This page, like the other two hundred or so within this domain, is not rated according to the standards of the Recreational Software Advisory Council.

I mention this here because occasionally someone asks, and it's easier to cover it just once, and the answer is really too long to wedge into the ever-lengthening OAQ File. Besides, I would probably shorten the question to "Why isn't this site rated?" when what was really asked was "Why are you so unwilling to take a few simple steps to protect our children?"

The short answer is that writing a few lines of PICS code is not going to protect anybody's children. If I thought for a minute that I could summon the forces of the universe by means of the <META> tag, surely I would have accomplished far greater things, or at least far more interesting things, by now.

But that's not really the issue either. While display of the RSACi logo does not officially imply anything, there are people who will take its presence as some sort of moral imprimatur, and its absence as an admission of shame. These people are obviously deeply confused, and I have no great urge to add further to their confusion.

And more to the point, I grow increasingly weary of the countless calls for making the Net "child-safe". You can't make life "child-safe". All you can do, as a parent, is keep your eyes open. What you can't do is expect a ratings system or, worse, some form of censorware, to do your job for you. If you still expect me to babysit your kids, please be advised that I don't come cheaply.

The Vent

#83
1 January 1998

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