what is violence?

WHO defines violence as the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against oneself, another person, or against a group or community, that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment or deprivation. Others define it as the use of physical force so as to injure, abuse, damage, or destroy.

Can we still talk of violence if it doesn’t involve physical force? In which way should words be considered violence? Should the courts treat words as we would physical assault? I ask this because of this comment

calling on the public to desist from any form of violence against women, whether online or offline.

Daily Nation, 14th September.

Is this As per the 2018 law, a person found guilty of cyber-harassment is liable for a Sh20 million fine or imprisonment of not more than 10 years reasonable?

On Musk and twitter

Over the last few days, since Elon Musk first bought majority shares and then offered to buy twitter, there has been quite a storm on the Web on the issue. Among the issues raised is what it means to free speech, and then of course, it is seen as one of the ills of capitalism.

On the second issue, we can all agree that extreme economic disparities that exist today in our societies is inimical to democracy. A society where so few are so rich or so many so poor cannot be democratic. Stopping Musk from buying twitter doesn’t help with the issue of distribution of wealth.

The matter gets more interesting on the issue ot free speech. There are voices that say one man should not have the control of such a platform and so forth. That this would lead to restrictions on free speech. From what Musk has proposed such as transparency in algorithms among others, I don’t see how this is going to be a problem. That he will give free reign to right wingers is to me not a big problem. One can always curate what they don’t want to hear.

Still on the matter of an individual owning such a platform, most mainstream media is owned and controlled by a very small number of individuals or corporations that have made it possible for them to manufacture consent. So really, as long as twitter allows anyone with a cellphone to post their bytes, does it matter who owns it?

But maybe I am missing something critical on this matter given I am not a twitter user.

I watched The Closer

By Dave Chapelle and I don’t know what the furore is all about.

Comedians and court jesters say annoying things all the time and so what. There’s nothing in the show to suggest that he is inciting violence against any one group. And I think he is within his rights to support whatever cause or individual he chooses. We might not agree with his choice of words or even his jokes but we can’t stop him from saying it.

Or maybe I am missing something.

final thoughts, for now, on free speech

Here, here, and here are some of the instances i have expressed myself on the question of free speech. I should make it clear in case I had not done so that in talking of freedom of speech, I mean the government shall not hinder the free expression of thought. I would extend this to include institutions of learning. I have read of several claims of students in universities in America demanding safe spaces and universities responding by prohibiting some forms of speech. I am of the opinion this shouldn’t be the case. What we end up with eventually is either the Rushdie affair of the Polish affair, both unfortunate.

In the third link above, I expressed my disagreement with the hate speech act that created the national cohesion commission as both a waste of funds and a means to stifle disagreement or dissent.

In the last post, I agreed with Pink that the humanitarian (term borrowed from J Rauch) challenge to free speech is quite a hard challenge but insist that in the face of reprehensible, offensive speech, more speech is what is required not restrictions.

You or me have no right not to be offended or give offense. Anyone who makes his business to create offense by saying reprehensible things should be ignored.

In the same context, all those attempts by different states in the Uneducated States of America to legislate teaching of creationism in schools should not even be taken seriously. No body has asked their parliament to legislate teaching of algebra, so what is this nonsense about creationism that should be given so much airtime?

This short video represent my final thoughts on the matter and I am open to criticism

on free speech

When I last wrote on this topic which was yesterday, I did ask if the state should limit what we can say or what should be the consequences of saying stupid things. People should say whatever they want to say and only good ideas should survive. The text about killing witches still exists but it has been overtaken by better speech. And I think only criticism will deal with ignorance.

This brings me to a very interesting case where this is tested. Jill has posted this and I will just quote her

“God bless. Thank you for your courage. Keep your head up. You’ve done nothing wrong. Every rank and file police officer supports you. Don’t be discouraged by actions of the political class of law enforcement leadership.”

William Kelly

William was until last week a cop. Do you think the police department should have fired him for holding and expressing such opinion? Does suppressing such thinking address racism in the police force or work place generally? How is this different from the Rushdie affair or from the Charlie Hebdo affair? What is society to do with ideas/ speech that is unpleasant?

on free speech

Among the very interesting debates of our times is the one around free speech and whether there should be limitations on what we can say or write. There are countries with laws against blasphemy- laws I call a victimless law-, laws against libel and so on. You can be sued for causing a panic, like shouting fire in a movie theatre or bomb in a plane. Or some such thing. Or you can be de-platformed, fired or hounded out of public life for saying not nice things.

My question is are there topics that should be a no no or should we have unrestricted free speech? Is there any place where this is the case?

Should there be libel suits?

What should governments do about speech that hurt my feelings or our feelings as a group that was previously oppressed (you know with the victimhood Olympics that is on TV currently)?

Tell me what you think.

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?