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The Wikileaks saga presented a dilemma around freedom and transparency vs. security. I was initially rather gung ho in supporting the march towards transparency, even signing an Avaaz online petition in defending Wikileaks, which I promptly withdrew from my Facebook profile after being flamed by someone whom I had no wish to upset, nor to engage with in a debate about the the finer points of freedom as they might look to people outside e.g. the U.S. In any case, as time has gone on I've become increasingly convinced that this is a very nuanced debate. For example, the "Open Source revolution" is led by an ex-CIA agent who trained more than 66 countries in open source methods and who calls for re-invention of intelligence.
Imagine that we could build "start-up countries" and escape limiting, outdated forms of governance that hold people back. "Seasteading", according to its advocates, has the promise to do this, creating new "spaces for human freedom".
Are we "condemned" to be free, as Sartre would seem at first glance to have it, or is such freedom more, as he would perhaps really contend, an opportunity staring us in the face if only we'd pay attention?
In the last months of his life, a physically weakened Christopher Hitchens travelled to the Texas Freethought Convention and while there, an eight-year-old girl asked Hitchens what books she should consider reading. Intrigued, Hitchens spent 15 minutes chatting with the youngster and sketching out a reading list (below). His last words to her? "Lots of love...remember the love bit..."
Sad to read of the passing of Colin Wilson, a truly open-minded polymath, whose books, exhaustive range of interests, freedom of expression and seemingly boundless productivity I long found inspiring.
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding - Kahlil Gibran
Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience - Aldous Huxley in a letter to George Orwell http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/03/1984-v-brave-new-world.html
Why do you stay in prison when the door is wide open? - Rumi