Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Information=Danger

(A conversation which took place in Kharkov, Ukraine, between me and a bochur whose parents were from Russia)

D: In the USSR, it was illegal for regular people to have a copy machine or microfilm. The government didn't want people to be able spread information easily or quickly.

e: Wow. That's crazy. I'm proud to be an American. At least I know the press is free.

D: The Soviet government was built on lies. If people had access to non-government-sanctioned information, the government would fall apart.

e: That reminds me of how the Protestant Revolution started after the invention of the printing press, when people could get their own Bibles.

D: The people in charge always want to limit the information available to the masses.

e: But in our glorious republic of freedom, the government is not afraid of truth. They have nothing to hide. (This was during the Bush-era, when the Republicans controlled Congress, and it was cool to be pro-government.) And if they did have something to hide, we'd find out about it right away.

All: God bless America!

Well, apprantly Hereidism is based on falsehood too, because the Hareidi top-honchos are scared of information. That's right. We're not discussing pornography, evolution, Bible criticism, or any of that evil stuff. We're discussing information about what's happening in the Hareidi world. They want you to learn the news only from "respectable" newspapers like Hamodia or Yated. People should hear the news from blogs? or maybe get new ideas from anonymous commenters? People who the rabbis can't track down or censor? God forbid!!

27 comments:

  1. In partially related news, I was once driving in Brooklyn late at night and heard some hareidi talk-show. They guy was ranting and raving about how evil Mishpacha is and how wonderful it is that some columnist in Yated (or maybe some other hareidi organ) had also seen the light and had blasted Mishpacha in his last column. "Mishpacha is like a Hareidi People Magazine!!" he cried. (If only Mishpacha had real gossip...) I'm sure this guy screaming on the radio in middle of the night affected Mishpacha's editorial decisions. No late night Hareidi talk show host can keep VIN or CHI in line like that.

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  2. What does this have to do with freedom in the Good 'ol US of A?

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  3. freedom in the Good ol' US of A=freedom of the press=freedom of information=ruling elite does not rely on falsehood=the masses rule.

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  4. An apostrophe takes the place of a missing letter or letters. Therefore one should write "ol'" rather than "'ol."

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  5. What's interesting is that we have such freedoms and don't seek to know what's going on in the world. Or rather, blogging and Facebook are more appealing.
    Maybe that's just me.

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  6. but even facebook and blogging are evil! They don't want you to be able to connect with anyone around the world--that's why they campaigned against sms. You're in art school talking to gay shkutzim all day!

    It's not specifically news which is evil. It's openness which is evil. You're not into news, but you're certainly open.

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  7. What I mean to say is that we, Americans, are not censored and yet how much do we take advantage of that freedom? Or rather, look at what we use that freedom for.

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  8. true. Politicians can lie to us and get busted for it and many of us would never know.

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  9. I find the recent exchange between China and US very interesting.

    US: You have no freedom of speech.
    China: We do too. One is free to express himself whichever way he wants. As long as it’s not against the laws. So, nu, we have different laws. We have cultural differences. Stop imposing your culture on us.

    I can just hear the Chinese snickering in the background.

    Anyway, yes. Guttenberg press = devil’s machine. Internet = the product of sitra achra.

    Who said freedom of speech is a Jewish value?

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  10. US may have freedom of speech, but it has no freedom of thought. Lack of freedom of thought = copyright law. If I memorize your poem, you cannot own the poem unless you own my brain.

    In Russia, this is successfully avoided. Russian intellectual piracy is amongst the most successful struggles against the copyright tyranny. You can find almost any text in Russian online. Try finding most texts in English... there is a pitifully meager selection. There is no well developed concept of online library in English.

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  11. Anyway, I still don't get what your point is. We may discuss it at tonight's festivities if you wish.

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  12. Arguing with MyselfJanuary 28, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    An American and a Russian are discussing the world (in 1986):

    Johnny: "Do you know what I like about America? Anytime I want, I can march into the oval office and declare, 'Mr. Reagan, I do not approve the way you are running America!'"

    Dimitry:"We too have this, anytime I want, I can march into the Kremlin and declare, 'Mr. Gorbachev, I do not approve the way Mr. Reagan is running America!'"

    In general, Israelis are more extreme than Americans on everything from religion to politics and everything in between.

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  13. everything from religion to politics and everything in between.

    an unfortunate redundency

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  14. trs: The point is as follows:
    A system which suppresses information is often based on falsehood. Haredim suppress information, as is described in the article I linked to. One therefore has reason to suspect that they have what to hide.

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  15. I still don't understand what this has to do with the USA.

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  16. Of course, chareidim have what to hide. It’s called “the world”. It looks/feels/smells/tastes good. And since they have no way of dealing with the tests of the world except by building a wall around it (inside out), because they don’t have any inner source of strength in their commitment to Eibeshter, since it’s all chitzoinius and ego, all they can do is ban and hide it.

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  17. I'm contrasting the evil hareidim/communists with the good, truth-loving USA.

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  18. Ahh. All becomes clear. I thought you were trying to argue that the US was as bad as the parasites.

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  19. The only lies that US loves is the ones it invented itself. Kind of like with Winston Churchill and statistics.

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  20. I'm a sucker for Winston Churchill quotes: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill

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  21. It doesn’t have one of my favorite ones. When asked if British Parliament will ever pass a law making homosexuality illegal, he said: “No chance. Half of them cannot even imagine that such a thing is possible. And the other half is already practicing it.”

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  22. Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.

    * According to Churchill's assistant, Anthony Montague-Browne, Churchill had not coined this phrase, but wished he had.

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  23. Arguing with MyselfJanuary 29, 2010 at 2:00 AM

    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    ^
    re:anon (whom the probability of being "e" approaches one [see "apostrophe protection society" ibid.]

    oops

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  24. awm: what's up with all the ^'s? (the apostrophe protection society would not approve of that apostrophe, but screw them.)

    That anon wasn't me. Who it was, I have not a clue.

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  25. Nor was it I (note, prescriptively more correct than`"me"). Is it still cool to be pro-Bush?

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  26. anon: it certainly is not.

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Forth shall ye all hold.