Philippe Kahn on censorship.

Adam Rifkin -4K (
Fri, 17 Dec 1999 17:39:05 -0800 (PST)

Surfing the web looking for something else I found in Dave Farber's
IP archive

the following forward from "Amusing Rants from Dave Winer's Desktop"
released on 2/26/96 (gosh, was the Communications Decency Act hubbub
THAT long ago?): Philippe Kahn,, CEO of Starfish
Software and founder of Borland International, wrote an essay for the
24 Hours project that follows.

> During the German occupation, the French sometimes had been more
> diligent promoters of the Holocaust than the Germans themselves.
> Few Jewish families survived.

> In the 60s Jewish Children weren't welcome in French Schools. In my
> school most of the parents of the Jewish children were hard working
> cabinet makers, tailors or carpenters. They worked to get their
> children an education.
> For most of the Jewish families, France had been their homes for no
> more than a generation. At the turn of the Century, they migrated from
> Eastern Europe, usually arriving with no more than a shirt on their
> backs, their violins and clarinets. And the great hope from a new
> lease on life. It lasted a short while.
> In my school, in the heart of Paris, out of several thousand kids there
> were a handful of us. We were different. We were kept apart. The
> neighborhoods were pretty rough. We got together and practiced
> boxing and martial arts. It was self defense.
> Often we'd come home bruised, our clothes ripped.
> One day they had posters in the neighborhood, inviting kids to join
> the "keepers of the Great Aryan Principles". About ten kids, part of a
> neo-Nazi group, were holding a meeting and explaining how the
> Holocaust never happened and why it was another fabrication of the Jews.
> That was too much. Three of us decided to go and present a
> counter-argument. They didn't see it that way. They beat us up with
> steel bars and kicked us with their combat boots.
> I came back home with a broken nose, limping and bruises all over my body.
> When my Mother arrived, I was furious. I told her how it was
> unbelievable to see people expressing such lies and insults. How
> they should not be allowed to publicize their opinions. How we should
> appeal to the highest authorities to stop them from publicizing
> those lies.
> She looked at me, listened. As she sat down at the table, I stared at
> the tattoos on her forearm: Unerasable memories of the years she had
> spent in the Death Camps and that she had miraculously survived.
> She looked me straight in the eyes and said: "For Centuries our people
> have been the victims of intolerance. The price of our freedom is the
> burden of having to accept the worst in public expression. For he who
> starts censorship will never know where and when to stop."


Surely there will be search engines and 'trusted third parties' for
schema data, as there will be for other applications of XML and RDF. By
defining schema languages in instance syntax, we implicitly promote the
idea that there will be some big payoff for doing so (otherwise, lets
stick with DTDs). Some synergy that means generic tools will be
applicable to schemata. I find this impossible to reconcile with the
www.really-important-trusted-metaregistry.[com|org] approach that seems
popular in the industry. I'm banking on doing schema searches at the
mainstream search engines in 2-3 years time...
-- Dan Brickley,