Sometimes I joke about it. Now that King Soopers and Safeway have foisted their credit cards on me (in exchange for some terrific discounts), I know that they can also track my purchasing habits. Not that my habits are all that weird. I buy tortillas and beans. I buy pre-grated cheese. I buy pre-chopped salad. I buy lots of fruit, and have a fondness for squash, and more rarely, cauliflower.
I like wild rice. I buy more chicken than beef. I have a weakness for sausage (both chorizo and Italian). I LOVE organic apple juice.
My grandfather was, I now realize, a Freethinker. The American Heritage Dictionary defines the term as follows: "one who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in his religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation."
Granddad's favorite period in history was the American Revolution, and his favorite person in that period was Thomas Paine, author of "Common Sense," and "The Age of Reason." I recommend both of these books, by the way - Paine still has the power to infuriate and challenge, way more than any newspaper columnist today.
State Representative Tim Fritz (R-Loveland) has recently introduced House Bill 1376. This bill mandates the use of "electronic protection measures" - commonly known as filtering software - on all Internet terminals that can be used by minors. It also allows for the disabling of that software, whether for adults or for children, if, in the opinion of the librarian, the person is doing "bona fide or legitimate research."
The Colorado Library Association is opposed to this bill. Here's why.
First, we're doing a great deal about this issue right now.
Technology can be worrisome. My grandmother worried about her daughter on the telephone. Who knew what she'd hear?
My mother worried about my sister in her friends' cars. Who knew where they'd go?
My wife worries about my daughter's use of the Internet. Who knows what she'll see?
And as everyone remembers from their own childhood, you did indeed hear things, go places, and see things you know your parents didn't want you to.