I think ICANN

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ICANN is loosening the rules around domain suffix at the detriment of having any meaning and comprehension embodied in a hostname. URLs need more thought, not freedom. Even ICANN’s CEO brings the move down to vanity plate level contribution. Apparently, the Internet was running out of space.

The potential here is huge. It represents a whole new way for people to express themselves on the Net,” said Dr Twomey. “It’s a massive increase in the ‘real estate’ of the Internet.

We have numerous examples of shooting ourselves.

Nine kids under 19 years of age will be killed with a gun today. 30% will have intentionally taken their own life. Even if we want to dispute the fact, suicide by handgun exists and people are not managing their relationship with firearms well. Consider the recent Supreme Court ruling objecting to a Washington D.C. ban on hand guns. Sustaining laws like this one does not actually make things safer, it just makes them illegal. We have speed limits and many of us do not follow those. Yet cars kill just fine at a rate of five to six thousand teenagers per year.

Some schools in some states attempt to teach safe sex. The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation reports that children have sex at around age 17. Include other forms of sex and those polled report almost 50% of males having received oral sex and 39% gave. So kids are sexually active and there is a movement to focus on not having sex, not how to do it safely or how to be smart about it. An NPR story reported…

…Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government finds that only 7 percent of Americans say sex education should not be taught in schools.

If we are in such agreement, we should start measuring how many of our children’s decisions around sex are well informed. Remove the issue of if their decision is something we personally agree with and simply ask if they felt they were informed.

No one disputes, though, that many were delighted to discover they were pregnant. “Sweet!” one of them shouted in the school nurse’s office. The school superintendent admitted: “They were not trying very hard not to get pregnant.”

From Financial Times, The ideology of teen pregnancy (Gloucester High School Pregnancy Pact) by Christopher Caldwell

Prescription drugs seem to be all the rage. Some might naively interpret that the war on drugs must be almost over if kids are turning to medicine cabinets. Or we could simply be inspired by Dr. Twomey and say that we have a massive increase in the ‘real estate’ of drug market.

Structured naming lets us work and communicate meaning. Our world works in abstractions. We cannot possibly consider the totality of our own lives, the community, the nation or the world without coming to a screeching halt. Abstractions allow us to consider just enough of reality to work with it. Loosely regulated naming is not a good thing. One lesson we can apply from corporate life is that things done by committee often fail or are fraught with issues. It lacks leadership and puts the idiocracy into the lead.

A recent article in the Atlantic, Is Google Making us Stoopid? by Nicholas Carr, talks about our increasing reliance on the intelligent Internet and our own asymptotic tendency away from our rich, educated and thoughtful past. One can only hope that Internet naming is just a fluke, that this is not just another data point of stupidity.