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19 November, 2003

If you can't not speak, stay silent

I'm not a fan of free speech. By that I'm referring to the 'right' claimed by some that they can say whatever they like, irrespective of whether that hurts or insults the listeners. There's something deeply childish about that attitude, analogous to not being toilet trained - wanting to relieve one's self, so leaving a steaming pile in the middle of the floor.

I was going to say I have a rather greater respect for responsible self-censorship, but I'd go further, as I really regard it as a bare minimum for social interaction. There are many issues on which I feel very strongly, but I like to think I have the ability to restrain myself from commenting in inappropriate situations, or to express an opinion in a civil manner when appropriate.

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