Day 01: No sight of land

Well, I suppose after a week of wholeheartedly avoiding this blog, I should succumb and publish a first post.

In regards to the second ‘unlecture’, there did seem to be a slight contradiction in what we were told was expected in regards to this blog.

  • On one hand, we were unlectured about the possibility of going to jail on child pornography charges if we failed to or incorrectly set up our spam fliters (which would serve to delete hundreds of thousands of potentially criminal messages attempting to weasel their way into our online existences), and that we could serve as a platform for people with slightly different values to hurl abuse and hatred at each other (Justin Bieber tweens on one side, Slipknot fans on the other, ready to wage bloody war on the battlefield of the comments section).
  • But on the other hand, we must frequently and casually post on it, sharing and publishing whatever takes our youthfully enthusiastic fancy, and hope that it vaguely related to the course (a minimum of 5 times a week).

The crux of these two things being that we were responsible for whatever comments were posted on this blog, which, as Adrian reminded us repeatedly, is here forever and will remain as a permanent digital footprint of us.

I see the contradiction rear its confused head now, with half of my brain telling me, “Oh yes Nick, write on the blog! Look how eager Cat is when she sees another dog at the park! Why don’t you have that unreserved enthusiasm for life?” (Cat is my dog, a Kelpie, nearly a year old with enough energy to solve Pakistan’s energy crisis and still have enough left over to heat a 7/11 sausage roll.) The other part of my brain, however, is slightly more reserved, and tells me in a cautious but understanding voice, “You might want to pass university, but staying out of prison is also nice.”

The issue seems to be, that I am struggling slightly to muster enthusiasm for a thing that could land me in jail through no active behavior of my own. To which I imagine Adrian’s reply, “You are legally able to purchase a gun, join the army and kill people, vote for the leader of this country and drive a car, I’m sure you will be able to manage a spam filter.” To which I would agree, I probably can. But the idea is still somewhat daunting.

Then again, I suppose I’d rather be informed and safe than sorry and eating canned peaches from a mess tray in Port Philip Prison. I guess it has to be viewed like a high school sex ed talk in health class. It brings the worst possible result of a behavior into harsh sunlight for all to see, which serves to temporarily frighten us away from risk taking fraternisation (with the internet…), but most likely will never occur. Not, of course, to suggest that it will never happen, but that if you take the right protective measures (the buzzword, I believe, is ‘careful’), you can significantly reduce your chances of any wrong-footing.

Which seems like a reasonable unlecture to have to sit through, even if at the time my main thoughts were focused around Barry, the overweight, wife-beater sporting pedophile who would probably refer to me as “fresh meat”, and would be my cellmate for several decades after being convicted of child pornography for failing to correctly set up my spam filters on my RMIT prompted blog.

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