Who's in Charge Here?
The 20th century taught us that repressed desires are the source of human unhappiness. Now, with more possibilities for pleasure and fewer rules and constraints than ever before, the happy few will be those able to exercise self-control.
Most of us who live with children and computers know about software for controlling how the former use the latter. But what about the grownups who can’t control themselves? For adult Internet users ready to admit that they’re in the grip of a higher power, there is Covenant Eyes, a website that will keep track of all the other websites you visit—and e-mail this potentially incriminating list to an “accountability partner” of your choosing. Covenant Eyes even rates websites on a kind of taboo scale (the higher the score, the raunchier), so that your spouse or pastor can tell at a glance whether you’ve been poring over market research online or taking in a peepshow.
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Daniel Akst writes frequently for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and other publications. His most recent book, a novel, is The Webster Chronicle (2001).more from this author >>