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The Irrepressible Lightness of Being

Anyone whose goal is ‘something higher’ must expect someday to suffer vertigo. What is vertigo? Fear of falling? No, Vertigo is something other than fear of falling. It is the voice of the emptiness below us which tempts and lures us, it is the desire to fall, against which, terrified, we defend ourselves.
–Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

We’d like to take a break from the general absurdity that is our usual fare here and direct your attention to a worthy effort by Amnesty International to counteract the censorship of information on the Internet by repressive governments.

Here’s the thing, though. For that repression to work, Western IT companies have to help. So Amnesty has set up a new campaign called “Irrepressible Info” to bring attention to these ideas.

George Orwell once said: “If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” We imagine that in addition to the boot, you’d see a CEO’s wingtip, working together to crush human freedom.

The irony of course is that the business world should be about freedom, not repression, because that is what capitalism is all about, right? Letting the market decide by letting people decide. Right?

It is a vertigo-inducing question. All these choices we are faced with — whether choices we get to make once or choices we make over and over again — all leading to an outcome that we may never know. Some live long enough to see the result. Some get their Velvet Revolution; the simple and right act of criticizing your government does not mean you end washing windows for the rest of your life instead of performing brain surgery. But you don’t get your Velvet Revolution in a vacuum.

Go visit Irrepressible.info and sign the pledge. And if you want to add irrepressible info to your site, as we have done, you can do that there too. Also, there is an excellent article in the Observer about the whole thing.