I was going to write something about the many recent instances of protests on college campuses that had the intent and effect of making it impossible for invited speakers to speak, and for people who were interested in engaging with their ideas to hear them.
But, then, I remembered that I already wrote about this 11 years ago. So, it’s nothing new, and I’m still against it.
The only thing I’ll add is that while the original post focused on scientific ideas, the same can be said of the benefits of open expression and criticism of other kinds of ideas as well.
You (usually) don’t have to listen to ideas you oppose for very long. But, when you go a step further and try to prevent other people from hearing those ideas, you’ve become a threat to human flourishing.
Whenever I hear stories about people lavishing praise on Donald Trump, like at the recent “Dear Leader” cabinet meeting, I try to put the most positive spin on it that I can.
So, I imagine that they’re treating him like a dangerous monster with incredible power, who must be complimented with effusive praise and lies to keep him from doing horrible damage. I think of them as people speaking to Anthony in the Twilight Zone episode: It’s a Good Life.
Perhaps the truth is much worse than that…but I’m an optimist.
We are living in very strange times.
It would be nice if we could reason people out of violence in the name of Islam.
But, unfortunately, that won’t work with many people. Among other things, it will take social pressure that makes alternatives more attractive in the context of their religious identity.
That’s why I’m so happy to see efforts like this one by the Kuwaiti telecom company Zain :
Sorry I haven’t posted in so long.
It has been depressing watching the antics of our incompetent president (although there have been some bright spots like deregulation and some good appointments)
I’ve recently moved this blog over to WordPress, and maybe I’ll manage to start posting more frequently.
(I wasn’t able to automatically import old comments, but I’m trying to selectively add some of the ones that I think are useful.)
I spend a lot of time walking and commuting by bus, and for much of that
time I’m listening to podcasts.
Here’s the list of my current podcast subscriptions (the links below are
to the RSS feeds that you can use to subscribe to the podcasts):
I don’t have time for many more, but if you think I’m missing an
important one, let me know.
It should go without saying that I don’t believe that Donald Trump is
fit (intellectually, temperamentally, philosophically, etc.) to be the
President of the United States.
After his victory in the Indiana primary it seems to be a near-certainty
that he’ll be the Republican nominee, and I hope he loses.
I don’t have much hope that Republican delegates will have the courage to implement Ilya Somin’s suggestion to block Trump from the Convention Rules Committee.
So, I’m resigned to endure an election with Trump as a candidate, and
still hold out hope that the American people will be bright enough to
reject him in the general election.
And, another potential bright spot is that perhaps there will be many
people who reject Trump, but can’t bring themselves to support Hillary
Clinton, and will throw their attention and support to the Libertarian
candidate (probably Gary Johnson), and help sow the seeds for future
progress towards individual liberty.
A man can dream.
Whatever your 2015 was like, I hope your 2016 is better!