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[ga] Re: What list forwards to what list
On Thu, Jan 27, 2000 at 11:15:30PM +0100, Roberto Gaetano wrote:
> Wanna make a test? Pick the public debate of your choice in the
> democratic country of your choice (in a city hall, on Capitol Hill, in a
> tribunal, wherever), drop by and start insulting people at random, best
> if women and with explicit language. Then, try to convince the
> attendees that they should close their ears rather than try to censor
> you limiting your freedom of speech.
> Let us know how it ended.
No need to do this test, these types of events occur in local politics
in my area with disturbing regularity. Recently, a city council meeting
erupted in a 'demonstration' of support for a local politician that included
considerable profanity and other types of derision. It was really an attempt at intimidation, but it didn't work.
But that's not the point.
The point is that it is hard to communicate over the noise of a disrupter in a
physical meeting, the noise is an actual, physical barrier to communications.
This is why in extreme circumstances someone can be compelled to shut up.
Communication via email is DIFFERENT. Profoundly different. A disruptive email
does not create a physical barrier to other communications, it is trivially
easy to physically ignore an email. You can communicate just as if it didn't
exist at all.
The only thing left, then, is someones emotional reaction to a post that they
read either accidentally, or because they have a compulsion to read every
message that ends up in their email box.
Neither of these things clears the hurdles necessary to justify silencing
someone in what should be a public forum. If you are concerned and embarrased
by the possibility of your good name being trashed and abused, use a
pseudonym. There is a long and noble tradition of that technique being used to
protect oneself in public discourse.
To many people, including myself, this difference is so obvious that it is
difficult to believe that everyone wouldn't *celebrate* this opportunity
to let those with even the most extreme views and grating ways of expressing
themselves have their opportunity to speak their piece.
I find it astounding.