What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Monday, January 10, 2011

Words are the currency of thought

George Orwell was correct in his views of language, power and thought in 1984.

Because it seems relevant to some discussions going on (and because it's now becoming a knee-jerk defense, mostly from one side of the political spectrum). A criticism of speech (print, verbal, blog, whatever) is not censorship of said speech. I understand that some people can be confused on that issue given their world view and their "absolutist" stances on ideas.

So, if you would say something like, "I believe the sky is blue," and I would say, "You're wrong, it's azure," this doesn't mean I think you should be muzzled and prevented from providing any thoughts on the matter of color (of the sky or anything else). Even if I should say, "Your ability to recognize color selection is ignorant and until you learn better you should STFU and sit down," that isn't censorship.

Now, if I would try and make a law that only people who can discern a delta-E of 3 (That's a color sensitivity term that is a scientific determination on who close two colors are, most people can readily see a delta-E of 18-20, and if the colors are next to each other a delta-E of 10, highly trained people can discern down to a delta-E of 3. That's where mine is at, BTW. Below a delta-E of 3, it's presumed only machines can discern the difference.) should be allowed to give their opinion of what a color is, that would be censorship. If I would exert my minimal influence to make sure that anybody who didn't have the same level of capability couldn't have their opinion of color given to the public through the print, digital, or broadcast media, that would also be an example of censorship. If I would remove the word "blue" from the lexicon to keep you from making such a statement, that would also be a form of censorship.

But standing up and saying, "You're wrong, that's azure," or "that's an ignorant statement," or even, "you have no idea just what you're saying," isn't an example of censorship. Even if I say, "I'm not going to listen to you," isn't an example of censorship. And to the far end, if I say, "What you've been saying about the color of the sky has ruined the ability of others to correctly name said color and you should really rethink how you discuss color before you do any more damage," isn't censorship.

To consider such statements as censorship is to fail at discourse.

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