Miscellaneous

Who’s Afraid of Milo Yiannopoulos?

“I made a decision that has nothing to do with political ideology and everything to do with human rights and decency,” argued Adam Morgan’s article in The Guardian last week. The editor-in-chief of The Chicago Review of Books was justifying his magazine’s decision to boycott publisher Simon & Schuster in 2017. Why? For publishing a book whose author he finds repulsive. Stranger things have happened in the past year than the call to boycott a publisher in the name of liberalism, but not many. Morgan’s words do not sound brave. Instead, they demonstrate some of the most basic forms of repression, cowardice and fearfulness. Books become dangerous only when we show our own closed-mindedness to open debate. A hard-hitting review of Yiannopoulos’s book would have done far more to dismiss his slander and his lies. The Chicago Review should spend its time criticising ideas themselves, and not their free expression. …

Technophobes: Disconnected

“IT IS perhaps easy to forget that not everyone is connected to the internet. But one in five Britons do not use the web. Fully 16% of British adults have no internet access in their homes. A study from Ipsos-MORI attributes this phenomenon to two interlinking factors: ability and security. Of those who are not regularly plugged in, a large proportion would like to be better at navigating it. They can only perform basic activities, such as searching the web or sending an email.”   Read more at The Economist…

Abuse on Twitter: Troll attack

“THERE was a time when trolls were creatures you would find hidden away in Scandinavian caves and J.R.R. Tolkien novels. Today they are infesting the internet. Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist campaigner, Stella Creasy, a member of Britain’s parliament, and Mary Beard, a classics professor, are their latest high-profile victims. All three have chosen to retweet just some of the disgusting messages they have received since July 24th, when it was announced that an image of Jane Austen would appear on the next £10 note. Ms Criado-Perez had petitioned the Bank of England to choose a female figure.”   Read more at The Economist…