Because We Love Freedom of Speech

Freedom of Speech is not some magical thing: like all freedoms in politics, there’s got to be a justification for it. In the case of the US – on paper, at least – individual liberties are defined in terms of, “other than the things the state says you cannot do, you’re free.”  So, because the state has not legislated that I cannot dye my hair blue, I can dye my hair blue. Freedom of speech is specifically called out, though, as a positive freedom. It’s not that “because the state has not told you what you can’t talk about, you can talk about anything else” – it’s specifically stated:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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The Intelligence Catch-22

Let me introduce you to the “intelligence Catch-22.” In case you’re not familiar with Heller’s Catch-22, from the brilliant book by that name, it goes like this:

You cannot possibly get a medical discharge from the military based on insanity, because only insane people want to be in the military; therefore if you want to be discharged from the military you are sane and therefore your discharge is denied.

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Imploding Buildings

When I graduated, the first place I sent my resume to was Loizeaux Freres, in Towson, Maryland – about a half hour bicycle ride from my house. I believe I said something stupid in my cover-letter about how computerized process control was the way of the future and blah blah blah.

I got back a letter explaining that they mostly hire family, and what they do is serious stuff and they don’t hire entry-level positions. “Thank you.”

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