doctorow at June 11th, 2014 09:28 — #1
lasermike026 at June 11th, 2014 09:37 — #2
Can you smell those books burning? Ah, fascism.
chellberty at June 11th, 2014 10:02 — #3
Remember Adults, Kids love banned books.
Remember Kids, a bunch of squares don't want you to read this book.
openfly at June 11th, 2014 15:06 — #4
I would urge all to read Walt Whitman's Democratic Vistas. He covers this subject so utterly eloquently. Even the time it was written in, at the end of the Civil War, when civil rights had been all but smashed throughout the nation, and the polarization of the north and the south could not have been more extreme. We can find so much intrinsic brilliance in this work today. And among the many points raised, is that it is every Americans civic duty ( as in their responsibility as a citizen ) to never stop questioning authority. If we do, we lose democracy outright.
We've forgotten so much that was important.
disarticulate at June 11th, 2014 15:17 — #5
We didn't forget anything; media at that time was directed at the learned few.
As we've grown up, we've come to face the reality: not everyone cares, and the bias is strictly on those that care.
openfly at June 11th, 2014 15:25 — #6
which was kind of a major point in Whitman's vistas works. He wanted American art / media / culture to develop a homegrown manifestation of art and expression that was directed at the common person and helped them become enthralled by democracy and their own participation in society. Or in short, the opposite of TV.
disarticulate at June 11th, 2014 15:50 — #7
I just didn't like the phrasing. I also find that correlation and causation in media are disparate.
Like memes in culture, just because something is widely distributed does not make for evidence that it is a necessity.
I'm not critiquing your post either, except for the phrasing of 'people forgetting'.
The question is always: Will this information, which we do/don't censor, provide a higher fitness to our community?
Just it's existence on BoingBoing, suggests the like-mindedness of the answer: Yes. And the answer is based on the premise that the reasons for saying "No" are capricious and ill conceived.
Meme's have a funny way of behaving, and suggesting all memes should be allowed to flourish regardless is a philosophical issue.
If you connect the meme to the gene, and replicate this question in the form of cancer, you get a funny and stark picture, that we consider certain memes to be cancerous, as they grow unregulated and consume mental space beyond all feasibility, eventually killing the host.
But no one screams for a cure to meme cancer, because we have 1st amendment rights.
tachin1 at June 11th, 2014 16:56 — #8
I'm going to be just a little pedantic, only to get my point across, not a fully formed idea here, just a thought.
The idea of a cancerous meme is certainly provocative, but its too big of a stretch I think and sort of tries to bridge an abstract concept and morality, as in the "war on terror" and the "war on drugs".
I say this because I do get your point, at least I think I do, but thinking of certain ideas as inherently harmful is the kind of thinking that gets you book banning in the first place.
If we were to follow the "cancer" analogy to its logical conclusion, we would then have to remember that cancer cells are normal cells that grow unchecked, (I am not a doctor, I know its not a perfect explanation, work with me here), so what are the checks for ideas?
Discourse, critical reasoning and the testing of those ideas to see if they're true, without which any idea can become dangerous, even so called good ones.
I would argue that banning this book actually qualifies as screaming for a cure to meme cancer, but as I've tried to make the point. Ideas are devoid of moral obligations like being good or bad.
Anybody arguing for or against the morality of an idea is really trying to avoid justifying a position under current circumstances by pleading to a higher power, in this case, morality. Now you don't have to prove anything, you have shifted the burden of proof to somebody else.
disarticulate at June 11th, 2014 17:08 — #9
Good response. Cancer is basically unchecked growth for the sake of growth. Most cancer loses it's functionality as far as I'm aware. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but a tumor on the lung no longer acts to say, process oxygen/co2.
What I'm amused with, is that in this cancer analogy, we inevitably need an outside observer of a host; say an Alien outside the body who can observe how the body functions. This may not be an absolute requirement, if we consider the meme cancerous, as there's plenty of animal/living studies (literal for our metaphorical comparison) out there that show certain types of lifeforms don't have cancer.
But since we claim sentience beyond all other, perhaps the ability for our Memes to be cancerous (which is the argument for free speech) is what surreptitiously affords use our consciousness. Thus we embark on a long form discussion about the extent to which we need to understand why we do and do not ban certain things from replicating. Because we do ban thoughts, memes, just not as a matter of official policy, but more as the indoctrination or innoculation (hive mind; social cliques; etc).
I'm a recovering sentience.
doctorow at June 16th, 2014 09:28 — #10
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