Tag: free speech app

January 6, 2021

Impacts of Information Technology on Society in the New Century

In the past few decades there has been a revolution in computing and communications, and all indications are that technological progress and use of information technology will continue at a rapid pace. Accompanying and supporting the dramatic increases in the power and use of new information technologies has been the declining cost of communications as a result of both technological improvements and increased competition. According to Moore’s law the processing power of microchips is doubling every 18 months. These advances present many significant opportunities but also pose major challenges. Today, innovations in information technology are having wide-ranging effects across numerous domains of society, and policy makers are acting on issues involving economic productivity, intellectual property rights, privacy protection, and affordability of and access to information. Choices made now will have long lasting consequences, and attention must be paid to their social and economic impacts.

One of the most significant outcomes of the progress of information technology is probably electronic commerce over the Internet, a new way of conducting business. Though only a few years old, it may radically alter economic activities and the social environment. Already, it affects such large sectors as communications, finance and retail trade and might expand to areas such as education and health services. It implies the seamless application of information and communication technology along the entire value chain of a business that is conducted electronically.

The impacts of information technology and electronic commerce on business models, commerce, market structure, workplace, labour market, education, private life and society as a whole.

1. Business Models, Commerce and Market Structure

One important way in which information technology is affecting work is by reducing the importance of distance. In many industries, the geographic distribution of work is changing significantly. For instance, some software firms have found that they can overcome the tight local market for software engineers by sending projects to India or other nations where the wages are much lower. Furthermore, such arrangements can take advantage of the time differences so that critical projects can be worked on nearly around the clock. Firms can outsource their manufacturing to other nations and rely on telecommunications to keep marketing, R&D, and distribution teams in close contact with the manufacturing groups. Thus the technology can enable a finer division of labour among countries, which in turn affects the relative demand for various skills in each nation. The technology enables various types of work and employment to be decoupled from one another. Firms have greater freedom to locate their economic activities, creating greater competition among regions in infrastructure, labour, capital, and other resource markets. It also opens the door for regulatory arbitrage: firms can increasingly choose which tax authority and other regulations apply.

Computers and communication technologies also promote more market-like forms of production and distribution. An infrastructure of computing and communication technology, providing 24-hour access at low cost to almost any kind of price and product information desired by buyers, will reduce the informational barriers to efficient market operation. This infrastructure might also provide the means for effecting real-time transactions and make intermediaries such as sales clerks, stock brokers and travel agents, whose function is to provide an essential information link between buyers and sellers, redundant. Removal of intermediaries would reduce the costs in the production and distribution value chain. The information technologies have facilitated the evolution of enhanced mail order retailing, in which goods can be ordered quickly by using telephones or computer networks and then dispatched by suppliers through integrated transport companies that rely extensively on computers and communication technologies to control their operations. Nonphysical goods, such as software, can be shipped electronically, eliminating the entire transport channel. Payments can be done in new ways. The result is disintermediation throughout the distribution channel, with cost reduction, lower end-consumer prices, and higher profit margins.

The impact of information technology on the firms’ cost structure can be best illustrated on the electronic commerce example. The key areas of cost reduction when carrying out a sale via electronic commerce rather than in a traditional store involve physical establishment, order placement and execution, customer support, strong, inventory carrying, and distribution. Although setting up and maintaining an e-commerce web site might be expensive, it is certainly less expensive to maintain such a storefront than a physical one because it is always open, can be accessed by millions around the globe, and has few variable costs, so that it can scale up to meet the demand. By maintaining one ‘store’ instead of several, duplicate inventory costs are eliminated. In addition, e-commerce is very effective at reducing the costs of attracting new customers, because advertising is typically cheaper than for other media and more targeted. Moreover, the electronic interface allows e-commerce merchants to check that an order is internally consistent and that the order, receipt, and invoice match. Through e-commerce, firms are able to move much of their customer support on line so that customers can access databases or manuals directly. This significantly cuts costs while generally improving the quality of service. E-commerce shops require far fewer, but high-skilled, employees. E-commerce also permits savings in inventory carrying costs. The faster the input can be ordered and delivered, the less the need for a large inventory. The impact on costs associated with decreased inventories is most pronounced in industries where the product has a limited shelf life (e.g. bananas), is subject to fast technological obsolescence or price declines (e.g. computers), or where there is a rapid flow of new products (e.g. books, music). Although shipping costs can increase the cost of many products purchased via electronic commerce and add substantially to the final price, distribution costs are significantly reduced for digital products such as financial services, software, and travel, which are important e-commerce segments.

Although electronic commerce causes the disintermediation of some intermediaries, it creates greater dependency on others and also some entirely new intermediary functions. Among the intermediary services that could add costs to e-commerce transactions are advertising, secure online payment, and delivery. The relative ease of becoming an e-commerce merchant and setting up stores results in such a huge number of offerings that consumers can easily be overwhelmed. This increases the importance of using advertising to establish a brand name and thus generate consumer familiarity and trust. For new e-commerce start-ups, this process can be expensive and represents a significant transaction cost. The openness, global reach, and lack of physical clues that are inherent characteristics of e-commerce also make it vulnerable to fraud and thus increase certain costs for e-commerce merchants as compared to traditional stores. New techniques are being developed to protect the use of credit cards in e-commerce transactions, but the need for greater security and user verification leads to increased costs. A key feature of e-commerce is the convenience of having purchases delivered directly. In the case of tangibles, such as books, this incurs delivery costs, which cause prices to rise in most cases, thereby negating many of the savings associated with e-commerce and substantially adding to transaction costs.

With the Internet, e-commerce is rapidly expanding into a fast-moving, open global market with an ever-increasing number of participants. The open and global nature of e-commerce is likely to increase market size and change market structure, both in terms of the number and size of players and the way in which players compete on international markets. Digitized products can cross the border in real time, consumers can shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and firms are increasingly faced with international online competition. The Internet is helping to enlarge existing markets by cutting through many of the distribution and marketing barriers that can prevent firms from gaining access to foreign markets. E-commerce lowers information and transaction costs for operating on overseas markets and provides a cheap and efficient way to strengthen customer-supplier relations. It also encourages companies to develop innovative ways of advertising, delivering and supporting their product and services. While e-commerce on the Internet offers the potential for global markets, certain factors, such as language, transport costs, local reputation, as well as differences in the cost and ease of access to networks, attenuate this potential to a greater or lesser extent.

2. Workplace and Labour Market

Computers and communication technologies allow individuals to communicate with one another in ways complementary to traditional face-to-face, telephonic, and written modes. They enable collaborative work involving distributed communities of actors who seldom, if ever, meet physically. These technologies utilize communication infrastructures that are both global and always up, thus enabling 24-hour activity and asynchronous as well as synchronous interactions among individuals, groups, and organizations. Social interaction in organizations will be affected by use of computers and communication technologies. Peer-to-peer relations across department lines will be enhanced through sharing of information and coordination of activities. Interaction between superiors and subordinates will become more tense because of social control issues raised by the use of computerized monitoring systems, but on the other hand, the use of e-mail will lower the barriers to communications across different status levels, resulting in more uninhibited communications between supervisor and subordinates.

That the importance of distance will be reduced by computers and communication technology also favours telecommuting, and thus, has implications for the residence patterns of the citizens. As workers find that they can do most of their work at home rather than in a centralized workplace, the demand for homes in climatically and physically attractive regions would increase. The consequences of such a shift in employment from the suburbs to more remote areas would be profound. Property values would rise in the favoured destinations and fall in the suburbs. Rural, historical, or charming aspects of life and the environment in the newly attractive areas would be threatened. Since most telecommuters would be among the better educated and higher paid, the demand in these areas for high-income and high-status services like gourmet restaurants and clothing boutiques would increase. Also would there be an expansion of services of all types, creating and expanding job opportunities for the local population.

By reducing the fixed cost of employment, widespread telecommuting should make it easier for individuals to work on flexible schedules, to work part time, to share jobs, or to hold two or more jobs simultaneously. Since changing employers would not necessarily require changing one’s place of residence, telecommuting should increase job mobility and speed career advancement. This increased flexibility might also reduce job stress and increase job satisfaction. Since job stress is a major factor governing health there may be additional benefits in the form of reduced health costs and mortality rates. On the other hand one might also argue that technologies, by expanding the number of different tasks that are expected of workers and the array of skills needed to perform these tasks, might speed up work and increase the level of stress and time pressure on workers.

A question that is more difficult to be answered is about the impacts that computers and communications might have on employment. The ability of computers and communications to perform routine tasks such as bookkeeping more rapidly than humans leads to concern that people will be replaced by computers and communications. The response to this argument is that even if computers and communications lead to the elimination of some workers, other jobs will be created, particularly for computer professionals, and that growth in output will increase overall employment. It is more likely that computers and communications will lead to changes in the types of workers needed for different occupations rather than to changes in total employment.

A number of industries are affected by electronic commerce. The distribution sector is directly affected, as e-commerce is a way of supplying and delivering goods and services. Other industries, indirectly affected, are those related to information and communication technology (the infrastructure that enables e-commerce), content-related industries (entertainment, software), transactions-related industries (financial sector, advertising, travel, transport). eCommerce might also create new markets or extend market reach beyond traditional borders. Enlarging the market will have a positive effect on jobs. Another important issue relates to inter linkages among activities affected by e-commerce. Expenditure for e-commerce-related intermediate goods and services will create jobs indirectly, on the basis of the volume of electronic transactions and their effect on prices, costs and productivity. The convergence of media, telecommunication and computing technologies is creating a new integrated supply chain for the production and delivery of multimedia and information content. Most of the employment related to e-commerce around the content industries and communication infrastructure such as the Internet.

Jobs are both created and destroyed by technology, trade, and organizational change. These processes also underlie changes in the skill composition of employment. Beyond the net employment gains or losses brought about by these factors, it is apparent that workers with different skill levels will be affected differently. E-commerce is certainly driving the demand for IT professionals but it also requires IT expertise to be coupled with strong business application skills, thereby generating demand for a flexible, multi-skilled work force. There is a growing need for increased integration of Internet front-end applications with enterprise operations, applications and back-end databases. Many of the IT skill requirements needed for Internet support can be met by low-paid IT workers who can deal with the organizational services needed for basic web page programming. However, wide area networks, competitive web sites, and complex network applications require much more skill than a platform-specific IT job. Since the skills required for e-commerce are rare and in high demand, e-commerce might accelerate the up skilling trend in many countries by requiring high-skilled computer scientists to replace low-skilled information clerks, cashiers and market salespersons.

3. Education

Advances in information technology will affect the craft of teaching by complementing rather than eliminating traditional classroom instruction. Indeed the effective instructor acts in a mixture of roles. In one role the instructor is a supplier of services to the students, who might be regarded as its customers. But the effective instructor occupies another role as well, as a supervisor of students, and plays a role in motivating, encouraging, evaluating, and developing students. For any topic there will always be a small percentage of students with the necessary background, motivation, and self-discipline to learn from self-paced workbooks or computer assisted instruction. For the majority of students, however, the presence of a live instructor will continue to be far more effective than a computer assisted counterpart in facilitating positive educational outcomes. The greatest potential for new information technology lies in improving the productivity of time spent outside the classroom. Making solutions to problem sets and assigned reading materials available on the Internet offers a lot of convenience. E-mail vastly simplifies communication between students and faculty and among students who may be engaged in group projects. Advances in information technology will affect the craft of teaching by complementing rather than eliminating traditional classroom instruction. Indeed the effective instructor acts in a mixture of roles. In one role the instructor is a supplier of services to the students, who might be regarded as its customers. But the effective instructor occupies another role as well, as a supervisor of students, and plays a role in motivating, encouraging, evaluating, and developing students. For any topic there will always be a small percentage of students with the necessary background, motivation, and self-discipline to learn from self-paced workbooks or computer assisted instruction. For the majority of students, however, the presence of a live instructor will continue to be far more effective than a computer assisted counterpart in facilitating positive educational outcomes. The greatest potential for new information technology lies in improving the productivity of time spent outside the classroom. Making solutions to problem sets and assigned reading materials available on the Internet offers a lot of convenience. E-mail vastly simplifies communication between students and faculty and among students who may be engaged in group projects.

Although distance learning has existed for some time, the Internet makes possible a large expansion in coverage and better delivery of instruction. Text can be combined with audio/ video, and students can interact in real time via e-mail and discussion groups. Such technical improvements coincide with a general demand for retraining by those who, due to work and family demands, cannot attend traditional courses. Distance learning via the Internet is likely to complement existing schools for children and university students, but it could have more of a substitution effect for continuing education programmes. For some degree programmes, high-prestige institutions could use their reputation to attract students who would otherwise attend a local facility. Owing to the Internet’s ease of access and convenience for distance learning, overall demand for such programmes will probably expand, leading to growth in this segment of e-commerce.

As shown in the previous section, high level skills are vital in a technology-based and knowledge intensive economy. Changes associated with rapid technological advances in industry have made continual upgrading of professional skills an economic necessity. The goal of lifelong learning can only be accomplished by reinforcing and adapting existing systems of learning, both in public and private sectors. The demand for education and training concerns the full range of modern technology. Information technologies are uniquely capable of providing ways to meet this demand. Online training via the Internet ranges from accessing self-study courses to complete electronic classrooms. These computer-based training programmes provide flexibility in skills acquisition and are more affordable and relevant than more traditional seminars and courses.

4. Private Life and Society

Increasing representation of a wide variety of content in digital form results in easier and cheaper duplication and distribution of information. This has a mixed effect on the provision of content. On the one hand, content can be distributed at a lower unit cost. On the other hand, distribution of content outside of channels that respect intellectual property rights can reduce the incentives of creators and distributors to produce and make content available in the first place. Information technology raises a host of questions about intellectual property protection and new tools and regulations have to be developed in order to solve this problem.

Many issues also surround free speech and regulation of content on the Internet, and there continue to be calls for mechanisms to control objectionable content. However it is very difficult to find a sensible solution. Dealing with indecent material involves understanding not only the views on such topics but also their evolution over time. Furthermore, the same technology that allows for content altering with respect to decency can be used to filter political speech and to restrict access to political material. Thus, if censorship does not appear to be an option, a possible solution might be labelling. The idea is that consumers will be better informed in their decisions to avoid objectionable content.

The rapid increase in computing and communications power has raised considerable concern about privacy both in the public and private sector. Decreases in the cost of data storage and information processing make it likely that it will become practicable for both government and private data-mining enterprises to collect detailed dossiers on all citizens. Nobody knows who currently collects data about individuals, how this data is used and shared or how this data might be misused. These concerns lower the consumers’ trust in online institutions and communication and, thus, inhibit the development of electronic commerce. A technological approach to protecting privacy might by cryptography although it might be claimed that cryptography presents a serious barrier to criminal investigations.

It is popular wisdom that people today suffer information overload. A lot of the information available on the Internet is incomplete and even incorrect. People spend more and more of their time absorbing irrelevant information just because it is available and they think they should know about it. Therefore, it must be studied how people assign credibility to the information they collect in order to invent and develop new credibility systems to help consumers to manage the information overload.

Technological progress inevitably creates dependence on technology. Indeed the creation of vital infrastructure ensures dependence on that infrastructure. As surely as the world is now dependent on its transport, telephone, and other infrastructures, it will be dependent on the emerging information infrastructure. Dependence on technology can bring risks. Failures in the technological infrastructure can cause the collapse of economic and social functionality. Blackouts of long-distance telephone service, credit data systems, and electronic funds transfer systems, and other such vital communications and information processing services would undoubtedly cause widespread economic disruption. However, it is probably impossible to avoid technological dependence. Therefore, what must be considered is the exposure brought from dependence on technologies with a recognizable probability of failure, no workable substitute at hand, and high costs as a result of failure.

The ongoing computing and communications revolution has numerous economic and social impacts on modern society and requires serious social science investigation in order to manage its risks and dangers. Such work would be valuable for both social policy and technology design. Decisions have to be taken carefully. Many choices being made now will be costly or difficult to modify in the future.

January 5, 2021

Four Horsemen of the Cultural Apocalypse – Criminology, Psychology, Sociology and Theology

Historic attempts, feeble and selfish at best, the four horsemen of the cultural apocalypse long endeavored to establish their relevance for defining human nature. For the tip of psychic iceberg, the regression devolved from philosophical contemplation to pretentious claim of scientific validity. Behold, they came from the darkness of human intentions, to claim truths yet to be found in the shadowy mysteriousness of human intentions, motivations and eternal damnation. As to pundits, politicians, the public and the proselytes for each cause, or school of thought, or cult of confession, they fostered arrogance of speculation deemed “scientific”.

Of those not seriously qualifying as a science, as in astronomy, biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, by way of rigorous analytic contention, philosophical conjecture conspired to make its creations inventive nightmarish creatures. In the realms of academic, the path of least resistance, the trails the herd frequently travels and the walkways crowded with mass gullibility, sleight of hand mesmerized the many. As to the usual suspects, in the treachery of myth, magic and metaphor, the four collude their smug piety in egregious fallacies of inference. Of that, the wayward pretenses of magical thinking deludes the masses in simplistic thinking.

Complicity is found in the ease by which degreed sanctification blusters in the hallowed sanctuaries of anecdotal regurgitation, flashbacks through history and bogus claims of research validity. Where the challenge comes in mathematical analytics, biologic physicality, subatomic microscopy, astronomical forensics, and proof of scientific validity, the horsemen excuse their shortcomings in appeals that hope springs eternal. Subjective validation supersedes facts. Their bafflegab trespasses upon many boundaries, as criminology, psychology, sociology and theology strike back with a vengeance. None dare disagree and breaks from the formation.

In the adventures of pseudosciences, anything is possible, and yet, the mere mention of the word should not engage fear, animosity or condemnation. Nothing about the term should invite excommunication, exorcism or execution, but instead encourage the intensity of continuous investigation. No silver bullets, holy water or laying on of hands should amass a counteroffensive against those who might question the scientific authenticity of myriad conjectures. Healthy skepticism in the pursuit of intellectual vitality, by insistence upon investigative scrutiny, questioning and doubting specious generalizations, is creative and productive.

Nonetheless, the mention of anything that might sound like, look like, or feel like a hint of something akin to “pseudoscience”, the emotional reactivity transmutes a seemingly normal looking individual into a venomous demonic entity. The question arises as what constitutes normal, or better yet, what is a “reasonable person”. Additionally, the query begs the timeline as to when it became acceptable to advance varying levels of stupidity or ignorance in terms of hunting down the truth and proving evidence to support any assertion. The negativity is nauseous.

As to that historic point of reference, in article of major online science journal, the writer ponders at what point in U.S. history it became part of the social mainstream to accept fiction over facts. Further, as one of the founding fathers claimed well-reasoned thinking processes, supported by scientific validation, and persistent testing and systematic study to prove or disprove, are essential to the revelations of truth beyond doubt. The hint is in the writings of historic scientific investigators and those who contributed to the Declaration of Independence.

While people have a right to their beliefs, at least to some degree in the West, knowledge advances wisdom which transforms civilization, not by mere conjecture based on opinion, but by intense study, rigorous testing and analysis, argument and dispute. Additionally, belief systems either transform over time, or remain static prone to stagnation. Regardless, continuous introspective assessment within each individual is essential.

Further, ongoing discourse is vital, as each ought to understand the other given their perspective, time and place, maturity, experience, innovation, growth and discovery. As most are where they are at a point in time, based on at least the forgoing, but also their selfless attention to rigorous analysis of their ideations that channel into propositional viewpoints. Disagreement is indispensable, while peer review is a fraud, unless the laboratory, or the crime lab, the microscope proves the assertion at hand by the physical nature of scientific validation. Alternative philosophical fascinations often remain fixated on unsubstantiated illusions.

Ideological claims are insufficient without the stringent testing of evidentiary authentication by the weight of physical realm provability. As to that, beliefs, especially those of an occultic, supernatural or cultic philosophical standpoint are immensely tainted by the bias of subjective validation. Key to the maturation of experienced real-world credibility includes the degree to which transformation has chosen a higher path of informed enlightenment. While everyone should labor to transcend their personal egoistic intentions, most will be unwilling to concede their self-interests. Unfortunately, arrogance contrives to make pseudoscience into a science.

For non-practitioners in the various schools of philosophy, particularly those who transferred from the classroom to the faculty room, and never set foot in the real world, the challenge of credible scientific validation remains daunting. So much so, that “field research” often passes on as anecdotal observations, interviews, surveys and speculations regarding other research. In the regurgitation of previous opinionated speculations, sometimes, a facade of “scientific” is attached to the inquiry. Sooner or later, others begin to accept the “scientific validation”.

The gamesmanship becomes even more pervasive as that public begins to accept ideological perspectives as “conclusive proof” of an unsubstantiated claim. While some investigators have tried to foster a round table discussion on issues of “real science” versus “pseudoscience”, as well as “peer review” versus critical analysis, the experience has been less than satisfactory. Particularly in the world of academia, where fantasy sometimes becomes a defensive theory, challenges to the pretentious allegory of fiction masquerading as fact, usually invites severe reaction.

To claim or otherwise perpetrate the illusion of a science, a particular school of thought, or ideology, etc., does little to promote problem solving in everyday matters of human behavior. While various doctrinal and dogmatic traditions assert a scientific basis, the reality is such that a claim of using “scientific methodology” is a shallow appeal the practicality. By the convolutions of magical thinking, it is a leap of faith from theory to evidentiary validation. And, in the 21st century, reflecting the words of one scientist, people may have forsaken the ability to distinguish between science and science fiction. Personal bias skews every point of view.

For the inclination to subjective validation, bias enters every query. Control of that predisposition by way of some effort at objectivity is vital to any investigation. Accordingly, this suggests the influence of the investigators personal beliefs. Attempts have been made to identify preconceived notions and their influence in relation to ideological partiality. Depending on the survey and the organization conducting the survey, results may vary to some degree. In this regard, one study of religious inclination by a major research agency, as pertains to a “belief in God”, suggested little of 80% of the participants believed in a “higher authority”.

That is to say, the majority claimed a belief in a divine being or supernatural entity that influences their lives. On an education basis, those with graduate degrees were reported to have a believability range of about 70%. Of course, the temptation here is to speculate on the influence of belief systems and the claim of “scientific methodology” among the pseudosciences. Where two thirds of educated persons believe in the supernatural, how does that impact objectivity?

The illusionary intricacy assumes many parts of the whole. Taking belief systems from “cultic”, or dogmatic sources, the comingling of presumptive errors compound the mythic proportions by which fallacies of inference transition to accepted hastily drawn conclusion. In collusion with multiple facetious claims, unsubstantiated by the organic rigors of physical evidence, whether microscopic or cosmic, viewpoints, opinions and gossipy flirtations mutate into grotesque forms of imaginative superstitions. In most controversies of argumentation and debate, as regards human behavior from a mental analysis, interactivity of interpersonal exchange should be cautiously anticipated.

One or more participants may not have achieved sufficient maturation.

To confront or otherwise interact in more profanely productive ways, a certain degree individualization is necessary. Bias, prejudice, immaturity, inexperience, lack of close contact with reality, and so on, stifle energetic intensity for enlightened liberation. As suggested in the forgoing, dogmatic and doctrinaire beliefs constrict visionary processes. This suggests probable generational rift, as younger generations may not have arrived at levels of competency strengthened by years of experience, education and personal transformation. Mature, adult, grownup and wiser insightfulness requires extraordinary investment of well-differentiated selflessness.

An example of the youthful indifference to adventurous discovery outside the monogamous constrictions of institutional conformity, comes in the form of limited and defensive perspectives. One aspect is easily attacking alternative points of views, such as the ease by which schools of thought in psychology quickly condescend the medical specialty of psychiatry. That is fascinating intrigue of extraordinary bias, especially considering the roots of psychology. Opinions are not evidence of extraordinary discovery for the complete explanation of human nature.

But of course, in mainstream American society, any conjecture can be accepted without question as scientific efficacy. Of which, the frauds perpetrate the worst afflictions over a weakened society. In a dumbed down culture, self-imposed of course, anything is believable. Plus, bias reflects the academic arrogance of fearful, self-absorbed, child-like infantile narcissism. In this, as for example within the collegiate communities, academia perpetrates the fantasy as fact, absent materiality of scientific proof. And yet, the hypocrisy runs rampant.

On the offensive, in a celebrity worship culture, any actor of famous characterization can pontificate on any social issues and be accepted as authorities. While free speech is one thing, and an opinion is good anyone else’s, expertise is quite an exception. Opinions, gossip and rumors are not evidence. To use one’s wealth, status and influence is not equitable.

Where bias clouds conjecture and otherwise influences conclusions, observational misinterpretation hazes over the reliability of personal perspective. All utterances should be suspected of cognitive bias, as eyewitness testimony is subjected to cross-examination. Yet, frequently, to leverage one’s apparent status of supposedly famous stature and notoriety, to espouse an opinion as though fact or scientific validation, is to use the force and effect of egoistic intimidation. It is insulting and abusive to presuppose one’s socio-economic political status is more relevant than some else. Power and privilege do not infer intelligence.

Such arrogant notions, as for example a Hollywood actor, blabbering about guns and school violence are essentially private opinions. Often such blathering are superficial for fame and personal promotion, and avoid any semblance of scientific or evidentiary authentication. Unsubstantiated speculations do more harm than good and serve to mislead others. In the use of wealth, pretense of authority, and presumed reputation, many frauds are perpetrated.

Given the nature of egregious fallacies of inference, public policy can be adversely affects, as politicians tend to be easy targets of pseudoscience. Such exhibitions of notoriety use the unfair advantage of material success to promote a particular economic or political agenda. Often the result is further erosion of any aspect of intellectual discourse to serve the greater good, or protect the general welfare of the republic. Too frequently, stupidity advances instead of wisdom. When the four horsemen enter the scene of societal interactivity, pseudoscience quickly becomes the imposter impersonating the reality of scientific validity. Fiction replaces fact.

A very quick admonition is to exercise a sense of healthy skepticism by common sense application of cynical analysis. People say and do what people say do because it’s what they desire to do. Claims, assertions and studies of any kind are to be carefully investigated by testing the data, insisting upon replication and ensuring scientific efficacy. At one of the inquiry is the immediate understanding that correlation cannot be confused with causation. Regardless, the intentional collusion is committed every day in the not so hallowed halls of academia.

In the non-science realm of philosophical speculation, anything is possible. Pseudoscience can easily concoct an explanation and assert a correlation as a causation. While comparing an apple and orange side by side, one can infer the relationship as examples of fruit. In terms of a distinctive differentiation, a dissimilar nature emerges. Nonetheless, many can easily conjure along a simplistic continuum claim a specificity of correlation to causation generalities. No matter what the facts may show, some will insist every apple is actually an orange.

Since the comparison of the fruit was conducted over a bushel or a basket or two, the observational bias, and the resulting survey assessment, extrapolate a very broad generalization. Given the fruit’s family tree, seasonal abnormalities, and agricultural inequities, it is easy to infer that all apples and oranges are exactly the same. In other words, one template fits all. After labeling one or more as “bad apples”, or “rotten oranges”, the diagnosis, or cultivation, transitions to a “cure”, which typically means a drug therapy, or pesticide to kill off the psychic contagion.

In the end, a question lingers in the haze of magical thinking, regardless of protestations and threats of retaliation for political correctness violations, and that is what does the scientific evidence show? Followed up by, what does the blood test, x-ray, ultra sound or other lab test reveal? Offenses are easily taken when serious speculation challenges viewpoints. However, when consensus, or by majority vote, a theoretical construct becomes a “diagnosis”, skepticism ought to fill the void in the empty spaces around the special conjecture.

The insightful inquisitor chases every element of claims said to be true to the exclusion of every other possibility. Unfortunately, in a devolving society, facts are easily circumvented for the satiation of the most convenient and simplistic explanation. Of which, conjecture is not really an explanation at all. Speculation as to the superficiality of an alleged “mental illness” issue is an opinion based on a theory. It is centuries old dogma exorcizing demons, or fortune telling masquerading as “criminal profiling”, or pseudoscience pretending to be science.

Doctrines of the supernatural are schemes of myth, magic and metaphysical suppositions, for which something called faith accepts undefinable phenomena. Faithfulness to an ideology does not insist upon the rigors of scientific validation. Meanwhile, in the hypocrisy of belief, if 80% of the population, including adherents of certain schools of “social studies”, believe in things supernatural, bias of speculation has been influenced before the fact.

So, bias influences conclusions about one thing or another, while observations of the biased inquirer has preconceived notions as to subsequent observations. In conjunction, designing a form of investigation, or model to be tested, in conjunction with predisposition aforethought, influences the outcome determined in the results. To this primordial mix, throw in “scientific sounding” jargon and anecdotal references similarly supportive, and a whole scheme of conjecture becomes believable. Now add a spiritual dimension, or occult symbolism, or doctrinaire admonition, and eventually the unsubstantiated claims will be accepted. By politicians, pundits and the public. Willful acceptance follows the easy path of simplistic acquiescence.

Easy trouble free receptivity does not provide the motivational basis of in-depth inquiry. To say that “it turns out that”, “it has been reported that”, or “it is assumed that”, and so on, does not substantiate anything. In fact, to the contrary, immediate challenge should be issued. Any and all claims are to be vigorously tested, debated and questioned. Alleged data ought to receive critical analysis, while opinion, rumor and gossip are never to be accepted without thorough investigation. Likewise, jargon, labeling, and so-called diagnoses from a philosophical viewpoint are to be questioned without hesitance. Included in this inquisition is any pretentiousness relative to anecdotal claims of supposed credibility. Similarly, faith proves nothing.

Motive, means and opportunity is an illusion. This typical “crime solving” rubric sounds nice in a movie or television drama. The public finds this sort of simplicity easy to digest. However, it is misleading. At best, a starting point. Nonetheless, such a perspective can be misleading and counterproductive. In a classical criminological spectrum, such admonitions by an inquirer are meaningless unless evidentiary substantiation suffices the authenticity of scientific validation. Every critical analysis invites the provocation as to whether or not an issue can be elevated to a scientific sufficiency by matters of reliable proof of technical authentication.

Absent serious evidentiary verification, credible legitimacy and substantive multifaceted verification, supposition based on opinion remains insufficient. As research comes in many forms, and data often manipulated to ensure subjective validation, intense scrutiny of any claim is essential. Otherwise, conjecture, assumption, inference, and so forth, are speculative points of interests that demand deeper investigation. To the reference of motive, means and opportunity, yes, fiction writers are fond of any phrase redundantly torturing one cliché after another.

Outside the hardcore sciences of forensic analysis, the “soft sciences”, “social studies, or more adversely the pseudosciences, perpetuate grievous fallacies of inference that render an assortment of hasty generalizations. Especially in detective fiction, movies, television, etc., the repetitive nature of fallacies of inference unfortunately carry over into the real world. Unfortunately, people will believe anything. Faulty conclusions, lazily drawn through the zeal of immediate gratification for a definitive “singular theory”, erroneously pontificated upon cognitive bias, results in unsubstantiated conjecture. This sets the stage of divisive social policy and hastens the eventual demise of the human species. That point relates to the regressive inclinations of human devolution. In a world losing the imaginative edge of innovation, the decay of analytic insight, and the loss of rational methodology, self-serving infantilism invites a dystopic set of consequences.

Observing post-election vehemence in the grotesque rhetoric of condescension is but one example of a regressively adversarial trend in the American society. An entitled sense of retaliation for perceived claim of “victimization”, irrationally justifies a “get even” mentality. Selfishness, the grand scheme of personal enrichment, easily allows the seduction to any mythic or supernatural means to exert power, control and domination over others. From the standpoint of personal belief systems, influenced by ideological extremes of one form or another, the baseless claims of over-simplification justifies egregious fallacies of inference clinging to hasty generalizations.

Lacking the backbone, expressing cowardice in avoiding courageous actions toward wiser ascension, and degrading the freedom of individuality, the social mainstream exhibits an illicit collective consensus that conspires to stifle mature growth. In the process of perpetual putdowns toward another perspective because they disagree, expresses the erosion of the free exercise of competitive ideations. Maturation to higher states of mental and physical individuality demands fortitude beyond the normal routine of daily interactivity.

In addition, such evolving transformation bears the signpost of pointing in the direction of an attendant possibility toward a more probable outcome of higher self-realization. Across the superficiality of social media and “opinionated” news reporting, the shallowness of bloated “mindless” conceit wallows in the shortsighted inebriation of degrading arrogance. As such, anti-thinking pervades the array of communal connections with a range of nonsensical notions for the sake of emotional reactivity. In support of the status quo consensus of myriad small-minded illusions, meaningful levels of rational understanding stifle the elevation of society.

As alleged in one major publication, representing one of the four horsemen (criminology, psychology, sociology and theology), an author for the “psyche” realm accuses religion as being representative of faulty reasoning that leads to magical thinking. In so doing, the claimant suggests gross errors of “cognitive bias” in the spheres of religiosity and the paranormal. The argument proposed is that such things are the result of wishful thinking not scientific validation.

Such is a fascinating notion emanating from field closely allied to the psychological aspects within the arena of “social studies”. But wait, one could offer by contrast that the “four horsemen” are very closely related in that real science is not a strong element in their entrenched domains. All such accusations, claims and ideological perspectives devolve to speculations based on philosophical biases. Hope springs eternal in the non-reality of subjective validation and ensuring consistent patterns of simplistic conjecture. As such, the status quo remains secure.

January 5, 2021

Ten Things to Love About America on Trump Days

In 2008, America was the first western industrialized country to elect Barack Obama as a non-white Head of State.. In 2016, ehe pendulum swung backwards in the election of ultra-white media-made business tycoon Donald Trump. As Trump rolls back progress made under Obama toward global cooperation in critical areas such as climate change and health care, it may help Americans to review what makes their country so great.

1. America has a great foundation. The 1776 Declaration of independence states that the new country freeing itself from England is based on an inalienable human right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

2. The 1786 Constitution set out the rights that would be protected. Those include the right to free speech and freedom of the press, the right to assemble and right to bear arms.

3. Amendments to the Constitution spelled out rights not foreseen by the forefathers in line with their intent. Thus, one-time slaves were acknowledged as full citizens, as were women with the winning of the right to vote.

4. The law rules in America. The ingenious part of the Constitution is its separation of the country’s governing powers into three branches, one that makes the law,another that puts is into practice and a third that mediates when the other two come into conflict. In the ned, the Constitution wins.

5. America provides legal protection. During the 250 years since its founding. America has developed a legal system in line with the constitution that ensures the rights of its citizens. That evolution in law goes on. As the Miranda law today protects the rights of the accused, legislation now is in the works to regulate gun traffic in the country..

6. America is helpful and forgiving. Social aid is available to those in need and bankruptcy laws get others out of financial troubles. Legal recourse is always available to those who feel slighted. When in doubt, call a lawyer or two.

7. If legal relief for a grievance is unattainable or out of reach, America is open to media outreach. If ticked off and unable to get action from landlord, the city or business, Americans are freed to contact media that in the US are fan-friendly, starting with local presses and stations.

8. America is friendly. Yes, America as a complex nation of immigrants sees daily violence in the jews but that is not the American norm. Conflicts are inevitable. They are put into perspective by a walk to the local bodega. The Mexican ot Indian behind the counter is there to please and that is the real person behind the currently scary label of immigrant.

9. America is the land of opportunity for change. Americans have a Constitutional right to assembly. They can organize marches, sit-ins, sit-downs and walk-outs. All that;s needed is a motivating cause. America gives the aggrieved the room in which to collectively express their displeasure.

10. America loves to party. A land of immigrants provides for holidays throughout the year. The all-American 4th of July and Thanksgiving Day are among the greats. Others include St. Patrick’s Day, Istaeli Independence Day, Puerto Rican and Caribbean Days That’s not even to mention New Year, celebrated by all the wide world over.

The list could go on and it builds with the thought of just how lucky are those who are in America. The path through 2019 may continue to be stressful but 2020 will bring an election and a Census conducted every 10 years. That will count us all without regard to status. Everyone here now is a resident, equally grateful to smile on a neighbor who could be from anywhere else in the world.

January 4, 2021

Improving Academic Writing Skills With Problem and Solution Papers

Academic writing is built by being able to argue a point. These points are self-created and self-taught and all are created with the same structure in mind. This structure provides a template and the template provides somewhat of a stable model for these arguments to surpass or even grow further. There are many different types of thesis documents and many of which have their own unique way of arguing for a thesis and one of them is the academic writing structure, problem and solution. This means that when a person provides information on problem and solution information that they are literally creating a problem and then providing a solution to it and solving that issue.

Academic Writing Techniques With Problem & Solutions

The individual is taught to find a problem and then recreate an opinion on how to solve that problem, but it is entirely theoretical and isn’t applied in the text, but does develop some academic writing skills and a knack for relevance. Most writers will often times grab obvious issues in constructing a solution while building facts and statements to argue the point which is exactly what the structure is said to accomplish.

The Purpose Refined

The main purpose for this is to find a topic that is an issue or a problem that the writer suggests, is a problem in the first place and then provides supporting arguments stating that it is indeed a problem. Once that has been clearly mentioned the writer then goes about providing a solution based in theory in an attempt to solve the problem theoretically before any application actually takes place. Whether they intend to solve the issue or not is not stated and does depend on the type of academic writing assignment that is involved and what the student has created for themselves.

Problem & Solution Topics For An Essay

These documents are applied in business and scientific proposals for supporting methodologies like the scientific method and researching documents for academic writing and various other types of issues that require a layout before the action begins.

These are some topics to improve your academic writing skills

Increasing Energy crisis demands reform

Global warming equates to increased legislation

Preventing social media

Getting out of the

Eliminating manipulative people

Preventing self-bullying

Eliminating the influence of ignorance in society

Learning from different cultures

Improving interest in science

Solution for illegal

Eliminating drunk driving

Improving free speech

These topics often have more of a definite idea to them, although they don’t have to be so defined in terms of what they are meaning. There could be information that takes a few different areas and sees what the combination is or otherwise includes something else into the mix.

Improving Academic writing skills takes practice and does make a difference when practice is done. A consistent effort to learn something new while making a bid for something else.

January 4, 2021

Warrior’s Credo: Part 6: Free Will Fosters the Force of Freedom

Free will takes to the joust of disbelief, as many forsake the essence of one’s capacity for the freedom of choice. In lieu of liberation, most prefer enslavement to an ideology of deterministic oppression. Others, a valiant few, will fight on and resist the simplistic complacency of safe mediocrity in status quo consensus. Instead of the influence of logic, creativity and transformation, all often feelings devolve to selfish arrogance of antisocial contrivances.

Maladaptive and regressive, pitiful excuses for the stupidity, shape modern narratives from one alibi to the next. Frequently, responsibility hides with accountability the darkness of human motivations. While integrity searches for the lost horizons of credence, common sense takes exile. Human systems, influenced by over-lapping human interactions, devolve to the consumptive pursuit of consumer gluttony. Intellectual advancement suffers.

By neither dogma of original sinfulness, division of the fall, nor misbegotten hindsight of original righteousness, motivational factors are matters of rational selectivity. A cause is set into motion by willful and well-chosen targeting of specificity. With malice aforethought, premeditation and intentional purposes, instigation are set to motion. Yet, the complexity of human thinking dares the intricacy of psychological magic for purposeful instigation.

One suggestion for a linkage of personal freedom in a credo of self-reliance potentially relates to the nature of human consciousness. Complexity is too simplistic to define the wholeness or totality of such manifestations. Not to forget of course, the necessity for personal proclivity in creativity, the innovative criticality of self-transformation. Many will not change. Regressive resistance will satisfy most satisfied with the less than creative banality of life.

Devoted attentiveness to self-evolution, beyond the stagnant fixated selfishness, remains a daunting mission for most people. Except for the few who will risk dangerous and treacherous trek of differentiation, many will stay behind. The more one asserts his or her freedom of choice, contrary to the concession of normalcy, the greater to the observation of how little others change. Deviation is a rational process of selectivity in spite of what contemporary neuro-gurus claim.

For a number of fearful reactions, emotional sensitivity in perverse self-righteous subjective validation, particularly in the “hallowed” halls of academia, proclaim deterministic exclusivity. By dogmatic determination, many from the realms of pseudoscience in “social studies” defame the liberation of the human mindset. For them, free will is an illusion. Regardless, the valiant ones press on in the persistence of individuality to foster higher forces of personal freedom.

While evil grins, death leers and the pompous piety of those who smirk in their conceit. Evil is a metaphor to express the damage done to others for the satiation of egoistic proclamations. Evil encompasses the notion of malevolence, horrors, tortures, crimes, oppressions and so on, that humans do to each other for the sake of self-enrichment. Such is the narcissistic infantilism of the post-modern era in which one condemns others who disagrees regardless of evidence.

Back and forth, the ebb and flow, and the eventual demise of the human species for the sake of selfish aggrandizement. For the sake of intentional malevolence, with careless disregard for an evolving process, animosity and condescension inflicts tortuous consequences for illicit purposes. Sometimes, these perpetrations are by pretext of intellectual subset to the nasty invective toward another who might take issue with the former. As such, bullying comes in many forms.

Within the cerebral context of constant chemical actions, in complex organic functions, one can only guess as to the actuality of inner cause and effect. Regardless, freedom is essential and pervades the insistence for willing effort to think in rational terms. Absent reliable scientific validation beyond any doubt, by weight and proof of evidence, everything else is a matter of opinion. Although thinking errors are easy, logical efforts are challenging.

Scared, overly sensitive and self-victimized by perceptions of a false reality, mindset dulled and expression muted by magical thinking, stupidity finds excuses. To assert a possession of free will threatens the ideological dogma reinforced in status quo shallowness. One size fits all, the template in the same, a standardized production of consuming robotics in human form. None of this is really new, as things seldom change where human beings are concerned.

From an individualized perspective of willful instigation, some view freewill as that which fosters the birthright of freedom. The transition from self-evolving status, to higher transformation, becomes a life-long insistence to assert liberation. Shunning the seedy misguided entanglement of labeling, stigmatizing or unsubstantiated diagnosing, assertion of independence casts off social bondage. For some communal enslavement is preferred. For others it is proactive engagement with life in a mature grownup way. Not many grow up, as juvenile captivity pervades.

In the great chess game, the knight holds the lead. His or hers is the tactical advantage. The move most valued is a procession of change. By stealth and audacity, the fighter fights the good fight. Ronin, as an archetype, pursue the passages ignored, despised or neglected. Of shield, spear and sword, he or she carries the struggle in multidimensional perspectives. To transcends the conventional and provoke the exceptional, warrior-hood is not for everyone.

Spartan-like, the warrior prepares always for the simplicity of the unconventional. He or she strives to keep things simple, basic and austere. It is a utilitarian perspective. As to wealth and power, domination and control, such things of little interest. Those are proclivities for an earlier time of juvenile narcissism. Likewise, gluttonous consumption is repugnant. Regardless, the warrior investigates all probable opportunities for the sound application of logic, reason and rational application. Practical utility is important without excessive gain.

The plain fact of the matter is, valiant few do not need much in the way of materiality. Except where the mental energies are concerned, the universe imposes the only limit. Mind over matter in both defense and offense as well as recreation and meditation pursues the primacy of thinking. These possessions are in constant generation, as is the necessity of constant creativity. Exceptional storehouses of ideation that build upon inherent ingenuity embrace the personal adventure. Unceasingly, he or she performs the diligent duty of readiness for exploration.

As to all personal senses, beyond the realm of the traditional five, keeping watch, vigilant and mindful, warriors labors to manage the egotism of their personal abilities. Profound serious thinking becomes a daunting task for many. As usual, sheep rely on the sheep dog to keep the wolves at bay. To no avail, some of the more clever predators manage to get through. Betrayers are constantly in our midst, proselytizing the dogmas of conformity. Fearful recesses of darkness hide the profane emotional animosity against those who seek to break free.

Often human engagement meets with opposition due to the maladaptation of others. People are well equipped with deception and their private agendas conceal their true intent. There are always those who act more in self-interest than others do. Predators are always around and appear in various forms. Some pretend while others offend. Teetering ever so precariously along the continuum of human motivations, the balance between essential goodness struggles against malevolent intentions. Alertness remains essential at all times to every possibility.

For a few, vigilance keeps watch and stays on task regardless of distractions. During which, warriors embrace the willfulness to achieve a finer sense of maturity in the presence of wisdom’s council. As many devolve, the brave ones evolve. In vast domain of social intercourse, resisting the psychobabble of simplistic notions challenges at every moment. Proving and disproving conjectures, creations and connections is an ongoing endeavor. To keep the watch, invokes the vigilance of self-evolving transformation, especially to the negativity of modern times. For the weak, the self-righteous projection of psychobabble safeguards their ignorance.

Aside from the compelling admonition of willfulness, the ability to admit wrongfulness, forgetfulness or thoughtlessness is productive to an ascendant personality. Not so with detractors, as their bullying comes in many forms. From schoolyard simplemindedness, to the cowardice of public policy makers, and pundits of narrow opinion, the negativity of the modern era degrades the advance of social civility. Wisdom does not unfold from cowardly trespasses upon the sanctity of another. No matter what the guru or celebrity worship, the foolishness of selfish condescension parades as children in adult form. Behavior is intentional and premeditated.

Where the warrior does not strike back, the fools perpetrate their frauds. As to physical, psychological or both, the intimidation attacks in many ways. For battles won or lost, all is essential to personal liberation, nonetheless, there is a time to ignore and move on. In short, no excuses, no complaints, no denials, just get over it, grow up and engage the next conflict. Much of which is a matter of spiritual warfare that relates directly to purposeful acts of liberation. For the sake of individuation, surrender is not an option, perseverance is vital to survival.

Free will frightens the simple and most learned, for it is scary to know one commands the very essence of himself or herself. Powerful, extraordinary and psychically multidimensional, those depths, where screams echo from dreams, expose the reality of fearful personal potency. As to this salacious energy of cerebral power, many cower and hide behind a mask of fakery. Especially from the inner darkness, which some might call the Id; there is the greatest possibilities of productive creativity. The desires, the sensuality and the libidinous carnality of real human nature, terrorizes the weak, the timid and the stupid. Many run from such powerfulness.

As to that, some will conjure the conjecture of external influences. Academia is full of theories in the multitude of simplistic explanations. However, for the stupid, they are reckless and endanger the others for the arrogance of their idiocy. For them, they are always right and, like most of the mainstream, and social media “experts”, they will believe anything that serves their purposes. When risk enters the picture and begs indulgence in faulty decision-making, adversity contends with the reality of purposeful necessities. Risky notions are part of the quest, the adventure.

Willfully, by over-simplification, factious generalization, faulty thinking lends credence to the authenticity of disbelief. From which, conspiracy theories abound. As such, failures in concrete solidification of the truth give way to fallacies of inference that merge the mythic misconceptions of reality with surreal manifestations of fearful childish reactions. Along the way, rational processes are intentionally subjugated for the satiation of fiction over fact.


Of people, places and property, the interaction of linkage overlays emotional attachments, whereby some assume their divine right of domination. Unfortunately, since most are woefully ignorant of history’s vital lessons, the learning process is stifled at a grade school level. Certainly, a reference or hint might infer that in academia there are supposed intellectuals with advanced degree status. However, a warning is flashed in brilliantly urgent red colors, beware of the pretentious nature of academic achievement. Mature wisdom, ascension to higher altered states of enlightenment does not come easily, especially by any degree granting authority.

An assumption is often made that brilliance flows from an institutional setting. But so does ignorance, immaturity, and selfishness for personal agendas. Likewise, foolishness escapes from other institutions as well. There are always exceptions to learning competences, much of which transcends from the real world experiences. On a real life playing field of practitioner versus theoretician, the one who practices what she or he preaches, is likely better equipped. Connectivity to the interactivity has its price tag when idiocy comes into play.

Liberation of individual will has associated cost factors for such detachment from the status quo. Animosity for differences, biases and prejudices, and all kinds of biting sarcastic invective, rush to judgement, and so forth infect social engagement. The warrior insists upon his or her constant vigilance. Human interactivity does not always necessitate communicative interface in a positive and productive manner. Engagement in the human process has benefits, drawbacks and disadvantages, as most will detract and vent negativity due to their shortcomings.

Negativism in postmodern instances is more prevalent than ever before. Often, this is a matter dependent cowardice, depending upon place, status and influence. Some inducements to interrelate foster networks that negatively intermingle to be counterproductive and mostly destructive. Nonetheless, for the valiant knight of life’s persistent engagements, he or she will likely have the greatest impact for oneself, and not much for the rest of world.

Saving the world is not the primary objective. Becoming a better version than the original self is the prime directive. Individually, there are opportunities to express the capacity to encourage change in others in one form or another. Alternatively, as some warriors have done, another option may be to select disengagement completely. Self-proclaimed exile from the juvenile narcissism of modern days is an enticing possibility. In spite of the psychobabble to the contrary, one does need others in order to succeed in a personal quest for higher ascension.

Essentially, in the end, the darkest hour to cross the great divide, the big sleep, nothing matters after that. When the light go out and it get really dark, that’s it. No one comes back. In time, no one cares. All is forgotten, doomed to repetition from one era to another. Regardless, for being in the present moment, there are times when isolation from the battles entices the sensory seductions for the betterment of personal liberation. Such are free will acts of differentiation. To be alone becomes a strong temptation and necessary companion.

On occasion, solitude may pull the lure of pleasurable appreciation for exploration of multidimensional possibilities. For the hunger, the thirst and lust of an open, free and adult conversation, the sanctity of being alone is a hollowed experience. Talking with oneself is a freedom few will know. Meanwhile, others will argue differently. For the amative self-aggrandizement of their cognitive bias, some will insist upon their public validation. Yet, for another level of free will expression, libidinous drives foment the ideation of extraordinary creativity. Privacy of is a sacred retreat for the brave and bold.

Communal consensus is not always so fascinating, nor is collective constraints the ideal of social productivity. The charm of interactivity with others wears off quickly and has limitations. While not everyone may be suited for the island of personal exile. Paradise comes in myriad formats of personal perception. Sometimes, solitary personal placements have their encouragements. Yet, autonomy has a lack of sovereignty in a perfect sense. Freedom is misleading. Absolute freedom is an ideal conception. It is not just a matter of being free, but a deliberation upon the consequences of its cause and effect upon all the senses.

Free will invites the liberty of divergent conflicts no matter what the fear of others. Blameworthiness collides with one’s striving to move onward, along with accountability and responsibility. Openness to exceptional possibilities encourages the nonconformity of personal conviction to escape the entrapment of others. However, when remorse, fear, and guilt are allowed to shame individual self-directed action, unproductive dysfunctional conformity sets in. This geometric progression of human devolution hastens the eventual demise of the species. As personal responsibility falters, chaos and anarchy join forces. Accountability ends up with accumulated losses to the detriment of civilization. Even though the opposition and the challenge to social conforming has its risks, only a few brave ones will accept the challenge. In opposition, the vast majority will insist upon the cowardice of their gluttonous collectivism. The many will accept the contrived perpetration of those that demand mindless conventionality.

For the warrior mindset, willful rebellion to oppressive tyrannies do go unchallenged. The blessed sanctification of solitude, in the potency of ultra-rationalization, with wise control of bias, is the antidote for the wild spread of arrogance in the cultivation of stupidity. Being alone, meditating rigorously in the sweat of intense ideation, the laborious quest for wiser ascendency never ceases to hunt for the liberation in transformation. Fighting back, resisting and arguing ethical precepts in wisdom versus ignorance, to ensure a righteous sense antagonism.

Purposeful in the drive to strive to achieve the fruition of dreams, aspirations and wishes stir the imagination and potency of creativity. Imagination is essential. Regardless of the opposing forces that are ever-present, with their negativity, both overt and covert, the individual perseveres onward against the onset of the zombie apocalypse. That of course is a metaphorical reference to the degrading erosion of culture toward eventual extinction of the human species.

Relentless, and sometime ruthless, the warrior mindset defends the rightness of individuation in personal liberation. Freedom of the will fosters release from social bondage. To erect obstacles and throw up barriers at every turn, the less evolved, the inept, and the detractors will find opportunities for their schemes. Cowardice grimaces upon the faces of the fearful, who know only weakness and forsake acts of courage. Ethical weakness abounds everywhere.

For the negative people, instead of being crafters, artisans, or warriors, they will perform their role as betrayers and steal from others. No matter what the risk, however, the energies of warriors configure different alternatives that are productive. The pleasure of gainful enrichment for being free stimulates the expectations of perseverance. Yet, free at no cost is unrealistic. Everything has a price and always carry risks. Likewise, as faith in the invisible bears no allegiance to the tangible, the ethical admonition is to the betterment of oneself with no harm to others.

Warriors know the physical realm, and yet go to great measure to explore the other realms of existence as well. From streams of dreams to wakeful conscious endeavors, based on real-world experience and trust in oneself, he or she will prevail by strenuous exertion of self-determination. However, as others protest in the smug piety of self-denial and fearful selfishness, they condescend others. To this, a warrior connects validity in oneself as a worthwhile investment, and endures to ascend to higher planes of self-evolution. He or she does not forget the real value in the experience of the conflicts of life. Without exposure to the darkness, there is no sense of the light. The usefulness derived from the struggle possesses meaningful consequences for learned ideation. From cradle to safe haven, there exist no meaning without the falls in between.

Meanwhile, in the devolving chase of never growing up, the pursuit of Peter Pan’s Neverland, many relish in the primordial slide into their selfish perspective of infantile narcissism. An ever-increasing crescendo of weakness over courage, and cowardice over conviction. Metaphorically speaking, one might argue there is a growing shopping list of “social irritants” that might hurt someone’s feelings. Or, worse yet, a presupposition that a person ought to feel safe everywhere, under every possible condition, he or she must be protected from anything threatening.

From safe places to “gun-free” zones, to adult “time outs”, protected “speech” and lengthy medical warnings, etc., the condescending vagaries of selfish behaviors is regressive. From a societal perspective, an apparent lack of moral courage, loss of confidence in self-reliance, and fading adventurous spirit now characterizes the malaise of a devolving culture. Instead, free speech is viciously under attack, with the ongoing invasive assaults on open uninhibited discourse. Malicious intentions of “thought police”, with presupposition of their ignorance and arrogance, clamor to control social media and mainstream interactivity with tyranny.

To the warrior, or those of a Spartan mindset, such admonitions of illicit power, domination and control, are grievously repugnant. Noble inclinations, in pursuing a tactical mindset, the valiant and brave ones persevere onward regardless of the opposition or obstacles. Neither contrived consensus nor whiny condemnations distract the warrior from his or her pathway. For the courage of one’s convictions, the risk is in the rebellious spirit of social survival. Regardless of whether or not someone or some group is “offended” by whatever transpires in the moment, a warrior’s credo insists upon self-reliance and determination to prevail against the odds.

Wisdom, benevolence and courage form an historic trinity around duty, discipline and devotion. To be brave is to work tirelessly to be transformed to a more enlightened mindset. Most would prefer to sit by the sidelines in the safe mediocrity of criticizing others. Mean spirited memes of self-victimization foment the hideous hatred of creativity in the courageous few. For the weak and the cowardly, their ill placed adherence to despotic notions, specious conjecture and faulty fallacies hasten the eventual collapse of a once great society. Danger looms closer each day.

From the mindset of freewill that forces individual liberation from the dividing complicities of malevolent intentions, valued principles, and the creed of the cause serves to elevate the senses. Psychic wits know no boundaries. The energy is boundless. Controlled by each temperament of free expression of willfulness. In profound mindful awareness, the potent gradient of each rising thought insists upon the innovative necessity to excel to advanced echelons of intensity.

For the modern Spartan, who challenges life’s amazing spectral array, personal freedom rests upon the relentless pursuit of self-determination. Simplicity for preference in physical necessity, but extraordinary depth of mindful intrigue, the warrior fights for personal autonomy. Forsaking the folly of modern conjecture, battling the incestuous taboo of magic thinking, and rising above the enslavement of contrived consensus for arcane status quo, the warrior perseveres. Whereas detractors bully at every opportunity, the critics rage from inexperienced projections, and the lazy foment the invective of inferential fallacies, the brave ones seek higher truths.

While the republic faces devolving jeopardy, and individual liberty contends with demise, a lone Spartan adherent never gives up in her or his transformation. For them, and their energies expended, quantity never exceeds quality of each experience. Proceedings of thoughts measure the scope of a person in the self-evolving streaming dreams of enlightened expectations. Both on the inside of his or her ideation, as well as the externality of cumulative effect.

To the outside in public exposure, for trials by combat in life’s survival, the offer of deep insight to individual feeling, dealing and reasoning, creativity is essential, in one event after the other. The experience by such, the serious practitioner’s art and craft, is to learn how to know the rightful distinction of willfulness. Not only with that, but the recognition of the great depth and expanse of human evil in its entire manifest forms. For the minions of diminished mindset, the insistence of stupidity pervades every exercise of sensory interpretations.

For the warrior, the quest is not without the trials in every aspect of humanness. Neither is the personal journey devoid of controversy and even life threatening possibilities. As to a central focus regarding the necessity of willfulness, freedom to pursue liberation, there will always be detractors. Modern arrogance of others insists upon the acceptance of superficial contrivances of nebulous notions. Specious and superficial conjecture, absent a profound appreciation of history, along with an evolved maturity, persists contentiously against a warrior’s credo of free will.

Oppression of instinctual desires by obsessions of dogmatic opposing ideologies, particularly those of dogmatic doctrines, may interfere with a personal declaration of independence. As such, the warrior perseveres in his or her choice toward an ascendency of individual liberation. Such energies of mindfulness will delve in dimensional configurations most people won’t want to visit. Because of fear, many hesitate to venture too far from the norm, status quo, or safe mediocrity of shallow expectations. They will acquiesce to the illicit sovereignty of others. Some will do amazing atrocities by groupthink, herding or other collective gangsterism.

January 4, 2021

What Are Cyberbullying, Trolling and Cyberstalking?

The Dark Side of Free Speech, Pt 2


Our culture and probably most others have historically felt that bullies are bad news, but that being bullied is also a rite of passage. We often think that bullying tends to end with grammar school. Nothing is further from the truth.

As a culture, we tolerate and often reward adult bullies – especially bully managers in the workplace. We celebrate bullies in entertainment as warriors and winners (even as we also celebrate a bully getting his or her comeuppance), and although hazing in schools, the military, and fraternities are getting pushback from the culture, we otherwise do little to eradicate bullying. Our politicians are often famously bullying in nature. Unless there are dead bodies, it seems that we expect people to just put up with it (or fight back).

As harmful and heinous as bullying can be, cyberbullying takes things a step further. Cyberbullying uses the Internet and other electronic forms of technology to post mean or embarrassing photos, messages, emails, or to make threats. However, the attacker is often anonymous – unknown – and there is no one to fight back against. As a result, the potential cyberbully is often emboldened to create as much havoc with their victim’s life as possible. The potentially viral nature of such posts – that is, the ability for these posts to be replicated widely, quickly, and endlessly – doesn’t happen in a face-to-face encounter.

A typical (non-cyber) bullying event happens at a moment in time and then is over (although another such event may occur). The bullying happens at a location in space – a street corner or the office, perhaps. A bullying is often witnessed, with the victimizer known to everyone present. A cyberbullying incident, on the other hand, can be spread to hundreds of people in seconds and millions of people in fairly short order, can persist for a lengthy period, can be distributed worldwide, and has no one to answer for their action.

As a result, damage from such an incident can recur and echo over and over. Sadistic sorts can take pleasure in repeating and reposting, and even create web sites to encourage their persistence. These sites cause a pile-on effect, with fellow nasty travelers putting in their own often excruciatingly foul insults, reposting the private images, and multiplying the harm. Some may not realize or care about the damage they cause; others delight in it.

One unfortunate creation of cyberbullying is “revenge porn.” There are sites on the Internet that are in place solely to embarrass and hurt people (mostly women) by electronically publishing and reposting sexual images of a former lover or interest. Some such postings are designed to embarrass associates of the person whose pornographic image is being posted. The target may be the former boyfriend or husband with the victim being “collateral damage.” Even well-known individuals may participate in the ugly behavior, such as the recent case of a hip-hop star and his site featuring pornographic video of a girlfriend of hip-hop in his beef with a rap.

Many victims of seemingly endless cyberbullying, including clients who have come to us for help, have had their self-esteem devastated. Others have been driven to substance abuse, dropping out of school or society, and such bullying behavior has even been implicated in suicides. While not usually considered a crime, it is far from victimless.


Cyberstalking is a more specific form of cyberbullying, and like cyberbullying, is much enabled by the anonymity possible via the Internet. It is the use of the Internet and other technology to harrass someone, although some cyberstalking can be secret for a time. While a “traditional” stalker may shadow a victim’s movements, spying on them from hidden areas, or with binoculars or telescopes, the cyberstalker keeps an eye on their target(s) electronically.

Much of our social life is semi-public these days, on social media such as Twitter & Facebook. The Internet makes it easy for a person to hide his or her identity, make a fake identity, or pose as someone else – as a false friend perhaps – making it simple to spy on a person’s activities via social networking. Like cyberbullying, the ease of anonymity on the Internet may embolden the cyberstalker, thinking (often correctly) that they will not be found out.

We regularly encounter cases where the stalker has managed to research and guess credentials for their victim’s email or other online accounts making it easy to discover the victim’s whereabouts, conversations and correspondence. In some of these cases, the perpetrator will even impersonate the victim, sending faked emails and messages, posting as the victims themselves, or publishing embarrassing images as if the victim herself were the source of the statements, pictures, or videos.

This has come to be understood and adjudged to mean that the government can’t keep you from saying your piece, no matter how much the government, or anyone else might disagree. This applies to all government in the U.S. – Federal, State, local entities and public officials of those public entities. You are free to speak in “the Public Square.” Note that the concept of the Public Square applies only to governmental entities, property and officials. It does not apply to private or commercial property. Property owners or business owners can prohibit you from saying certain things, or from saying anything at all on or within their own property, business, or broadcasts unless it is otherwise allowed.

Stalkers can find a way to infiltrate themselves into the fabric of the victim’s financial, social, and family life, leaving personal lives in tatters. Though it is easy to read about such events and behavior – it’s all over the news – the victims often find themselves not being taken seriously, with friends and loved ones calling her neurotic or paranoid. Because the cyberstalker is often trying to damage the victim’s reputation, the reactions of those close to the victim often further the stalker’s aims.

And while cyberstalking is illegal in many places around the country and around the world, these actions rarely rise to the level law enforcement needs to see in order to take it seriously, or to investigate. Read between the lines in the news and you will find that nearly all arrests that include cyberstalking also include a dire threat, a violation of an existing restraining order, ID theft, theft of physical property, or child abuse.


Internet trolling is a behavior wherein the troll intends to inflame, upset, or otherwise damage civil discourse. In the context of this series of articles, it tends toward disrupting the online or public communication of others through the use of vile invective, insults and other verbal havoc. It is often misogynistic. The ability to be anonymous on the Internet removes much of the inhibition a person might otherwise feel to behave so uncivilly.

What To Do?

A common thread throughout the described behaviors is the ability to be anonymous on the Internet. One might imagine that removing the option for being anonymous would remove the motivation for the behavior, but in this case, the solution would arguably be worse than the problem. In part one of this series, we discussed free speech – one of our most important rights – and the importance of anonymity. Both have played a huge role in the very creation of our nation and continue to protect those who would speak out about abuses, even as said anonymity enables other kinds of abuse. What are we to do?

In Part 3 we discuss what we can do and what is being done – both legally and societally – to limit damaging cyber behavior

January 4, 2021

African Cinema Lost In Translation

For a long time I abhorred the media. But when Gavin Hood’s ‘Tsotsi’ won an Oscar that’s when this fundamentalist’s belief system changed. Believe me, everything that you watch on television, in the print, and social media matters. It might mean the difference between realising the duplicity of the promulgation of the Group Areas Act, the legacy of the forced removals, racism in post-apartheid in South Africa, Africa, sexuality, and disability portrayed in African films by filmmakers from countries from that continent or a South African billionaire giving away half his fortune to charity.

As a nation we were just getting our heads wrapped around the idea of free speech, the Rwandan genocide, the African Renaissance, that the Rainbow Nation of South Africa’s democracy was twenty years old and that ‘overnight’ Africa had become a country. I thought that the media was out to get all of us. For example they would post unflattering photographs of celebrities but it was all in good faith, for a worthy cause. That we all would feel less self-conscious about our body image, and more confident about the fact that we were all beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.

They would quote famous people, politicians, and actors out of context. Satirise them on talk shows, television series season after season. Slowly getting the world’s undivided attention, then the general population, and then syndication rights (perhaps garnering an award here or there, or a scandal which would ensure high ratings). Then I began to abhor social media until I watched ‘The Social Network’ directed by David Fincher and that was a defining moment in my life. I had an epiphany. Media and film had roles to play in society especially in Africa. The unknown had become the known (again ‘overnight’ paradigms were shifting all over Africa and social media had become a movement).

Films and reading? There’s dialogue in books. Real books. I read because I love reading, and I love dialogue. So when I’m watching a film I’m really much more interested in the dialogue than the set design, or the props. I appreciate the aesthetics, the work that goes into the production’s design and all of that. Does it really matter how beautiful the actors are? Can they sing? Can they dance? Can they act? That’s what I’m interested in.

But I really got hooked seriously in high school after reading Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (I mean who hasn’t fallen for Holden Caulfield, or wished that we could meet a modern-day version of him, besides falling head over feet in love with his adventures, his ambiguity, and the moral compass with which he navigates his life and why haven’t they made a film out of that modern classic yet, how I wish that ‘they’, a studio in Los Angeles, an executive or a producer has seriously thought about or is in the throes of turning that book into a magnificent screenplay. I don’t have the answer to that question yet though.

Maybe a South African filmmaker will take up that challenge or a Nollywood producer. But coming back to cinema, but African cinema in particular. All the wheels, and the machinery is set in place, into motion and as the world consumes entertainment I watch films because I consider it to be an art form, like poets writing poetry, photographers who take pictures, writers writing books, novelists write novels. If you’re really lucky a lot of people will like what you do and will give you an award for your wisdom, your life experience, and how both of this attributes changed people’s lives for the better, and of course that you have made a positive contribution to society, and to human life.

Films can be painful to watch, especially if they’re made in Africa. We’ve lived in a traumatic society for hundreds of years. And yet damaged people know how to survive. In Africa we do what comes most natural to us. We work with our hands. We’re artists from the day that we enter this unquiet world. And so somewhere somehow we picked up a camera. Nollywood sprung from a wealth of ideas. So did African cinema (which will always be lost in translation). We use our imagination. And we’re transformed by what we create, that creative impulse. Films, they can be educational. But it’s my inner room.

Without films how would we interpret, remain sensitive to the damage control of climate change, global warning, depression, and the global recession that are forecasting right now? How do we keep track of cultural trends, our hopes, our fears, our dreams, and the same goes for people who have children? Faddists, optimists, swapping, changing, making the right choices, healthy choices, correcting your lifestyle, becoming eco-warriors, going green? And how would we know, Television, films and churches formed a large part of the origins of my writing when I was younger.

My childhood was not as bleak as some; I was happy, obedient, kind, patient, loved dogs, tennis and swimming; dancing wildly, joyfully in the sprinkler during summertime with my siblings and got sunburnt on holidays in Calitzdorp, Oudtshoorn, George, Wilderness and Carmel. My mother saw to my extra lessons. My father saw to my education and higher learning. And I was always touched by the mirror images that I saw on the screen of the television in my intimate surroundings, my immediate environment, my estranged and my extended family, my father, my best friend and confidante.

What do churches you might say have in common with the ancient composed core of the entertainment value of our films today? The principles, values, beliefs, norms of contemporary ministers and today’s filmmaker get on like a house on fire and often give rise to an unholy demise; a boundary, a burdened limit that leads to a subliminal dead end, the enquiring gaze of a pupil that is not self-conscious only candid, vital and knowing. Are South African films all touted in the media as genius or given the all thumbs dumbed down, is the public critical enough, or do we shrink back in horror terrified at any criticism as if it would harm our intellect, is what they say relevant, outspoken or politically correct, are we prudish when it comes to overt sexuality or averse to it?

During my childhood in apartheid South Africa I was taught to use every emotional experience (like a scrap of fabric that would be used for and then suddenly materialise into a quilt) that used both the element of anticipation and surprise and that resonated throughout the fiercely grounded essence of my soul to the full. Images that came to be in my hushed dreams, the gravity of it unceasing as the impulse of the superfluous adrenaline of flight, the tidal triangles of love, the swarm of bullies, the budding nature of best friends that came with my growing years on a school playground I seldom found abhorrent.

In church I learnt that the art was not to fail to misbehave, daydream; be disobedient, honour my father and my mother, collect subtle small nothings like the dry, thin-skinned wafer like paper autumn leaves that I crushed casually between my fingertips with my best friend. We were inseparable; played like monkeys rock, paper; scissors every break. Watching films accounting our dark-edged history; Gandhi portrayed by Ben Kingsley, Steve Biko by Denzel Washington in Cry Freedom for example, fringed deftly with racism and prejudice and saints.

I learned that there were paths that I had not travelled, that I had journeyed gently as a child, heavily guarded, and claimed by my parents, protected from harm, hidden from the sight of evil incarnate, paedophiles patrolling the streets in fast cars. The only place I was not protected was in front of the television. I shuffled in every afternoon after school and planted myself in front of the screen not moving an inch except to drink my juice and eat a sandwich. It did not go to waste. I used all the information that I got from the different accents and the clothes, the illnesses written on the bodies, the women’s bodies, done up, coiffed hair, the women’s hair salons, the men’s wisdom from all three channels as teaching examples for my writing.

The tainted, self-absorbed voices from the actors from the different channels resounded in my head as if they were of my own making. Sometimes my pen could not keep up with the internal dialogue. It was as if it was a deluge, a downpour, an unstoppable, unchallenged flood. They put something into motion that could not be diminished, masked, temporary, erased or frozen over time. These were powerful, seasonal shadows that sometimes led gripping, violent, aggressive, brutal lives that could not be dissolved completely by my pen. It left me with a quaint state of mind.

Here I was a fugitive on the run from the justice that was my parents’ burden. I was left drowning in the portrayals, the loveliness of White, Coloured, Black children in black and white, finally erased of colour. I saw couples on the screen settle into their married life and watched as if I was invited in. The end of the rollercoaster ride that came with each film left me strangely bereft, half-born, half-living like the strangled cry of a bird or a night owl or the fisherman’s catch dead; life snuffed out in the dragged net hung over the edge of the rocking boat in the seawater.

South African films taught me life lessons, how to disguise a bellyache laugh in the territorial quiet of the cinema, it taught me how to whisper like a frigid wind through my clenched fingers that disguised my mouth. We should pursue our history from memory, from childhood, from the elders in our community, our next door neighbours, from humorous anecdotes, headlines in the newspapers found in the archives of your local libraries and our own parents’ alarming knowledge from their own life experience.

In defining an African film I believe we first have to define Africa itself and who or what is an African or whose soul aspires to be African before we can talk about films made about the African continent and South Africa. We can’t only do that by erasing every trace of colonialism. It is still part and parcel like a love-knot in a message of our past, present and future. The history of the colonists channels the dissolve of my old unhealed wounds and confusion into hellish lists. It does not easily close doors on the past.

Director John Berry decided for his film based on playwright Athol Fugard’s ‘Boesman en Lena’ to choose American actress and actor Angela Bassett and Danny Glover to play the lead roles. There was a furore over the fact they were neither African nor South African. The serious human focus that is often learned in academia, from gathered intelligence which is kept hidden by those in the know from the human race or by those who are book smart because of being avid readers can often be described as being locked up inside of a box, like an airtight container that has shut in a war of nerves and put a lid on it far away from the unseen public.

The chanting masses who call for service delivery, better homes with window panes, not structured out of plastic sheeting, tarpaulin or tin, youth, who struggle with unemployment gives rise to stories which must be told. The audience is there. It begins here. The future beckons. It is now. African writers’ stories have often been fragmented in Africa since Nelson Mandela was released from prison. They have often not been told, put into words, into a novel language and passed on to the next generation from word of mouth; their voices; thoughts, reflections have often been silent like a blanket of stars in the sky.

In existence but with a voice that has been mute, still, shut out, withdrawn, shut in or shut up. Outstanding individuals who have won international and national acclaim must now act as life-enhancing role models and catalysts for the marginalised, poor, up and coming writers, poets, playwrights and performance artists. I will use the film ‘Yesterday’ by the South African director Darrell Roodt as an example. This is a film that makes us confront the burning global issue of HIV/AIDS however we might feel about it. It makes us resolve to change our conscious way of thinking about people who live in the rural areas of South Africa.

It embodies the breath of fresh air of promising new beginnings, it personalises the relationships she, ‘Yesterday’, the protagonist has with her daughter, her neighbours, the blonde doctor who doesn’t need a translator to speak to ‘Yesterday’. The character is played with a great indomitable strength, humility and a hallmark of patient stillness by Leleti Khumalo. The actress Leleti Khumalo’s gives us an intense portrayal of the struggle, neuroses and the separation anxiety that many women personally undergo without any help from a spouse or a support group in a crisis of both lost identity and innocence in the world around her.

Her husband dies; she discovers she has HIV/AIDS and that there will be nobody to care for her young daughter when she dies. As an actress, she not only rises to the challenge, she defies and sustains the numbed disbelief that people; the ordinary man, woman and child in the street feel towards those who are vagrants, homeless, live at the Salvation Army, a shelter for abused women and children or those people from the location who are poor, live in dire straits and work as garden boys and kitchen girls to support their families and put a meagre meal or bread on the table.

The filmmaker is oftentimes like a bone collector of ancient dug up fossils, a museum curator, collector, seer, estranged from colleagues, contemporaries, peers because of their highbrow level of intelligence and aloofness, through his or her wisdom and experience. ‘Yesterday’ is possibly the only African film that has managed to grip Africans and of course the rest of the world into understanding what the meaning and purpose is of the true African heritage. I feel that we have yet to discover that gem, an undiscovered diamond with rough edges to come out of Africa.

And that will undoubtedly address issues that every human being prioritises in their own life globally in which Africa’s inimitable spirit shines through. African stories should be told with African distributors, African actors, African directors and African financing in mind. We should always be working towards change and progress in those fields instead of looking abroad to international distributors and while appealing to mass audiences evoking sentiment and nostalgia, we deny access and the privilege to our own writers, editors and filmmakers to create.

When we create a world from our own imagination and give it life, it is not only a labour of love that resides there, but also one that will constantly give way to transformation, reforming and the transmission of ideas and inspiration, not only in decades to come but aeons. Reality that is found in Africa can make for lousy, underrated entertainment and although elegant, Americans deliver wooden performances when mimicking a well-known figure in African literature, politics or celebrity. Churches have yet to address the issue of poverty and children that are underprivileged that exists in their surrounding communities.

We see this in mainstream print media as well as cinema. It doesn’t have the same hook to garner audiences into theatre seats or church pews. Churches lack empathy for the most vulnerable; frail, aged, delicate citizens and only reserve it for ones they consider to be important and out of reach and harm’s way. Few practise what they preach from their lecterns and only serve to promote their own opinions which they deem fitting, compelling and relevant. Once again African cinema is lost in translation. Its persona carried throughout like detailed and thorough school homework made up of makeshift, calculated solutions and a teacher’s punishment.

How can we close doors on the past when we do not offer truth as a salutary balm? Without revealing where the blame lies in a racially divided society, the working classes animosity, a deep-seated psychosis, the education of a youthful learner, the politics of the church or a godly community, the funny, the ridiculous, the passionate, the dangerous, the overwhelming threatening, how can we put into the poetic words of the texture of hair, who will lead, who will follow, become a golden, committed candidate who will dare lay his soul bare and become an activist, an advocate?

Whose broken heart will yearn to tell stories, salvage honest truths if we do not realise that the challenge of change is upon us in television series, cinema, films, theatre, church pews and the print, and social media? People have said in the past for an African Cinema to exist we need to tell African stories. Stories that speak in gestures but how do you speak about mental illness, rehabilitation, addiction, alcoholism, female hysteria, mass hysteria, psychosis, hallucinations, the hearing of voices, ancestral rituals, female, and male circumcision in gestures. You ‘show’, and ‘tell’. Which is why it’s not that I prefer books to films.

There’s something dignified about listening to the dialogue. Gestures are powerful, and so is the actor (their journey becomes your journey). You can appreciate the actor projecting their voice, discern an accent while they are communicating an ‘invisible otherness’ from the buried depths of their psyche but for dialogue for interests’ sake you have to depend on an aficionado’s instinct. Dialogue is the overpowering of humanity, the emotional finding a kindred spirit, a personal journey from degrees of intuition, to a lesser degree of intense poverty.

Just by pure chance African cinema is physical, and cultural. It’s spiritual. It’s artful. Sometimes it’s just that. Art.

January 4, 2021

Arrogance in Ignorance – The Republic Is in Danger – Censorship

In the rampant rage of wide-spread devolution of humanity, particularly on the shores of the U.S., the arrogance of ignorance spews its contagion in diverse ways. By contentious condescension of intentional malevolence, the spurting of non-stop stupidity intentionally contrives to wreck the democratic processes. To save the republic, higher reaches of purposeful wisdom with extraordinary ascensions of enlightenment requires a mature intelligent population. Among this extrapolation of astonishing willful insight, knowledge insists upon the development of exceptional personal individuation. Acute inner analysis is crucial.

With a list of adversarial disputations, opposing forces to the right, freedom and reason of free speech endeavor to restrict essential constitutional safeguards. In particular, aside from illicit and dimwitted admonitions from the realms of academia, supernatural ideologies attack and defame essential necessity of personal expression. Among the antithesis of human liberation comes the terroristic psychological and physical pillaging of freedom by extremist fundamental occultic obsession. Led by the weak, the cowardly and the ignorant, selfishness abounds.

Politics is but one arena where “anti-thinking” foments the specious terrors of ignorance so grievous, that the viability of the American republic hangs in the balance. For some, perhaps even a majority, indulged in wonderment to consider the probably of eventual human extinction. To that apocalyptic end, the political processes are but elemental factor in an iceberg of societal selfishness. Closely aligned is the cult of celebrity worship. The contemporary idiocy, from Hollywood elitist to Washington politicians, promotes a dumber American society.

Most often, actors, like so many across mainstream society, spew the superficiality of their ignorance. Undereducated in so many aspects of the real-world, their fictional fantasies blur the distinction between the real and the surreal. All to often, such actions breach the viability of free speech in such condemning ways, as to rebuke the tenants of civility. Their divisive hate mongering tears at the basic foundations of the revolutionary spirit of freedom. Given the gluttonous satiation for selfishness, money, power, and control, prefers ignorance. A few years, a British publication asserted the lunacy of the “leftist elitist”. Building a case for the extremes of smug self-righteousness is a trail of clues related to education versus indoctrination.

With controversial engagements across the mainstream of society, some analyst ponder the perceived notions regarding a decline in educational ascendency. By contrast, a few agree that the American culture is declining with consequences that indicate an eventual collapse. As opposed to an enlightened constituency of well-educated, exceptionally competent and mature people, a devolution seems more realistic. Regardless of social strata, most of the population appears and acts in very immature and child-like ways. Being ignorant became more comfortable.

In accordance with the aforementioned sense of intellectual dysfunction, one psychologist recently echoed a similar theme, by what might be called “American dysfunction of anti-intellectualism”. Asserting a kind of pathology of ignorance, the writer offered an argument regarding the degradation of society by wide spread idiocy. By absurd, foolish and immature behaviors, including stupid commentary by elected officials, a deep sense of disappointment echoes among those seeking solutions to serious social issues.

By neither social status nor college degree is there any guarantee of extraordinary enlightenment. Likewise, regardless of educational institution, graduation does not infer the capacity for saving the planet, profound civil discourse or insistence upon the greater good. In an earlier time, philosophical admonitions favored the necessity for higher intellectual achievement beyond in formal system or communal process. Creativity was an important element in pursuing the pioneering spirit of innovation. Today, ingenuity finds few adherents.

In a post-modern context, disingenuous behaviors increasingly and negatively exhibit a host of adversarial interactions. Divisive examples are ever-present in news shows, as well as political forums. Emotional reactivity is frequently the choice of actions rather than serious analytic investigations. To insist upon a problem-solving venture by way of critical thinking and logical analysis is not typically the path chosen. A regressive tendency toward immature emotional responses animates an inclination toward promoting conflict rather than compromise.

While one person criticizes another for a posting in social media that may violate “community standards”, another vicious torments others for their political leanings. Intolerance for tolerance often depends on whether or not the other person agrees with another opinion. In prior times, open debate on controversial issues embraced the free spirit of candid commentary. Now, the opposite seems more likely. Sensitivity to everything shuts down the free exercise of alternative perspectives. At the same time, emotional reactivity threatens factual authenticity.

For the purposes herein, the issues surrounding the conceptualization of censorship relates to actions intended to suppress, restrict or otherwise prohibit the dissemination of an artistic expression. Primarily, the focus is toward social media, but not exclusively. As such, the prohibitions, or attempted prohibitions, referred to include restrictions on presentation or publication of various forms of authorship. Writings of various kinds, articles, stories, books, novels and so forth are examples. Additionally, consideration of creative works likewise pertain to movies, films, photos, drawings and other related works of art.

Whether an article on a controversial topic or an explicit depiction of photographic art, the matter at hand is the intentional prohibition of the art form. As an ongoing process of social and legal debate, censorship in contemporary social media, including news media, suggests an increasing antagonism toward innovative artistic endeavors. While the First Amendment (U.S. Constitution) is the fundamental expression of free speech, censoring an imaginative arty expression conjures debatable implications in terms of legality, equity, and liberty.

Aside from legal ramifications, the implications of censorship are manifold. Indirectly, one aspect entertained here is the notion that censoring an online artistic genre speaks to an era of ignorance. As intellectual capacity, along with a maturity for enlightened thinking, diminishes over time, increased infantile reactivity is more likely. In post-modern consideration, contemporary efforts by social media to curtail selected expressions represent oppression. A “tyranny” of intolerance pretending to be tolerant pervades social interactivity.

Another aspect suggests a devolving process of thinking that is detrimental to human civilization. If, for instance, there is a supposition that the human species is advancing, a counter argument might infer the contrary. Contemporary sensitivity appears at an all-time low in terms of overreaction to just about anything. As controversy arises over criticism of an individual, an ideology, or a flag, or baseball cap, a posting occurs on the net to demonstrate outrage.

Extraordinary simplification, excessive rationalization and contentious divisiveness degrade any semblance of a civilized society. As such, there is a sense of arrogance in the ignorance. In an article for a national newspaper, the online admonition of American society focused on the commonplace “embracing of ignorance”. Accordingly, the claim points to the current trend of glorifying ignorance and disdaining intellectualism. While believing in something without facts or evidence is one thing. It is quite another to make public policy based on belief.

Someone might question which is worse, not having evidentiary substantiation, or denying the reality of factual relevance and doing something stupid. This is where a serious regard for rationality searches carefully among the volumes of psychobabble to question the nature of proof. Solvability of an issue invites the various aspects of efforts directed toward provability. For most issues, many rely on gossip, hearsay, opinion and superficial conjecture that says nothing and does nothing. Frequently, this satiates an inner desire to make idiotic notions valid.

Another headline from a different informational perspective asserted a study that suggested people do not like their strongly held beliefs questioned. Based on a limited research configuration form a major private college, researchers sought to assess the knowledge base of the average voter. As related to things like climate change, for instance, overuse of information dissemination may case deeper controversies to arise. Too much information leads to confusion among diverse parties to a public debate, especially if the basis for knowing something is limited.

A debasing conjecture might suggest that an entity or external mechanism causes people to do one thing or another, but that is dangerously misleading. Not only that, but also such specious notions perpetuate an atmosphere of ignorance. Such things become a vicious cycle of regressive tendencies for the sake of foolish excuses. As to that, the commentary is often heard about how the “internet makes people stupid”, or how “technology” or “social media” contributes to violence, etc. Briefly, inanimate objects cannot make people do things.

Lifeless inert “entities” do not possess the power for such influence. People intentionally and willfully make their own choices and there are no excuses for their bad decisions. However, to ensure the lofty status of ignorance, many will concoct all manner of mitigation. By malice aforethought, premeditation and intention infliction, people do all kinds of perpetrations. Once the blame went to demons, ghosts and goblins. Today, it is just about anything external to the person that receives blame for maladaptive behaviors. Not much difference than demonic possession.

Regardless, such human antics do not elevate the species to an advanced civilization by any stretch of the imagination. Grotesque and undignified fallacies of inference permeate talk shows, talking head news outlets, schoolrooms, legislative sessions, social media and the list goes on. Subjective validation for the sake of cognitive bias, absent facts and evidence, supplants in-depth critical analysis based on vigorous inquiry. Instead, the modern malady of social discourse tends to rely heavily on opinion in an appeal to inauthentic “authority”.

Such an appeal to the pretention of some source, or someone, possessing the exceptionality of an authoritative perspective, is potentially dangerous. The guru, the shaman, the spiritualist, or the metaphysician, are likely to perpetrate grievous errors of self-centered thinking. As alluded to earlier, in a stardom-fixated culture, the incessant adoration surrenders to the opinion, gossip or rumors fomented by popularity. Using fame and fortune as a benchmark for knowledge and wisdom encourages a larger framework of social stupidity. Because someone can play a part in a movie, perform on stage, or nominated for an award, does not confer enlightenment.

Yet, repeatedly, “intellectual capacity” is erroneously ascribed to a star personality, whether movie luminary or talk show host. Similarly, as 24/7 cable network news sources slant toward personal opinion, the greater the probability of shallow thinking. In reality, these could actually be some of the most notoriously uninformed people on the planet. A careful analysis of the contemporary rhetoric reveals a serious failure of fact driven analysis. Evidence seems to have lost its value and necessity in favor of personal opinion. Repeatedly, feelings are valued more.

Continuing the commission of the decline of intellectual honesty, a collegiate talk show interview of one researcher expressed disappointment in politicians. Reminiscing the sage commentary of one of the founding fathers, the republic is in danger when ignorance has an expectation of freedom. To paraphrase, as stupid culture cannot hope for a free society. In a frightening reflection on modern society, a researcher points to the foolish discourse found in American politics. Politicians often say the stupidest things.

One point of view on this matter of egregious ignorance in political commentary, relates to how such fallacies mirror society. Whether by partisan bias, political expediency, or contrived selfishness for power and control, the lack of intellectual curiosity and analytic reasoning undermine the principles of a democratic republic. Worrisome is the notion as to the trend toward anti-rationality, or the ability to ensure constructive reason in logical analysis.

That coupled with the arrogance of embracing ignorance ought to be the warning signs of a collapsing culture. A few would argue the disastrous consequences for the human species. Others aligned with the fear of eventual human extinction would accept the idea that this is the dawn of the “zombie apocalypse”. The debasing nature of stupid thinking, or as some would prefer, “magical thinking”, portrays an era of conceited preference for being uninformed. To exploit that with emotional reactivity and cultural advancement devolves to regressive depths.

Meanwhile in academia, the bastion of knowledge and wisdom, a presupposition asserts the posture that high levels of intelligence mount the precipice of human advancement. When the laughter dies down, some argue there is no guarantee of vast realms of enlightenment within the hallowed halls of ivy towers. According to some educators, just the opposite is the reality. One college professor offers an assessment of the “dumbest generation”. By way of little or no mature leadership, trendy vulgarity, simplistic thinking and a host of other intellectual maladies, younger generations insist upon a devolving mediocrity of infantile narcissism.

In addition, the contentions, as to a devolving state of arrogant ignorance, falls upon lazy self-righteousness smugly neglecting the rigors of human advancement. A failure to ascend beyond adolescence and insist upon a mature grown world condemns society to eventual collapse. According to some, a small niche of serious minded mature individuals, the “dumbest generation” or generations, do possess sufficient capacity to deal with future societal problems. A fundamental deficit of critical knowledge in areas of commerce, industry, government and educational institutions hastens the regressive deterioration of a democratic republic.

One may or may not want to transpose “knowledge deficit” with stupidity. Applying a stupidity factor might hurt the sensitivities of those desiring to remain adolescent into adulthood. Nonetheless, a serious shortfall in socio-economic and political astuteness traversing rampant throughout mainstream society is dangerous. Added to that burdensome responsibility of being generally smarter than average, are the woefully scarce levels of historical ignorance. As earlier writers warned, failing to learn from history is the vital lesson of history. Coupled with educational narrowmindedness, particularly in collegiate settings, along with ideological agendas, the perpetration of “dumbing down” continues to erode the higher prospects of intellectualism.

Assuming an exceptionality principle from the realms of real science, there are always noteworthy exemptions from sweeping generalities. However, when it comes to humankind and the maladaptive intentions of foolish behaviors exceptions few. With the political arena for instance, there are very few exceptions of extraordinary intellect, with wise and mature exhibitions of serious leadership ability. As younger generations run for public office, let us say those under 40 years old, where most millennials reside, the prospects get scary. The arrogance in ignorance expands astronomically among the younglings attempting to manage governmental organizations. At the national level, stupidity in spite of alleged college education is frightening.

In pursuit of the warn paths of least resistance, asserting the nebulous notions of pretentious offense, the ignorance of the many fixate on the “selfieness” of selfish promotion. Once the unimaginative protest proclaims self-defeat, the unlabored ignorance relishes in the satiation of less strenuous mediocrity. Criticisms rage the hallow failures of critical thinking for the amative excitement of myth, magic and metaphor. Refuge finds company in the shallow fluff of forsaking reality for immediate gratification. Blustering blather endangers the republic.

For the gushing eroticism of quick release, the fatted bellows bemoaning the logic and reason of serious thought spew impotent conjecture. As to the perpetration of tired ideologies, reinvented by venal strains of limp minded arrogance, fear of evidentiary substantiation perpetrates the replacement of facts with fictions. Haughtiness of unintelligent, uninformed and uneducated self-imposed offensiveness, breed the illicit dangers that threaten cultural ascendency. Within that framework, the absence of profound creativity stifles the advance of enlightenment.

Acting “anti-social”, a word used too frequently in an ill-informed society, portrays an easily chosen means to get what one wants at the expense of others. Given the options, people will always act in their self-interests, which could beneficial or not. Excuses for stupid behaviors have run the deceptive and manipulative gambits philosophies as “science”, to political commentary as fact. Fictions promulgate the deceptive intentions of ill-intentioned adherents, presupposing their ignorance remain unchallenged. As to a majority that follow the superstitions of misguided dogma, the doctrines of illicit ideologies forsake the viability of social advancement.

For some, there are UFOs in every mysterious movement in the sky. Others delve into the phantoms of phantasm, where ghosts, goblins and gremlins lurk. From there, the adventure skirts the outer regions of mindful ideations to chase the mysterious manifestations of social dysfunction. In that, the instigators provoke the terror of monsters from the Id. From illusions thought real, which fail the proof of real scientific validation. As gullibility runs amuck, the believability leaps to faithful allegiance to chemical therapies for hidden demonic forces.

To perpetuate an industry of “mind-body-illness-wellness” forsakes the liberation of individuality to promote the feeble excuses of the many. From invisible “addictions” to superstitious flirtations, inflictions unfold that oppress and enslave as many as possible. In part, such antics promote the anti-intellectualism rising in contemporary context. As a result, some fear the arrogance of ignorance is one of the most deadly threats to modern society.

January 4, 2021

Pakistani Media Organizations Are Unable to Formulate a Self-Disciplined Code of Ethics

From black and white to a pile of colors, from audio to video, from mini to nano, from wired to wireless and from newspapers to news channels and social media, a huge shift in the means of deliverance is visible. Communication through technology was one of the most popular discoveries of the artificial intelligence in the 20th century which is now more enhanced and modified using the structural development, technological advancement, and industrial progress restoration in the 21st century.

Pakistan, a developing country, is a democratic nation where freedom of speech is considered to be a human right according to Article No. 19 in the constitution. Freedom of speech does not refer to backlash a view or an opinion, instead, it refers to the presentation of one’s point of explanation and thoughts. Along with this right of speaking, media, especially new organizations that include the hub of social media, new channels, e-papers, web links, etc, is serving as the main source of the deliverance of awareness, speeches, opinions, and explanations. The film industry, Lollywood, and drama telecasters are also an important part of media organizations.

There are more than twenty-five news channels on air in Pakistan at the present. Moreover, there are about thirty newspapers that are delivered in several areas of Pakistan. When it comes to newspapers, many of them have sub-editions with respect to the language or the dialect is spoken in a specific region and the current affairs of that area. Social media accounts also deal with the provision of news alerts, breaking news, knowledge of current affairs, and etc. Several channels on television also screen drama serial. The Lollywood industry has made a huge and remarkable effort to reach the new steps of success and equivalency to the Bollywood and Hollywood in aspects of design, concept, audio, video, dance, songs, dramatization, script, and scenes. However, not every time a news is broadcasted or a film/drama is screened, a positive response in return is expected.

Since 2002, media has got the rights of free speech in Pakistan. Media, especially the news organizations have faced yellow journalism on their way to display and creating awareness. As mentioned earlier that a number of news channels are being broadcasted but not more than five of them are well-known and eminent. Among several newspapers, only a few are renowned and distributed at their respective places But the issue comes when a visible race is prominent among these organizations to achieve maximum television rating point (TRP) and to become a leading news channel or a newspaper. Either it is a news source or entertainment source in terms of drama channels, films, and songs, a high standard being achieved is clearly visible, however, the more standardized it is getting, the more unethical and biased vision is also seen.

Considering Pakistan i.e. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, from the name it can be determined that Pakistan is a country based on Islamic ideology. Democracy along with an Islamic perspective has to be implemented within the country. Rules, regulations, the system of authorities, and constitution must be in accordance with the Islamic values. Quaid’s demand for Pakistan was aimed to create a separate nation where Muslims can easily live their lives with respect to Islam and the principles. Moreover, this visibility of our identity is now missing.

Ethics in Journalism

Journalism is one of the most honored professions in the whole world. Journalism is naturally interlinked with honesty, loyalty, responsibility, and ethics. Being a journalist, it is one’s keen responsibility to provide true and accurate information to its audience no matter what means of communication is utilized. But today in Pakistan, journalism has lost its faith, accuracy, seriousness, and honor. Yellow journalism has contributed the maximum to the decline of ethics of journalism. Liberalization is creating continuous downfalls for the news organizations. There is no proper code of conduct formulated to maximize the power of news and the news channels in the society. There are immature acts in these organization that are not beneficial for the reputation and authenticity of a journalist. There’s a race going on as earlier mentioned in broadcasting and screening the news at first. While arguing and being busy in this race, the media actually forget to analyze and learn about the origin and the source of the news. Today, a news of minimum importance is as well spread throughout the country due to this act of giving no importance to the accuracy and proper means of communication. Hence, this head to head competition is contributing to the decline of ethics in journalism.

A proper framework should be designed in order to develop a supporting policy to journalism. There should be a representation of facts instead of opinions and biased statements and reports. A journalist has to be neutral in terms of giving opinions. He has to mention all the pros and cons of a respective news subject and has to deliver evidence with context to the subject’s favor and opposition in the hierarchy. Journalism should not be on behalf of any representative community, society, private organization, or a political party. It should mainly focus on the facts and figures clearly associated to the subject. A journalist must hold accountable for his/her statement or report. It should not violate the rules of PEMRA and should not harm people.

Ethics in the Film Industry

Islam, the religion of respect, love, warmth, and equality, supports progress and prosperity through its principles and ethics. Pakistan is an Islamic state but has adopted the idea of west instead of trying to remain the rest and the best. Our religion teaches about gender equality but it does not give more dominance to the women in our society. In the present time, the film industry of Pakistan has met technological advancements. Technological advancements are the new measure of success in a country. However, these technological advancements very cleanly violate the policies and rules of Islam. Women are considered to be equal, but this does not mean that they should be exhibited on televisions with half cloths, bold make-up, dancing on vulgar songs, as their own choice. Islam has remarked women as a diamond and as Pakistan is an Islamic ideological state, there should be policies collaborated with the religion in spite of altering it and let the west taking over it. Taboos should refrain from being forcedly incorporated into Pakistan’s culture and values.

Everyone, either it is an independent candidate or a political party representative, is fighting to get the powers of the country but no one is giving even a mild sort of interest in improving the sense of modernization in our country with respect to the basic ideology i.e. Islam along with the Holy Quran and Sunnah. It should be given proper attention as it is an important unethical behavior carried out by the majority of people with elite backgrounds.

Ethics and Social Media

Well, social media, not only in Pakistan, is turning out to be the latest significant court and forum of discussions. Lots of debates, arguments, exchange of claims, and opinions are now seen as an active part of human activity. Social media sites like “Facebook” and especially “Twitter” have now turned into a business promotion tool. Everyone has their own personal account of space and dashboard, however, this does not allow the ethics of a particular person to violate the terms of security and produce a sense of harm to its fellow citizens. Everyone has a right to their opinion and they must stick to it but should refrain from backlashing and using verbal violence against a subject. Social media is the fastest tool for communication and has left news channels and newspapers behind. Hence, it is the leading tool. However, the tool should be used in a positive manner i.e. to create awareness among the people about a certain issue, to communicate with those who are in need, to keep yourself updated about the current affairs, and to exchange opinions.

There are many people on these social sites that do not respect the integrity and esteem of the other person. They post stuff that might offend the audience and be a source of harassment, however, it is their right to express their though but there should be a proper policy and formula to maintain the use of social media tools for a limited purpose. A person posts a status and that can reach to millions of people who are even unknown to the source. There is a long way for the social media to go and it should be immediately taken into consideration for the empowerment of the means of communication and media organizations.

It is widely seen that in the past few years, the media organizations of Pakistan have lost their values, esteem, and have exploded as a genocide in a negative manner. Lack of professionalism has led to this downfall of the industry. There is a dire need of formulating a proper code of conduct that should support the Islamic ethics of the country and should be followed. Any organization that does not follow the agreeable terms and conditions should be given an immediate treatment in accordance with the formulated code of conduct for the country’s welfare and prosperity. There should be proper awareness and training sessions for the people associated with media in order to create an impressive personality so that professionalism may be institutionalized with a proficient technique and only such proficient individuals, leading the media organizations, should be given an official status in the Pakistani society.

January 4, 2021

Do You Have To Hand Over Your Facebook Password To Your Employer?

With the rise of social networking sites Managers want to review publicly available Facebook profiles, Twitter accounts and other websites to learn more about job candidates and Employees.

Many Facebook users don’t have their profiles set to private, which would make them available only to selected people or certain networks. There is a big difference between an Employer viewing public postings and private information.

Employees and potential employees should have a right to keep their Facebook, Twitter or other social media profiles containing confidential information private from the prying eyes of their bosses.

Employees and job applicants have an expectation of privacy when it comes to using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, including a right to have their right to free speech protected.

There is no need for Employers to demand access to applicants or employees’ private password protection information stored online. Yet there have been a number of reports of job applicants during interviews being asked to log into their Facebook and other websites and allow potential Employers to browse their profile, acquaintances and other personal information, whilst others are simply being asked to list their passwords on job applications. Other job applicants have even been asked to friend human resource managers!

Traditionally Employers havn’t demanded that job applicants hand over the keys to their house or bank account information, therefore why should they be able to gain access to their private information stored online?

It is like allowing your Employer to access your mail to see if there is anything of interest inside. It would be giving Employers the ability to act as an imposter and assume the identity of an employee, continually access, monitor and possibly even manipulate an employee’s personal social activities, communications, associations and opinions.

Facebook’s Statement of Rights And Responsibilities provides that sharing or soliciting a Facebook password is a violation of their terms of service, however Employers can’t count on Facebook suing an Employer for such a violation.

Legislation is being passed to address the current situation, based on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which deals with computer hacking, to safeguard Employees’ online identities. The Passwords Protection Act of 2012 will prohibit employers accessing “protected computers” where social media files are kept.

Subject to some exceptions, it will prevent employers from forcing employees and prospective employees to provide access to their private online systems, including Facebook, e-mail and other online storage.

The Bill is broad in its drafting and isn’t limited to any specific website. It focuses on the servers where information is housed or stored, taking the emphasis off having to identify and define a particular type of internet service. This means an employer will not be able to force an employee to provide access to their Facebook or Twitter account as a condition of their employment.

It will forbid Employers forcing employees to provide access to information held on any computer not owned or controlled by the employer. The Act will protect information even if it’s accessed on a computer owned by the employer. It will also prohibit an employer from discriminating or retaliating against a prospective or current employee if that employee refuses to provide access to a password-protected account.

Therefore if an employee is just looking at a social network on their work computer, an employer won’t be able to force the employee to disclose a password, as this would then enable the employer to access another computer, being the computer of the relevant social nework the employee is perusing. The protection conferred by the Act extends to gmail accounts, photo sharing websites and employee owned smart phones.

As the Act is drafted in a manner which is largely technology-neutral, it’s effect is not likely to be impacted by changes in technology. New online technologies continue to evolve and emerge, causing legislation to become outdated. However, because the Passwords Protection Act of 2002 isn’t limited to the protection of a particular service like a social network service, it is flexible enough to foreshadow evolving uses of technology, as it focuses on access to a computer.

The Act covers any new service as long as it’s not housed on any employer’s computer. There are however exceptions in the legislation and students are not protected from social media monitoring and can therefore be forced to hand over their social network passords.

However there is another Act to be introduced, the Social Networking Online Protection Act, which will plugs this gap by conferring protection upon both employers and students.

However if you are a Government employee or an employee who works with children under the age of 13, the Act enables States legislating in this area to provide an exemption, whilst another exception enables the executive branch to exempt entire classes of workers if they come into contact with classified information, including soldiers. These exceptions to the protection conferred therefore sanction broad and sweeping fishing expeditions into Employees’ private lives and communications.

There are already in existence a broad range of means for investigating employee misconduct. Further, internet activities constantly create many new types of records, and these can already be used against employees in investigations.


Whilst the new legislation is a major step forward in preventing Employers taking adverse action as a result of an employee’s refusal to provide access to their private accounts, Employers still reserve the right to permit social networking activities within their office only on a voluntary basis and implement policies in relation to employer operated computers. Once you are employed you may be required to sign an acceptable use policy relating to the use of social media within the workplace. You may have enjoy online free speech however you may be asked to sign a non-disparagement agreement which bans you from talking negatively about an employer on social media sites. Therefore employees who violate such acceptable use policies will still remain accountable for any activities which breach such policies.