Not to comment on an already over-padded
node, but I find something interesting about Footprints
' writeup that no one has pointed out yet.
Footprints' main idea is that in order for something to be informative, it must take a balanced view of the material being presented. If a node is about drugs, it must say both that drugs can be fun but also that drugs work by fucking up your mind, which has done catastrophic damage to many people over the years.
This idea can be applied to writing on any subject. Writing a node on politics? Don't forget to include the other side's position! Writing a node on your favorite writer? Better include some of the reasons why some people think she sucks. After all, if someone was to read your glowing review, then read a book by that author they didn't like, they'd have wasted hours of their life, all because of you!
Writing a balanced node on a politicized subject is usually a good thing. However, insisting that writing a one-sided node is *dangerous* is really wrong. If humans are going to use the technology of information sharing to make their lives better, (and I heartily believe that they can and should) then striving towards unity of opinion -- that elusive "middle ground" -- will get us nowhere.
Instead, people must learn from the very beginning of their intellectual lives that knowledge is good, and that the way to knowledge involves reading many different opinions with many different biases. To truly maximize the benefit of information, one must be able to put any document into context so that its biases are recognized but that it still has the ability to impart information or even change your mind about something. When I see the literature of the KKK, (for example) it seems biased, one-sided, and divorced from reality to me, but its one-sidedness does not make it a dangerous object to eliminated, and it is still a document that one may learn things from the context if not the text itself.
There are people in this world who seek to control information, classifying it into right and wrong. They believe that through throwing away wrong information, and restricting discourse to correct channels, that they will become strong. They are incorrect. They perpetually fall into the trap of throwing away too much, and while their vigilance may make them strong in some regards, it weakens them by encouraging ignorance.
Getting back on topic, it's ironic that Footprints would criticize one-sided nodes and then says in bold letters that drugs are NOT COOL, neglecting to mention that drugs are fun too. It's pretty obvious that drugs are cool. Remember the kids you went to high school with who did drugs? (including alcohol) They were cool, right? What about the kids who didn't do drugs, who got good grades and were on the chess team? The question isn't whether drugs are cool, the question is whether being cool is worth getting fucked up over.
So anyway, for all you kiddies out there, drugs are actually pretty bad. Most of you can get away with some light use here and there, but a lot of you are addicts, with a particular physiology that will cause you seek highs even when they are ruining your life. Then of course, there's whole matter of screwing with your body while its still growing (not a good idea), and the fact that since you can't buy your drugs at the grocery store, you don't really know what you're getting, which leads to so many deaths and bad experiences which I'm sure others can tell you all about.