Freedom of Expression

Break that chain and cry “Freedom!”

The freedom of expression is at once both a wonderful freedom to have and yet poorly understood by many people. It is divine to be able to say you believe something. It feels hellish when someone tells you that you are wrong, even if the subject is purely, er, subjective. I find it silly, depressing, and self-defeating when someone uses their freedom of expression to deny someone else the joy of self-expression.

Case in point, I recently saw an online conversation (a forum thread) in which someone explained that they hate Valve‘s Steam platform. That’s a perfectly valid expression. His expression was promptly met with about nine replies from half a dozen people trying to explain why he was wrong. And since it was a subjective thing, he couldn’t have possibly been wrong, unless he had justified himself by saying that a monster would have agreed with his position. Either a bandwagon or authority fallacy.

Another thread had several opposing viewpoints that were almost all valid. People have explained their positions and the owner of the software that they are discussing will have to make the decision based on all the viewpoints available. Lots of opinions, case studies, and examples were supplied. This is marvelous, because the discussion of the idea elevated it and informed viewers, including people who can make an executive decision about it. The knowledge exchange was immediate and informative. I wish all conversations could go so well.