Nonfiction Essay

The Tyranny of I: Meditation on the Benefits of Censorship

My essay argues that freedom in society cannot exist without censorship. Because censorship is evident in every society, it becomes crucial in identifying where and how it must be usefully applied. For the questions posed by this contest, I explain why it’s tenable a company would allow a foreign dictator accused of mass murder to be part of a media platform, but not a native-born politician who occupies an elected position. I seek to illustrate the existential damage that conspiracy theories and unreality can do to a democracy if allowed to instantiate itself into the elected hierarchy, and that a suitable way to combat this collective poisoning is to allow various public entities to be engaged in censoring their own platforms. Finally, I make the point that cancel culture is a symptom of social mores and civil boundaries shifting, rather than speech
being shrunk or curtailed. I do this while acknowledging that as large shifts in public expectations change, there will always be anecdotal examples that are generated by these shifts, many of which serve the purpose of alarmists on all sides. The obvious fact is, every society engages in censorship. It’s merely a question of how much, and in what way.

On the Misused Buzzword That Is Cancel Culture

I believe that censorship is the only acceptable course of action for certain instances. There are those who directly use social media as a form of abuse, such as those who share the home of an individual and effectively dox them. That said, in my essay, I will strive to elaborate on how the concepts of censorship and cancel culture are distorted to fit political agendas. The increasingly frequent misapplication of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is a prime example of the way in which we discuss censorship without acknowledging that there is no law that prevents a private corporation from abiding by its own set of decency guidelines. In fact, Section 230 specifically establishes the allowance of such guidelines. But, despite this allowance, it’s also crucial that we take care in how we censor, as the deliberate banning of certain voices can only cause such personas to thrive in more toxic ecosystems in which we don’t have transparency.

Tuned To a Dead Channel: How The Climate Crisis can Revitalise Cyberpunk

In this nonfiction essay, the author argues that the climate crisis is the number one issue of our time. It overshadows every decision we make as individuals and as a society, and has forced many of us to ask, “What is the point in trying/living/building a future?” Many of us have severed our connection to nature so thoroughly and become so reliant on technology that we’ve forgotten what it means to be part of a greater ecosystem which doesn’t exist solely to prop up our existing way of life; only now are we slowly starting to wake up to this again. However, outside of a few movies and novels, the subject has yet to be tackled in any great depth in the world of fiction. In this piece, the author argues that the cyberpunk genre can be retooled to confront our fears surrounding global heating and revitalise itself in the process.

The Universe of Dancing Atoms

Often, one wonders about the limits and limitlessness of human possibilities, human atrocities, and compassion — the extent of everything we deem good and bad. In the lecture ‘The Value of Science,’ Richard Feynman touches on the fundamental natural attributes of the human self. Drawing on the observations Feynman presents, one can appreciate the ‘isness’ and spontaneity of human deeds.

The Other Insurrection: Pro-Navalny Protests Recall an Uprising a Hundred Years Ago

Protests are underway in Russia. Tens of thousands of people are out on the streets. Are the current violations of human rights in Russia on par with Soviet-era abuses of power and misrule? Is Alexey Navalny an earnest reformer or simply a rival of Putin seeking ever greater power? The following journalistic piece hints at Dostoyevsky’s “The Gambler” to shed light on Russia’s unrest.

Can Drugs and Alcohol Help People Create Art?

Does drug use encourage creativity and creation of art? Some classes of drugs appear to improve creativity or increase activity in the brain that could lead to more creativity. Other classifications of drugs may promote creativity, but could also lead to addiction and other negative health consequences. Do you think that consuming substances enhances your creativity? If so, can they be used responsibly?

Arts As Refuge Amidst The Pandemic

The world is gradually trying to recover from a pandemic that has resulted in one of the most severe global economic crises and therefore, quite naturally, arts and cultural heritage sectors have taken quite a major hit all over the world. Yet, what is truly amazing is that it has not dampened artistic spirits. What has dawned on all of us by now, surely, is that science and technology will get us out of this situation one day, but it is the arts, culture, and humanities that will get us through this tough time right now.

Becoming Monsters: How Does Power Transform Leaders?

Leadership uses power and influence to affect societal change. While socialized power is used by elected officials to benefit the majority of the people, personalized power is used for personal gain. In general, power can encourage leaders to act with assertion and confidence to make decisions, but it can also encourage leaders to focus on their own egocentric desires the more they become “intoxicated” with it. Historically, many countries have seen dictators, tyrants, and totalitarian or authoritarian rulers. But what encourages some leaders to fall into this power-hunger behavior pattern while others do not?