Running a blog is a peculiar activity. It becomes almost second nature to think about ideas, subjects and developments as a potential start for the next blog post. Many of these impulses never make it to a publicized posting though. Less then half of these impulses are followed up by an attempt to put words on “paper”. Only a minority of these attempts end up on the website as a final blog post. Sometimes they are embedded in other postings. Sometimes a single hunch can grow towards a whole series of articles like the last one on behavioral biometrics. But truth must be told: the majority is left abandoned for whatever reason and are never finished let alone published.
In one of my latest posts I payed attention to the Blog Index which is provided to enhance navigating the resources build up here at Red Planet Dust. I was wondering, with a wink to the subject of profiling, what it could tell others about my personal identity. By doing so I did scrutinize the Blog Index quite closely. At a certain stage I wondered if important issues and persons were missing in the Blog Index (i.e., lets call this “MiBI”).
After updating my tags and looking at some of the sherds of documents littered all over my folders I found two prominent subjects I had been writing about independently from each other numerous times but which never came even close to publishing:
While I had been hiding myself behind all kinds of reasons why I still had not written about Edward Snowdon it just hit me hard – right between they eyes – that the most important reason I did not write about Edward was due to Self-Censorship!
First and foremost I think Edward Snowdon has, and at the expense of his own liberties and safety, made apparent to what extremes our – even democratic – societies will go to control people by means of information. It is the interconnected world at its worst. For this I think Edward deserves to be highly praised for his courage to blow the whistle on the NSA practices.
While many Americans regard Snowdon as a hero, many others see him as the biggest traitor ever to have walked on the surface of our planet earth. Will I be marked as subversive when I proclaim my sympathy for Edward? Will I one day be asked questions by a TSA-officer and stopped from entering the USA for it? Does it really sound that far fetched or could this be reality someday?
How many times did I have the impulse to write about the NSA-files and the surveillance society we have come to live in and that I abhor? Countless times I must admit. Does it sound silly that a grown-up living in a democracy governed by law outside of the USA does not write about this subject out of fear that this can haunt him in the future? Or is this ultimately the effect of knowing a “big brother” is able to watch you and to use everything you do at any time against you at their discretion without the possibility to appeal?
Looking at the two white blanks staring at me from my Blog Index there is only one thing to do: to break my self censorship. I am not living in China!
In my post on the Blog Index I wrote:
“RPD is not covering all subjects – my particular political views, any possible comments on daily affairs and breaking news are pretty much absent – while some subjects like payments are covered also for professional purposes. As the blog is personal but pretty much tight to my company’s website I tend to refrain from strong language and (political) opinions.”
Self censorship is not in it self bad per se. What if you would say everything you think about your boss, your spouse etc, out loud? But free speech, and hence free society, can only be fostered if people dear to speak out and to act on it. That’s what Edward Snowdon showed us. If I am only a fraction of a man he is I at least can give him the praise he deserves.
For what ever it is worth Edward Snowdon is now on my Blog Index!