Public Speech As Risky Behavior


I understand. Some people want to experiment with physical risk, some with sexual risk, some with chemical risk, and some of us with verbal risk.

In other words, we all want to obtain stimuli from exploring new sensations with the method of sensory acquisition that’s most rewarding for us.

When you take physical risk of skydiving or surfing it’s likely that you’ll hurt only unless you get a rescue worker harmed trying to save you.

When you experiment with sexual risk, you can spread disease, or interfere with relationships and families.

When you take chemical risk you can hurt yourself, but you can also use machines and vehicles, or even words, that bring you and others to harm.

When you experiment with words and ideas you can bring yourself to harm, you can speak and bring others to harm, and if you’re very good at it, and promote or publish it, you can cause the deaths of more people than anything other than the great plagues.

We all want to ignore external costs to others. We all want to say our pursuits of stimulation are not harmful to others. But it’s always false.

What’s counter-intuitive, is that the most dangerous things you can do to others is to promote damaging ideas.

The only worse thing you can do is engineer contagious diseases.

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