Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Netroo

I want to know the origin of this word. It is so commonly used that I actually thought it could be an English word. Then I grew up a realized it is probably a thanglish word that means "mug-up". And when I think about it mug-up needs an origin explanation as well. I am guessing downing the contents of the mug by totally holding the mug upside down on your mouth without bothering to chew, savor or enjoy led to the phrase mug-up.

But Netroo?

Monday, February 06, 2012

Freedom of Expression

On the issue of GoI banning content in Internet sites - I am seeing quite a bit of criticism against the ban. All of which is written on the internet. A good chunk of the criticism is clearly written by idiots who have mistakenly assumed themselves to be proponents of free speech. I am sensing a pattern of ignoring details that is now abnormally common among people who'd like to classify themselves as 'liberals' in Facebook. One can make a good case for an unilateral ban on free speech that targets these so called free speech proponents.

Let us examine 2 cases.

Case 1: Person A of religious persuasion 1 goes and arbitrarily slaps/beats up person B. He does so because person B belongs to religious persuasion 2. Person B's reputation does not suffer as a result of being beaten up since no one else is aware of it except persons A & B. When pulled up in court person A says that he hated the fact that person B's religious views did not align to his own views. Person A says he has freedom to disagree with person B and as a means of expressing his disagreement he chose to beat up person B. Person A's argument is that since he has freedom of expression he should not be pulled up in court. He further states that if person B disagrees then person B has three options (a) he can feel free to disagree with being beaten up (b) choose to ignore the fact that he was beaten up. Being beaten up is like a TV channel. He can choose not to see a channel if he doesn't like it. No one else knows about the fact that person B was beaten up. So its really up to person B to ignore this fact. (c) Person B can choose to repay in kind and beat up Person A if he so desires. Overall person A's point is the judiciary need not interfere as it is a matter that can be settled between the two parties.

Case 2: Person A of religious persuasion 1 goes and arbitrarily insults humiliates ridicules person B. He does so because person B belongs to religious persuasion 2. Person A does this act both in internet, in person and in mainstream media. Many many people become aware of Person B's humiliation and in their interactions with Person B they use this fact against person B either directly or indirectly. That person B has been humiliated is a fact and has done irreparable harm to his reputation regardless of whether person B chooses to see/hear the insult in the webpage/media or not. When pulled up in court person A says that he hated the fact that person B's religious views did not align to his own views. Person A says he has freedom to disagree with person B and as a means of expressing his disagreement he chose to insult and humiliate person B. Person A's argument is that since he has freedom of expression he should not be pulled up in court. He further states that if person B disagrees then person B has three options (a) he can feel free to disagree with being humiliated (b) choose to ignore the fact that he was humiliated. Being insulted in TV/Media/Internet up is like a program in a TV channel. He can choose not to see a channel if he doesn't like it. (c) Person B can choose to repay in kind and humiliate Person A if he so desires. Overall person A's point is the judiciary need not interfere as it is a matter that can be settled betwene the two parties.

The idiots who think they are proponents of free speech, consider case 1 and case 2 to be different. Judging by the arguments expressed in the internet - if these liberals were a judge in that court - then 9 times out of 10 they'd rule Case 1 against Person A and case 2 against person B. Mostly because they consider verbal abuse as an optional intrusion of one's fundamental rights. Specifically, in case 2 - they believe Person B could continue to exercise his fundamental rights if he personally chose to ignore visiting the websites that insult him or choose not to watch the TV channels which humiliate him. Let us say - you tweak case 2 slightly and say - no one else was aware of Person B's humiliation. And that it was person B's personal and private angst, mental torture and humiliation. Then 10/10 liberals would rule case 2 against person B. The logic here is that person A's actions independently have no meaning. It is person A's opinion of how much person B suffered that matters the most.

People who understand 'free speech' and relationship between an individual and organized religion/institutions may not always see this way.

P.s: To make things simple - one can also assume Persuasion 1 = atheism and persuasion 2 = whatever form of relationship with god that the Dalai Lama preaches.