Admin has just informed us that there will no longer be Captcha Challenges on this website, perhaps forever. This is a very sad day for me.
Contrary to the general misconception that the Captcha Challenge served no discernible purpose whatsoever except to annoy us all, I for one was and continue to be a devoted supporter of the Captcha Challenge. Here's why:
1. The Captcha Challenge provided me with the security of knowing that iranian.com was doing its utmost to maintain its extraordinarily high standards of public discourse by weeding out participants who could not add two and two.
2. The Captcha Challenge addressed the heartfelt concerns of parents on this website as to the appropriateness of its content for their chldren, since it ensured that no child under the age of six could participate on threads. Admittedly, this did not stop them from VIEWING the threads, but it was definitely the beginnings of a healthy compromise. One of the great challenges of the Internet Age will be to balance our First Amendment Rights with the rights of our children to their innocence.
3. The Captcha Challenge added a dimension of dynamism and vitality to my relationship with this website which simply cannot be underestimated. Because I would often get this Captcha Challenge wrong several times in a row, usually (though not always) due to typos. And plus my computer is somewhat slow. So I would WRESTLE with this Captcha Challenge, over and over again, going over the same tedious thing, just like...a marriage. And indeed, it was a kind of marriage for me....arguing and making up and breaking up and making up again. The Captcha Challenge bonded me to this website in ways inexpressible and offered me solace in my loneliest hours.
4. For those who felt this bond of marriage as I did, the Captcha Challenge did much to resolve the volatile debate on this website on Gay Marriage. Because numbers are sexless and believe me, when I was fighting with this Captcha Challenge, so was I. And this I think is an important lesson for many Iranians, because matters of love and sexuality take many shapes and forms, and tolerance must always be exercised. Tolerance is a virtue
5. The Captcha Challenge taught me humility. Whenever I got it wrong four or five times in a row, believe me, I felt humble. And humility is a virtue.
6. The Captcha Challenge taught me patience. As I already explained, my computer is somewhat slow. And so I would wait...and wait...and wait...for my answers to this Captcha Challenge to be processed. And patience is a virtue. And I need to buy more memory.
7. Even on those very rare occasions when I would just get pissed off and disgusted with this Captcha Challenge, there was a hidden virtue. Because you see, first I would think: what the hell is this Captcha Challenge doing here anyway, what does jj think, that this is a basic math class, does he in point of fact think anything at all, is there ANY rhyme or reason whatsoever to this stupid Captcha Challenge or for that matter to half of what goes on on this website? And then, suddenly, in a profound moment of illumination, I would simply...surrender. And as all the world's great spiritual traditions have taught, and the Twelve Step programs have so eloquently reinforced, surrender to a higher power is a virtue. Even if that higher power is only jj and his Captcha Challenge.
In sum: the Captcha Challenge reinforced in me many virtues thar are universally recognized by all the world's great spiritual and many secular traditons: love, friendship, the sanctity of marriage, the protection and nurturance of our children, patience, tolerance, humility, surrender to a higher power, and arithmetic.
I for one was WEDDED to the Captcha Challenge. And I always cry at weddings and funerals.
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to face the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." Captcha Challenge, I know you're out there somewhere. You will be sorely missed.
Forever and always,
Your Rosie :o)
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