Monday, January 31, 2005

Oh, look. The sky is falling.
I guess this article on what some politicos in the UK are trying to do about "depraved" suicide web sites is part of a campaign to whip up public indignation.
In the interest of public safety and the protection of children and adolescents from reading dangerous information, they should also do something about censoring webpages that point out the potential lethality of particular plants that can be found growing in the neigborhood.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Two teenage girls tossed themselves from a cliff. The one whose body has not yet been found apparently kept a blog on which she expressed suicidal thoughts for about two months before killing herself.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Chinese teen kills himself. The internet bar he last visited is apparently being held responsible for the death, as its license has been revoked. I don't claim to understand.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Mainstream Newspaper Peddles Dope??

If you follow the journalistic stories about suicide fora on the internet, you've undoubtedly noticed that some of the journalists are hypocrites; some of them decry the fora as encouraging suicide while in the same article they provide details of a method of suicide, or their stories are accompanied by photos that appear to romanticise death while the story accuses the fora of trying to make suicide hip and cool. Lately, though, i've wondered if the discrepancy between what these journalists practice and what they preach is due to something other than hypocrisy.

Take, for instance, a rather comical convergence of information that took place on the website of a mainstream newspaper in the U.S. I don't think that the paper really meant to be effectively talking out of both sides of its mouth on that occasion, but occasions like that make me wonder if mainstream detractors of websites that discuss issues and ideas of which the mainstream apparently disapproves are giving any real thought to the subjects they write about, or whether they are exhibiting a verbal equivalent of some knee-jerk reflex.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

GI Joe Has Feelings, Too

Being rather bored i checked the statistics for my site that are auto-generated from the activity logs. It seems that last month (December '04), i caught the attention of the U.S. military. Or i caught the attention of somebody who uses the U.S. military's computers, as the number of hits from that source that month constituted about 1% of the traffic on my site for that month. Now, i realize that 1% of the traffic on a backwater, obscure site like mine isn't that many hits in terms of absolute numbers, but still, it makes me wonder what was so faaaaaaaaaaascinating to them that they had to keep coming back--i'm too lazy to check the actual logs to see which pages they actually visited. I've noticed from time to time a visit from some .gov or .mil, but it's usually just a few hits toward the end of the month, and not enough activity to actually show up as significant in the stats. So, what was so special about December?

The biggest change i made to the site back then was the addition of this blog, so mebbe that was it? Did i trigger some threshold value for the number of times the word "suicide" is written, making me a potential advocate of something of actual interest to them like, say, suicide bombers? Perhaps. Personally, i would think that a site that carried on at great length about fertilizers without showing the slightest interest in either gardening or agriculture to be far more suspicious, but that's just me. Or maybe it was someone trying to gain insight into why so many members of the U.S. military stationed in Iraq are apparently committing suicide. If the latter is the case, then here's your answer, captain:

People kill themselves when they find themselves in an unbearable situation in which they see no better alternative than death. They kill themselves when they cease to hope for anything better. You may own that soldier's ass while he's enlisted, but he still has the final say on what he's willing to put up with. So if you'd rather GI Joe not suicide, you need to actually pay attention to how he feels about what he's being asked to do and the conditions under which he's being asked to do it.

Yeah, that's right. I'm asking you to pay attention to soldiers' feelings. And if you think that's an absurd request, then i marvel that you would give a damn about humans killing themselves in the first place.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Europe Suicide Rate is #1

WHO reports that Europe has the highest suicide rate, and that the number of cases involving younger people is growing.