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how much freedom is enough? most of my discussions with a colleague end with me offering the following argument, at what point do you curb an individual's rights? at what point does the abuse become intolerable for other citizens? for, to repeat an oft repeated cliche, with freedom there is responsibility, but not all possess or exhibit that sense of responsibility. two examples,

i) i'm no psephologist but i have had the chance to follow elections both in my country and here, the most recent one being that for the governor of california. a big difference in campaigning is the access to and use of mass media here, whereas in india it happens more through blaring loudspeakers and public gatherings. being poor enough not to afford cable television i was subject to gray davis' spiteful campaign against, initially, dick riordan, and then bill simon. i'm no fan of any of these men but almost felt sorry for bill simon when he was consistently and pitifully villified by the gray davis camp. there were similar barbs from bill simon too but davis always seemed more spiteful. objectivity was sorely lacking and this was, in my opinion, a classic example of the abuse of freedom of expression. self censorship should be the by product of a good education, something davis possesses, but unforutnately, in his case, it is not.

ii) one of the greatest strengths of a strong democracy is a free and fair judicial system. this is one institution however, that has been abused in every modern state, from america to bangladesh. i've read articles on how doctors prefer giving up their practice rather than continue paying exorbitant insurance premiums to protect against malpractice suits and then there are stories of ridiculous claims, made and awarded in cases ranging from that of hot scalding coffee to imagined sexual harrassment.

so my question is, if education does not impart balanced thinking, what does? is there a solution to this or are we already in possession of the best possible system with no likelihood of doing better? maybe i should have taken up sociology or political science instead of engineering.

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