[etoys-dev] Congratulations on Censoring the Roulette Project

Bert Freudenberg bert at freudenbergs.de
Fri Jan 22 11:45:15 EST 2010

On 22.01.2010, at 06:48, Steve Thomas wrote:
> My Dear Wormwood (apologies to C.S. Lewis and "The Screwtape Letters")
> Much congratulations are in order for you success in preventing the Roulette project from being published on the Squeakland Website.
> But do not put down your guard, the enemy is always watching for an opening. 
> Guide your patients reading and be careful to keep them off this email list and away from original works such as the letters of Fermat and Pascal (try and block their browsers from viewing http://www.york.ac.uk/depts/maths/histstat/pascal.pdf )
> One way to do this is convince those in Charge of Censorship that the letters between Fermat and Pascal are all about gambling and will lead the poor wretched little creatures into a depraved life of crime.
> Convince them that they know what is best for the little vermin and that they are doing a good deed by protecting them from Gambling.
> Do NOT at any point mention Probability and Statistics, such powerful ideas in the minds of small children are dangerous to our cause.
> Unfortunately the idea that small humans should learn Probability and Statistics has caught on amongst those who are normally our allies in keeping people ignorant.
> That said all is not lost and your mistake in letting the concept of P&S into schools (for which you will be severely punished) should not cause irreparable harm.
> I am working on our unwitting allies  (well meaning School Administrations, Standards Testers and Textbook publishers) to Assimilate those ideas into the school culture and promote them as wonderful abstract ideas where the important part is not the ideas themselves and how you can use them, but the ability to manipulate symbols without any ties to the real world or other subjects.  Or if they insist on the concrete, use the idea of taking a survey to determine what color M&M a particular girl is most likely to enjoy.
> I am working to convince them that their goal is scoring well on Standardized Tests (preferably multiple choice as it is easier for them to administer). Then they can say what a wonderful job they did and feed their own hubris and/or work on their insecurities.
> I encourage you to keep in place the mechanism of delaying publishing a project until it has been reviewed or better yet 3 to 5 days after they publish it.  Hopefully this will discourage our enemies and the small little vermin they call "children", so that they never come back.  Remind them they are protecting their precious little ones and doing a great service to humanity (don't mention actual children or the worse things they are exposed to in the real world). Also re-enforce their misguided notion that if they allow words like "mojo" they will scare off schools from using Etoys. Their desire not to offend anyone will help mute much of their effectiveness. Remind them that the other key to success is to try and please everyone.
> Do not let them look for counter evidence on that disgusting Scratch Site. If they do a search there and see what kind of projects there are and how it has expanded around the world in such a short time, all is lost.  Remind them that they can do better and Re-Inventing the wheel will help them do their part for humanity (while keeping them away from the enemies more effective tasks).
> Keep their minds off the most elementary of ideas that they should see what motivates children, observe how children learn and listen to them. We don't want them to see the simplistic design of our enemy and see what works.
>   1) Keep their minds on high and mighty powerful ideas in their most minimalistic and abstract forms.
>   2) Avoid the concrete representations of the ideas, convincing them that anytime they present the concrete or use metaphor they will mislead and in some way and miss the beautiful and subtle distinctions they have come to appreciate as they themselves became experts.
>   3) Hide from them the methods and ways in which the ideas were developed.
>   4) Keep from them good problems and original works that will help children learn and develop deeper understanding.
>   5) Discourage documenting how they learn and Reflection (here I am thinking about that villainous fellow Carlos)
> I am most worried about Yoshiki, that  follower of the enemy who tried to post the Roulette game. Ensure he does not tell where else he may have posted it (probably on that deplorable SuperSwiki2 site from that tiny Island in the Pacific). Fortunately it is probably posted in Japanese so we can limit the potential damage. We must continue to prevent what the enemy considers Good Projects (those that the small vermin are motivated to use/learn and remix) being translated into other languages so that others can learn from it (I wish the enemy would bring back the Tower of Babel again, but that was a one shot lucky one for us).
> Do not waste too much time on Mr. Steve, he is an obnoxious little twit who has an gift for offending those he really cares about and is trying to support. 
> His style of humor, which he believes is well meaning, has the wonderful side effect of keeping some people focused on being offended and away from any ideas he is trying to discuss.
> Your Affectionate Uncle Screwtape

Well said :)

I hope whoever censored this will retract their objection quickly.

- Bert -

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