13 November 2008

Sam Mason

The Sam Mason episode is quite amusing.

There's a strange anomaly in our laws regarding thoughtcrime as they stand today - it's illegal for an employer to choose an employee on the basis of race, but it's quite legal for a consumer to choose a supplier on the basis of race. We are not followed around and audited on the colour of the tradesmen we hire or the shopkeepers we buy from. I would think any such laws are probably still ten years off.

Of course, the main reason why it is still legal is simply the difficulty of detecting it. Once we have a national ID database, and requirements to provide ID when buying most goods (not just obviously terrorist ones, like phones), such audits will become much more practical.

But even today, it is possible, if one is clumsy enough, to leave a paper trail. "We should advise you that this call may be monitored for training purposes, or for the purpose of ratting you out to your employer for political incorrectness, if you're stupid enough to boast about who your employer is in a misplaced attempt to impress us"

The other amusing aspect is that it was all about not alarming the poor little girl. When it comes to protecting our children from any appearance of a threat, mere facts are not, as a general rule, any obstacle. Be it emissions from wifi routers, artificial food colourings, or toys that could possibly be violently dismantled in such a manner as to create small parts, no evidence beyond simple prejudice is ever required to justify keeping children away from such peril. But not all irrational prejudices are good irrational prejudices.

1 comment:

neil craig said...

I suppose it would be relatively easy to do such checking on credit card payments, indeed advertisers already use such payments for less political reasons. On the other hand i hope nobody in government rerads this post - no need to give them ideas.