Freedom Trinity

Do places still exist where one can be free of propaganda, political wars, or censorship…? Places where, if we need sanctuary in either mind or body through escape or enlightenment? Places that we can see as a true reflection of the vision that is America? Sometimes I feel so claustrophobic from everyone pushing their ideals on me. Since when does everyone else know what's right for the rest of the world?

I can only think of three places I can go and feel free in what I do and think. They all are based on a ruling principle: to bring all knowledge to the people. Maybe I just feel that knowledge is power, and knowledge provides a sense of security, or at least access to that knowledge. In many cases, ignorance is truly bliss, but having the choice to become enlightened is security… okay, four places if one includes non-public places… your own house… where you can buy whatever knowledge necessary.

Regardless, this is based solely on my experiences. The first on my list is the Internet. Currently, large corporations are attempting to kill that free space. Any form of knowledge or entertainment may be found at the fingertips. Getting into the Internet may be difficult for some, but it has become a mainstay source of information and interaction. The second is the university. The caveat with the university is it is not completely free of political or religious agendas; quite a few universities have become lost in political struggles or confine information based on a religion it ascribes to. The third is the strongest as it supports the other two. And that is, of course, the library.

Okay, sure, I am biased, but ask any person on the street if they go to a library or have a library card, and even when they reply no, they are still adamant that the library is a fundamental piece of a community. A university has been described as simply buildings gathered around a library. A university without a library (of any sort, including digital collections), is it truly a univeresity? It is questionable today, but at the heart of it, research is not possible without it (also debatable, I know). The Internet, that is questionable as to how the library has a role in it. But why is Google collaborating with libraries? Google has noted the importance of libraries and are working to improve searchability of information. The Internet is, in itself a very chaotic library of personal recollections, advertisements, research, and everything else.

So there you have it. Three places left for intellectual freedom, and each is seeing more and more restrictions, mostly over the past five years… should you be questioning the policies of the government? Possibly… *insert Zelda theme, begin search for the Triforce*