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Voices From The Hellmouth Revisited: Part Ten

JonKatz posted more than 13 years ago | from the is-the-future-getting-better? dept.

Education 211

This is the last in our retrospective on the columns that Jon Katz began writing after the killings at Columbine High School in 1999, followed by another handful of the many impassioned comments and emails that those columns drew, a few of which at least give hope that it is possible to tame the Hellmouth.

After Columbine: Geek Profiling

W.A.V.E., a profit-making program ramping up in the southern U.S. and soon to go national, will use Web sites and toll-free numbers, to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates whom 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 for 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. A North Carolina task force on school violence created W.A.V.E. America, 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 software "security" programs like Mosaic 2000, which is being tested in public schools 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 last year's Columbine High School killings. 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 news magazine 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 are angry, depressed. Children who wear white makeup, game obsessively, or who say intemperate and stupid things. The W.A.V.E. program is institutionalizing a culture in which kids are being taught to turn in classmates whose behavior they consider abnormal or dangerous. It is also reinforcing the notion that school students have no Constitutional rights of due process, rights such as privacy, confronting accusers, behaving in nonconformists ways, or even knowing that accusations against the exist.

Although school-age children are presumed to have few rights, it's obvious that this kind of anonymous and intrusive law enforcement would be blatantly unconstitutional for adults. Recently, 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 corroborating 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 violated the very idea of constitutional rights.

The 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 an 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 such judgments, the temptation to turn in teens who are socially competitive, "geeky", different, disliked, abrasive or unhappy seems almost irresistible, especially when doing so is cloaked in 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 teenagers - 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. America will help get every kid involved. This program is more than just a tip line, it teaches students and parents to look for early signs of violent behavior and to resolve conflicts constructively."

This is the worst kind of political exploitation. 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 desk mate they jostled with will turn them in, or that bragging about exploits on Doom will get them turned into W.A.V.E. as "unbalanced."

If a teen 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 asked to do this is revolting enough. That they are being asked to do it by a profit-making private corporation suggests a culture much sicker and more dangerous than most school kids.

"Seems to me that W.A.V.E. merely reflects the prevailing mindset of the majority of Americans. Not to mention the sad fact that intellectual midgets machine the majority of US political/power positions. I was a nerd in school, I still am. Does that make me dangerous? Only if the fact that I think makes me dangerous in a country where thought is considered dangerous. Allah/Jehovah/God/Buddha forbid!! Could this be America, the land of the free and blah, blah, blah? The often misquoted, precious, forefathers of this "great (foul)" land would curl into cinders to see what has become of their legacy. There is no humanity in this country, everybody wants liberty but only on their individual terms, only if it suits their self-interest and they don't even care if it impinges on someone else's liberty...that's the problem with the US. Big Brother does not exist and he's looking in through your windows, down your throat and into every other conceivable orifice in your body." ---A.C. (Original Comment #1)

"DO WHAT THOU WILT SHALL BE THE WHOLE OF THE LAW: This is the most ridiculous, ludicrous, fucked up shit I have heard in years. OF COURSE it is going to be nothing but a free-for-all with all the same fucking loser/conformist/fascist types trying to fuck up life in yet ANOTHER fashion for anyone/everyone who is unique, individual, different, creative, follows another drummer, doesn't swim with the lemming crowd, doesn't baaa with the herd of sheep, etc., ad nauseum. As if they didn't try to make life fucked up for us enough as it is. But shit, we had power, guts, determination, magic and ingenuity to invent the Internet, to truly render the earth a global village, and to redefine what "WORK" means in the "new millennium". So surely we can figure out a way to STOP these worthless twits...can't we? Whaddya say, people? What shall we do to overthrow them before they even ascend, to stomp them down before they even rear their pathetic virus-infested heads, to bring them to a screeching, grinding halt before they even cross the starting line? IDEAS? ANYONE? Love is the law, love under will."---S. (Original Comment #2)

"So depressed people are dangerous and should be locked up are they? I f only guns were legal in this country; I'd go out and shoot myself in the head right now. Fascist bastards."---M.O. (Original Comment #3)

"I also have spent years fighting depression. I was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. I'm medically considered a danger to myself. Everyone assumes that this means I'll hurt them too. I could never physically hurt anyone else. I care deeply about everyone except my self. Now that's a crime?" ---A.C. (Original Comment #4)

"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 where before 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 W.A.V.E. regime, I guess that, if anyone had actually noticed the symptoms, he would have been labeled 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 witch hunt."---Tom (Original Comment #5)

"Sounds wonderful. Now these people who would rather be left alone, and enjoy wearing black clothing will be labeled as depressed and violent. Is this the "Kick Me" sign for the 21st Century?" ---P.O. (Original Comment #6)

"Does anyone else remember the cheap school-TV movie "The Wave" about fascism in elementary school? I just thought that was a weird coincidence." ---F. (Original Comment #7)

"Yeah, I mean its not like depression is very well understood by the vast majority of adults in this country. I made the mistake of letting an employer know that I was seeking help for depression, and, did I ever regret it. I found that people in the office regarded me as a potential serial killer or something. I also started hearing nasty jokes told when they thought I wasn't around. I finally put a stop to it all by having my shrink write up a document "certifying" that I was sane. Did it up one of those award templates all fancy? I should have framed it. I presented that at a staff meeting and told all present that I was the only person there who was certifiably sane and that I would have no more jokes and ostracism. It worked surprisingly well. I was lucky. Sadly, mental illness still carries a stigma and too many people like to pretend there is no such thing as depression, or they treat it as moral failing. Or worse they fear it on the same level as demonic possession. So now we have a program that puts depressed people in a database of suspicious persons. Great. Just what we need to encourage people to go get help."---D. (Original Comment #8)

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Hmmmmmm. (2)

Jailbrekr (73837) | more than 13 years ago | (#486101)

I always thought 'The Wave' was something you did at a sporting event.....

First Post?

A few too many bytes (1)

intmainvoid (109559) | more than 13 years ago | (#486102)

13221 bytes in body

Unfortunately only 20 bytes of new content...

Let IT die Katz. (1)

FallLine (12211) | more than 13 years ago | (#486103)

You're a washed up hack, face it. Why don't you go back to writing fortune cookies or something?

Two Katz articles in 1 day? (2)

ninjalex (60059) | more than 13 years ago | (#486104)

Gives a new meaning to s l o w news day.

W.A.V.E not The Wave (1)

Lbsnb (308464) | more than 13 years ago | (#486105)

W.A.V.E. is here [] .

Yippee! Hellmouth again! (1)

sgtron (35704) | more than 13 years ago | (#486106)

Please... just let this subject die man, I've had enough already.

Too true (2)

FallLine (12211) | more than 13 years ago | (#486107)

Haha, too true. Perhaps 13221 bytes in BODY, but only 20 bytes in HEAD is more apropos? ;P

Re:Let IT die Katz. (2)

emmons (94632) | more than 13 years ago | (#486108)

Agreed. Katz, we're sick of this stuff... please, leave us in peace.

Against W.A.V.E.? Sabotage it. (4)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 13 years ago | (#486109)

End Geek Profiling.

Simply call the # and report every student in all of your classrooms. Convince a few friends to do the same, and eventually, every student will be on the roster for investigation.

Granted, this sounds like that lame Spacey movie "Pay it Forward", it would definitely complicate the works.


okay, this is all good (5)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 13 years ago | (#486110)

Now please please please make it into a book!

Look, they posted AC, correct? Which means they purposely avoided being contacted. And they posted in a public forum, which means anyone can quote them. Fair use.

Even if you have to remove a few comments, do so and publish the rest. I'd buy it. I'd show it to people.

This book doesn't prove anything. It doesn't show that we're all oppressed, or that we're all whiners. But it's an honest look at the collective viewpoint of geeks (as ridiculous and cheesy as that phrase has become), and it can make people think.

Publish it.

(BTW, I'm proud of you for including the MasterCard joke in one of the installments... I was hoping you'd have the guts to do that.)


Re:Hmm.. (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#486111)

hey that's my stapler... he stole my stapler... excuse me,... i paid for that... please give it back ..*mumble mumble*... burn the building down...

How many people? (1)

loki29 (307650) | more than 13 years ago | (#486112)

How many people have went out and killed themselves after seeing Katz repeat himself over and over, whether it be discussions of angst-ridden teens who can't get a date to the prom or his reviews of the latest Tom Hanks movie?

People! I think we are missing the real tragedy here! The real tragedy is Katz is not offering anything of substance to Slashdot. The real tragedy appears to be Katz is getting paid per article he writes, no matter whether it has anything to do with Slashdot or not.

Big shock... (1)

Karma Sink (229208) | more than 13 years ago | (#486113)

The rights of teenagers erode day by day in America. Currently, in Northern California, there is a DAYTIME curfew being considered to 'keep teenagers out of trouble'. Laws like this are patently ridiculous. The only problem is, Teenagers don't have enough people standing up for their rights as citizens. There aren't enough lawyers standing up against the opression. After all, there are lawyers in any other opressed group, female lawyers, black lawyers, asian lawyers, etc... But, for obvious reasons, there are no tennaged lawyers. As a result, teenagers are under-represented, and thus easily opressed. Personally, I am working on my J.D. to fight exactly this kind of cause, opression of teenagers. This sort of ignorance simply can't be allowed to continue.

Re:How many people? (1)

tewl (226290) | more than 13 years ago | (#486114)

He's getting paid per article and per word I would assume :)

how to make the thing work FOR geeks! (5)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 13 years ago | (#486115)

Report all the abusive bullies in the school. Seems they're the _real_ violent types, right?

Maybe they can get counselling before they become alcoholic wife-beaters...

broader than a mere American issue (5)

kubla2000 (218039) | more than 13 years ago | (#486116)

The idea of setting up a federal tattle-tale system has a legacy rather more sinister than W.A.V.E or other media-hyped agencies of a smiliar ilk.

The Nazis got good currency out of an informant system, as did the totalitarian regimes of Eastern Europe. Amongst the most notorius reigned in Romania, Bulgaira and Albania, three of the most depressed countries in the region. The legacy of the tattle-tale lives in as standing out in any way (read, being different from the herd, including being successful) is a cause of fear and neurosis.

The brain-drain that results from an informant system is shocking. Witness the exodus of intellectuals from the former communist block. Project that to America and you'll find parents pulling their ostracised children out the public education sector and into the private.

Who will suffer most? Typically, the ones who would have stood to gain the most: those for whom an intellectually stimulating peer group would have boosted motivation, intellectual discipline and dialogue. And if there's any group who can understand the benefits from a stimulating peer-group, it's the /. crowd.

Part Ten? (1)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 13 years ago | (#486117)

I hate to say it, but come on. Part Ten? Doesn't anyone remember when the Friday the 13th series went this far?

Re:Against W.A.V.E.? Sabotage it. (5)

Thorin_ (164014) | more than 13 years ago | (#486118)

Better yet the geeks can just call up and report all the jocks etc. Because it is anonymous you don't even have to have any friends help. Just use several differnt phones.

WooHoo! (1)

Trevor Goodchild (187368) | more than 13 years ago | (#486119)

This is the last in our retrospective on the columns that Jon Katz began writing after the killings at Columbine

...and there was much rejoicing throughout the land.

Re:Against W.A.V.E.? Sabotage it. (1)

G-funk (22712) | more than 13 years ago | (#486120)

Damn, beat me to it, that's exactly what I was going to say. Somebody mod that up!


Part Fucking Ten? (1)

angelo (21182) | more than 13 years ago | (#486121)

Damnit, Jon, write a book and LEAVE US ALONE!! It stopped becoming a geek thing a long time ago, and it just became a Katz thing!

Didn't they have this in Russia? (1)

Unknown Poltroon (31628) | more than 13 years ago | (#486122)

Or in 1984? (Orwell) I seem to remember some name for these people.

Just solve it. (1)

Devout Capitalist (94813) | more than 13 years ago | (#486123)

There's a different solution than bemoaning the lack of education, let's fix the education problem so we have people that can make better decisions.

Yes, it is slow, and often thankless, but it really is better to build one bonfire than to curse the darkness.

One novel approach is TrueGift Donations [] , a nonprofit trying to get school supplies into classrooms without doing the usual funding games. Check it out.

If you think its better to get bright kids out of schools, rather than just complain about Marching Morons, then moderate this up.

Besides, wouldn't you like bright coworkers?

Fight Back! (1)

bowood (91384) | more than 13 years ago | (#486124)

Join [] and make a difference!

Re:Attn: Jon Katz (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#486125)

If you don't mind, some of us are stuck in the Hellmouth and want to be kept aware of things like this. I just lead a campaign against cameras in our schools (we lost, of course), and this sounds like something that would be coming next. If you don't like the author, or the subject matter, don't read it, moron.

Give it a rest, Katz (1)

scotch (102596) | more than 13 years ago | (#486126)

Give it up already, Katz. Why don't you go back to watch every lame-ass hollywood movie that comes out and posting a lame review?

Slashdot User Comments (2)

StormDaemon (230208) | more than 13 years ago | (#486127)

I still can't get over how absolutely negative you all are over every single Katz article. He writes very well, but it isn't good enough for the nerd population. JonKatz: You're a great writer, go somewhere where the people have enough intelligence to recognize your skill. Slashdot Commentors: Go get laid, you all obviously need it.

Corporate presence in schools (3)

subbiecho (303134) | more than 13 years ago | (#486128)

"Several factors are essential in establishing ethical standards for education-business partnerships and sponsorships. First, the expectations of each partner must be clearly defined before entering the partnership. Second, partnerships should not in any way compromise the goals of public education. Third, the participation of teachers in partnerships must be voluntary. Fourth, neither students nor their families should be exploited as a result of an education-business partnership. Finally, business partners must not promote specific products, determine curricula or influence education policies." [Alberta Teachers Assoc. [] ]

The above, from my research, is a commonly held view amongst most teacher organizations. This WAVE project is a blatant violation of such ethics. It encourages duplicity amongst school children and could lead to greater levels of fear and viciousness in revenge. How often in high school did someone piss you off and you wished you had a way to really get back at them? What better way than to drop an anonymous tip to the Pinkerton run WAVE hotline, which, as Katz stated, is fed to local law enforcement.
As someone who is planning on becoming a public system educator, it disturbs me that North Carolina has provided its students with this new, and potentially damaging, system of paranoia. I greatly hope the ACLU [] looks into this and files a court action, as this project blatantly violates students civil liberties and exploits the youth in North Carolina.

Affect of the New President (1)

Death Rattle (67301) | more than 13 years ago | (#486129)

Does anyone have any thoughts on how the new presidency is going to affect programs like
W.A.V.E? Will the Bush/Chaney Repbulican Party take a supportive, indifferent or negative stance?

Revenge of the Nerds (1)

gwjc (181552) | more than 13 years ago | (#486130)

re: "Nor is there much doubt about who will betargeted - geeks, nerds, Goths, oddballs, along with anyone else who is discontented, alienated and dualistic."

Maybe not, Geek kids are smarter and will be more likely to spend time calling the W.A.V.E. and reporting the dark sociopathic leanings of the captain of the football team and the members of the student assembly.

Pinkerton is great (5)

anticypher (48312) | more than 13 years ago | (#486131)

They're great if you want to dig up dirt on just about any american who lived over the last 40 years. They even provide similar services clandestinely in Europe on a smaller scale.

Pinkerton Background Security Services claims to have files on over 350 million Americans going back over 40 years. For large companies who open an acount with them, they will provide a file on every potential employee for a US$60 fee. Digressive discounts for larger numbers of inquiries.

Pinkerton has been a great implementor of database, indexing, search engine, and file(dossier) management technologies. They have a number of computing centres around the US to keep their data searching capabilities running 24/24.

The WAVE project they proposed to North Carolina was another great project of their many ways of collecting as much data about Americans as they can. By manning a number of "hotlines" targeted directly at children, they can create files on all school age kids in the state, long before those kids have any other paper or electronic trails. This allows them to more proactively track juveniles with problems, and bypasses court restrictions on sealing juvenile criminal records.

By offering these services to state governments, they avoid being seen in a criminal light, as they can spin their existence as a crime fighting branch of a state government. They are being given access to the school records of every student in NC, just to ensure their records are complete for when a hotline call comes in. North Carolina has given them permission to keep those records permanently, and once those records are stored in their own databases, they become the property of Pinkerton.

It is amazing the level of detail in some Pinkerton records I've seen. Driving records, complete tax paying history, any brush with the law even if it didn't result in charges or conviction, medical records, known friends and acquaintances and family relations, sexual orientation, racial background, propensity for travel, fast cars, or other "extravigant" expenses, frequent flyer plans, school records and IQ test results, military service record and security classification, oh, and credit ratings. The reports can be summarised to show potential aberant behaviour such as innability to keep a job, excessive spending, potential drug use (drop in grades during school), and undeclared medical problems.

I had an employer request a full report on me at one point (cost over US$800), because I was employed to write a security policy for them. The Pinkerton sales reps had made a sales call, and we wanted to see what was actually delivered and whether it would fit the new policy. Although their contract states the employer can never allow a person to see their own file, I was in a friendly crowd. I was stunned at the level of detail, and the inaccuracy of much of my report which combined a number of other people in America sharing my name. But the summaries of my being unstable due to moving around the US and being a flight risk due to being a foreign national were mostly right. And the analysis of being a "libertarian leaning, anti-establishment, technically savvy introvert with no social skills" was spot on for my early life, but I've got social skills now :-)

the AC

Re:Big shock... (2)

Smitty825 (114634) | more than 13 years ago | (#486132)

...But the world will be such a better place with a daytime curfew! Once the daytime curfew is in place, we will be able to keep them in their schools, which are locked up and surrounded by guards preventing anyone entering or leaving. Kinda sounds like a prison to me (hmmm...that gives me a better idea what to do with teenagers)

Re:how to make the thing work FOR geeks! (1)

Don Symes (259874) | more than 13 years ago | (#486133)

Now THERE's a valid idea!

Targeting only geeks? (2)

taustin (171655) | more than 13 years ago | (#486134)

Seems unlikely. Geeks are smarter than jocks. If anybody can figure out how to abuse the system for their own enjoyment, it will be those geeks, making anonymous tips about jocks doing drugs, and teachers who believe in this shit being pedophiles.

Enough already! (2)

Raunchola (129755) | more than 13 years ago | (#486136)

What good is this Hellmouth series on Slashdot doing anyway? This would have a far better impact if it was actually published (yes, I know, some people raised a stink about their comments being used), but this is just standard preaching to the choir.

You've had your fifteen minues of fame Jon. I don't doubt that your initial work regarding this subject was good, but now it's getting old. Your constant rants on "Geek Profiling" (TM) are making you just as bad as the school officials and other such people you write about. Not all geeks (I prefer the term "nerd" myself :)) are depressed, trenchcoat wearing misanthropes. Quit trying to assume that they are, because you'll end up doing more bad than good ("Hey, Jon Katz says Billy is a depressed geek! Let's put him away!").

Just drop it and find some new cause to trumpet, mmmkay?



colmore (56499) | more than 13 years ago | (#486137)

Readers should be able to moderate whole stories... that way the slash team could know what we do and don't want to see more of....

in fact, a story modding system could be used to *post* stories, thereby removing any central control of slashdot, and getting it closer to its "open" ideal.

Scenario (5)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | more than 13 years ago | (#486138)

  • Principal: Hello Neil. The reason I've called you into my office is that it's come to my attention that some of the alpha-males in the schools have been beating and harassing you for the last two years. I understand that it's gotten so bad that you've become depressed and suicidal.
  • Neil: I didn't think it was that obvious, sir.
  • Principal: Well, it's not that obvious, but you've definitely been showing some of the signs. In any case a couple of the school alpha-males reported it because they're concerned.
  • Neil: Concerned about me?
  • Principal: Oh no. Of course not. They're concerned that you might get desperate and do something nasty to them. To allay their fears, I've decided to suspend you for two weeks and publicly berate you.
    Guido the security guard will escort you to clear out your locker. For security reasons, I can't let you leave anything in the locker.
    Do you have anything to say?
  • Neil: This is a bit of a surprise sir, and the timing is really bad. My science fair project is due in a week.
  • Principal: One other thing Neil.
  • Neil: Yes sir?
  • Get some professional help. I'll see you in two weeks.



LtFiend (232003) | more than 13 years ago | (#486139)

Quake III is 100% more morally desensitizing than Doom is!!!! :)

Yeah, this'll last (1)

dervish121 (245708) | more than 13 years ago | (#486140)

I just wonder, are they really expecting that they won't be flooded with "tips" like: "Johnny is a fag. He said he was going to kill a bunch of people. Limp Bizkit rox!"

Really, think back to high school: wouldn't the funniest way to spend a boring computer lab session be to "report" all your buddies? Ok, the funniest way would be tricking an unsuspecting victim to look at the receiver, but once everyone's had a good vomit over that, you've got to find something a bit more time consuming. Telling W.A.V.E that your best friend likes to sniff dog turds and dirty sweat socks would provide at least 15 minutes of hilarity (or even a bit of a fight, which always breaks up monotony).

(disclaimer: it's not my fault if you didn't have any friends to abuse in high school)

(preach: stereotyping by either side doesn't help)

(phrase of the day: fart paste).

Is it just me? (3)

Thalia (42305) | more than 13 years ago | (#486141)

Is it just me, or does this remind everyone of the tactics used by the Nazis? I know it's popular to say Nazi-something for anything that you dislike (those feminazis, and nazi-music-recording companies and so on.) But this actually does quite closely echo the actions of the Third Reich.

Specifically, the Hitlerei's policy was to train children in school to turn in their classmates, their parents, and anyone else who they believed was "subversive." It was part of the daily "civics" class. This actually worked very well for them, and was in turn adopted by the Communists in Eastern Europe. Lest you Americans feel too smug, the McCarthy-ites did this as well, using the Alert Society.

If we train kids in school now, to turn in their classmates, how long until we ask them to rat on their parents, for anti-social behavior, the use of drugs, etc.

Be afraid, be very afraid.


Re:WooHoo! (3)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 13 years ago | (#486142)

No, no... the real question here is "what would Bryan Boytano do?"



Re:Oh no (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#486143)

it's due to people on slashdot linking the description "" with the site Because of the way google works since so many sites link to slashdot, and lots of sites link to various osdn sites which all link to slashdot slashdot is considered authoritative, therefore if you post stuff like that a lot then it will be linked in google.

He'd Make a Plan, and He' Follow Through. . . . (1)

Salgak1 (20136) | more than 13 years ago | (#486144)

. . .That what Brian Boitano'd do. . .

As opposed to Katz, who continually drones the same note, over and over. . .

I'd like to say thank you (2)

perdida (251676) | more than 13 years ago | (#486145)

Thank you, Jon Katz.

It is hard to be a reporter, to take a very complicated bunch of information and process it into something that carries some sort of meaning. It's even harder when your story is really thousands of stories, and thousands of people can, in turn, reply to those stories and to your analysis and presentation of them.

You have done a good job putting the voices forward, and the response has been mixed. I think that's fine, controversy is a good thing.

irony, or just stupidity? (1)

inkey string (35594) | more than 13 years ago | (#486146)

there was a study done by a highschool teacher (and a movie made out of it im pretty sure... memory is hazy due to this being told in social class during discussion of nazi germany) who basically started a cult to teach the kids just how easy a leader can create followers. called it the wave. is it just me, or is this too much of an amazing coincidence to be real?

Re:Pinkerton is great (1)

jbrians (135805) | more than 13 years ago | (#486147)

That sounds a little far-fetched. I doubt they have human-beings evaluating each of the folders they have and jotting down comments.

Website... (1)

MatBurt (261227) | more than 13 years ago | (#486148)

There is a Site [] Trying to stop it apparently.... They've got my vote!

slashdotters... (1)

smash_phase (95484) | more than 13 years ago | (#486149)

Consider the amount of crap that can be found for the last couple of years on slashdot (I've read it long even before I knew how to run LILO),
I'd suggest to ban AC's and oblidge everbody to first to show their W.A.V.E. record, pass an IQ test, an medical test and show an attest of sanity.
To show of their haxors skills as well, they need to infiltrate into the national security agency and dig up their profile.
After all of this has been approved, they're certified of obtaining a ./ username & to post replies on Jon Katz articles...

(If you think this is serious, then you're a fraud, your sanity attest if a fake, isn't?)

Re:Enough already! (2)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 13 years ago | (#486150)

Actually if each installment counts as 15 minutes of fame he's got two and a half hours of fame out of it, and counting...

It's a pity there isn't someone more persuasive doing this for a publication more mainstream than /....

Re:Against W.A.V.E.? Sabotage it. (2)

metasynth (136195) | more than 13 years ago | (#486151)

Not only do that, but make up names as well, flood the entire system with so much useless and incorrect information that it can't work anymore. Get friends together and send in conflicting information. e.g. at 12:20 the high schools all star quarter back was seen in town lighting a fire in an abandoned house, at school beating up freshmen students in the toilets and in the principles office destroying files. All at 12:20. Also mention that he was wearing a QIII t-shirt just to really scare the people on the other end of the phone.
If enough people do this then the database would be so full of conflicting information that it won't be useable. And also imagine the reactions of parents who find out that their kids are being investigated incase they are mass killers waiting to happen when they don't even own a computer.
Minds are like Parachutes,

Re:Slashdot User Comments (5)

scrytch (9198) | more than 13 years ago | (#486152)

I still can't get over how absolutely negative you all are over every single Katz article

Voices from the Hellmouth Revisited: Part Ten

There's your first clue.

People who are sick of this make me sick.... (2)

netrat (104221) | more than 13 years ago | (#486153)

Hey, all you people who don't seem to appreciate this critique of post-columbine mass histeria can go suck an egg! Clearly you weren't victims of this state condoned harrassment based soley on your non-conformist thought, so you have no idea what it's like. I totally applaud Jon Katz and what he is doing and I encourage him to keep it up.

I for one was a victim of this witch-hunt and I know a couple others who it happened to also. These though-police fuckers shut-down my website, threatened me with arrest, expulsion, and called me a cyber-terrorist. All for something I didn't even do!

Just because some asshole decided to post a threat against my school on my website, I got in trouble. Of course my schoool authorities/assholes never doubted for one second that it was me who did it, never mind the fact that my site got 300 hits a day. My non-conformist style of dress and shabby hair PROVED me to be a murderous phsychopath. Never mind the fact that I am a devout pacifist and vegan and that is one of the central themes of my fucking site!

This happened over a year ago and I am still pissed off about it. What they did was fucking wrong, and if you and I don't stand up to it it's only going to get worse. So you fucking go, Jn Katz, and fuck all the naysayers!


ogre2112 (134836) | more than 13 years ago | (#486154)

Yay. Hey Katz, this atricle blew.

ANI anonymity? (1)

pangloss (25315) | more than 13 years ago | (#486155)

Sorry if this is old hat, but I just heard about ANI for the first time not so long ago.

In cases like this, or toll-free crisis/abuse call centers that profess to be anonymous, is ANI disabled?

For instance, some posters were suggesting that students use the hotline to report all students, or non-geeks/jocks, for instance--a suggestion which would then want the stipulation that such calls be placed from a pay phone or something.

err, for those who don't know what ANI is:

ANI stands for Automatic Number Identification. It is a service feature in which the directory or equipment number of a calling station (read as ?telephone?) is automatically obtained. Enhanced 911 systems, 800/888 numbers and big companies make the most use out of this feature

AFAIK, you can't "caller-id block" ANI.

W.A.V.E. Submission (1)

bnavarro (172692) | more than 13 years ago | (#486156)

Dear W.A.V.E.:

I would like to turn in the fellow who shares a locker with me. His name is Winston, and he hogs the locker space we share and I have no room to store my GameBoy in it. Recently, I caught him dozing off in class, and in his sleep, I heard him mumble, "Down with Big Brother! Down with Big Brother!". No doubt, this makes his loyalties to our HS highly questionable.

Thank you for your help in removing this troubled classmate from my school.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#486157)

Offtopic? Come on, moderators, grow a sense of humour. And this is perfectly on-topic, too.

Re:Against W.A.V.E.? Sabotage it. (2)

MAXOMENOS (9802) | more than 13 years ago | (#486158)

Simply call the # and report every student in all of your classrooms. Convince a few friends to do the same, and eventually, every student will be on the roster for investigation.

Now this is interesting....imagine for a second that you and your pals report certain persons...the captain of the football team or cheerleading squad...the homecoming queen...eventually the whole school comes crashing down in one massive dystopia...everyone is being investigated, lawsuits everywhere...

ObJectBridge [] (GPL'd Java ODMG) needs volunteers.

Re:how to make the thing work FOR geeks! (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 13 years ago | (#486159)

Thats the problem, there is no one group that will turn out to be killers or wife beaters. Violent tendencies cannot be easily traced to people exhibiting certain personality traits. Sure every once in a while a nation with millions of youths five or ten with violent tendencies will band together and cause a terrible tragedy. However, there are other factors leading to this, such as mob mentality. Most geeks don't kill their classmates. Most jocks don't grow up and beat their wives. However some geeks beat their wives, and in a society where jocks are treated like geeks the possibility of the football team at Columbine being the ones that killed their classmates exists. You can't group people.

Geek Profiling? (1)

Covener (32114) | more than 13 years ago | (#486160)

to encourage students to anonymously turn in classmates whom they consider depressed, dangerous or potentially violent, this horrifically stupid Geek Profiling would be blatantly unconstitutional...

They aren't being asked to turn in geeks, with the point being that geeks have a high(er) tendancy towards these things. They are being asked to turn in people who _are_ depressed, dangerous, or potentially violent.

If loving taffy was a crime, and It was shown that blacks love taffy at a statistically higher level than non-blakcs, reporting suspected blacks for investigation would be 'profiling'.
Then again, if it isn't sensational it probably can't stretch out for 10 installments.

Re:Hmm.. (1)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#486161)

Your sig is also remarkably on-topic for this story.

Re:how to make the thing work FOR geeks! (1)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 13 years ago | (#486162)

Very interesting... The original poster never said "jocks". The original poster said "abusive bullies". Yet you jumped to "jocks".

Yes, you're right. You can't group people.

I would say that 90% of high school students are abusive bullies, or aid and abet abusive bullying. There is nothing surprising in this. It's just Sturgeon's Law applied to people.


Katz has performed a genuine service (5)

edhall (10025) | more than 13 years ago | (#486163)

The first couple of Hellmouth articles had a powerful effect, not only by providing an outlet for the ranks of schoolkids (and former schoolkids) outside of the dominant clique, but by sensitizing some of the more thoughtful teachers and counselors to their issues. The articles actually circulated among some of the professionals dealing with Columbine, something that no doubt helped sensitize them to the ways that reactions to Columbine would (and did) come down on innocent groups. I suspect that Katz was greatly surprised at the power and scope of the emotions and experiences that the articles tapped -- and the amount of attention they received. He's still riding the wave of outpourings from that series.

He should stop. There is a point where self-expression becomes self-obsession. There is a point where opening old wounds becomes injurious, not cathartic. And there is a point where he becomes just another zealot milking Columbine to his own ends (even though I might support those ends), and to rapidly shrinking effect.

I generally support Katz (which I'm sure many here feel puts me in a small minority). Yes, his pieces are sometimes fluffy and he often forgets to dot his intellectual I's and cross his factual T's. But he generally creates a good springboard for discussion (if you can ignore the knee-jerk Katz-haters that love to flock to his articles). And discussion (not "news") is what Slashdot is about, isn't it?

But it is far past time to stop dragging out "Hellmouth" and start developing some fresh perspectives and constructive ideas on this subject, or drop it altogether. He should have stopped the series some time ago.


Re:Hmm.. (1)

Glytch (4881) | more than 13 years ago | (#486164)

Heh. Never really noticed before...

The wave has changed (1)

darcee (302798) | more than 13 years ago | (#486165)

I just surfed around the PINKERTON WAVE site and I hate to mention this, but NO WHERE is there anyplace on it that encourages students to call and report depressed geeks in dark cloths.

What it does encourage you to report:

  • Serious physical fighting with peers or family members.
  • Severe destruction of property.
  • Severe rage for seemingly minor reasons.
  • Detailed threats of lethal violence.
  • Unlawful possession and/or use of firearms and other weapons.
  • Other self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide.
But not just depressed anti-social behavior. Check it out here. []

Re:Revenge of the Nerds (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 13 years ago | (#486166)

geek kids are smarter?

When I was in HS, nerds were some of the dumbest people I knew. That's one of the reasons they don't fit in...they think they know things, and they don't. It's very sad.

When nerds were off dreaming about starships and computers, playing D&D, etc, the rest of us became real engineers with real lives, interacting in real sports with real people. Imagine that.

--g, geek maybe, nerd never.

Re:Corporate presence in schools (1)

vsync64 (155958) | more than 13 years ago | (#486167)

It encourages duplicity amongst school children and could lead to greater levels of fear and viciousness in revenge. How often in high school did someone piss you off and you wished you had a way to really get back at them?

No kidding. It gets even scarier when you add profit [] to the list of possible motivations for reporting your enemies.


There's more to this than profiling... (2)

piffy (52937) | more than 13 years ago | (#486168)

I'd like to say that no matter how much I tend to dislike Katz's writing style, that I refuse to bash it. He has plenty to say and some of the time it is even logical.

That out of the way, I would like to say that I dislike the blatant direction that Katz steers the usage of the W.A.V.E. program. I am not saying that it is a good program, far from it, but I tire of the "pandering to the geek" mentality.

This program, if it goes into effect and is not monitored somehow, will be abused by anyone that can. Just imagine a high school full of students that get into petty fights everyday. Go ahead, I don't think that is hard to imagine. Now give those students an anonymous outlet to attack the person who they fought with. I don't care who the people are, it wouldn't necessarily be the outcast picked on. This has the possibility to be abused by anyone, against anyone. The head cheerleader has a bone to pick with some freshman girl, so she turns her in, and so the story goes.

These scenarios and many more are just over the horizon when identifying troubled people is left in the hands of their peers, especially at the ages (lifespan and maturity) that most students in school are at.

So, this program stinks, but let's not pandering to the outcasts. It stinks because it adds a level of tattle-tale to it. A sort of snitch mentality where you have to fear who is gonna turn you in.


What to do when there is a situation? (1)

Dilly Bar (23168) | more than 13 years ago | (#486169)

While I am out of High School, my girlfriend is not. Recently, there has been a student that is threatening to hurt people. There is both written and verbal documentation of this.

What can someone do in this situation? The problem has been brought to the attention of the principal, however, the student is still in class. People still feel unsafe.

This is where I see a need for something like this. I don't think that it should be an automatic death sentance for the person reportedd, but I think it serves a valuable purpose for those people who feel unsafe.

What are people's thoughts?

Re:Targeting only geeks? (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 13 years ago | (#486170)

Seems unlikely. Geeks are smarter than jocks.

How do you figure that? When I was in HS, the nerdy misfits were some of the dumbest people I knew. Daydreamers, not doers. They were playing D&D and writing stories and dreaming of starships while I was teaching myself assembler on my computers, and jumping ahead in calculus and physics, later to move on to get my aerospace degree and live a wonderful life full of wonderful friends, athletics, a great job, and interesting/fascinating hobbies. Where are the nerds now, I can't help but wonder.

this WAVE thing sounds familiar. (1)

dietcrack (219911) | more than 13 years ago | (#486171)

Am I the only one who finds this kinda creepy?

There was a book [] , written by Morton Rhue, that I had to read back in grade school, about a movement, called the Wave, which a teacher started to illustrate the dangers of organizations like the Nazi party that emphasize conformity and betraying nonconformists and, er, some crap like that. Follow the link, there's a summary of the story that is loads more coherent than mine.

W.A.V.E = STASI (1)

Mr. Spleen (308231) | more than 13 years ago | (#486172)

East Germany, 1945 - 1989. The STASI (secret police) had almost every single person spying on those around them. If you uttered anything even slightly anti-Communist, even in passing, you would be instantly blacklisted with the possibility of losing your job, your family, or your life. The STASI kept extensive records on everyone, with everything from interecepted mail to DNA samples. Programs like W.A.V.E are the first step. I hope this thing is squashed before it gets too far.

"What about the children? Won't somebody *please* think of the children!" --Helen Lovejoy, from "The Simpsons"

History lesson (2)

perdida (251676) | more than 13 years ago | (#486173)

WAVE is administered by Pinkerton's, Inc. [] , which is a rather nasty business intelligence firm that morphed into its spy-happy self from its previous incarnation as a union-busting, railroad-protecting gang of thugs. Katz has previously noted [] this connection.


kidlinux (2550) | more than 13 years ago | (#486174)

Go check your user preferences. You can select which authors to exclude from your view.

Re:Slashdot User Comments (1)

darkmoon (12675) | more than 13 years ago | (#486175)

Katz isn't a bad guy. I think that most people who hate him and the Hellmouth series are probably people who were never abused [much] at school.

Re:irony, or just stupidity? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 13 years ago | (#486176)

Yes, this is an amazing coincidence. I remember this movie too, and snitching was part of his basic plan. The movie was called 'The Wave'. The movie was based on the actual experiment. The teacher ended up calling it off early because it was so successful that it was scaring him. He started it because of a comment 'it can't happen here in the U.S.' It really disturbed me, because of the sheer ease of doing it.


Re:Revenge of the Nerds (1)

darkmoon (12675) | more than 13 years ago | (#486177)

That depends on your definition of a nerd, really.

I was brought up believeing that a nerd is your general math/physics/whatever intellectual and that a geek is someone who uses computers for purposes other than work and video games.

(Seeing as this is a Jon Katz article and tempers and egos are in critical, I feel that i have to say "I'm not claiming that I'm right or that you're wrong, the nerd/geek definition thing is open to interpetation. Please don't flame me)

GW Bush's comments today (4)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 13 years ago | (#486178)

Was listening to NPR (or maybe PRI) on the way home, and caught a snippet wherein the Prez claimed that he would, as part of his educational initiatives, try to do something about all of the students who are in fear of going to school.

Thank god, I thought. Finally, someone is going to do something about those asinine jocks and their cohort.

Then I remembered: He meant he would be doing something about the people who get picked on and then retaliate with semi-automatic weapons.

Fuck. Same shit, different elected official.

My droogies... (2)

mrcutrer (265376) | more than 13 years ago | (#486179)

:::laughing hysterically:::...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...oh. Excuse me, sorry, for all that laughter. I remember my skewl had a "homework hotline" one time...well turns out we "hacked" how funny was that.[begin recording]"this is mr.teacher, for class today we will be having all the girls meet with me in the closet for a SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT." "a bunch more degrading shit".

Anyway my point is...your targeting the geek culture here right...they're going to fuck this thing up...I swear! I would if I was still in skewl. And how are they going to ween out the false accusations?

This system is one giant joke, and a bad one at that. Not only will it prove impotent in fighting skewl violence, it will also destroy the lifes of certain individuals. And if a kid...a fucking kid! can see depression in a classmate before a teacher does...well then, something is terribly wrong. Actually wait about the fucking parents dealing with these situations...theres a fucking clue! Note to parents....TALK TO YOUR KIDS, you'll find this will defuse many problems.

Depression is a serious problem, please don't fight it with neo bullshit problem solving (tattle-taling). A depressed person is volatile, not stable, and susceptable to critical comments and constant negative attention. I think some people deserve a bullet in the head for fucking with depressed people...hey they'll never do it again right? Plus how is someone outside the depressed person's life, like a pig, going to help? This system put forth is an antagonist on the back of depression. This system will do more damage than help. This system is just plain retarded, a "corporate check point". Fuck normal thoughts, fuck being a bitch for the skewl system, if you like something different...your not crazy...your not going to kill just like different shit than the mass morons in the world. This is a system to stifle creative thinkers, artist, and overall open minded people who can see past trivial social nonsense.

"Take magical mushrooms and squeegy your third eye." - Bill Hicks

I would like to report... (1)

Hikahi (171188) | more than 13 years ago | (#486180)

...Johnny and Sue-Ann, because today they put spit balls in my hair durring Biology, and that seems like pretty antisocial behavior to me.

And I would like to report Garrett, because on the bus this morning he called me a stupid fat girl, among other things, and he seemed really angry, and it frightened me. I think he could become violent.

And I would like to report Mr. Larson, because after english class today, when I told him about how I could not turn in my homework because it was stolen from me at lunch by some kids I did not know and thrown in a mud puddle, he called me a liar and told me I better shape up if I wanted to get anywhere in this life.

And most of all, I would like to report myself, because if this keeps up much longer, I just might decide to fight back...


darkmoon (12675) | more than 13 years ago | (#486181)

Everyone loves using Doom as an example. I haven't played the original game since I was in primary school but my dad still refers to it.

"Did you do anything with your life today, son? Probably just wasting your time playing DOOM as usual."

And how come they never pick on Half-Life or Quake II? Must be the lack of satanic imagery.

How many of you are highschool students? (1)

berteag00 (78331) | more than 13 years ago | (#486182)

I would love to do a poll on the age of people who posted to these stories. Katz is as biased as any reporter/mudraker/conservative politician.

A freshman in college, I went to a highschool in a county in which existed an anonymous tip line for weapons in school. I imagine that the principles would have cut the lock off of your locker and searched it, had they been tipped you might be hiding a firearm there.

I never used it. I don't know of anyone who did. I also don't know of anyone who was a victim of a malicious tip. And I ran with the geek/nerd crowd...according to Katz, we should have been targets. But we never were.

C'mon, people. Give us some credit! Highschoolers, even middle-schoolers are intelligent. They are responsible. Yeah, I can see there being some losers, and some space for malicious abuse. But I don't see it being nowhere *near* as bad as our resident demagogue suggests.

I liked this one (1)

harvardian (140312) | more than 13 years ago | (#486183)

I have a few things to say...
  1. I've read a lot of comments here about how Katz should stop this marathon (10 part) series and just publish a book. Doesn't it seem plausible that the reason Slashdot has published 10 installments is because they want a large comment base from which to publish such a book?
  2. I actually liked this installment of Katz's ranting despite the fact that I hated the first two and stopped reading until now. I don't think Katz is beating a dead horse at all. Profiling of students because of suspicious behavior is exactly the wrong response to the Columbine massacre nad I'm not willing to stand by and watch it happen. This horse should be beaten as long as it takes to get a response.
  3. Let me explain why profiling of students is absolutely the wrong response, despite the fact that some of this has been said before. What happened in Columbine is that a community, like so many these days, is totally out of touch with its members. Those kids were bullied into a sub-culture that turned violent. Their crime was not that they joined a sub-culture, but that they chose a very costly method of expressing their pain at being ostracized. By profiling children in such a manner as WAVE is attempting to do, they merely make these isolated children more ostracized and give them less of what they need so desperately, compassion. The reason geeky kids form a sub-culture is because they're bullied and they need a social circle that provides reinforcement, just like everybody does. To bully them further by giving them the message "if you are depressed we will search you out and force you to be happy and compliant" WAVE is merely contributing to the debasing of children by their peers. They do this by further objectifying them and further denying them compassion. A depressed child doesn't need to hear "we will find you out if you're depressed and violent," they need to hear "I understand that you're human, feeling sad and lonely is natural when nobody loves you. I feel for you." WAVE needs to understand that their program will cause children to hide their depression even more than before because they feel so ashamed and commodified.
  4. On an unrelated note, something has to be wrong with this scenario: 1) Somebody reports something factually incorrect about you, 2) your character is defamed because of this by, say, you not getting a job you want (defamation of character is illegal, of course), 3) Because you don't have $800, you have no recourse to find out how and whether you are being defamed. Doesn't this sound too aristocratic for America?
Just my $.02

Re:People who are sick of this make me sick.... (1)

darkmoon (12675) | more than 13 years ago | (#486184)

A friend of mine got into trouble for some stuff he posted on his website. After punishing him, the school administration got the network guys to ban his site so that it's not accessible from the school (transparent proxy with a filter)

And here's some thing else: my site got banned too! Purely because I was his friend and was a geek, except that I didn't have anything offensive to the school on my website.

The next casual day I turned up in black clothes and a trench-coat and so did most of my other friends.

Re:Big shock... (1)

LWolenczak (10527) | more than 13 years ago | (#486185)

.... but teenagers need lives, they need to develope emmotionally, and socially. This kind of stuff restricts that development.

Let us not forget, that teachers often give better grades to children who are known to be on redilin. I worked as a camp counsulor last summer, nine of my twelve kids were on redilin, Only three of them really needed it, and then, only one was REAL bad.

A curfew is not the way, teenagers will just ignore it. The state of North Carolina tried to enact a curfew for teenagers driving, slowly, it went from no driving after 9 pm on the permit, to no driving after 9pm automaticlly on provisional lisences for teenagers. What has happened with this? Nothing, Parents, and Police ignore it. How are they supposto enforce it anyway, profile? pull over random cars? arrest teenagers buying ink for their printers at the local walmart? arrest teenagers for going home from work? They cannot enforce it without infrindging the rights of adults.

Re:The WAVE Promise (2)

Araneas (175181) | more than 13 years ago | (#486186)

Speaking as a lit geek, the whole piece is poorly written. The first stanza rhyme scheme is AABB, the second stanza CCDEC and the final stanza CFG. There is no structure within the stanzas and no internal rhyme or use of alliteration. The piece peters out into mediocrity. The initial AABB CC rhyme scheme is now considered amateurish (similar to using GOTO). Perhaps it's highschool audience justifies this structure. One must then ask why was it not continued through to the end? Perhaps the sign of a disturbed, unorganized mind.

Having heard Hitler speak in various newsreels, any comparison of this piece to his speeches is an insult. At least as far as you can insult the facist bastard. ;)

Tonight on Fox: When Denial And Ignorance Collide! (1)

bigmaddog (184845) | more than 13 years ago | (#486187)

This is one of the most ill-concieved political schemes I know of. It's all too well founded on the three principles of politics:

1) Ignorance: like most decision makers, those behind this solution have no expertise, desire to consult experts, or any intellect of any kind.
2) Speed: although it doesn't work in theory and is incredibly damaging in practice, this solution can be implemented quickly and easily.
3) Lack of responsibility: the solution is such as not to suggest that the established institutions or voting majorities are in any way responsible for anything to do with the problem.

WAVE is a political convenience that follows these rules and not a real soultion. I can't imagine any sociologist or psychologist worth the paper his/her diploma is printed on suggesting something this absurd and the intelligence of the politicians need not be debated. It's as easy to set up as any database and an 800-number, and places the blame for the problem and much of the responsibility for fixing it squarely on the kids themselves, absolving their parents and teachers of responsibility and making them all sleep better at night. It also makes the school a very unhealthy environment for children that's full of distrust. If I had kids and they were affected by this, I'd seriously consider leaving the state, or even the country.


Re:How many of you are highschool students? (1)

Jolly()GreenGiant (248984) | more than 13 years ago | (#486188)

I am a High School student and also run with the NERD (Never Ending Radical Dude; I know it's lame) croud and have had four of my friends and myself malicously tipped to our protection hotline. We are all gamers (computers as well as Magic: the gathering, and AD'nD type games) and leave everyone else alone. Our dress, although a bit outlandish is not the discriminate. We all scored at least a 28 on the ACT and are very into computers(specificly, Linux, Networking, A+, and gaming). Everyone hates us for that and that alone. I think this "saftey precaution" is backwards to say the least.

Re:What a bunch of B.S.! (1)

darkmoon (12675) | more than 13 years ago | (#486189)

You're a geek, right?
Doesn't that make you a wacko, psycho, nut AND loser among the geeks who disagree with you about your stance on Jon Katz and the Hellmouth?

I'm in high-school right now and I've been going through some pretty rough times. I've considered both homicide and suicide (usually mixed together).


(There, I've said it. Moderate me down for advocating murder)

Re:broader than a mere American issue (1)

shinji1911 (238955) | more than 13 years ago | (#486190)

Who will suffer most? Typically, the ones who would have stood to gain the most: those for whom an intellectually stimulating peer group would have boosted motivation, intellectual discipline and dialogue. And if there's any group who can understand the benefits from a stimulating peer-group, it's the /. crowd.

The brain drain is the inevitable result of such a fascist system, and is instrumental in bringing about its eventual downfall. Causing the exodus of your best and brightest has its costs, and such a system pays for its stupidity. Think:

the intellectuals exit stage left, leaving behind a group who don't care about school, but who 'fit in' just fine. Test scores go down further, the public school system becomes even more of a failure, eventually leading to legistlated privatization.

I see nothing critically wrong here, quite honestly. Let the system bring about its own downfall.


loki29 (307650) | more than 13 years ago | (#486191)

Sorry for the yelling, i'm just getting disturbed that so much non-slashdot material is getting thrown up while so many stories are getting ignored/buried.

I would love to have a job where everything I write, no matter what it is, will get published and I get paid for it :-)


I get a creepy feeling reading katz's articles that just don't fit into Slashdot, and I begin to wonder, if this is what Slashdot has come down to today, what about 6 months from now, or a year from now. Is it going to be or or (insert "hip" "happening" site here) with the occasional linux blurb or tech blurb thrown in every few days?

They need to split off Slashdot into two parts, the techie part (like it used to be, geek movies, info, software, hardware, cult type stuff) and the non-geek movie review/katz "reach deep inside your soul and tell me how you feel" site.

Orwellian is right! (1)

magic (19621) | more than 13 years ago | (#486192)

This is a page straight from 1984, training children to "turn in" their friends and parents to the State.


Re:okay, this is all good (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#486193)

I'd buy it too.

-Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

Re:Pinkerton is great (2)

Gleef (86) | more than 13 years ago | (#486194)

jbrians comments:

That sounds a little far-fetched. I doubt they have human-beings evaluating each of the folders they have and jotting down comments.

True, but I can easily imagine that they have human beings evaluating each of the folders they sell, at the time of sale and jotting down comments.


Re:How many people? (2)

Fervent (178271) | more than 13 years ago | (#486195)

Hmm. Well I don't know if you could argue that most of what is posted on Slashdot is "content". I try to incite conversation... and arguments. I like the verbal play, and it leads to interesting thoughts. But is that "content"?

I think Katz is a very eloquent speaker, and I enjoy reading his stuff. Plus, for someone relatively new to Slashdot (only about a year), reading Katz stuff is kind of interesting.

-Be a man. Insult me without using an AC.

Re:broader than a mere American issue (2)

roystgnr (4015) | more than 13 years ago | (#486196)

And if there's any group who can understand the benefits from a stimulating peer-group, it's the /. crowd.

Darn right. Sure, I used Linux before I got my login here, but I installed it completely unaware of how l33t I was becoming. Why, until I started reading Slashdot, I had no idea how close the affiliation between Microsoft and Satan really was! And while I'm sure many of us had pictured Natalie Portman naked before, it took true insight to consider the implications of adding petrification to the scenario.

Re:Pinkerton is great (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 13 years ago | (#486197)

> And the analysis of being a "libertarian leaning, anti-establishment, technically savvy introvert with no social skills" was spot on for my early life, but I've got social skills now :-)

Did you send them a .diff file with the corrections>


Re:Katz has performed a genuine service (2)

shinji1911 (238955) | more than 13 years ago | (#486198)

I'm sorry, but the end of the Hellmouth series here on Slashdot is only the beginning of something larger. I agree that 'Hellmouth' itself is a well-beaten dead horse, but it has sparked discussions that are not directly related, and quite useful.

Looking back over the series of 10 articles, there have been testimony from many, almost all _not_ from Columbine. Each piece of testimony is a different perspective, and some offer ideas for dealing with the problem.

As long as the civil rights of minors continue to be violated, and as long as school administrators either turn a blind eye, or secretly help the agressors, the problems must be shown.

You don't hear about genocide victims telling others to lay off discussing how evil their murderers are -- why should we? Especially when the abuses are still continuing?

Pouring salt on old wounds only applies if those wounds have started to heal. Unfortunately, we're not the ones pouring salt by discussing on a weblog, the public school system is pouring, and quite a bit of it.

In the end, it's time to take a stance, and actually go out and do something. Helping to subvert W.A.V.E. will certainly be a good statement to make, but we now need to discuss solutions to these problems.

Legislation, perhaps, to increase minor rights? The increased privatization of the educational system? More Rent-a-cops? I don't know! But we need to discuss, and find solutions.

To do the 'awww-so-sad-look-at-those-starving-Ethiopians-now -change-the-channel-XFiles-is-on' thing is not acceptable here.

It is important to keep reporting this (2)

magic (19621) | more than 13 years ago | (#486199)

By reporting continuing developments, Katz is keeping this important issue alive. If instead of following up, he did what the rest of the media does-- drop day-old news like a dead rodent-- those of us who aren't in highschool would not realize what is going on.

It's a little annoying to hear the same stuff over and over again. But the kind of social problems that get solved are the ones where someone crusades to keep them visible. Squeaky wheel gets the grease kind of thing...

-m (2)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#486200)

The Wave [] was the result of an experiment in Personality Cult worship in PaloAlto Cali. in the 60's. It is VERY funny that the monkeys who are developing this 'squeel' system have never heard about it.

The book based on this event was required reading in my HighSchool - very interesting read.

Maybe the people devloping the "W.A.V.E." program should read a book... it is uncanny that this experiment (in 60's California) detailed in this book is exactly what this "W.A.V.E." program will lead too - that the book actually warned against this.

This is very weird.

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