Friday, June 24, 2011

The Freedom to Know (Be)

When the world wide web was just becoming popular in 1995, I took one of the early introduction courses on what could be done with this new possibility -- and realized right off, the opportunity it represented, for alternative voices and viewpoints -- although the class was not taught that way.

They still insisted that one had to be as anonymous and secretive as possible -- so that nobody would really know who they were -- which I realized was a terrible mistake, because the problem was not that most people were too well known, but they were not known well enough -- by others, as well as themselves. The great advantage of the World Wide Web, was the ability to be known by others, and to know others -- and by that process, to know oneself, because one doesn't really know oneself, except in the actual relating with others.

Otherwise, one can have all kinds of delusions about oneself -- and demand that others believe that, rather than as they actually are, and manifest in the relating. The actual relating, is the relationship, and not what one calls it, or wants another to believe it is -- with certain expectations, obligations, wishful thinking, etc. In that way, many could demand that "friends" behave in a certain manner to them, while they exploited, deceived and manipulated everyone else in the name of that "friendship" -- which was obviously something else entirely.

That was the norm before the World Wide Web made other (alternative) "visions" more commonplace. Still, some organizations and institutions insist, they have the only truth that should be known -- just like in the (good) old days, and they should be in charge of editing, censoring and suppressing everything that does not conform to their truth (political correctness), which invariably, and not coincidentally, put them at the top of the flowchart of authority and "entitlements."

That part of human conditioning dies hard -- the desire to attain an unfair advantage, and retain it for life -- despite what it costs everybody else to maintain those "privileges" -- which they think is the reason for everybody else's existence. It's not that those tendencies never existed before -- but now they become more apparent and obvious, because alternative viewpoints are more often seen -- than the one a self-appointed few, demands that is the only thing that can be known, and it should be dangerous to hold any other viewpoints -- even if they have to teach and enforce it themselves.

This is most commonly seen now, in the discussions of the government workers, that the government should exist, solely for their own benefit and well-being -- because they have "sacrificed" themselves for everybody else, and one has no right to believe anything else.


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