Brain Food #546

Abuse of power comes as no surprise

Thoughts of the day

Today’s Brain Food was going to be about creating habits instead of setting targets, but when freedom of speech negates the truth and incites violence, it is challenging to write about something else.

The work of Jenny Holzer once again comes to mind, particularly her collection of Truisms, grandiose statements from multiple, often contradictory standpoints, and elevated into art through displaying them across different media: billboards, digital displays, metal placards, benches, even condoms. The irony behind her Truisms, of course, is that they are not always true, or at least not universally true. They are only true to the person they appeal to.

Freedom of speech should remain as it is: free. But it is essential to think about the impact of one’s words, for the speaker, and to be skeptical about what we hear, for the receiver. Dangerous statements will always be made, but they are only dangerous when people choose to believe what they want to believe.


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