Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Michael Powell wants to crack down on profanity in the US and the Brazilians arrest this pilot (via antti) for flipping them the finger. "He made an internationally known obscene gesture when he was being photographed by the Federal Police," according to the article. With all of the increased reason for profanity directed against establishment, I can see how a global war on profanity is essential for the security interests of the civilized world. :-p


I could have sworn that flipping the camera off is more of a privacy-protection gesture these days... everyone's doing it (See Joi's CC party pictures!). I do it. My rationale is this: it's much harder to make general use of a picture without my consent if I'm flipping you off and making a weird face!

Government, and more specifically, the legislative branch thereof, should keep their goddamned nose out of culture. FCC has no business overseeing content. At least it shouldn't.

As for this Brazillian thing. 1- The process the american pilot was so indignant of was put in place in reaction to America putting in place the exact same measures. 2- It doesn't matter where you go in the world, if you disrespect in any way an "agent of the law" you are asking for trouble. Unless he was making a protest of both Brazil's and the U.S.'s policies on this matter (fingerprinting and picture) (which is possible, but poorly executed), he's an idiot.

Rant mode on! ;)

Founder of Cuss Control Academy announces surprise resignation

Jim O'Connor, founder of the Cuss Control Academy, announced his resignation this week. The sudden news came as a surprise to the person who bought his book and the seven people that have visited his Web site in hopes of cleaning up their language. O'Connor said he felt compelled to resign after uttering the "G.D. word" (this paper later learned that he said "gosh darn") after hitting his thumb with a hammer while doing some home remodeling. While he feels he has done all he can to make things right, including writing the phrase "Cussing is very bad and I will not do it again" 1,000 times, he doesn't feel he can expect his eight supporters to respect him after such an embarrassing and shameful display of moral weakness. A replacement for O'Connor has not yet been announced.

[This is fictional satire -- but the Cuss Control Academy is real]

Either MTV are in trouble, or they'll have to censor all the bad gangsta rap they air, then. Good BEEPing riddance. :)

Heck, I am also stealth-flipping in Joi's faceroll picture of me. It wasn't really meant to offend anyone, just an alpha-male sort of joke. I guess I'll have to tape up my middlefinger now when I travel.

Enlightening post at Paradoxology on the psychological aspects of swearing

"The subjective effects of profanity are characteristic and peculiar. The most striking effect is that of a pleasant feeling of relief from a painful stress. It has a pacifying or purifying effect... profanity is ancient and deep-seated, and probably one of the oldest forms of language."

What I don't get is why a Rep. from Utah of all places would be on a morale crusade to 'save the children' from a non-existant danger.


I think if I was to give the finger to an official at a US border these days, I'd worry more about a rifle butt landing in an uncomfortable place or at very least, a nice long chat with the FBI.

This pilot's arrogance is remarkable. He should have been detained, pending an evaluation as to whether a person exhibiting such irrational and unexplainable behavior is fit to fly.

Yes, Brazil's policy only exists to treat Americans the same way as Brazilians are treated when entering the US. Turnabout would be fair play, I guess.

What if a country went beyond the US's procedures and did something that *really* seemed invasive? What if they, say, required records of all credit card transactions for 30 days preceding the visit for "security purposes"? The US would be up in arms.
Yet the US is now requiring information that violates European privacy laws.

The US cannot think their own policies reasonable if they don't think the same policies would be reasonable elsewhere.

I can understand the Brazil position a bit, but the bummer is that it's the citizens of both countries who lose out in this exchange, not the executives of these nations. I doubt the Brazilians would fingerprint George Bush.

Something is wrong if you are arrested for giving someone the middle finger.

It's just a finger.

Bruce Schneier explains why it won't help security to take tourists' fingerprints in his newest Crypto-Gram.

I agree. This is another measure that costs much in dollars, world opinion, and freedom, but doesn't achieve anything useful.

Well, I do understand the pilot's motives for doing it - if he files to Brazil often, he gets fingerprinted all the time, but its still not a wise act by a pilot.

This sort of thing is happening in Finland (almost) with the truck traffic on the border with Russia. If Finns decide to search a bit longer or more thoroughly the trucks coming in from Russia, Russia (or the guys at the border -as they're getting pretty good at it already) makes the Finnish trucks wait for a few more hours and this can result in very very long lines. In the christmas time, the lines were about 25 km long.

I get the sense that many security types are just itching for someone to react to their mistreatments. You are then on their level, and they can gleefully have their way with you.

Reaction == Bad.

Finger prints, photos, iris recognition software? How about DNA, blood, urine, hair? SS# is and has been used for years. The usage of the finger as a means of free speech is warranted. Problem is is that it was misdirected. The Brazilians didn't deserve it...Tom Ridge should have been the recipient. Folks, the world is beginning to hate us more and more. Now who was it that asked that We Give Peace a Chance? Our officials are not making good choices in regard to foreign policies...what we sow...I fear...we will receive.

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on Fingerprinting Foreigners in his newest Crypto-Gram. He doesn't think that's a good idea. I agree with his reasoning, which only states some common sense truth. Of course, all countrie... Read More