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Shaping the Conversation February 4, 2007

Posted by Jim Satterfield in Uncategorized.
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Sigh. I certainly hope that eventually there are people reading this. Of course there are some things that I’m not doing to “promote” it until after I make the planned move to another web hosting service. But I do view creating this blog as a way to shape the conversation, not to simply pontificate. I want comments. I want to see the kind of reaction that some of the ideas I post will produce. I do want a conversation and plan on reading comments as much as I can, which at this rate pretty much guarantees I can read them all.

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1. double-soup tuesday - February 4, 2007

The problem is that most of your ideas are fairly mainstream and relatively intelligent. That’s not going to generate a lot of comments.

You’ve got to go out on the ledge and start calling people names, or trolling. Or like over at dispatches, call anyone that doesn’t agree with you an insipid moron.

I saw your post at dispatches concerning freedom. Eh. The whole point of governments of the people is that they should represent their people. The second point is that governments should be responsive and keep up with social and technological changes. Our best attempts to deal with sociology and technology is to create a new government agency to spy on the citizens. Well, that is a use of technology, although I’m not sure it’s the one I would have chosen as my showcase of understanding….

The US has some odd ideas; I’m not sure that the Europeans appreciate the subtlety in some of them.

It’s yet another reminder how rare and precious the freedom of speech the people of the United States possess truly is in this world.

…and yet a whole lot of philosophy, science, and outside the box thinking also comes from Europe and elsewhere. Maybe freedom isn’t only about rights, but is also about responsibilities.

2. Jim Satterfield - February 4, 2007

While I try to avoid much of what is considered American exceptionalism the First Amendment to our Constitution is one of the things I think we’ve gotten right. Yes, it can be taken too far and beyond the bounds of good taste or even civilization. But when I see the extent of the suppression of speech and writing that takes place in so much of the world I’d rather keep the bad than destroy the good.

3. double-soup tuesday - February 4, 2007

Just so I understand your POV better, riddle me this:

Are rights granted by society or by the constitution? Also, how are they maintained?

4. Jim Satterfield - February 4, 2007

Very good. The question that pops into my mind is whether you want the philosphical answer, the optimistic answer or the messy real world answer. The philosophical answer is of course that it must be society. But society’s way of granting them is often negatively, by not choosing to override what was done in the Constitution by the founding fathers. So they are granted by the Constitution and by those members of society who recognize their importance even if other members of society fail in what I view as their duty. They are maintained by another balance, that between our courts and the more moderate citizens who while they might not like some of the results still aren’t going to do what the political fringe would like, which is to destroy the balance of government in the U.S. by emasculating the courts.

5. double-soup tuesday - February 4, 2007

Fair enough.

I was looking for the broad philosophical context from your POV; the subjective view. That’s more interesting to me.

If you don’t mind, maybe I’ll be a regular for a while, till you ask me to leave. Maybe some comment seeding.


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