On the streets of Hong Kong the locals are restless. The 50 year clock is ticking and the writing is on the wall. But who’s holding that metaphorical pen? The authoritarian overlords have pretty tight grip, but their newly acquired underlings won’t roll over. Solutions usually require the free flow of information – a condition “Chinese walls” aim to prevent.
In the digital public square debate is fast, emotional and instinctive; and arguments can be won by discrediting opponents rather than critical thinking.
Using the “sleeping dogs” idiom as a metaphor, this series considers how the permanence of our online activity influences the way we think and present ourselves.
As time passes and the opinion corridor narrows, the views we once expressed can become out of date or even offensive. Those long since forgotten online utterances are potential ammunition for future adversaries.
We’re left experiencing a tug of war between self-censorship and our own self-respect. Those sleeping dogs don’t lie forever, but do they tell the truth?
From the preacher, peddling fear in the shadows to the subtle art of peer approval. Some people impose their opinions and are reassured by having like-minded souls in the same boat.
While others, find group membership limiting and prefer to take the risk of thinking for themselves; they prioritise the idea above the person saying it, and see life more like a game of chess.
When the music plays people forget their differences, and their worries – but you can’t catch the deluge in a paper cup. So, when the record stops, the question remains; is it your move, or theirs?