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That was initially built for an earlier technological age. So there’s a way in which that technology creates avenues for speech they didn’t previously exist in ways that out Ryan any government’s effort or even idea that that that that it could be controlled so free speech that so that any answers both questions and all you know way begins today . So the , the , the question of L Morse more free speech being more protected in the sense that technology in a way seems to be dictating a wider range of what can and what does get talked about but it’s also part of that question about where we are , in general , because it reminds us this is powerful informational technology , it allows us to share information , it allows us to have interactions with folks we wouldn’t otherwise be able to have , so that’s a crucial part of the game and won the completely negative fried it does open up some positive possibilities but you know the old saw for everything Everything gain something is lost and certainly these new technologies , take us out a face to face conversation they fragment the way that we receive information leaving to greater difficulty paying attention are making sense out of longer sustain cans of argumentation and so there is this kind of explosion a free speech more and more is getting said by more and more people M and one of the ways in which that’s explosion of more things being said by more people is the relationship of it’s interesting free speech tour capitalist economy because as you pointed out , making this quite clear and Citizens United and earlier Buckley video . The court has held that money can be acquainted with speech , which means that if you had the money to spend . You have the ability to speak across a wide variety of different kinds of media and so there’s as much speeches . There is a perceived demand or potential demand for someone to hear that speech . But as you get this increasing proliferation of folks . Speaking in all of these different kinds of ways . What are your reference . What is your common weighing voyage for the kinds of conversations do you might wanna hair for shared concerns and share policy the common language that you said warranted Davidson , which would be somewhat what they’re talking about a Sydney which might be , you know , all of these . Right .
And I don’t think that’s taking place in that.
Well , I I agree , I don’t think is taking place is my chin , there’s lots of things driving having including the this these micro electronic informational or technologies.
When computers first came out and I a computer in 1984 this is going to connect you with the world. Yes . And it does , but it also you know are paired affluence they isolate you and yes you’re connected . Yes but only virtually can write it , you’re not really connected sure it was sad . If you post something and I say it , and I don’t like it , I lead it I don’t I don’t listen to anything else you say why .
You can escape yeah yeah right. Yeah , yeah , think that’s great , those are 2 great examples of the we and call them the negative effects of these very productive technologies and again that’s where I think the critical thinking you build with higher education can come into play right you recognize that it’s not all good that this great power that we get out of these technologies that allow us to speak freely also potentially mis shape us in certain kinds of ways , right . Your example of hell . Our ability to communicate . Do these technologies leads us to isolate one another one of the most comical things I saw many , many years ago now was I was traveling and I think I was in Europe . European cafe where people or a nail for talking and chatting in there being the scene there where real vibrant communication is going all in and I looked up in all 4 people at this one table were all buried in their separate cell phones completely a woman aiming that vibrant kind a conversation that you had usually associated with those cafes .
And some folks say well we lost the front porch because of you know , there are lots of things that have have changed that. The idea of community .
People talk about it. Yeah .
It’s not really there anymore. Right , right . Growing up in the in the American South , end of the 1960s before air conditioning the front porch was an important part of community right you set out on the front porch neighbors walked in the cool of the evening : people stopped and visited now very few houses actually have a front porch and I gotta confess ours is on the back of the screen portraits on the back and , you know . Yes , I know all my neighbors . But I can tell you people that live in Columbia who don’t really know their neighbors . Sure , yeah , that that car certain make yeah there . There are 3 doors down , but I don’t know who they are , not on what they do , right , that was unheard of in in the world . Growing up in the 1950s so it’s it’s not just technology , it’s the whole way . Our society has over the last 50 or 60 years . I don’t want to say evolved cause I’m not sure , I mean that’s the right word . Right . How about it . How bout developed developed or use 24 like that it’s morphed yeah right and try to put what to what we have .
Well , several years ago. Robert Putnam wrote a book called Bowling Alone where he bemoaned how Americans no longer got together all on at night time weeknights weekend nights and did things like join bowling leagues because that was a place where people came together in these kinds of face to face scenarios and they built community with one another through those practices we’ve increasingly and he’s got a lot of statistical information to back this up , become the people who don’t bowl with other people . If we do bowl we bowl alone , a lot of time for staying at home it watching TV or nowadays . Looking at these kinds of devices . So there is a way in which these things I can’t they eviscerated communities in the old face to face , but of course , they also provide potentials for building communities that might not have otherwise been possible . Right . So it’s , it is this double edge in this that we have to grapple worth .
Yes , you’re right , it can link you know the technology can serve as a link , but you know , weighing the pros and cons. It’s kind of hard and it’s not just bowling alone anymore . People don’t join Civic club right of the fraternal organizations are are all and Nightline land right yeah he was trying to cover all that stuff , I mean it’s , it’s the glue that kept community well I together . Why .
Yeah , no , I hear you. Yeah , so I mean I you know one thing that of folks who are worried about these kinds of things it seems I can think about is how do you create these kinds of public spaces that are not completely dominated by these information or technologies where people they come out they hear a lecture . They see a debate they watch apply they a musical performance etc . In some ways it gets taken care of by the broader economic civic culture that we have because some people want to see those things , but you know in in in lots of places across the country , there’s opportunities for creating more of those kinds of spaces and certainly in a smaller town like Rock Hill , where I live , where we have a university the University I think can play a part in creating you know what I would call a an economy of abundance right a center where people can take advantage of opportunities for things like these kinds of conversations creating these kinds of public spaces where different kinds of people could come together , maybe particularly people who don’t agree about things and have conversations is part of what we need because of course another problem that we have in terms of free speech . You know , country and we have lots and lots of free speech is , there is not very often a lack of civility that prevents people from even hearing one another when they have sharp disagreements .
Yeah , you know that the idea of of civil conversation. People can say thanks in public . Now the 10 years ago with but not had been yes that question of political correctness . It’s a question of common courtesy , right , that was a part of being a good citizen . Yes , Michael , let’s just say that were hit were for sure are dealing with the electronic world .