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(2010-09-04) Ok, one more turn

It's damn impossible for me to understand what the hell has become of the "Assange-gate" affair. The charges were dropped and then they picked them up again. A lot of details have emerged. In an ironic twist Mr. Assange was told that the transcript of his interrogation would not be made public, but guess what: they were. Before you draw any parallels between this and what WikiLeaks themselves are doing, remember that Mr. Assange is not a public figure in this case. Yup, privacy is still something that must be given to even a public person when he or she is not acting as one! Neither Expressen nor the other media care anymore. This has been the case since the Anna Lindh-murder in 2003, where a man who was later revealed as innocent was flogged in the Swedish press and television. He may not have been the most honorable man on earth, but he did not deserve it! The faces of the editors must have been red when the real murder was later named.

Why is this so hard? Well, I believe it has to do with the fact that the whole idea of privacy is eroding around us. Many people today view privacy as a quaint and anachronistic idea. This is not funny even though itís easy to believe that he was hung by his own petard.

Oscar Schwarz says my thoughts better than I can in this short post on Newsmill. Itís in Swedish, just so you know.

One of his main points is that the "The Assange-affair shows that the politicization of sex issues threaten the basic value of society" (that's a crude translation of the title of his post). I think he's right, but I want to take it a few steps further. We have start putting sexual meanings in almost anything. It started as a protest against the modernistic society and its showing of all kinds of sexuality under the proverbial carpet. But it has over time become rather neurotic in my view. Sure, it can be fun to see how much sexual undertones people manage to find in old movies, badly done comic books and even art. Sometimes its even there, but many times the joke is on the joker, who shows off a much dirtier mind than the creators ever did.

Still, it becomes a problem when seeing everything as sexual creates a society-wide scare. Don't believe me? Just look around for a while. There's hardly a day when there's not a news story where something is called misogynistic or just plain derogatory. They may not use those words, but does it really matter? The scare may seem weird until you start looking through today's news articles more carefully. They capture the "zeitgeist" quite well, even when they try not to. However, don't be fooled to believe it's all the newspaper's and media's fault. They're created by people like you and me and mirror a lot of the common ideas of the time we're living in. It's too easy to just blame the media.

Please don't get me wrong here; there are a lot of misogynistic and hateful crap out there. But like someone who only owns a hammer, we start seeing all problems as nails that must be hammered down.

I recommend reading "The Science of fear by Daniel Gardener". It should soothe your mind a bit. He is very adept at rationally explain how we all react to fear and why we're not doing it very well.

I actually spoke to Rickard Falkvinge (party leader of the Swedish Pirate party) and asked him if the Assange-affair could spell the end for them. He clearly stated that he did not believe it would. He meant that they have never been out to become one of the large parties and that the people voting for them would not be dissuaded by this affair. I think he meant that people voting for the Swedish pirate party generally are more concerned by the issues of privacy and dismantling of the free society than sticking to the "left" or "right" side. The issues does not change or disappear because of one man. Rickard also pointed out that WikiLeaks is an organization and not the same thing as Mr Assange.

This article (in Swedish) was written by a right-wing and a left-wing politician asking people to vote for the Swedish Pirate Party regardless of their political views. When it comes to this, things are bad. And they are. I agree with them completely.

Posted: 2010-09-04 by Erik Zalitis
Changed: 2010-09-04 by Erik Zalitis

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