Epistemologically Discriminated- SETI X-rated

Marcia Steelman (steelm@bellsouth.net)
Wed, 28 Jul 1999 00:59:40 -0400

Hi Dr. Paul, Hi Everybody:

Talking about stupidity, search engines, index related issues, today I
tried and failed to access the SETI League Website from the office. I
could not connect to anything vaguely related to our website, none of
the bookmarked pages about SETI I had. I hadn't noticed before because
I've been too busy, and seldom use the PC or the microstation for
anything but work.

Not only the website of the SETI League was censored, but anything
related to SETI and the space program. Among the other censored sites
are NASA, NOAA, SETI Institute, JPL. <sad face>.

I finally managed to talk to one of the systems administrators
(moronicus sp.), and he explained to me that all SETI related sites were
rated as unacceptable to our company's policies. He said that access to
recreational sites like that, would compromise the public image of the
company. He was amazed that I had managed to connect a month ago.

They also censored anything related to UFOs and Paranormal phenomena.
They basically rated the various SETI programs, even the NASA's Jet
Propulsion Lab and NASA mission information sites, astronomical
webpages, and recreational sites like Star Trek and Star Wars, X-files,
and astrology, tarot, in the same way.

I am really mad because as I still can access most porno sites to
my heart's content, and any e-sales website I would desire. <frown>

On another list, space related, somebody noted that the SETI keyword is
associated automatically to UFO, Paranormal, X-Files, Astronomy and
Astrology (!) on many internet portals.

I believe it would be a good idea if the League members, and friends
would write to Yahoo, Infoseek, America On-Line, and other Internet
Portals requesting that the keyword SETI should not be associated to
non-scientific themes like UFO, Area 51, paranormal phenomena, tarot,
science fiction, etc.

Maybe that META tag should be placed in the website, so we would not be
indexed, and classified by their robots (see Brian Wong's message).

Bottom line is, no matter how we advance some people just do not
the difference between science and science fiction, when SETI, or the
space program is involved.

The way it goes it seems we are being discriminated based on the
research object. To me that opens a completely new way to experience
minority issues.<grin>

Marcia Steelman

rcia Steelman

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