Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Theres an interesting Crossfire episode from 1986 on censorship available online and definitely worth watching. The broader lesson, I think, is that its amazing how much latent support there is for anti-democratic measures (restrictions on speech, and more recently renditions, torture, etc).

On a related note, what is the purpose does bleeping out swear words in radio/tv? Spoken language has redundancy in it, so that one can reconstruct the sentence even if some words are deleted - for example, in the above video, when Frank Zappa tells the conservative columnist "kiss my -bleep- ass," you know exactly the word that was bleeped out. Unless you attach some special meaning to the act hearing the swear word, the bleep does absolutely nothing.


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