Hamish MacEwan wrote:
On Sun, Feb 08, 2004 at 15:38 +1300, Andy Linton
I think if computers are the problem, and they are, because all these
problems would go away with computers if they left (as would a lot of
benefits), then they have to be the solution too.
We can't teach everyone one on earth to be a "computer sophisticate,"
however quickly Microsoft is reducing that bar, they won't have space
left for all the other non-computer things they have to know as well as
some know IT.
I'm not sure I agree - that sounds a bit like the argument "It's a fair
cop, guv, but society's to blame". I think people have take
responsibilities for their actions and I'm coming more and more to the
conclusion that if these lusers can't act responsibly on the net then
either they should piss off or what's probably more likely the geeks
should piss off and play in their own sandpit elsewhere.
I speak as someone who with 'missionary like' zeal promoted the Internet
for All view for a long time. As I get older and more reactionary I am
more inclined to the view that most people are not equipped to be
connected to the net with a powerful general purpose computer that they
have no clue about.
That doesn't mean that they can't be connected but that they need
connected in a different way. Geoff Huston's talk at BGP04 proposed a
model (Geoff, have you a link to the presentation? and the last half of
the talk is available at http://www.r2.co.nz/20040129/
where the vast majority of users were effectively limited at their ISP
to the half dozen or so things they need/want to do:
email (but not able to connect globally to port 25)
browse the net (via a proxy)
Now before you all go off half cock about "I need
'ssh/irc/telnet/ftp/whois/weird protocol X' access think about what
*most punters* need/want.
I've watch this list turn into a discussion for large chunks of the time
on how to fight virus fires which aren't helped by the combination of
irresponsible users and systems manufacturers pouring petrol on the
problem. At times I feel like saying could we have an NZ Virus
Operations Group that deals with this somewhere else. (Along with the NZ
Barrack Room Lawyers Group!)
So unless you want to spend the rest of your life constantly fighting
epidemics of virus infection then perhaps it's time to start thinking
about how we can increase the level of Internet Public Health.
There's pretty clear evidence that large chunks of the improvement in
physical health in the last century were the results of improvements in
santitation and hygiene and not just as the result of wonder drugs.
McAfee, Norton etc are like drug companies - they have a job to do but
perhaps its time to really start leaning on people to do the Internet
equivalent of 'wash their hands, use disinfectants and use condoms (or
even safer, restraint!)'
It is computers that have to become more sophisticated servants rather
than humanity becoming a race of IT staff.
sophisticate: To cause to become less natural, especially to make less
naive and more worldly
So wouldn't have sensible default settings for firewalling and things
like opening attachments etc be a start?