On free speech


I am sure you can guess where this is going. It has been said that whenever Uncle Sam sneezes, the rest of the world catches a cold though it need not be this way. Following tRump’s call to his supporters to stop the steal and their clown show on 6th January, there have been calls, I hear to sue herr Trump and or impeach him if he doesn’t resign. Other very lawyerly people have said Trump did not directly call for an insurrection, In fact, they even argue that he can as well say he called for a peaceful demonstration. Now, demonstrations often get violent, there are provocateurs and all, what should happen if a person/ group called for a peaceful demonstration and it ended in violence, should the free speech rights be abrogated?

What should tech providers do in a scenario like this? Should they be able to do what has happened to Parler (which until yesterday I didn’t know of)?

A question which is not Trump related

What is the longest and yet the shortest Thing in the World; the most swift and the most slow; the most
divisible, and the most extended; the least valued, and the most regretted; And without which nothing can possibly be done: Which, in a Word, devours every Thing how minute soever, and yet gives Life and Spirit to every Object or Being, however Great?

Which is it? Are our lives short or is it that most of our lives are not lived but wasted away in pursuit of this or that? Or in escaping from the self?

About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

51 thoughts on “On free speech

  1. Trump is such a peaceful, empathic, kind, loving Christian that I’m sickened by all the outrage directed at him. What a grand fellow he is! The love that surrounds him and his followers has made me toss aside my Islamic leanings and sign up for Christianity for where else can such all-encompassing kindness, blind acceptance, and heart-warming love be found. Clearly, when Christ sits on His throne in Heaven thinking, “Are any humans the perfect example of Myself on earth?” His answer to Himself must surely be, “YES!!! Donald J. Trump! The greatest person ever at taking FULL responsibility for all of his actions and for spreading all-encompassing love like a malignant tumor wherever he doth roam!” God bless Donald J. Trump, and God bless the United States of America! $Amen$

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ark says:

    What should tech providers do in a scenario like this? Should they be able to do what has happened to Parler (which until yesterday I didn’t know of)?

    Me neither. So, just how important are they? Some suggest we should get off media platforms altogether.
    Blogging is fun, but something like Twitter can be lethal if one is not careful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • makagutu says:

      Yeah, I agree with you on all counts. I used to be on twitter and everyday someone was angry about something.
      But leaving social media, we will be left with the main stream media owned by some mogul or a mouthpiece of the government where only the right language is allowed to pass through

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ark says:

        How did we cope when all we had was the TV? Or before that, even?

        I thoroughly enjoy technology. If I were to go back thirty or forty years and had a crystal ball and saw what we have today, at times I’d think I was viewing some sort of sci-fi drama series!

        That said, the old adage, Too much of a good thing etc … is still relevant.

        Perhaps all this is part of our evolution?
        A form of technological gluttony.
        Getting back to our roots doesn’t mean we have to sit in a tree and watch our food wriggle , but once the rubber band has reached its zenith it should snap back.
        Just make sure your fingers are out of the way when it does!
        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not really answering your meta question here, but a few observations…

    In this case, there is a lot evidence against Trump. Mailers his campaign sent. Statements made at prior rallies. Calling for this gathering (as President… didn’t happen organically). Comments made by Trump himself and the speakers he arranged to speak before him – Don Jr, Eric, Giuliani. The aggregate outcome of a violent event simply would not happen without such systematic preparation and triggering.

    Michael Shermer referred to this as a counter-factual causality argument. Overall, we need to update our legal system to deal with ‘stochastic terrorism’ better.

    Liked by 3 people

    • makagutu says:

      He put coal in the oven, and kept pushing it in, adding a bit of gasoline here, a bit there to the extent the outcome of the 6th was really not a surprise

      Liked by 2 people

      • No surprise at all. At least one GOP senator reports that Trump was ‘delighted’ and ‘excited’ at the storming of the Capitol.

        Like

        • makagutu says:

          What shocked me was that even after those riots, some GOP senators and representatives still were playing to trump’s ego by opposing the vote certification.
          How often does this happen?
          Did this happen when Bush stole Al Gore’s win?

          Like

          • I don’t think it was merely about Trump. I think they are legitimately afraid of their constituencies, and if their voters buy the fraud nonsense, they have to back it or die out politically.

            I don’t know the details about Bush-Gore enough to say. But unlike this present case, there really were serious problems with the counting there. Fairly different conditions.

            Like

  4. Ron says:

    Free speech? My Internet keeps going up and up; and that poster board and spray paint ain’t cheap either, let me tell you. I think I’m going go back to printing a million fliers and dropping them out of planes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      Oil prices have gone up, or so I hear

      Like

    • Barry says:

      Strange. The Internet gets cheaper here, almost by the day. The challenge is not to jump from provider to provider as the prices keep falling.

      A drone might be a better alternative than a plane (certainly cheaper), although in this country you can not fly a drone over private property without the owner’s permission or over any person without that person’s express permission (unless you have a drone pilot licence) so that might be problematic.

      Like

      • makagutu says:

        Our internet has become cheaper over the years.
        And for flyers, you just need guys who can post them on utility poles at night. And the rest can be taken care of by wind

        Liked by 1 person

      • Ron says:

        Then consider yourself lucky. Because where I live it went up another $5 on January 1. Normally they say it’s for service improvements. This time they claim it’s because more people are streaming from home due to the pandemic. I think the real reason is because more and more people are ditching their cable package and they’re trying to recover the loss in revenue.

        Like

        • Nan says:

          I use only the internet — no subscription to cable or landline — and yet mine also went up $5/month. I’m now paying $74.99 … JUST FOR INTERNET!! And yet they offer these “deals” to their other subscribers that are far below this cost. I can only assume they offset it through their kickbacks for running commercials.

          Unfortunately, in the area where I live the company has a monopoly — unless I go for satellite internet and to that I say, no thanks.

          Liked by 1 person

          • makagutu says:

            I pay $30 a month for the internet. There are different offers though depending of course on bandwidth.

            Like

            • Nan says:

              Where I used to live, it was around $30, but the reliability of connection was sporadic plus the speed was definitely nothing to brag about. In that respect, both are now exceptional so I suppose it does make up (at least somewhat) for the pocketbook-busting price I have to pay.

              Like

          • Ron says:

            Muchas gracias! Your comment prompted me check what my Internet provider’s new customers were paying and I noticed it was $5 less. So after a 10 minute phone call politely enquiring why new customers were paying $5 less than loyal long term customers such as myself they agreed to give me a permanent $5 loyalty discount.

            So despite being tied to a monopoly, it might pay to ask for similar concessions, especially if you hint you that you’re seriously “thinking” about switching to satellite service (even if you’re not). The worst that could happen is you waste a few minutes on the phone.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Nan says:

              A FEW minutes on the phone??? Surely you jest!

              I planned to send an email, but lo and behold, all they offer is a “chat” session (which was unavailable at the time — surprise! surprise!) and a phone number. And I really truly hate calling and pushing numbers and … waiting! And waiting. And waiting.

              However, having said all that, I will give your suggestion some thought. Not sure if $5 is worth it though …

              Like

              • Ron says:

                I called first thing in the morning about one minute after they opened and got through right away. However, I’ve discovered that more often than not, the “sales department” extension answers more promptly, at which point you ask to be transferred directly to billing. And $5/month = $60/year which translates to $360/hr for a 10-minute phone call. And it’s tax free. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

              • Barry says:

                Calling first thing in the morning usually results in less waiting time. Having said that, our provider tells you every minute how long the queue is and gives you the option to press “1” and hang up. Then they call you back usually within the last stated queue wait time.

                Liked by 1 person

          • Barry says:

            For the supposed ideal model country of Capitalism, being limited to using a monopoly doesn’t seem very ideal. I live in a rural town of 14,000 and I have a choice of some 50 providers of fibre internet and around 20 providers of wireless internet. I’m not sure what the status of satellite internet providers is now. We used to have some.

            For less than you are paying I have a 200 MB fibre connection, a landline phone with free unlimited local calling and 10 hours per month free nationwide calling and Netflix. It was an attractive deal 15 months ago but not so today. I haven’t changed provider simply because I find the number of choices overwhelming. Executive functioning and autism don’t sit well together in my case.

            These days there’s little difference between traditional electricity and gas providers on the one hand and telephone and internet providers on the other. The best deals can be had by obtaining internet, phone, gas and electricity from just one provider. There’s about 20 companies that supply all the utilities. I’ve avoided going down that path as I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, but some of the deals make it very tempting. Some are making their deals even sweeter by offering free washing machines, large screen smart TVs, dishwashers or refrigerators if you sign up for a 12 month contract.

            Like

            • makagutu says:

              This is so interesting. You really live in the first world, Barry. 50 ISPs for a population that is not even 10 million. We have less than 10 providers and none are anywhere near 200mbps. Maybe 100mbps.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Barry says:

                I guess the business model is different here. Lines companies, whether electricity, phone or internet cannot sell internet services, phone services or electricity. They can only charge a levy to those businesses that provide internet or phone services or electricity. Electricity lines companies can not generate electricity either. This is because line companies are, by their nature, monopolies and are highly regulated, unlike the services they transport.

                Changing your provider, be it electricity, telephone or internet is very simple. Simply let your new provider know and everything is handled by them.

                I have no idea what lines company provides the connections to my house, and don’t need to. If there’s a problem, its up to my provider to sort it out regardless of whether it’s a line problem or a problem with part of their system.

                I guess the the fact that providers don’t have to provide the infrastructure to transmit their services means that even small companies can compete successfully with much larger ones and even provide their services nation wide. A local ISP that now also sells electricity and phone services has less than 100,000 customers, and they are spread from the top of the North Island all the way to the bottom of the South Island and they are doing very well.

                The exception is mobile phone companies as they provide their own mobile network infrastructures. There’s only 4 major networks and aside from them there’s only a handful of companies that purchase bandwidth from the big 4 to resell under their own brand.

                Like

              • Barry says:

                Forgot to say the population has just reached 5 million. As far as internet speeds are concerned, that depends on the lines company, but speeds of up to 1 GB are now available throughout most of the country The initial high speed fibre network was funded by the government and contracted out to lines companies to install and maintain. Government involvement is for a limited period which is almost at its end. High speed fibre has been available in this region for at least 3 years. Where it’s not available there’s a good chance of being able to connect to high speed wireless internet at about 300 MB. Like fibre, its establishment is being funded by the government, but is a newer project and aimed at rural low density communities and the farming sector where fibre is unlikely to be viable.

                Like

        • Barry says:

          Cable has never been availabe here (apart from the City of Wellington and parts of Christchurch, so that’s never been a factor. My last change of provider resulted in an increase of download speed from 100 MB to 200 MB, uploads from 20 MB tp 100 MB and Netflix inclded in the price for $20.01 less per month than my previous provider. I could now get a similar plan now for around $25 less but without Netflix but as the monthly Netflix fee is around $14 I’d still be better off.

          I dont know how competitive the market is over there, but I’ve got more than 50 providers to choose from.

          Like

          • makagutu says:

            Now that’s the speed I want for my Internet. And that’s really cheap. And it comes with Netflix! This life is unfair

            Like

            • Barry says:

              Most parts of the country now have 1 GB, and it is available in our street, but it’s not worth the extra cost at the moment as most sources can’t deliver at that speed. All schools have taken up 1GB so that they can have multiple classes online simultaneously and maintain full internet speed.

              The govermnent started contracting out the 1GB fibre network about 5 years ago and it’s now mostly complete. There’s also a high speed wireless network for rural communities where fibre isn’t economic, and it has speeds of up to 300MB.

              The reason for the government funding the fibre network is that if this country was to succeed in a knowledge economy then access to and dissemination of information needed to be fast, efficient and reliable. The ability of so many organisations to switch to decentralised operations in the wake of covid-19 is, I think, evidence of that.

              Liked by 1 person

              • makagutu says:

                It is good to have a working government with such focus. Our Internet is mainly a private sector initiative. And the only improvement on Internet speeds we have is as a result of competition.

                Like

We sure would love to hear your comments, compliments and thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s