I’m worried about Eric J. Sinrod.
Sinrod, a San Francisco lawyer, just posted a News.com Perspectives piece entitled “iPod porn pains parents, employers.” Seriously. The guy is worried about iPod porn.
With a 5G iPod, Sinrod argues, children could escape the watchful eyes of their parents — and the limitations of the too-public family-room PC:
However, the ability of parents to monitor is seriously undermined if their children quickly can download adult content onto their iPods and then take it away from the home for easy viewing elsewhere.
Very true — though of course the same could be said for PSPs, DVDs/videotapes (your children don’t have a TV in their room, do they?!), and of course the choice of adolescents since time immemorial: good ol’-fashioned magazines. So what’s new?
Not much. But Sinrod has a scare for the workers of the world lined up:
Yet, iPods are becoming so ubiquitous and are so small, they are an easy vehicle for bringing pornography into the workplace. Employees discreetly could [sic] try to view pornography away from the watch of others. By engaging in such behavior, they often could be distracted from their true work functions, and problematically, they might contribute to an inappropriate and potentially hostile work environment to the extent the iPod porn is seen by others.
Here Sinrod tries to have it both ways, arguing both for hidden porn and that seen by co—wait, why I am engaging this argument? I should be asking: where does this guy work? Do his co-workers tend to disappear for long stretches, unable to spend 4 hours (assuming they get lunch) without a porn fix? Where does he expect them to escape “the watch of others”? The bathroom? The supplies closet?
Perhaps at Duane Morris, Sinrod’s law firm, no-one suffers the indignity of toiling away at an open cubicle, so they can partake right in their offices. By… holding an iPod under their desks? Whilst wearing the trademark white headphones? Yes that sounds quite subtle — and certainly something that was impossible before, especially in an age of PDAs, laptops, and yes, even mobile phones.
Truth is, kids who want to see porn don’t need a $300 iPod to get the job done, and adults who want to sneak it into the workplace could just use a thumb-sized USB drive (and not have to transcode their stash.) Sinrod and other nimrods want to pretend this is a new “problem”, one that can be solved with yet more policies and restrictions. He’s wrong.
Really, if we could just find a way to avoid hiring — or siring — podpeople like Sinrod, we could all enjoy our iPods in peace.