someone more readily tracked than joe anonymous dealer on the street who will sell to anyone with cash.

In addition, if it's legal it can be taxed, and that money can be used for drug education and treatment. In the current system not only do the profits not go toward this but we're also spending tons on fighting the "war on drugs", wasting law enforcement resources, and lining the pockets of lawyers. All the profits are going to criminals (not that shifting them to corporations would really be a whole lot different).

Drugs are super cheap to make - if they were legal you could tax the crap out of them and they'd still be cheaper than current street prices. Quality (and safety) would be higher for those that choose to use them.

If people want to use drugs its their choice. Obviously there is huge demand for it. Prohibition didn't work because people want to use booze. The war on drugs doesn't work either - it just makes a lot of otherwise normal people into criminals.

Cigarettes are nothing but death and illness and they're legal.

Alcohol is incredibly unhealthy and leads to all kinds of irresponsible killing (drunk drivers) and abuse (spouse/child beating). It's legal.

Some currently illegal drugs are harmless, like weed, and some are incredibly destructive in lots of ways, like meth.

But it's kind of illogical to allow two proven killers and health disasters (cigs and alcohol) to be legal while making other drugs illegal. If you're gonna let people kill themselves and ruin their families with substances, why be picky about which substances they're using?

Why not regulate it all, educate people, let people make their own decisions, tax the crap out of it all (while still making it cheaper and higher quality), and unburden our legal system so they can deal with real crime?

As a side note. Some people are just irresponsible scumbags that shouldn't breed. It doesn't matter whether they do drugs, drink alcholol, or do neither - they aren't fit to raise children and shouldn't spawn. Substance abuse might escalate their inability to have a life, but they'd be losers and crappy parents with or without substances.

RE: Nice try, but...
By Noya on 6/11/2008 6:05:03 PM , Rating: 3
If it's legal it's regulated and no child can just walk into any store and buy it. They have to have their parents or some other adult do it - someone more readily tracked than joe anonymous dealer on the street who will sell to anyone with cash.

That's so true. I recall in high school even as a freshmen I could buy an 1/8 of weed so much easier than I could a 12-pack of brew.

RE: Nice try, but...
By mindless1 on 6/12/2008 6:29:22 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think you've thought through your argument very far, so I'll just point out the faults in it.

- We do know many drugs are harmful, it's not just the illegality of it creating a black market and the associated costs and crime. Some may not have started out as conventional recreational drugs but are still controlled substances because people need to be protected from taking drugs (especially for medicinal purposes) that could kill them without their physician's supervision.

- If it's legal and regulated, and kids have to have some adult get it for them, it is no different than when I bought booze being underage. Nobody tracked that person who either bought it for me or the store clerk. Maybe they rarely tried to do so, I mean the ATF stings on clerks, but we know underage kids readlily get alcohol as a contradition to your assumption.

- If it's legal and taxed we have even more users, and less productive citizens so the tax base could even go down. Causing an illness to profit from it to treat that illness is a horrific idea.

- Having drugs cheaper than street prices would tend to cause them to disrupt people's lives even more than they do. Enabling people to do more drugs, cheaper, is not the answer!

- Prohibition did work. "Work" almost always means reduce the targeted problem, even if it introduces new problems. Work doesn't have to mean perfect. Does exercise "work"? Yes. Does it make us all superhuman? No. It (prohibition) did significantly reduce the consumption of alcohol among the masses, regardless of the few who make a bundle on the black market and continued drinking. Don't believe everything you see glamorized in a old movie.

- Cigarettes are death and illness but you think weed isn't? Do you mean eating it instead of smoking it? You must, and yet if it were legal, would people only eat it? If weed were legal people would smoke enough to cause similar health problems to smoking. Perhaps a bit fewer as the nature of nicotine being a stimulant may cause greater amounts to be smoked, but it still falls into that death and illness category if we're going to start making such grand classifications.

- Alcohol is not incredibly unhealthy. Excessive consumption of it is. So is excessive consumption of fat, salt, even water if only you drank enough. Many studies have held that drinking a beer, glass of wine or two a day is more healthy than not doing so.

- You have no reasonable way to pre-judge who should and should not breed. It is true that some people make terrible parents, and if harming their child then the child should be removed from that situation, but never should people be denied the basic right to reproduce just because you don't approve of something they might believe, some way they might live, or for any other reason except non-adherance to the laws we have set forth to govern us.

Lastly, I think you are mistaken about root causes of typical parental child abuse. A very large portion of it is in fact due to (parental) substance abuse of some kind or a similar state of poor mental health because of being abused themselves. People aren't born being "scumbags", nor do they choose this. People inherantly choose to do what they feel benefits them, but some are prevented from learning the life skills they need to make the best choices. Some say drug abuse is hereditary, but I would sooner say child abuse is and drug abuse is only a symptom.

I would even go so far as to say child porn is a symption since many who are addicted to it seem drawn in by having power over someone presumed innocent, a similar kind of relationship to what their own parent may have had over them. In this context, you are right that we can see in retrospect some people shouldn't have been allowed to parent their child, but we cannot as a people pre-judge someone guilty of a crime they have not committed just because of what they might do - everyone has the ability to choose to do the wrong thing, and to turn around and depart from that behavior.

RE: Nice try, but...
By JonnyDough on 6/11/2008 12:28:15 PM , Rating: 2
Drugs hurt kids too moron. Looking up at all your down-rated posts I'd have to say that you should quit talking. Boys don't get woodies? I mean for crying out loud. How did we go there? But since you need some things cleared up, I will help you. Little boys DO get hard ons. It's a response to stimulus. Now granted, I haven't gone about testing this, but when you're a dad and you have to change the sheets and your sons underwear at night sometimes you notice that he has a boner. K? Grow up.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/11/2008 7:30:02 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you've have been checking out little boys more than I have. Your own children at that. I don't remember getting one until I was into puberty.

So, a lot of folks here defend art-based child porn and I get downrated for saying something against it. I feel so hurt... hmm, on second thought, I think I don't care.

In any case, how many paintings have you made of your son while he had that boner you were noticing? I'm sure you and Raphael would have loved your sons together.

RE: Nice try, but...
By JonnyDough on 6/11/2008 8:34:45 PM , Rating: 2
You got downrated, rightfully so. You seem to have some underlying issues, perhaps you should speak to a counselor/psychiatrist.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/11/2008 11:12:33 PM , Rating: 2
I don't like child porn in any format. You defend it. That's the quick of it. So, based on that, you think I'm sick? You're the one who's defending child porn.

RE: Nice try, but...
By CloudFire on 6/12/2008 3:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
that is just an ignorant and rude comment. please get your facts straight before you post such a reply.

my major in college was human development and as a grad student pursuing a Ph.D. i feel i should inform and teach you something about child sexuality. infants, whether male or female can have a state of arousal in their genitalia. infant males can and do have erections and infant females can have clitoral erection as well as vaginal lubrication. this is mostly due to emotional and physically pleasing stimulus as it is a natural response of the human body. children often engage in sexual exploration activities when they are young, and this can be seen very early on. as Jean Piaget described in the first stage of his development theories, the sensory-motor stage is where infants use their senses to navigate and explore their world (age 0-2). given their body is part of their world so naturally exploration of their genitalia is common and this can be another stimulus that would trigger an erection (penis or clitoral). here's a read online if you are curious about the subject, and please, knowledgeable researchers in the field of human development and psychology know a lot more about this subject than you do. just because you don't remember getting one, doesn't mean you never did. Search up the topic of "infantial amnesia" while you're at it too, it might be an informative read to you, as obviously you are severely lacking in this area.

and while you're at that. i also suggest "infants and children" by Laura E. Berk

and numerous books on infants and children by Laurence Steinberg. it might enlighten your feeble mind.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/12/2008 9:53:19 AM , Rating: 2
Oh wow, Piaget. Good thinker quoted by someone who thinks that by reading comprehension follows. Erickson would write that kids won't understand their erections (abstractions such as procreation are definitely out of their sphere of understanding). Therefore not remembering an erection has nothing to do with amnesia, but rather with the fact that there was no sexual importance to it.

There are endless books that would enlighten my feeble mind. The books you mentioned, while probably worth reading, aren't my area of interest. If I delve into psychology again, I'll probably gravitate towards Skinner. In any case, you hardly impress me with your intellect. It seems pretty ineffective.

RE: Nice try, but...
By CloudFire on 6/12/2008 3:03:57 PM , Rating: 2
"Therefore not remembering an erection has nothing to do with amnesia…”

Clearly, you didn’t get my point as I am not surprised. I brought up the issue of infantile amnesia to point out the fact that you don’t remember getting one until puberty. Infant males do get erections and this is a proven undisputable fact in developmental psy. and the field of human development. Let me clearly explain to you the notion of Infantile Amnesia as obviously, you have no clue what it is. The theory of infantile amnesia is the idea that few people can retrieve events and memories that happened to us roughly before the age of 3. There are several complementary theories that explains why it happens. First, one theory suggest that there are changes in the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex that may pave the way for an explicit memory system (declarative LTM) (Boyer & Diamond 1992; Rovee-Collier & Barr, 2001) the explicit long term memory system is the system of your memory that you are CONSCIOUSLY aware of and can recall, which can furthermore be divided into two subgroups: semantic (the knowledge you know of the world such as facts, dates…etc) and episodic (autobiographical memories that pertains to you at certain important times in your life, such as you knew where you were during an event like 911). Now…because the research suggested that the changes in the FL of the CC may pave way to an EMS early on, this makes it more difficult for children to recall their implicit LTM as it is not as highly developed yet (LTM = long term memory for your reference). The implicit LTM system (or non-declarative LTM) is not more matured until later on in life around age 2-6, when synaptic pruning more readily occurs as the neurons are not used as frequently lose their connective fibers. This is when a child improves in their perception, physical coordination, attention, language, memory, logical thinking, and imagination (Berk, 2007). Basically what synaptic pruning is, is the way the brain reorganizes itself and structures itself in a way that all irrelevant neurons are disconnected which in turn makes the brain highly more efficient to pave the way for later development in cognition such as abstract and logical reasoning. Now, another theory to explain infantile amnesia takes into consideration of language development. Older children and adults use language as a verbal mean to store information as we can imply a mental representation to a physical object with a word. Please look into “symbolism or development of symbols” while you’re at this, because you clearly have very little knowledge of this. As again, quoting Piaget’s theories, as I admire him very much. It’s not until the 2nd stage of his development theories that children begin to inquire the knowledge to represent things as symbols, this stage would be called the pre-operational stage. Again, please look into that as well, also Lev Vygotsky for further developmental theories of children as he focuses in on language importance more so than Piaget. With the ability to represent things as symbol, it is highly suggested that recognition of memory is a lot easier. Infant’s memory processing is mostly non-verbal, so you can see that the development of language is of paramount importance for the development of memory. Verbal recall increased during which children “scramble over the amnesia barrier” (Simcock & Hayne, 2003). Other research done by Simcock and Hayne are what is known as the notion of “frozen in time” concerning their limited language. Here is what happened, there is a “magic shrinking machine”, one adult shows a kid how inserting an object into the top opening of the machine and with the turning of a crank, lights and sounds would go off, and the child could retrieve a smaller object on the bottom opening. (obviously, another adult put a smaller object into the bottom opening for the child to receive). Later, researchers tested to see how well the children were able to recall the event. The results indicated that their nonverbal memory based on acting out the shrinking event and recognizing the shrunken object in the photos was excellent. But even when children before the age of 3 had the vocabulary, they still had trouble describing the features of the “shrinking” machine and how it works and what happened. After 6 months to 1 year had elapsed, and the children’s vocab and lang. ability has significantly improved, their verbal reports were still limited due to their “frozen in time” language skills at the initial time (Simcock & Hayne, 2002). As language develops, children first use words to talk about the HERE AND NOW. Only after the age of 3 or so, do they represent their past experiences verbally. So I hope now you have a better understand of infantile amnesia and how it pertains to the fact that babies cannot recall their erections early on in life, such as in your case.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/14/2008 12:08:03 PM , Rating: 2
The theory of infantile amnesia is the idea that few people can retrieve events and memories that happened to us roughly before the age of 3.
You sure used a lot of words to misrepresent amnesia. Why don't you try the dictionary, wikipedia, or something a little simpler so that you can at least get those things straight before moving onto more complicated matters.

Children who are extremely young don't have cognitive abilities. Their ability to think is linked to instinct and survival rather than trying to make logical sense of their surroundings. They don't know how to think.

Unless something traumatic happens to the ultra young child, which surely not 100% of children suffer some such trauma to validate your claim or the claims of the authors to whose opinions you ascribe, then there would be no reason for this 'memory loss.' Rather, it's just that these very young don't have the mental faculty to understand their memories, and therefore their memories don't stick. If you can't understand what you see, it's much harder to remember it.

Through all your wordiness, you managed to conclude with what appears to be a false syllogism. Since you probably haven't played around much with philosophy, as you're too involved in psychology, you might need an explanation as to what that means. Dictionaries and wikipedia are great places for you to start, should you wish. I recommend Plato. Even my feeble mind has been able to grasp a majority of his logic.

That little infantile erection could be little more than unconscious circulation to the genitals which is entirely unrelated to sexuality beyond the fact that it's their sex (which is another word for genital - thought I'd throw that in for you since you're not much of one for dictionaries or semantics) that's simply undergoing physiological (as pertains to the body - there, I saved you the trip to the dictionary again) development. Certainly, due to the high density of nerves in the genitals, it wouldn't be surprising to me if young children learned in some way to control this.

Now, as to the first reply off of that fellow who was noticing the erections of his son, I was reacting to his insults regarding my intelligence, just as I have to yours. I was simply contending that art, even the display of cherubs, would be sexually exciting for pedophiles, and therefore they too should be, at the very least, censored. Now why don't you keep your asinine comments to yourself until you actually figure out where I am coming from.

RE: Nice try, but...
By CloudFire on 6/12/2008 3:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
As for your B.F Skinner interest if you were to delve back into psychology. He was a great man of his time, but as of the modern field of psy. and human dev., he is used mostly as a reference of history for his great work of operant conditioning and reinforcement theories when he proposed them in 1957. If you know anything about the history of developmental psychology at all, as i’m sure you do through your proven intellectual comment, behaviorism took an almost fatal blow when it could not describe readily the development of language. That was the turning point in behaviorism. Skinner stated through operant conditioning, as the baby makes sounds, parents reinforce those words with smiles, hugs, and speech in return. Yes, you go and try this out with your children, if you have any, and tell me how it goes. With roughly 10,000 words existing in the vocabulary of an educated adult who is literate, it is impossible to conceive that through operant conditioning, these words could be learned just by that process alone. By being very educated and knowledgeable as you have proven in your remarks, you would also know that human beings come into this world with a pre-constructed affinity to learn language and mathematics (suggested by the nativist perspective). As language is what separates us from the animals and our higher order thinking because of our development cerebral cortex. Also check out the history of the early description of the CC by Emanuel Swedenborg, who was a Swedish universal genius, but I’m sure you have done that already. Also, while you’re at it, look into Broca’s Area and Wernicke’s Area as they are of high importance to language development. As a concluding remark to your almost pointless reply, modern language development theories have turned to the interactions, physical and emotional, between the caregiver and the infant as a source of language development. Through social exchange such as “joint attention” (look that up too), social learning takes place in such a fluent way that could be describe as almost osmosis. This is called the interactionist perspective approach to language development, opposed to the behaviorist approach described by Skinner, which I should remind you, was shot down, mercilessly in the intellectual community. Noam Chomsky was one of the people that reputed Skinner back in 1957 with his theory of the “language acquisition device”, which is another interesting topic you should look into.

All the language development theories and theorists I’ve described above plays an important function in memory as it is clearly suggested that language is of great importance in the ability to recall your experiences and memory, hence my explanation to you about infantile amnesia. And for your almost insulting remark about me quoting Jean Piaget, I merely stated that in the sensory-motor stage, children explore their environments, given their body is part of their environment, so naturally, they would also explore their body which in turn, could be a physical stimulus for an erection, that you yourself never remembered.

Please take a few undergraduate classes on developmental psychology and physical development before you make any more remarks, it almost saddens that you insulted the poster you replied to, suggesting that the person made paintings of his son when his son had a “boner” that the poster noticed. Clearly and undoubtedly, you have very little background in the subject of development to not KNOW the SIMPLE FACT that children can and DO get erection. I am tired from writing this long response, and I feel you are not even a worthy person to respond to, but as I am pursuing a career in teaching at the university level, I felt it was my OBLIGATION to EDUCATE you on the basic theories of infantile amnesia and to CORRECT your OBVIOUSLY wrong statement suggesting that babies do not have erections just because YOU simply can’t remember having one. Epic fail indeed.

RE: Nice try, but...
By wordsworm on 6/14/2008 12:26:46 PM , Rating: 2
I felt it was my OBLIGATION to EDUCATE you on the basic theories of infantile amnesia

The reason you felt it was your obligation to educate me on these basic theories, as you call them, is because you yourself are insecure with what you are trying to force yourself to believe so that you can camouflage your own personality with that of those whom you feel drawn to become assimilated with.

My 'courses' have simply been books that piqued my interest with Desmond Morris being my first taste. I don't need lecturers telling me what to think, or some pedantic shrill.

The great thing about reading great thinkers' books, such as Skinner, Piaget, Freud, Plato, Aristotle, etc., is that they are raw. I don't need them to be chopped, broiled, and stewed to the point of the nutrition having been leeched from them, which is usually the practice of journal articles, masters' and doctorates' theses.

Please read a few books and learn to digest them without having some lecturer telling you what to think about them. Memorizing a few lines here and there from books and lectures isn't actually going to develop you as a thinker. A computer can memorize a million lines from 100,000 stories and not understand a single one of them. You can even create an algorithm to chop them up and regurgitate them so that it can pass a graduate course, but it doesn't mean it understands any of it. Fortunately, thinking isn't a requirement for a doctorate, but rather some intellectual Frankenstein.

Skinner interests me because he has a book called Walden Two, which is supposed to be Skinner's idea of a dystopia.

RE: Nice try, but...
By mindless1 on 6/12/2008 5:34:48 AM , Rating: 2
Actually it could have a quite positive effect on the situation. With drugs being illegal already, dealing was profitized. With usenet, you're taking away the free content and requiring pay or evermore effort trying to find the child porn as more and more methods of getting it are shut down.

The more you restrict access, the less those with this mental illness have something to feed that illness. What if, when they couldn't find child porn, they watched adult porn instead? Some adult porn with grown women trying to dress up and act like young teenagers seems a bit disturbing to me too, as if the real age of the actress is just a technicality so far as the underlying motivations of the person seeking this kind of pornagraphic material.

Look at it another way. Lots of kids never try heroin because they don't have access to it, because we do pursue it through (pathetic and yet, still better than nothing) some means. Similarly so, wiping out usenet child porn is reducing access, it can only have a positive effect. Only question is whether it is enough but we don't need to think on those terms, just because one attempt at curbing a problem isn't enough, it doesn't mean you do nothing, it means you make that attempt and next you focus on more and more things that need done.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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