Well, trimming went better than mowing yesterday, though the weight and vibration left my forearms aching for about three hours. I will say that the warmer weather feels fantastic. I feel so bad for all those people living in apartments who can’t get out due to the lockdown. Though from what I’ve seen plenty of them aren’t paying much attention anymore.
Which brings me to our topic for the day. I was reading the weekend Wall Street Journal and came across a long article about a guy that found the coverage of the current situation too lopsided in favor of keeping business and life in general shut down. So he goes out and talks to a bunch of scientists with opposing views. Not bums either, people that work at major universities. He gathers the information and writes an essay on Medium arguing the case for easing restriction.
The powers that be didn’t appreciate him going against the prevailing wisdom and he soon had the article taken down. Now for an ordinary person this might have been the end of it, but this guy is apparently a pretty rich tech business man so he keeps going. Gathering scientists and presenting information to politicians and even the white house. The research he’s gathered has helped balance the scales which is awesome. But that’s not what I’m focusing on.
What got me was how easy it was for someone’s work, when it didn’t fit with a certain narrative, to simply be taken down. He wasn’t peddling snake oil, but legitimate scientific research by qualified professionals. If that sort of work can be taken down with no recourse, what hope would an average joe have of getting a contrary opinion out?
And this isn’t the only story I’ve seen about that sort of counter narrative reporting being taken down. Lots of independent reporters on Youtube have had honest stories either taken down, shadow banned, or marked as misinformation. Facebook does the exact same thing. Now they’re building a committee that will decide what is legitimate news and what isn’t with the power to simply take down anything they don’t like. If these sorts of things don’t worry you, they should. I hate the idea of having anyone deciding for me what is and isn’t okay for me to read.
I consider myself free speech hawk. If you’re not breaking any laws, you should be free to say what you want and others should be free to tell you that you’re an idiot. The solution to bad ideas is good ideas. More speech is better than restricted speech, especially when we have no control over who gets to do the restricting. I know I’ve harped on this before, but the reason I’m focusing on this blog and my newsletter, is because I control them to the greatest degree possible.
Never trust anyone that says they’re silencing others to protect you. The ones they’re really protecting is themselves.
Okay, rant over.
The writing for the day went well and I ended up with 6 more pages on the new novel.
Finally, we’re over 200 preorders on The Hidden Tower. Thanks so much for your continued support.
Talk to you tomorrow.