Porn in the City (Public Technology)

kiosk

In retrospect, the words of the promotional are hysterical. The internet hubs are big sidewalk monoliths. Kind of great, in theory at least. Unfettered wifi and internet. But what were they thinking? Clearly the urban planners don’t know much about the human condition or human capacities.

“The Wi-Fi kiosks in New York were designed to replace phone booths and allow users to consult maps, maybe check the weather or charge their phones. But they have also attracted people who linger for hours, sometimes drinking and doing drugs and, at times, boldly watching pornography on the sidewalks.

Now, yielding to complaints, the operator of the kiosks, LinkNYC network, is shutting off their internet browsers, but not their other functions, while it works out a Plan B with city officials.

The switch, announced on Wednesday, is a case study in unintended consequences, commendable goals gone somewhat awry. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s aim of providing modern technology to the masses ran headlong into the reality of life on the city’s streets. After months of complaints from residents, businesses and other elected officials, Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, conceded that combining unfettered internet access with free Wi-Fi was a recipe for bad behavior.”

(from the NYT here)

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish though and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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One Response to Porn in the City (Public Technology)

  1. dmf says:

    same techno-cratic frame of mind that think that one can customize education for all kids employing computers, never occurs to them that some folks might learn better with/thru other means…

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