Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pushing Back

So there's been a trend over the last few years that most people should be concerned with, namely the way social media outlets have begun to censor their users. From Twitter banning Milo Yiannopoulos to the way Youtube has been demonetizing and otherwise burying content from users covering "controversial" topics. Google is just as guilty of it in some cases, but as a platform is so ubiquitous and sees such heavy traffic that they are too big a sandbox to be policed as effectively.

Why is this sort of stuff concerning? Well, beyond the obvious argument that freedom of speech is one of the hallmarks of a free society and these social media sites having a very easy to spot liberal bias, it raises questions about not only how the debate will be framed in the future, but how we think about the debate over politics and the course of our nation itself.

Anthropoligists have made the case for  most of the modern history of their discipline that the development of human intelligence is tied to the development of language, as we developed systems of symbols, sounds and codified systems to describe our world our capacity to explore it grew. Quite simply, without language, the human brain would not have developed as it did.
What does that mean for debate? Well, if you control the language around ideas, you control how people interact with those ideas themselves. In a move pretty solidly out of the story 1984 modern liberal media moguls are trying to control how people think by controlling what they talk about, and how they talk about it.

Fortunately there is a social science concept that describes a behavior that acts as a counter balance. That concept is reactance, and essentially it means that so long as people have a sense of agency or of their own ability to affect their environment they will react to the loss of freedom by trying to reclaim it. It's the push back affect. If you tell me I can't own a gun, I'll buy three more, if you tell a medical marijuana user he can't smoke anymore he will protest, and if you tell people to sit down, shut up and listen to their betters they get loud. As the liberal media giants try to tighten their hold more and more alternatives to their control sprout up, with technology progressing so fast in the information age there is no way for authoritarians to control everything we do and say, and that is a good thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment