Monday, 30 January 2012

Expression on the Internet

The Internet today is a distributed medium enabling free expression worldwide. Freedom of Expression is under threat by measures of Censorship initiated across Nations.

Quoting William Blake, "Everything that lives, Lives not alone, nor for itself." Humans like to express opinions to others. If we observe or listen, we may respond at least in thought. Communication is also an essential means for survival. Hence, increasing the number of media of expression is to our advantage. Erroneous content and falsified content also exists within media.

Nothing we see, hear or experience is verified individually or by groups. Verification is the realm of "Scientific Method." Objectionable material, to individuals [breaching privacy] has existed for long. What is Gossip, if not privacy intrusion? Erroneous and Objectionable material is found in all media.

Creation of the free world began with tolerance and permissiveness of expression. The Renaissance was rebirth of freedom of expression. It spread across the world during an era of trade and colonialism. The Individual became more magnified in society than ever before after renaissance brought more freedom of expression. Freedom to elect governance, gender freedom, educational freedom followed and are still in a stage of growth.

The Internet is a facilitator of free expression. It is built on prior work from an age of written material. Social Networks facilitate expression beyond geography, culture, nation, language are built on the Internet and augmented by other technology. Universities are no longer core proponents of knowledge, but the Internet providing the Multiversity platform.

The Internet itself evolved to serve a purpose it was not originally meant for. Social Networks augmented by Internet are also evolving. People interact beyond cultures without relocation. The dream of  a 'Flat world' is now real. Educating people to use new media like the Internet knowing that all content is not verified nor accepted is important.

Tolerance is the first step before accepting or acknowledging an alternate idea. It is necessary in the wake of rapidly evolving technology. People therefore must learn to be more tolerant to use and enjoy the benefits of new media. Censorship will put us behind an iron curtain and ultimately blind us from knowledge. 

 Wikipedia demonstrates that knowledge without screening is better than screened encyclopaedic work. Wikipedia continues to be in perpetual growth.

Censorship will freeze development and reverse benefits of the Renaissance. It is also authoritarianism which is no longer an accepted form of social order. Censorship is impossible as speed of content creation and distribution gets faster. Censorship requires consensus, while creation and distribution of content does not.

We must educate ourselves to be tolerant and dismiss what we deem unnecessary while individually perusing any content. The forbidden fruit is always sweeter than that within our reach. Governance and Social order must also evolve to facilitate growth of humanity.

Censorship is an idea stifling growth. Freedom is active growth. We always prefer growth. Censorship is evidence of immature society and governance. We must not blame governments or individuals for censorship.

It is therefore necessary especially at this time to continue to embrace freedom and in essence, holistic growth. Let us do our individual part against censorship by permitting alternate ideas which we might not agree with. Tomorrow is built on today's decisions. We are the decision makers for our own future.

We are witnessing the culmination of memetic evolution (memes being a term some disagree with), which we may be capable of shaping, but incapable of stopping. Freedom of the Internet will only slow down growth, before it recovers by freedom itself. Why stifle that which is already destined to empower us further?