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Geek Profiling: The Next W.A.V.E.

JonKatz posted more than 14 years ago | from the -constitution-isn't-for-kids dept.

United States 654

W.A.V.E., a profit-making program ramping up in the southern U.S. and soon to go national, will use Web sites, toll-free numbers, T-shirts and cash to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates they consider depressed, dangerous or potentially violent. This horrifically stupid Geek Profiling would be blatantly unconstitutional if applied to adults.

According to David Bresnahan, reporting on the WorldNet Daily site, the new "W.A.V.E" program, developed by Pinkerton Services Group,a division of the international security firm Pinkerton, Inc. is starting up in North Carolina, and is soon to go nationwide.

W.A.V.E. offers anonymous toll-free lines for students, who will be trained to watch for and report "dangerous" behavior like depression, or kids with weapons. Every North Carolina school will have free access to this program, which will include a Web site, classes, school assemblies and special sessions for parents and teachers. W.A.V.E America was created by a North Carolina task force on school violence working together with Pinkerton. A contact list of law-enforcement agencies is also being developed for each school in the state to notify when a tip has been received by Pinkerton on its nationwide toll-free line.

W.A.V.E joins new sofware "security" programs like Mosaic 2000, which is being tested in public schools in America to compile and computerize information on students believed to be dangerous or potentially violent. This new rat-on-kids industry is an offshoot of the Geek Profiling anti-Net hysteria that broke out all across the United States after the Columbine High School killings, whose first anniversary is fast approaching. Despite the fact that horrific incidents like Columbine are extremely rare, and that the FBI and Justice Department have both reported that youth violence has dropped to its lowest levels in more than half a century, the belief persists in much of America that technologies like the Internet (and activities like computer gaming) are turning otherwise healthy school children into mass murderers.

In a newsmagazine survey taken earlier this year, 81 percent of Americans said they believed the Net was responsible for the Columbine massacre.

In the lunatic world of American education, and the surreal aftermath of Columbine, it now seems perfectly reasonable, even sensible, to suspend and force into counseling children who who are angry, depressed, who wear white, game obsessively, or who say intemperate and stupid things. The W.A.V.E program is not only institutionalizing but rewarding a culture in which kids are being taught to turn in classmates whose behavior they consider abnormal or dangerous. It also reinforces the notion that school students have no Constitutional rights of due process such as privacy, confronting accusers, behaving in non-conformist ways, or even knowing that accusations against them exist.

Although school-age children are presumed to have few rights, it's obvious that this kind of anonymous and intrusive law enforcement would blatantly unconstitutional for adults. Just yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Florida law that permits police to search people for firearms solely on the basis of anonymous tips. Citing the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure, the court ruled that such a law would enable "any person to harass another to set in motion an intrusive, embarrassing police search..." Authorities, the court ruled, needed some corraborating evidence before they could invade the privacy of any citizen. It's frightening to imagine how school authorities can possibly teach citizenship when they have so wantonly violate the very idea of constitutional rights.

This Orwellian phobia (who do we turn in next?: "dangerous" parents, neighbors and sibs?) has been a staple of the most venal political systems in the 20th Century, from Nazism to fascism to Communism. It is presumptuous and arrogant on so many levels it's astonishing to see public officials like North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt adopt the idea so unthinkingly and enthusiastically. But he's not alone -- plenty of parents and educators are along for the ride.

It isn't clear where information goes once it's collected by kid-profiling software, or toll-free hot-lines. Presumably, it remains in a computerized dangerous-kids database for life. This is just one more reason that it's insane to ask young children to evaluate their classmates for emotional disorders and other signs of potentially "dangerous" behavior. Not only are kids patently unqualified to make judgments like that, the temptation to turn in kids that are socially competitive, "geeky," different, disliked, abrasive or unhappy seems almost irresistible, especially when doing so brings tangible rewards like cash, and is cloaked under anonymity. Monitoring and evaluating behavior is a science that's supposed to be done by trained professionals -- teachers, psychologists, guidance counselors, and therapists. Even then, kids ought to have the right to be openly confronted with the accusation that they're a menace to society, and to respond, rather than wonder if some angry classmate has branded them for life on an anonymous toll free line run by a profit-making private company with a vested interest in promoting the notion that schools -- and kids -- are dangerous.

"A safe school environment is fundamental to helping North Carolina's students succeed in school," announced Governor Hunt. "Every school ought to be a safe one and W.A.V.E. American will help get every kid involved. This program is more than just a tip line, it teaches students and parents to look for the early signs of violent behavior and to resolve conflicts constructively."

This is the worst kind of political exploitation of kids. It takes schools off the hook and turns the complex process of school administration over to adolescents. Kids will ultimately have to live in fear that the deskmate they jostled with will turn them in for money, or that bragging about exploits on Doom will get them turned into W.A.V.E. as "unbalanced."

If a kid or a parent becomes aware that a classmate has a gun and plans to use it, there are plenty of cops and law enforcement officials they can call. There is no statistical evidence to support the notion that schools are so dangerous that children need to be manipulated into turning one another in. Nor is there much doubt about who will be targeted -- geeks, nerds, Goths, oddballs, along with anyone else who is discontented, alienated and individualistic.

That kids are being rewarded for doing this is revolting enough. That they are being asked to do by a profit-making private corporation for money suggests a culture a lot sicker and more dangerous than most schoolkids. that?

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Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition!!!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1163018)

This can be a good thing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1163021)

Until our country gives up its outdated love-affair with guns, this kind of measure could help to prevent more school shootings by disturbed teenagers. In every school across the country there are likely to be one or two individuals that are likely to become dangerous given the opportunity, and the rampant ownership of guns gives them that opportunity.

The trouble is that it can be incredibly difficult to spot these disturbed individuals, especially for parents and teachers who are either kept away or have no personal interest. Given this, which part of society has the greatest chance of spotting the patterns of behaviour which indicate potential danger?

The answer is obviously fellow students. They have the greatest contact with the individuals, and can see the changes that take place over time. Up until now there was nothing students could do if they noticed warning signs. By giving them a means to take their observations to someone who can do something about it, this service is providing a valuable safety net to both those in need of help, and to society as a whole.

Don't forget, it helps these individuals as well. Rather than them progressing to a dangerous state they will receive care and attention. After all, it's not their fault that their genes give rise to this situation, and they shouldn't be blamed for it. If this helps those people, and saves lives into the bargain, I think it is a worthwhile project.

Sick Shit. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1163024)

It's shit like this that makes the US looks so sick and messed up for us Canadians. Now I know that most Americans are nice guys but once we see this kind of thing what are we supposed to think? As the article poster said, Where's the number to 'denounce' this company? How can this be legal?
It's especially scary once you see it compared to the Hitler Youth.
Anybody find it strange that the geeks, gamers, and individualists are probably the most likely to use the internet? And so they would be the ones having the most exposure to this so-called 'security program.'
What I think they should do is just frikin' overflow the program with thousands of 'reports' about how their 'normal' classmates looked scary or wore all black clothing one day. What are they supposed to do, 'investigate' all these tens of thousands of kids?
Lets make this literally good-for-nothing but bad-for-everyone company go under.

S.P.I.E.S (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1163025)

Student Protection from Instability and Exceptional Strangeness.

Now, I'm not one to compare with Orwell, but weren't the Spies supposed to turn in people who were supposedly thinking "ungood" things? IIRC, a number of people believed that the thought criminals simply needed "help" (look at Winston's neighbor, who swore he would thank the judge for catching him before it was too late!). W.A.V.E. only encourages kids to turn in other kids that need "help".

Don't get me wrong-- depression is a serious problem, and it requires attention. But this is going to create a huge stigma for kids that really do suffer from depression. "Kids that think like this aren't even supposed to be in school-- they tell us to report kids like me to security officers. Am I a potential killer?"

Big Brother is busy-- the girl behind you in geometry class (you know, the one that always has green stuff caught in her braces) is watching you instead.

exactly (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1163026)

Yup. I've benn in the US as an exchange student, and we've read that book at Problems Of Democracy class, as an example, how things should not be.. It was called The Wave, you're right. It was just about the same thing this W.A.V.E. is gonna be. God save America, if this is going to happen. I lived in comunism, than some nationalism and dictatorship. It sucks. You don't want that. I guarentee you! Jano (

Yeah, Yeah (1)

Da Unicorn (941) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163030)

Well, another Katz piece that includes no real meat, just his usual skewed view. Not even a link to some facts, although Katz manufactures plenty of his own "facts".

I must admit the concept of this program is a bad thing
'Nuff Sed

Re:WAVE? (1)

martin (1336) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163033)

here's the info...

Apparently based a true story...

WorldNet Daily Not Credible (1)

MoNickels (1700) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163041)

The WorldNet Daily site is not credible.

I'm not saying Jon's information is not correct. However, if Jon wants his stories to have credibility, he should avoid quoting their stories.

WorldNet Daily is one of those sites that conveniently leaves out important, mitigating information; that often posts articles without factual attribution, references, bibliographies, footnotes or nationally recognized experts or sources (other than self-recognized); that seems to rewrite articles appearing elsewhere and to claim them as its own; that in an admittedly common American tradition, weaves bias, prejudice and preference throughout everything posted.

WorldNet Daily's work amounts to unsubstantiated and ad hominem attacks with little separation of fact and opinion. Its suppositions are often wishful thinking and rumor, its claims are incredible and unlikely. It allows its "sources" to use WorldNet daily as a propagation machine for narrow agendas without tempering or anodyne or balance.

I would disrecommend using it as any kind of support for a story.

Look at 1984 ... (1)

Bwah (3970) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163047)

Mr. Orwell was just a little early I guess ... the "Spies" are here now.

Hmmm ... maybe I should re-read my copy, figure out the "next big thing" and try to cash in early like a good capitalist ...

It's perfect! (1)

Peter La Casse (3992) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163048)

Now instead of gunning down their classmates, high schoolers can turn them in to the authorities via this program. Got a jock bothering you? One phone call and the black helicopters will come take him away. That pretty girl likes her boyfriend more than you? See how much she likes him when he's in jail for refusing to admit he's a homicidal maniac. (See how much he likes her after being introduced to the joys of prison romance by his roommate Bubba.)

I knew reading The Gulag Archipelago would come in handy someday.

Who's responsible? (1)

Linegod (9952) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163077)

So let me get this straight, the government takes away the ability of the schools to discipline children, and society and the government take away the ability of parents to discipline children, and know, when certain kids go out of control they have the same bunch of "depressed, dangerous or potentially violent" children the ability to discipline each other. Can we pass the buck any further?

Re:The Wave? (1)

kmcardle (24757) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163113)

Here is IMDB's entry. []

I thought it was odd too.

Isn't it a little strange.... (1)

evilpete (26941) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163117) reward an anonymous tip off with a free t-shirt????

Yahoo story link on WAVE America (1)

sphere (27305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163118)

If you want to look at another link, Yahoo has a press release on WAVE America. Check it out here [] .
"Deep in the ocean are treasures beyond compare,

Yikes! (1)

sphere (27305) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163119)

W.A.V.E. really scares me.

Back in high school (many moons ago 'cause I'm old now), my friends were pretty weird. They drew pentagrams on their lockers--one was named "Hell Locker" and the other was named "Satan Locker"--and one friend drew a pentagram inside my copy of "Canterbury Tales."

Finally, I asked that friend why he was drawing pentagrams everywhere. He paused, smiled and burst out laughing. "Satan is so FUNNY!" he finally said. And no one at the high school ever said anything. The pentagrams simply vanished.

So where are they now? All doing just fine, thank you. One of them became a VP of Information Management at a big company; another became a programmer/consultant; others turned to acting and poetry. No psychopathic behavior, no nothing.

But if W.A.V.E. was around then, my friends & I could've been locked up or medicated. Then all that talent would've gone to waste. Is that what America wants? I hope not.

"Deep in the ocean are treasures beyond compare,

If you really don't like this... (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163123)

you can always use the anonymous nature of the service to destroy it. Turn in your teachers, turn in your homecoming queen, turn in the star quarterback. Turn in every kid who ever threatened you, or ever threatened anyone else.

If you're feeling really cocky and have nothing to hide, turn in yourself, and calmly explain to any media that will listen to you about how your rights are being violated by a bunch of fascist rent-a-cops.

They can't investigate everything and still make a profit. They can't maintain their credibility when they investigate popular kids with influental parents.

Godwin's Law in Action! (1)

Xofer D (29055) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163125)

It's a carbon copy of the Hitler Youth program used so successfully in World War II Germany...

I wondered how long it would take for Godwin's Law to take effect in The Katz Papers. Whoever said it was limited to USENET postings?

For those who don't know, Godwin's Law is (according to the Jargon File):

"'As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.' There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups."

The idea is by the time people start bandying about comparisons to the holocaust (and let's face it, are/were there any gas chambers at *your* high school?), any rational discussion has long since been lost in the growing noise of buzzwords and purely emotional appeals.

That being said, it's too bad Katz threads seem to almost immediately degrade into analysis of the Katz article in question, for often (as in this example), he has some interesting things to say.

The boy why cried "geek". (1)

c=sixty4 (35259) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163134)

You know, it's sad that Jon Katz has proven himself to be an alarmist, overreacting, attention-seeking gasbag in desparate need of recognition, since this *is* an important issue to think about.

When you attend a school, you are not a someone working at a job. You are a slave, bound by law to spend your time there, no matter how bad the conditions. Even here in Sweden, a nation not known for school violence, some telling articles hit the papers. In one school, urinary tract infections were increasing at an alarming rate. Why? The school board decided to close down most of the school's restrooms after one toilet had been vandalised. This is not an isolated instance. It is quite common for the whool school to be punished for the actions of one student. An environment not suitable for humans is not the place to grow up in.

Re:Outdated?! (1)

Sun Tzu (41522) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163150)

Perhaps you'd like to elaborate on why our "love affair with guns" is "outdated"?

What has happened in the last 200 years that has fundamentally changed the nature of people and small arms?

yeah dangerous (1)

jaapD (45964) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163168)

Find out who's behind this and report their children. For being under the dangerous influence of some dumb adults.

Re:Sounds good to me... (1)

Guzz (46637) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163170)

"In a newsmagazine survey taken earlier this year, 81 percent of Americans said they believed the Net was responsible for the Columbine massacre. "

For some reason, I just don't think I beleive this. Where'd you get this one Katz?

Re:WAVE? (1)

charlesc (50846) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163176)

The movie was based on this teen novel [] which was published in 1981.

America (1)

tilleyrw (56427) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163187)

I just sit back in my chair of adult-hood and watch America burn.

It wasn't the geeky kids that were dangerous (1)

Ground0 (63349) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163194)

It was not the geeky loners that were dangerous when I went to school. It was the pack of 4-5 steriod injecting meatheads who terrorised kids and shook them down for their lunch money but were defended by school officials because of a winning sports season. Why are people persisting to apply cures to the symptons and not the causes of problems.

"Pro libertate" - "FOR FREEDOM"

Wrong solution (1)

binner (68996) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163203)

I completely disagree with programs of this sort! However, even if there were an actual problem, programs like this target the effect, not the cause!

Can't Work (1)

ryarger (69279) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163205)

As a couple of people have indirectly pointed out,
this simply cannot work as expected. The geeks,
loners, freaks, etc. are too intelligent not to
subvert the system, sign up themselves and turn in
either the most popular people, or the entire school.

Re:Wasn't that an Afternoon Special (1)

fat_mike (71855) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163215)

I've read the book, but I'm not sure if it was based on a true story or not. The book is pretty creepy.


Sit back and enjoy the show... (1)

ruppel (82583) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163226)

the US seems like an endless source of curious and macabre entertainment, all one really can do is sit back and enjoy (and hope that the punch line doen't hit your own nose). I have always liked being on an entirely different continent than the USA although I'd prefer a different planet or solar system.

ill .... (1)

frederik (86671) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163234)

America is on it's way to be the first state to show that Orwell was right ...
It's scary to see Orwell's "1984" becoming reality. Soon there will be no one to contradict the American government, because all who'll try to will go to jail.

HELP! I hope this won't happen to Germany, too.

Survey (1)

Mr Windows (91218) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163243)

In a newsmagazine survey taken earlier this year, 81 percent of Americans [surveyed] said they believed the Net was responsible for the Columbine massacre... it must be true. After all, 81% of surveyed Americans can't be wrong, can they. I'm sure that they know all the facts and weren't just presented with the question ``Was The Net responsible etc... Yes/No''.

Re:Interesting... not that scary... (1)

Pennywise (92193) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163245)

This program appears to be well intended

We all know what road the Good Intentions Paving Company maintains...

While it's true that if this program is used only as intended it could help some kids who desperately need it, I don't think we can trust people that much. You can't possibly expect kids to use a system like this the way it is intended. Kids in general REALLY disklike anyone who doesn't "fit in". This dislike often borders on hatred. While I don't think the average kid would misuse the system, there are too many who would. It only takes one kid to "report" on little Johnny to ruin him. Once that kind of accusation has been made ( especially in today's climate ) it becomes a case of "prove to us you're not dangerous". This system is a bad, bad idea.

I'm glad I finished high school years ago before the world went completely nuts, but what do I do about my kids??

Somehow reminds me of "The Wave" by Morton Rhue (1)

zazzel (98233) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163258) qid%3D954336930/002-2114430-5785861 JFYI I think this attempt *strongly* resembles methods being used by the characters of this book. Some people (including ME :) would call this FASCISM. But I think theres one way to fight this: Start denouncing everyone you know at school! Ask your fellow students to denounce everyone else - and each other! Why not beat them with their own weapons?

Kid Shrinks?! (1)

cavedwler (99643) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163266)

Man, If this had been around when I was in high school, I would be locked up! It sounds like if you arent popular you are going to get 'turned in'. Am I the only one that is seeing the Salem witch trials??

Re:This is a perfect weapon... (1)

bludstone (103539) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163273)

Heh, time to prank call it a-la bart simpson.
Ivanna Tinkle has been really depressed lately, and she spends alot of time on the internet looking at weird websites like freshmeat too!
And little Rob Malda helps run this dangerous website filled with hate towards society today! He should be in jail!
Seriously for half a sec, this is ridiculous, not only will geeks be scrutinized because of this, but most all teens go through some kind of depression, its normal for teen life.
bah, someone find me the 800 number :)

The wonderful thing about data systems like these (1)

waldeaux (109942) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163287)

... is that they're only as good as the data fed to them. So, if it's anonymous, why not enter in the entire school roster? After all, any kid has the *potential* to be violent, from the geeky nerd to the jocks, etc. The system is only feeding on the fear and the false hope that the person who would commit a crime is already an "outsider".

I'm reminded of the line in the first Addams Family movie where Wednesday is dressed up for Halloween. She's completely non-descript because serial killers "look just like everyone else".

Evidence? (1)

Skinny Rob (110104) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163288)

Now don't get me wrong, this might be true and if it is it's a Very Bad Thing, but what exactly is the source of the story? Any school press releases? Anything from Pinkerton's? Or has someone just made it all up? The WorldNet report doesn't link to any external material apart from another WorldNet report (recurvise journalism). Hard facts welcome.

We are a little past our 1984 deadline........ (1)

Mr.roboto (112555) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163296)

But we are rapidly getting there. They'll probally be trying to brainwash us into being happy that we got turned in, too. By the way, We don't have any rights, the teachers say "check your rights at the door", and quit frankly, they are right. We can't speak our minds, we definetly don't have due process, and the chances of our interests being looked after are very low. Take at my old school, for instance. We used to like to play Dungeons and Dragons, untill they banned it. Why did they ban it? Because it was "gambling". We never bet anything, and we never got into a physical altercation over it. Basketball was allowed, however. There were many fights with basketball, but it was okay. Even in the school handbook it says "rules may be changed at any time". They are all doing it "for your own good" too, but it isn't really for your own good. We should all call up the "anynomus tip lines" from payfones as a protest against being persecuted. I'm sure that there's a lot of these lines out there, they've got one in my town. If anyone's interested E-mail me at I'll build a site and assign a day or something.

Cash incentives gives out the wrong message. (1)

Netsnipe (112692) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163298)

A cash incentive in an extremely capitalist environment such as the United States will only encourage students to dob in students they only have a slight inclination towards being depressed, dangerous or potentially violent. When this type of person is in this type of state of mind they are confused enough about their own mental self without having to deal with peers anonymously dobbing them in for a cash benefit.

Sure this program is a right step in early detection and prevention by raising awareness, but a depressed teenager is more likely to see themselves as being or try to conform to the image that their peers attribute them with.

A violent person who is dobbed in may receive a boost to their violent irrational thinking when they realise that their attitudes strike fear in the minds of their peers. Depressed people will only withdraw further into themselves when others point out to them that they are depressed and thus socially inept in a peer group, leaving them contemplating suicide as their only escape. Encouraging other to start labelling and categorising these people in boxes will only further exacerbate their problems and leave them feeling isolated without solving the problem immediately.

Personally coming from Australia, which in fact has one of the world's highest youth suicide rates in the world, it is rather fortunate (in a twisted sense) way that our tough gun laws prevent the distressed from taking out their anger on the rest of society, but onto themselves. I know that I shall be flamed by the pro-gun NRA lobby, but taking away the right to a gun from teenagers is obviously the first step in controlling the situation and reducing violence and copycat incidents in the United States.

After that is done, it is essential that the depressed and troubled teenagers of America not be filtered, separated and isolated by their peers as a result of the judgements of inexperienced watchdogs in the form of teenagers, but by closer-nit school communities that can diagnose and counsel together. The last thing troubled teenagers want is to tagged and become a target for ridicule by 'poachers'. Counselling cannot be applied nation-wide. There is no one quick cure for depression and mental instability that is applicable en masse.

Everyone must be treated and diagnosed as individual, no matter what their state of mind is, by trained professionals who have the patient in mind not their wallets.

Sample MOSAIC Test On-Line? (1)

fuzzybunny (112938) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163301)

I suppose given all the copyright/trademark infringement lawsuits we've seen targeting people who've managed to peek into proprietary broken software (broken source! new term!), I don't suppose it's likely that someone has put up a convenient on-line test version of this--sort of a bad-boy purity test type of thing?

I, for one, would love to see how I'd score on the high school Junior Gangsters of America exam.

1984 (1)

xianzombie (123633) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163322)

sound familiar? kids spying on people and turning them in, letting big brother deal with them....

on the other hand, katz has yet another over wordy article, however this one he does imho bring up some decent points for a debate, though i'm still curious as to his own views on this and the other posts

Re:WAVE? (1)

idot (130605) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163349)

They definetly were inspired by the movie the wrong way. Maybe they walked out before its ending, inspired to use these techniques and to persue their aim to eradicate all smut and bring discipline and unity to all the kids, who are anyway week, dirty, lazy etc...

However I think that even seeing the ending wouldnt have changed their minds, because thats what they think of people who dont exactly fit their imagination. And they dont see that even starting such a thing violates human rights (which also apply to children, although the US hadnt signed the international treaty for this yet)and that such a thing is uncontrollable, and is due to take off in directions hopefully even unwanted to them.

Heres the movie []

Pinkerton (1)

trigger (132469) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163353)

Nice to see that they have teamed up with Pinkerton, who are known for their strong-arm methods in corporate spying, stopping strikes, labor unions and now "the enemy within". However after growing up in North Carolina I'm not that surprised. "What you thinkin' about, boy!"

Re:Geeks? (1)

theMacDude (132844) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163356)

Dang. This means that everyone who uses a Mac should be reported to W.A.V.E. because they might "Think Different"...

Oh well, might as well turn myself in... ;-)


More relevant links (1)

luckykaa (134517) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163360)

This site [] tells (briefly) about the true story behind it.

Why do I think this will be used in reverse? (1)

luckykaa (134517) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163362)

On one hand, we have a lonely single kid with a dislike of authority, a hatred of his classmates, and disdain of social conventions.

On the other hand we have a popular friendly kid, with a lot of friends, and a typical attitude to authority (i.e. "I'm not going to tell on my classmates" - common in 99% of well balanced kids)

Which of these is more likely to turn in the other?

Re:WAVE? (1)

luckykaa (134517) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163363)

It would have to have been in the early 80's.

Quite right. It was in 1981. Here [] is the imdb link to it. Apparently it's based on a true story.

"Strength through community! Strength through action!"

The next step (1)

sstrick (137546) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163370)

What exactly do they do when a child is reported as being "different"?

I am also interested in how the organisation makes it's money?

Do they get a fee for each child that gets dobbed into them? Or maybe they could just charge the parents a fee for a conformity program to stiffle this individualism, hell we could even pass a law that they have to go on the program and the parents have to pay.

I just have visions of a classroom full of desks of identical looking kids, all to afraid to express an opinion in case they get reported. Wait a second maybe I'm thinking of 1984....

this should make for a good laugh (1)

peengers (140033) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163377)

I can't wait until the kids discover that calling in an anonymous tip is an ideal way to get back at someone for pissing you off.

A new prank in town (1)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163383)

I'm just seeing it:

Forget about phoning the school with bomb threats.
Forget about stinky bombs.

There's a new game in town:
Snitch on the school buly

Basically, after the Pinkerton guys get some 10 or 20 anonymous calls about a guy ( the school buly ) having antisocial behaviour, they will see a patern emerge - the guy will be called, and will have to answer some really nice questions about his family, his gamming habits, ...

This might turn out to be an anti-bully tool instead of an anti-geek tool!!!

I don't like this. (1)

AgentRavyn (142623) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163392)

This is pretty damn sick. I don't like this at all, for the simple reason that my classmates think I'm the most likely person to blow up my school. Very few people at my school know a lot about me, and they assume that because I'm a loner and I'm smart, I'm a depressed, anti-Social psycho who is building a stash of bombs to strategically place around my school. Simply because I have the know-how, I'm labeled. Someone turning me in to this would be likely--which would just be one bigass hassle. I say let the teachers deal with it.

Re: neo-LIBERALISM (1)

gaijin99 (143693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163396)

Go back, reset, and try again. Liberalism is not to blame for every evil that you find.

The neo-liberalist response to the school shootings has already been seen: demand more gun laws.

What you are seeing is the neo-conservative response: take away as many rights (that aren't Second Ammendment) as possible.

Keep your politics streight. Remember, neither party has your best interest in mind.

Can I turn myself in? (1)

JudgePagLIVR (145069) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163398)

And more importantly, if I turn myself in, do I get some sort of reward?

If I am marked for being highly depressed about my grades (which I am) and highly likely to snap and take out a post office full of innocent bystanders (which I am not), do they actually help me, or do they just watch?

Katz reads WorldNet Daily? (1)

BitwizeGHC (145393) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163400)

Way to go Katz! Issues like this tend to hit WND faster than most other sites, including /. and certainly long before CNN gets around to it.

USSR vs USA (1)

absurd (146685) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163404)

This only proofs what I have been suspecting
about USA.

In Soviet Union (USSR) there was monstrous
government police KGB, and everyone was eager
to turn in their neighbours for no matter how
small reason. The public image of USSR was
however (or tried to be) land of productivity
and enjoyment. (ringing any bells?) So there were
two truths, the governments and the actual.
People were all part of big illusion, and they
knew it, just played along to survive.

In USA, however, the people don't realize they
are living in socialist-fascist -society. The
illusion that government keeps up works fine,
the majority of people falsely thinks their
beloved country is glorious and righteous, while
the truth is sad. Echelon, NSA, all the bad boys
and the power of money over people in democracy,
sad sad sad. This is just one example of it.

But, nothing can be done, once a lamb always
a lamb. Unless, well you know it yourself, do
something. You, people.

It dosen't surprise me... (1)

way2slo (151122) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163423)

This sort of thing dosen't surprise me anymore. People substuting fear for reason... Instead of trying to help these poor kids, they decide to brand them as being "dangerous". I'm no child psychologist, but common sence tells me that labeling these kids and having their peer's turn them in for cash and prizes is NOT the way to handle this. All this will do is make them even more depressed, because now their classmates ARE out to get them. Lets say the kid is actually IS dangerous, this crap just might push them over the edge. Of course, they'll be able to tell who turned them in...all they have to look for is a kid with a brand new W.A.V.E. cap or shirt. In that case, the W.A.V.E. logo might as well be a bulleye.

Re:Interesting... not that scary... (1)

Stary (151493) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163425)

I think you failed to notice the link to the article in this. The article on this page [] pretty clearly displays dry facts only (reports of both pros and cons included), and that's where you should go if you just want plain facts. And as a JonKatz peice i doubt it was even meant as an unbiased factual report.

This program appears to be well intended: if you think someone is a threat to himself or others, you call a number and they have someone speak to him. Overall, not a terrible state of affairs. If the situation isn't a problem, they go about their business. If they are depressed, maybe they find a good shrink and lead happier lives.

You missed the biggest problem with it... They'll give kids cash, T-shirts, etc, for these calls. It could easily lead to (and im sure it will somewhere if it goes national) "bounty hunting"-like activities. It'll no longer be about helping friends, it'll be about finding someone you can get away with reporting, and get as much cash as possible.

Re:Wasn't that an Afternoon Special (1)

Stary (151493) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163427)

Yeah I saw this movie too... in school, actually. Maybe it's cultural (I'm not in the US) or maybe someone just changed their mind... but didn't the schools like teach people that this kind of behaviour is bad?

Anyway, the choice of name for this organization gets real ironic if you've seen the movie... unless this is just another big screwed up "experiment" to show people what happens...

What's next?the audio-visual club on COPS? (1)

kuzinov (155239) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163439)

'The Wave" was a a movie based on a teacher's experiment to show students how the German people got wrapped up by the Nazi Party.He would get the students to join The Wave and go against anything that wasn't them.Then he would turn around and basically say this is how the Germans fell for the Nazis. I love how Pinkerton doesn't think a kid won't use this for bad.With any luck just about every kid will wind up in the database either overloading it or rendering it moot.

Sounds like McCartism... (1)

cheekymonkey_68 (156096) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163445)

One student fires a gun so that makes us all homicidal maniacs in their eyes. We play violent computer games ergo we must be violent.
So if some is wrongly accussed which lets face is gonna happen if you allow anyonmous calling...what redress will they have ? Can someone be branded subversive without breaking any laws and forced into counselling ?
I can imagine it now... Are you a student or have you ever listened to a Morrisey record
Woah bedtide the student caught with a Leonard Cohen Cd, your obviously depressed off for counselling...

Bubblegum Generation (1)

evilempire (156129) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163446)

So they want everyone to act normal huh? Drink Pepsi, listen to Boyz2Men, etc.. Is there an outline for what normal is? Popularity or "what's cool" now a days is gay. Society is braking down. Putting small band aids on it will only make it rot that much more. "You rat me out and your dead" is what kids are going to be saying. Being a rat isn't cool past, present, or in the future. If anything, you're going to see more kids dying because of asumptions of these "rats". Who's fault is that kids can get weapons? Society. I hope everybody dies. Black, white, red I don't care. You all make me sick. This is just the beginning of the downfall of society and it looks good to me. Kill each other, more entertainment for me.

I'm the great, cynic, I'm the indifferent gaze

Charges?? (1)

suss (158993) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163457)

So what are they going to charge these kids with? Last time i heard being depressed isnt a crime... This stuff all sounds a bit too much like STASI-practices (Former east-german secret police)...

Leave it to Ol' PuckerLips to do this shit... (1)

hkcraig (159584) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163458)

Yeah folks, you gotta give my/our homestate credit, any State that can elect an openly racist Senator i.e. "Senator No" Sen. Jesse Helms (a Republican)- AND - Old Puckerlips Hizzhonor Himself Gov. Jim Hunt (a Democrat) who presents a liberal's cloak to the public but has a Nazi heart has got to be one schizophrenic gestalt State...Jesus, and to think I helped get Helms elected back in least I didn't work for any of Hunt's campaigns, thankfully...and at least Helms, for all his blatant Alzheimer's-inspired racism, homophobia and xenophobia doesn't hide any of his true colors, unlike Gov. Hunt who has always made this pretense of being a fiscal conservative-social liberal but by his actions in four terms in office that his spine is not unlike a sailing yacht's spinnaker sail, billowing and puffing out whichever way the political wind blows at the moment...

When my nearly-80-YO politically astute father told me a few years back that Waco was the culmination of a successful effort by the Government to silence all dissent which threatened the status quo by openly murdering those who speak their own truth I just poo-poohed his thoughts with a laugh, but when stuff like this shit with the new Nazi WAVE happens, I'm beginning to believe him.

When eminations that amount to fart noises coming from the cheeks of an ass of chicken via Old Puckerlip's totally scary pronouncements that not only is everyone who is not one of the perfect and "beautiful people" in high school in North Carolina fair game not just for ostracisim and pariah status but evidently also now a target for potentially illegal erzats law enforcement "shadowing" of otherwise lawful behavior, it makes me think that the old Soviet Empire didn't collapse after all, it simply changed it's name and moved to the Governor's Mansion in the Great State Of North Carolina.

~~~H. Kent Craig, Who At 15 Was The Gopher For Frank Rouse Who Was Then NC State GOP Chairman In The Summer Of 1972 But Also Tried To Help Elect A Superliberal Democratic Friend Who Ran For US Senate In 1978

Geek profiling - building a new eastern europe (1)

mefistofeles (165556) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163487)

This sound absolutely wonderfully Eastern Europeian culture "pre-fall-of-communism". It sounds so totally anti-liberal that the US would be the last country in which such a scheme could be dreamt up. Or perhaps not. The moral panic now sweeping across the western world would be likely to produce such monstrous ideas eventually. And, as most of us europeans are convinced "moral panic" started over at your place. So, who next to be registered? Anti weapon lobby children by pro-weapon lobby children? Or the other way round? Great stuff, keep it going! Witness repressive society form! M.

Here's an idea, (1)

Ruler Zig-Zag Allah (166114) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163494)

If this comes to your school and you don't like it then try this: report as many people as you can, make up fake people and report them, remember you have complete anonymity. Report several thousand people from your school, if lots of people do this their system can't possibly keep working.

Re:W.A.V.E.: Not unprecedented (1)

qabi (166693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163497)

Right on.

Generally people cannot see if anything is wrong with themselves or their immediate surroundings.

Many US citizens believe that their country stands for something that is really doesn't.


grades (1)

spinax (168915) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163512)

could be a good way to get better grades though,.. like "gimme an A or I'll turn you in, pervert.."

Re:Depressed people (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 14 years ago | (#1163536)

Posting anonymously, for obvious reasons.

I'm one such depressed person. Basically that means for me that I hate myself and my life. What that doesn't mean is that I hate everyone else and their lives.

The thing I've found to be worst for the depression is for people who don't understand it to find out about it and simply be insensitive. It happened even last night, when a friend tried to convince me that my homework was more important than my depression.

Now this company is offering to brand me nationwide as a depressed person. This means that people I don't know, people who don't understand the disease, people who will try to force me into undesirable situations "for my own good," will know of my depression.

This is not a good thing.

Re: neo-LIBERALISM (2)

Paulo (3416) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163542)

I think you're confusing the european meaning of "liberalism" vs. the american one. In Europe, "neoliberal" is the name of the ideology represented by people like Milton Friedman or Reagan: unlimited free market, desregulate as much as possible, etc.; you get the idea.

Depressed people (2)

morbid (4258) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163547)

So depressed people are dangerous and should be locked up are they?

If only guns were legal in this country, I'd go out and shoot myself in the head now.

Fascist bastards.

Oh, please. (2)

Markvs (17298) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163561)

... WorldNetDaily? I assume that they're a reason news like this doesn't get into the New York Times, TIME, Newsweek or The Wall Street Journal. I seriously question the source on this one.

Even if it *is* true, give the kids some credit! Would you have been a snitch in high school?

Most teachers are bright people, with at least a Master's and half a life worth's of experience. The concept that teachers and administrators need an (obviously known) organization of spies like this is absurd. They spend at least 180 days with these kids for YEARS. If they don't know them, who does?

At best it's shoddy reporting. At worst it's playing the media for publicity to further a half-baked agenda.

Re:Geeks? (2)

RPoet (20693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163564)

Katz mentions geeks because the stereotypical "geek" is a social misfit, an anti-social outsider, and hence a typical victim of the W.A.V.E.

Stereotype or not, geeks stand out, and in essence, W.A.V.E. seems to be all about conforming and promoting a public pathological fear being different.

Oh my god... (2)

RPoet (20693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163565)

I remember "The Wave" now! We were shown it in school some 8-10 years ago. I can't believe they chose the same name for their insane campaign! (wow, I sound like a rapper :/)

WAVE? (2)

kmcardle (24757) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163566)

I seem to recall a made for TV movie about a high school teacher who started a movement in his school called "The WAVE." Turned out he was the history teacher and was teaching the students about Hitler and group pyschology the HARD WAY. He held a big rally for the students and show them some video of Hitler giving a speech and pointed out the fact that he used Hitler's methods on them. Pretty spooky.

It would have to have been in the early 80's. I think 83-84 sounds about right. Anybody remember?

I wonder if this is where they got the name from?

The Wave? (2)

Foogle (35117) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163575)

Does anyone else remember the cheap school-TV movie "The Wave" about fascism in elementary school? I just thought that was a weird coincidence.


"You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

Not from Pinkerton??!! (2)

epseps (39675) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163580)

Golly, who would have thought that a company whose history involves violent union busting and now is engages in changing farmers 'licencing fees' for patented corn and soybeans that they harvest and store, would sink this low? The much applauded economic boom is also greatly enhanceing the value of private 'security' corporations such as Wackenhut and Pinkerton who get paid to keep those unaffected by the boom locked up. Now they want to profit by acting as a filter before they are even out of school. I hate to say it, but when I was just beaten in high school for being different, those were the 'good ol' days'

Police State is only a matter of time. (2)

Div0 (41952) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163582)

This is absolutely disgusting.

You people in america REALLY need to stop this now. The police state is only a matter of time, if patently unjust activities like this are allowed.

Strange how these people still completely fail to address the reasons why people become dangerous. It seems that sweeping up the debris is more acceptable than solving the problem.

Still on the other hand, I think that the reward system is ultimately doomed. How long will it be before every child is on these dbs?

Land of the Free (2)

hattig (47930) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163589)

Witness as America starts on the long slide down to anarchy, fascism and ultimately nazism. Encouraging a culture of spying and squealing on fellow people for a reward is not the way forward in any civilised country - this is conformism.

All after 3 - "I am an individual".

I am glad I live in Europe, which is fast being overtaken by America in terms of stupid rules and stuff. Europe is much more free, but more expensive. Its your choice.

Kids are going to hit on the idea as using this system for revenge - lying to get a reward and getting a rival/hated person in trouble and having data stored against them for the rest of their life.

Do you Americans wish for something like the UKs Data Protection Act? We have had that for 16 years now, and it has been updated to reflect the new Internet economy. You are allowed to find out about anything stored against you in databases, and to ask for that information to be changed or removed if it is incorrect.

I can imagine a lot of lawsuits in America over the next few years as a result of this software. As soon as some kid who has a rich father is dissed against by this system... hello $$$ for lawyers and years of litigation. But America is built upon a base of lawyers...

Great. (2)

KristianC (56284) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163596)

Has anyone else made the comment (either to themselves or their friends) "Ya know, if I was in High School now I'd be dragged into the guidance office faster than you can say 'black trenchcoat'?" I thought the administration was draconian enough back then, I shudder to think about now...

Re:Why do I think this will be used in reverse? (2)

spiralx (97066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163611)

Yeah, I agree. And let's face it - the kids who get picked on are the ones who are different from the herd, whether it is by dress, interests, colour or whatever. This is just another way for them to get picked on, but a far more dangerous method than most.

Re:Wasn't that an Afternoon Special (2)

zazzel (98233) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163612)

oh, that was "The Wave" by Morton Rhue. Read this at school quite some years ago.

IMHO... (2)

guran (98325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163613)

... anyone who reports their classmates to such a register should be the one to recieve counceling.

Hitler Jugend......Why is this Geek Profiling? (2)

Raindeer (104129) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163617)

First I want to protest against the comparison with the Hitler Jugend. The Hitler Jugend was a far more intensive program, of which one had to be a member, whose sole task it was to indoctrinate. Whenever we see something that we don't like it is not immediately Nazi, Hitler, WWII, etc. The use of these terms in rethoric only deflates their real meaning and therefore the memory of these acts.

I have read most articles Jon wrote on this subject and one question just comes to my mind everytime again. Why is this geek-profiling?
I am not an American and I have no idea how life is at an American highschool, but if I look back at my own time in a Dutch highschool there were quite someweird people and they were of all sorts, not just Nerds, Geeks and Goths, but of all groups. So why is that everytime a similar program is started, people on Slashdot start shouting that it is geek-profiling? Do you have so little pride? Are american nerds so weird that people must judge them to be too weird? Why do you act like scared rabbits when it comes to the differences with the 'cool' kids?

I disagree with these programs for the reason that they profile kids based on very little and gives them a stigma that is hard to get rid of. They take a chance away from a kid that should have the chance to develop to his full potential. A good example I find dr. Ben Carson of John Hopskins Hospital. He once almost assaulted somebody with a knife in highschool. He got some help from people around him and he is now one of worlds best neuro-surgeons.

Re:W.A.V.E.: Not unprecedented (2)

friedo (112163) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163620)

The United States of America may tout it's capitalist infranstructure as the Glorious Saviour of Mankind, but they are closer to communists and fascists than many of their citizens are willing to admint to themselves.

Ahem, please don't draw conclusions about the United States based on the actions of some Bible-thumping Jesus freaks in North Carolina. There is a little bit of civilization in this country - you just have to know where to look. :)

Disgusting! (3)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163636)

This is truly vile, and it deeply sickens me. And what sickens me most, Pinkertons, arguably the largest and most highly regarded security firm in the world, is running this. If Alan Pinkerton was still around today, I sincerely doubt that he would even consider anything so ... ugh! There's no word to describe it.

Pinkerton's Corporate HQ can be contacted here:
4330 Park Terrace Drive
Westlake Village, CA 91361
818-706-6800 - Telephone
818-706-5515 - Fax

The webpage url (3)

RPoet (20693) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163641) [] .

Now, gimme the moderation this incredibly Informative (hint-hint) posting deserves! ;-)

Re:Your points are annoyingly close to home (3)

Sun Tzu (41522) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163642)

Here in the 'land of the free' things are changing incrementally, just slowly enough to let us refer to those who would point it out as alarmists and extremists.

A fine example of that tactic was when those who fought to cap the new federal income tax at 10% were called alarmists -- because the number they chose for the cap was so absurdly high! ;)

Alas, sometimes the 'paranoid' are right...

Re:The Wave? (3)

guran (98325) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163647)

Struck me too.

Wrapped in too many words, there is a really scary story here. Someone is trying to change "Innocent until proven guilty" to "Suspect, even if proven innocent"

The real point comes late in the article:
If you have *real* concern about a classmate, there are cops, teachers and parents to inform. If you do not find it necessary to inform any of those directly, simply shut up.

Was the net to blame??? (3)

kwsNI (133721) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163648)

> In a newsmagazine survey taken earlier this year, 81 percent of Americans said they believed the Net was responsible for the Columbine massacre.

Yeah, it was that and Duke Nukem. Personally, this is getting to be a big pet peeve of mine. "The internet made me kill 27 people." "The internet made me want to rob a bank." "The internet made me go out and fuck my neighbors cat."

I'm sorry. I believe that the internet can have a small effect on people but really... I spend over 60 hours a week online and I haven't killed anyone yet. If they went out and killed people because of the internet, it was because they were already mentally instable. If the internet wasn't enough to push them over the edge, it was just as likely that the next commercial they saw for a Leonardo DiCaprio movie could have.

It's kind of like the "guns don't kill people" thing. The internet doesn't kill people, people do. In this case, it was a bunch of sick, wacked out punks with some serious problems.

Please, if the internet was responsible, I'd like to know how. I want to know what type of scripting it takes to make a web site pull the trigger of a gun.

Don't get me wrong on this. I feel terrible for all of the people at Columbine. I just think that blaming the internet is a stupid attempt at rationalizing things and trying to make things better. Humans just can't admit that we have flaws so we have to blame something else.


Could this be a Hoax? (4)

Ex Machina (10710) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163649)

WAVE = "Working against violence anywhere." This reminds me of when D. Gates of the LAPD said basically that DARE was to get kids to submit to cops.
Press Release []
Official Site []

Here's the Official Promise (facists!):

This is my school, my space. I want it to be a safe place. I know that violence prevention begins with me. So that's why to this promise I agree. I will... Resolve conflicts peacefully. Talk about problems openly. Treat others with respect. Walk away from a fight. Take all threats and warning signs seriously. Talk to a parent, counselor or other adult about my concerns.

CREEPY!!! Why doesn't everyone scour their site for interesting tidbits!

This is a perfect weapon... (4)

spiralx (97066) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163652)

... for pissed-off students to take revenge on other students that have annoyed them. All they have to do is make a single, anonymous phone call and their victim will become marked and monitored, possibly for ever, with no knowledge of the situation or chance of repreive. And I think we'd all agree that at that age, kids can be incredibly vindictive, and I don't doubt that this would become yet another way to pick on enemies and people not conforming to the "typical student" mold.

Any good this service could do (which I personally doubt anyway) will be completely undone by hoax calls in search of revenge. Given a moment's consideration, you would have thought that the people behind W.A.V.E. would have realised this - or maybe they have and it's just a pure publicity stunt with nothing behind it at all.

Interesting... not that scary... (4)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163653)

This is a little disturbing, but as usual our favorite author is inserting his personal bias where he claims to be reporting fact. It is clearly an opinion piece, but his interpretations and the facts of the situation should be a little more clear.

Okay, yes the hyseria regarding school violence is misplaced. Innercity schools with REAL problems are not being targetted, it is suburbanites who avoid the "evil cities" that are scared that violence can hit there area.

I went to a private school for three years at the end of high school after many years in the public school system. We dealt with this nonsense all the time. The school had a dress code that enforced conformity, the school held talks for parents (and made them go or the kids couldn't participate in extra curricular activities) on alcohol use and encouraged parents to report on other children, etc.

This database is unlikely to be maintained indefinitely. If for no other reason, than you need parental consent for recording information on minors. Parents will obviously not consent for their children being labeled insane. This is most likely going to result in people wearing black trenchcoats in school being annoyed by guidance councilors and not wearing black trenchcoats in schools.

While enforcing conformity is a bad thing, it isn't Nazish or Stalinistic, it is obnoxious. This program appears to be well intended: if you think someone is a threat to himself or others, you call a number and they have someone speak to him. Overall, not a terrible state of affairs. If the situation isn't a problem, they go about their business. If they are depressed, maybe they find a good shrink and lead happier lives.

The fact that it is a profitable company doesn't make it wrong. It means that they are going to try to make a profit instead of syphoning off as much money as possible in grants to spend frivolously because they have them. Libertarians champion everything being privatized, this seems like an example of that.

While I think that there MAY be a real concerning story here, our author has failed to separate facts from his fears, so it is hard to tell what, if any, injustice is real and what is yellow journalism by rambling fool.


Re:Depressed people (4)

TomV (138637) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163655)

So depressed people are dangerous and should be locked up are they?

my father fought his depression for three decades until it finally won one morning.

In the meantime he was a major scholar in his field, respected and well-liked by colleagues and students across the world. We were simply astonished by the bundles of condolences from around the world, which kept coming for weeks.

he wrote several of the standard texts in his field, as well as what are now the canonical translations / commentaries on a number of classical texts, and was credited with making it a significant area of study wherebefore it was an obscure backwater.

And practically nobody was aware of his illness outside of his family and his closest colleagues. A less dangerous man i can hardly envision.

Now under the WAVE regime, i guess that, if anyone had actually noticed the symptoms, he would have been labelled as dangerous (to people other than himself) and might well have been unable to continue in academia and thus to carry out his work, his humble attempt to add to the sum of human knowledge.

By all accounts this man was a really good teacher. Clearly I'm somewhat biased, but when he taught me, i could see the talent he had. And three decades worth of students would have been deprived of his abilities, care, concern and sense of duty, had he been 'blacklisted' on health grounds.

Tuberculosis is contagious - that's why it's a notifiable disease. depression is an all-too-often fatal condition, but it is not contagious and should in the main remain a matter for the patient, their family and their physician. it is NOT grounds for a witchhunt


W.A.V.E.: Not unprecedented (4)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163656)

This doesn't really surprise me.

The United States of America may tout it's capitalist infranstructure as the Glorious Saviour of Mankind, but they are closer to communists and fascists than many of their citizens are willing to admint to themselves.

George Orwell warned that this could happen in his epic novel, 1984.

The fact that U.S. is not heeding this warning does not surprise me. After all, this is happening when the people in power in government are of the first generation to not be able to remember James McCarthy, and the Communist Inquisition, first hand.


Re:Wasn't that an Afternoon Special (5)

martin (1336) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163657)

here's the TV movie..

Apparently based on a true story...

This sounds even worse than Hitler youth to me. (5)

Holger (36233) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163661)

"It's a carbon copy of the Hitler Youth program used so successfully in World War II Germany to root out dissidents and oddballs."

Actually, this sounds even worse to me. The Hitler Youth was "just" a youth organisation, at least at the beginning. And even later on, the motivation was mostly political and even paramilitary "education" of the members, not using them as a extension of the Gestapo (the Nazi internal intelligence service). The Hitler Youth has to be seen in this context. They were the pre-school of the fascist government, preparing young people to be "good citizens" (in the perverted sense the Nazi government thought of this). Spying on others was not explicitly asked for, at least not as far as I know. (And Nazi history takes up quite a big part in german history education).

It was a bit different with the "Freie Deutsche Jugend", the national youth organisation of the former GDR. Members were explicitly asked to inform their leaders of any planned attempt of "Republikflucht" (unauthorized leave of country, usually to the FRG) they got to know of, and some even turned in their parents.

But what you are talking about _is_ asking for spying on peers, and what's more, it is happening in a democratic nation. Appropriate action should be taken (and I do consider your article as such) before this starts to take off.

And perhaps what's most frightening about this... (5)

aidoneus (74503) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163664)

Is that as Jon tocuhed on, the ability to confront your acuser is completely absent, and there's nothing illegal about it! Since it can't be considered a legal process (after all, who's ever heard of a corporation taking the law into their own hands... *cough*MPAA*cough*) there is no consitutional basis for a challenge to this. It is after all, simply a voluntary (yeah right) program to protect our children.

*sigh* What ever happened to the days of simply getting harrassed, teased and occassionally roughed up simply because you were different? Now you have to worry about secret profiling, your own peers spying on you, and potentially much worse. It's not as if I'm remembering a time all that long ago either. I graduated high school in 1995, and I must say I had the good fortune of graduating from a high school that, while not the most accepting of places, at least allowed kids to be different. Now I find when I went back last week to visit a former teacher of mine, there are security cameras everywhere, students must wear id badges, and those who are not the classic, good little J. Crew model kids are afraid to even talk to each other.

So here's my idea. After speaking with a few former teachers of mine (who also can't stand where things have gone, but they have to follow administration, or else they lose their jobs), none of whom are happy about where things are heading, this is what they'd like to do. They'd like to be allowed to actually play a role in their students lives. They'd like to be allowed to be friends again, and instead of further marginalizing those who are different (many of whom read this) and actively pushing them towards violence (that's what things like this do, it's very easy to adopt a cornered animal mentality in this type of setting), why not allow faculty to get to know students again. Maybe if teachers can be mentors again, instead of secret police there wouldn't be such a serious problem facing schools.

But then again, what do I know, I've only been then, graduated, and moved on to a successful life, thanks in large part to teachers who not only were mentors, but were also friends.


Re:Interesting... not that scary... (5)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163666)

Not really. I think that "JonKatz" contributes a lot to Slashdot with his commentary. I just wish when he wrote his opinion pieces that need you to have a background on the subject, he would give the background first, then give his take on the matter. Alternatively, he could link to a news story on the situation so that we could read the facts and then he gets the ball rolling with his opinion piece.

Instead, we get the facts and opinion jumbled with no citation or clear distinction. We have VERY little information on the actual program being run, just on his "fears" of geek persecution, which I question if it is real or he is catering to his audience. While I have no doubt that he considers this a real threat, I find it disappointing that he is ignoring the greater issues and just tailoring it to the slashdot audience. I think that the /. readers are more diverse and intelligent than he thinks, and we are capable of discussing a social situation that may affect people like us AND other types of people without it being tailored to only discuss the video game members.

No where in the article is there a discussion about the methods of therapy being used and wht they are trying to accomplish. I truly doubt that N.C. is trying to root out video game playing, they no doubt have real goals, and that side of the story is hidden in this piece.


Princess Leia had it right (5)

YIAAL (129110) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163668)

"The tighter you squeeze, Lord Vader, the more star systems will slip through your fingers." All this police-state stuff just makes kids more alienated and afraid to talk, which in turn makes them more dangerous. Of course, if you could trust school administrators not to be vicious idiots, a program like this might make sense. But in an age of expulsion for gun-shaped charms on charm bracelets, that sort of trust is hard to come by.

Turn yourself in (5)

The Cookie Monster (129545) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163669)

Save W.A.V.E the trouble, turn yourself in now.

But don't just register yourself with W.A.V.E., register yourself on The Psycho-Killer Registry [] as well. In fact, don't stop there, register all your friends and family too.

  • Have you ever listened to Marilyn Manson, or other "dark" music, and not disliked it?
  • Have you ever gone to hollywood movies, and enjoyed them?
  • Have you ever played computer games?
  • Have you ever felt lonely?
If any of the above are true of you, then you may be a threat to society, ready to snap at any moment!

Go on, do the right thing - register [] .

Wasn't that an Afternoon Special (5)

cricklewood (153707) | more than 14 years ago | (#1163670)

I seem to remember a TV movie years ago about a California high school teacher who tried to explain to his students how the Nazis and Hitler Youth were accepted. He created a "pride" organization in the school that became very scary pretty quickly -- all to demonstrate how it happened. The name of the organization -- and the movie -- The Wave.
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