Thursday, 21 April 2016

voice and accountability indices

Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, professor and gadfly Timothy Garton Ash recently presented a series of sobering and important essays on the state of free speech, which distills the ideas and necessary dialogue found his comprehensive and engaging internet presence.
Positing that no subject should be taboo in the pursuit of knowledge, we see liberty of expression under assault not only—and paradoxically—by the synapses that an intimately connected world but also in those corridors of learning and ivory towers of educational institutions—also being the last place one would expect to find the aura of censorship and sophistry, Professor Garton Ash elucidates interlocutors with a treacherous trio of veto-powers that elegantly present the threat: the heckler’s veto—wherein in all dissent is lost in the noise and chaos, the assassin’s veto—the threat of violence or litigation, and the veto of the offended—the intimidating prospect of violating the safe-space of another group. What do you make of these mute-buttons and has the internet facilitated the creation of this sort of timorous bully-pulpit?