No Freedom In Free Basics

While Americans and much of the West are fighting battles for net neutrality and Internet privacy (winning some and losing others), many other nations are still struggling to get their people to sign-on. The holdup is twofold: cost and awareness. Various organizations and corporations are working with local governments and telecommunication companies (telecoms) to deliver fast and affordable access to the web while advertising its benefit. In the efforts to expand connectivity, no other company has faced as much scrutiny and ire than Facebook and their initiative Free Basics. Despite Facebook's claim that their quest for universal connectivity respects and defends network neutrality, their implementation is flawed and inherently incompatible with the principles of a neutral web.

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The Cold War of Guns

As the mainstream political debate over gun ownership continues in the United States, so does the tendency for the two major political parties to sound like echo chambers. Where Democrats in Oregon and California envision an idealistic future without the need for guns through regulation and taxation, Republicans in Texas hold strong to a fatalistic dogma where guns are not only a necessary tool in preserving the oneself and the country, but as an intrinsic part of the American life.

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Automated Income

Luddites activists in the 19th-century fought against the growing trend of economizing the labor force, fueled by a looming fear of technological unemployment and poorer working conditions. They argued that the machines would reduce the demand for skilled work and lower wages. Their efforts were ultimately defeated due to the consumer market's preference for cheaper products made in the factory. The Luddite Fallacy was born out of this struggle - the belief that advancements in technology reduces the total number of available jobs. Where in actuality the new technology only changed the composition of the labor workforce and opened up opportunity for and exploitation of low-skilled workers

So, in light of the inevitable future of automation, should we not just apply the Luddite Fallacy?

Short answer: no. Longer answer: read on.

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On Words

Language has allowed for the communion between peoples. No longer are we confined to our own heads, our own thoughts. We can connect to one another, attempt to understand one another, and allow for expression and healing. Be it spoken, written, or bodily; language has, and continues to, bring people together to create community. The responsibility to use words wisely weighs heavily on each and every single individual. Used unwisely, words can cause pain and suffering. Used maliciously, words can work to enslave the mind.

Then how can one expect radical change in the equality and treatment of individuals if we continue to use the same words that were formed in order to desparage and demean others?

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Against Torture

The US has an undeniable and extensive history in training and administrating torture. from waterboarding the Philippine Insurrection to supervising the South Vietnamese Army in torturing over 60,000 captured VietCong (many of which were merely civilians)

On December 9th, 2014, the Senate Intelligence committee released the Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program. The report is harrowing. The details help make what was once just rumored to to now be brought into the light of actual fact: that the technique of torture is ineffective in procuring accurate and useful intelligence to protect and save lives.

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