Which has primacy?

  1. Freedom of Speech


  1. Autonomy in Commmunication

How do these differ?

What do they comprise of?

What conflicting or intersecting rights exist?

No, I’ve not defined terms. I have definitions in mind, but am also trialing language. The 2nd term is novel and appears not to be in significant use. I’m interested in seeing what others presume the meaning to be.

Boosts appreciated.


"Freedom of Speech" seems to me somewhat ambiguous and/or limited. It does not directly seem to address a set of related issues, or puts lines, walls, and doors or other access points in uncomfortable places.

So I did what I try to remember to do when thinking through nutty philosophical concepts, and inverted the notion: what is unfreedom of speech?

That would ... have constraints. Limitations, prohibitions, compulsion, ...

Which suggests that freedom might be thought of as part a larger scope of self-determined information behaviours, or slightly less cumbersomely stated: autonomy in communication.

The phrase seems to have little extant use, outside a small niche in public relations, so confusion should be minimal.

Framed this way, a number of topics related to free speech, but not directly addressed by conventional discussion, seem more clearly in scope: expression, nondisclosure, privacy, association, solitude, access, blocking, translation or conversion, veracity, crytographic methods, repudiation. ...

More on thread here (toot is from a comment):

@hhardy01 @carcinopithecus , @cjd @CaseGage @cadadr @jaranta


I have some partial ideas about this. I'll have to swing back around to it later today after I have the time to read through your diaspora post. This discussion is of great interest to me.

@hhardy01@mastodon.social @carcinopithecus @cjd @jaranta

@dredmorbius Your framing highlights one aspect of autonomy, communication. Another way to view this is to see autonomy as the fundamental value and communication just one way of expressing that autonomy. For example, freedom of association is seen as a human right, and there is no need to ground it in communication.

@jaranta Mental models are arbitrary, though one hopes useful, orderings of reality. There virtually always multiple, often conflicting, such orderings. I'm tring to come up witha more useful framing for communications than the existing free speech construction seems to afford. Broader in scope and more internally consistent.

I'm hesitant to rely on arguments founded on universal rights, not because I (necessarily) disagree with the rights proposed, but because the reasoning (in the correct use of the phrase) begs the question:

Q: Why should a person have ability X?
A: Because X is a fundamental human right.
Q: What is a fundamental human right?
A: A right that applies to all people.
Q: But doesn't that just restate the question?
A: ...
Q: Who determines what are and aren't fundamental rights? What if two fundamental rights, or sets of rights, conflict?
A: ...

(My strawmen are most obliging.)

I prefer to try workng from a combination of pragmatism, empirical evidence, and first principles (or causal foundations), in roughly that order.

Pragmatism, because extends what is into what may be (so you don't get stuck in the local pessima of "that's just the way it is", empirical evidence because desire divorced of reality is fantasy, and first principles / causality, because these establish dependencies and fundamental mechanisms.

Association and comunication are exceptionally tightly interrelated. Each feeds on the other, though association may be the more fundamental: it is the necessary precursor of a communications channel. Association without communication affords very little: communication is what makes association work.

@dredmorbius I don't disagree with any of that. I was trying to highlight that working from just one value (freedom) and one type of activity (speech) might not be the best option and e.g. human rights assume multiple types and sources of values.

BTW, it seems you might be heading towards Habermasian type ideal of communicative action.

@dredmorbius @hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta
Reading the diaspora post, that's clear and interesting. IMHO "The right to receive, or deny receipt of documents and, signals" is the key difference from freedom of speech, and should be closer to the centre of the argument, because concrete action based on that is more practicable, especially when third parties mentioned but not directly addressed are nevertheless taken as interlocutors.

E.g. even if I'm talking to my 1/

@dredmorbius @hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta ... disgusting bigoted friends on our disgusting bigoted medium, if we're talking about some person or group even without their presence or them being aware, so long as the communication is in public, that person or group is counted as an interlocutor in such a conversation, because there's inevitably an outcome for them.

Could be a fragile concept in legal practicality tho. 2/2


so long as the communication is in public, that person or group is counted as an interlocutor in such a conversation

That suggests some term to describe a discussion which has the appearance of beingclosed and private, but is in fact public or observed.

"Parasocial" is the term used to descrbe the relationship between a public figure, often an entertainer or informer, and their audience. See especially fandoms.

"Paraprivacy" might be the term for a false sense of a close and intimate discussion, though the participants themselves are together on a public stage.

As are we here.

Is there an existing term?

@hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta

@dredmorbius @hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta
None that I'm aware of.

I like me some creative but transparent terminology and am trying to come up with something, but it's a tough task.

Fun one: reality show privacy.

Googleable, nerdpleaser: nontimacy.

I feel a regrettable fondness about the latter 🧐

"Kayaalp, I. G. (2050). Face-saving patterns in nontimate conversations on udiddit.com. Discourse & Intercephalic Media, 20th issue, Vol. XXI, pp. 11954--11969."

@cadadr @dredmorbius I've seen this simply being framed as different expectations of privacy (e.g. from whom), since there is no clear cut difference between public and private. Great example are teenagers on public platforms on accounts their parents don't know about.

@cadadr @dredmorbius Oh, and credit where it is due: my example comes from danah boyd.

Boyd, Danah. 2014. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven: Yale University Press. danah.org/itscomplicated/.

@dredmorbius Nah, my most productive hour is the one just before the deadline, so can't make any promises about that 😜
@hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta

@cadadr @dredmorbius @hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @jaranta
Can we please define #nontimacy? I've never made a hashtag. I gotta admit I'm a little giddy about this

@CaseGage @hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @jaranta it was an attempt to come up with a term for toot.cat/@dredmorbius/10556135 so @dredmorbius's prompt is probably the best definition: a discussion [and/or a sitation?] which has the appearance of being closed and private, but is in fact public or observed.

@cadadr The third-party topic-of-discussion has an interest regardless of whether the discussion itself is public, I'd argue. Say, a grand jury, selection (or rejection) committee, star chamber, regulator, HOA, management review committee, etc.

What specific disclosures might be made could vary greatly with circumstances. This is generally ground decided case-by-case by courts. At great cost.

@hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta

@dredmorbius @hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta It's a thought I love to entertain and say out loud sometimes: "Exact" sciences have it way easier: Atom the Dum Dum just does what it's supposed to do, just a matter of time to find out what that is.

Social sciences tho are screwed bc while a brain is useful to the bearer, it's harder than subatomic particles to observe and reason about. We're trapped in this weird universe of some vague patterns and no rules.

@cadadr In physics, the entities observed and described don't change behaviour due to their own understanding of the model describing their behaviour, or even the less confining capability of observing and responding to their environment. They simply react to physical forces or influences.

Even this can provide unpredictable behaviour: the three-body problem, or double pendulum, macroscopically, quantum effects at atomic scales.

Even at the viral and cellular levels, biological systems are interacting with their environment. Social sciences themselves in part comprise that which they attempt to explain: they are endogenous to the system.

@hhardy01 @carcinopithecus @cjd @CaseGage @jaranta

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