Thursday, February 10, 2011

Today's World: Not Boring; Not Simple

I'm writing a serious of posts this evening - mostly about my take on what's been happening in Egypt, a little about events in Iran, and a lot about my take on freedom of speech. I'll be getting to all that in a bit.

First, a little about assumptions I make about the nature of reality. I haven't done this for a while in this blog. Please be patient: this shouldn't take long. (Famous last words?)

Nice is Nice, Real is Real

Essentially, I think it's a good idea to let folks express opinions - without fear of losing their jobs, freedoms, or lives. I even think that it'd be nice if we didn't need to have any secrets.

I could also think that it'd be nice if nobody every got sick, everybody was as handsome/beautiful as movie stars, and everybody had a satisfying, fulfilling career. Realistically, that's not gonna happen.

I'm not even sure that having a "career," in the contemporary American sense of the word, is all that desirable a goal. And that's another topic.

The point is, simple happens in some spy novels and political campaigns. The real world is - not-simple.

You Like Simple? Look Elsewhere

Things aren't simple. Not when human beings are involved. I've written that before. (September 18, 2009)

Information Gatekeepers

If you've been following this blog - thank you! And, more to the point of this post, you know what I mean by an information gatekeeper. I've written about that before too:
Briefly, information gatekeepers are the folks in a society who are in a position to decide what the rest get to learn. In America, that used to include news editors, media executives, teachers, librarians, and publishers.

Happily, many of those folks thought they believed in freedom of speech. Some followed through - and allowed those who didn't agree with them to get published. Others: well, I've discussed political correctness before, too. (January 7, 2010, November 10, 2009, February 19, 2008, for starters)

It's Not Always 'the Other Guy'

It's not always 'those liberals' who prefer to silence dissenting opinions. I remember the trailing edge of McCarthyism. I think that, instead of assuming that everybody who doesn't agree is bad - - - wait, I've written about that before, too.
Egypt, Iran, and dissent:

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.