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Harold Thimbleby's Talk at the BAAS Annual Meeting

Peter B. Ladkin

Harold Thimbleby talked on Internet viruses and pornography at the 1995 British Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, a venerable occasion, usually well-covered in the British press. Brian Randell took strong exception to the way Harold presented his material--in particular a claim concerning the amount of `interesting material' there is yet on the Internet, and Harold's reference to the Rimm writings (1) on Internet porn. The general issues are being debated more widely.

Harold appears often in the media discussing computing issues. His text is the abstract of his talk. Brian has has written an essay explaining his views. I thank both for their contributions.

I wrote a short essay also, in a style which a colleague aptly described as `florid' (I like to do such things occasionally). There may be more to come, since I consider the social issues very important. I thank Harold and Brian for their contributions. Brian wishes to clarify that he hasn't contributed to or endorsed anything I've written here.


1: The Cyberporn Debate is a collection of material, including the Rimm report, the Time story, substantial technical critiques, and debate, on the Vanderbilt Web pages of Donna Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak.