The End of Free Will?

winningI suppose I was kidding myself in thinking I could get away without writing about politics this year.

Last year’s referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union broke me.

I recovered relatively quickly by sticking to my personal philosophy and not dwelling on negativity; a part of doing that has happily led to me distancing myself from an emotional involvement in politics.

I’ve tried to force myself to be ignorant of the broken democracy that the rest of my world appears to be addicted to.

Thankfully this particular post is not loaded with personal politics; this post is more of a warning to the incurious.

TL:DR – There is evidence that big money is using NLP style techniques to control modern-day western politics.  I provide links to relevant stories and so forth.

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Profanity in Social Media – Can We Speak Our Minds?

Rage SwearMy Father shared an interesting article on the efficacy and relevance of bloggers, tweeters and the like adding a “These views are strictly my own an do not represent the views of my employer” caveat to their blogs and profiles.

The article goes on to discuss the possible risks to those tweeters who do use their personal social media profiles to communicate on behalf of their employer.

Personally, I’ve never felt the need to cover myself in that manner. My social media activity is very clearly my own and anything I post on behalf of my employer is done so under my employer’s social media identity.

Any correlation between what I say under my personal profile and my employer is in the eye of the correlator – so to speak – but the article my Father shared is definitely food for thought.

Times are changing and it may be that my naive, monochrome view of the matter could land me in trouble in future.

What is more worrying to me though is not the risk of damaging my career but the risk of ending up in court!

We probably all recall the furore surrounding the prosecution of Paul Chambers that arose from his “joke” tweet about blowing up Robin Hood Airport.

This article in the Telegraph reminds us of the case and how the poet John Betjeman could have been prosecuted under the same logic, had he tweeted:

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough

But the risk of prosecution doesn’t end there; earlier this year, Bexley activist Olly Cromwell, was prosecuted for swearing on Twitter.

You can read about that here and here.

It looks like the Communications Act 2003, the legal act under whose auspices these prosecutions have been made, has come under scrutiny.  It clearly does not account for recent changes in media and communication – or does it?

Some people may see little difference to publishing profanity on television and writing a swear word in a 140 character microblog.

As I’ve mentioned before when I’ve discussed profanity, I abhor censorship.  No matter how hateful, or wrong something may seem to some people, I strongly believe in people’s right to speak freely over any medium.

From fictional literature to personal views, we should not be prevented from airing our thoughts.

But my personal views don’t change the fact that, under current legislation we could be prosecuted for simply voicing a point of view in jest or using an “adult” word.