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Friday, May 02, 2008

kuwaitis and the freedom to express

A small thought just occurred to me while reading some blogs and viewing photos produced by Kuwaitis online:
  • Some of the material portrays an immense latent talent in culture and the arts that has heretofore been hidden from public view and only now brought out for easy access on the web for all.

  • The web is providing an amazing platform for many people to express themselves freely (or sometimes not so but still trying) and liberates them from the suffocating constraints of old media and the bureaucratic controls imposed on them.

The liberties granted by this medium are mind boggling and lead one to think about the repercussions as this unstoppable (is it so?) paradigm shift propagates across the planet.

There are, of course, examples of places that take a much more stringent and authoritarian approach by blocking a population of greater than a billion people from blogging or accessing blog and public information sites. Big brother society can still be a threat and can allow certain groups to impose mind blocks upon people and alter their view of the world without them knowing it.

An information curtain is, however outlandish it sounds, within reach and ability of some governments and should be resisted strongly.

In the case of Kuwait it has always been a highly vocal and outspoken society, for better or for worse, but there is always the risk of this being perverted in the future by a change in management that decides we don't need so many people speaking their minds. It’s happened before elsewhere and vigilance against such a disaster is paramount.

In the United States, there are organizations solely dedicated to free speech and many more that include it with their basic principles (http://www.aclu.org). I think it is vitally important to set up and develop these watch groups to ensure that people are able to live as they desire within the rights granted to them as humans and citizens of the world.



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