Friday, December 09, 2005

Censored

I will depart again from my habit of not saying anything about my real life, because of the interesting thing that happened today. I have been censored, for the first time since primary school.

(1) My university offers a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Homeopathic Medicine) degree.

(2) The students actually get taught real knowledge stuff by my university. It doesn’t teach the actual homeopathic medicine bit, but leaves that in the hands of a bunch of fruit loops.

(3) Homeopathic medicine is a load of toss. It is an order of magnitude less scientific than Creation Science, because Creation Science depends on some supernatural force kicking off the natural laws we know and love, and homeopathic medicine just tells said natural laws to bugger off.

I had a bit on an out of the way corner of my web site at work mentioning these three facts, in very slightly more polite language than I’ve given here, with links to our degree programme, the fruit loops, and a representative web site demonstrating that homeopathy is a load of toss.

Got a message from the Dean this afternoon, saying: ‘Please remove the references to homeopathy on your web site.’

Being at heart a forelock-tugging slave to authority, I said ‘okay’.
Having a tiny bit of pride, I replaced the blurb with ‘The links that used to be here have been removed by request of the Dean.’

About ten minutes later, I got another message from the Dean, saying: ‘Please remove the reference to me on your web site.’

So I wrote back, ‘Please rephrase your request as a directive and I will happily comply.’
And the Dean replied: ‘That was a directive, I was just being polite.’

So I did that. Then I went to ask someone who knew about Information Technology Legal stuff if the Dean was actually allowed to do that. And they said (I think) ‘Yes.’

So I spat the dummy and took my whole website down. Childish, I know...

2 comments:

Marco said...

Congratulations! You can truly claim to be a champion of free speech once you've been officially censored.

Jenny said...

Wow, I know someone who has been officially censored. Congratulations. You know you've shown integrity when that happens. I liked the mature way you dealt with it too. Acknowledging the authority's ability to censor by following directives, while still showing your belief in what you had said.