Many of us dream of smashing barriers, making people’s lives better, and changing the world. The story of Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos offers a cautionary tale about where good intentions can lead when ego and ambition surpass technical expertise and override all ethical considerations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Over time, humans have developed more and more complex tools to make life easier and to reduce work for the human. To some, this is exciting. To others, it is insidious. Are we making tools that are making us less human? Will our tools one day replace us? What will our future look like, and how will robotics impact the human condition?
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?
Universal Basic Income, Civil Libertarian Style? (Some Philosophical Musings To Inform Level-Headed Debate)
With the pandemic, financial collapse, and a desire for national stability, a concept like the universal basic income (UBI) is a valuable tool for people of all political ideologies to consider as we explore options for developing and maintaining national stability.
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.