Your Country Your Call - Cisco Sponsored Censorship is a very interesting site where people are invited to make proposals for improving Ireland. The project has a prize fund of EUR200 000 and its major supporters include the President. Cisco is one of the main corporate supporters.

Some of the proposals are very good and very interesting. Some are just interesting.

Contributors can comment on proposals and vote for them.
I proposed the following:

The most popular (non-spam)  proposal has 609 votes, so I am not expecting a trip to the Aras to collect my EUR200 000 any time soon.  I did make one other proposal which got 32 comments, but you can read neither the post nor the comments. The moderators of the website have removed it.

My proposal was that we "Abandon the Irish Language".  I'm sure many readers thought it was just a troll (noun: an e-mail message or posting on the Internet intended to provoke an indignant response in the reader) but I was quite serious. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, but that's for another post. There were many comments and some name calling. I pointed out that the Irish language movement has been hard at work now for about a century, and it has not succeeded. It is time for this society to have a serious discussion about what aspects of our culture can be saved and what aspects are worth saving.

The moderators of the site do not agree. This is from the site blog:
"Inappropriate proposals
A core objective of YCYC is to create a platform that will enable the presentation and development of ideas that can be put into action to develop opportunities for investment, employment and consequently prosperity in Ireland.

Unfortunately not all the proposals submitted to date are similarly motivated. ... The source of those postings have their own agendas and are not compatible with the objectives of Your Country, Your Call. On that basis they are no longer posted."

I have some issues.

The proposal with the most comments (267) and most votes (798) is about some drug that should be made  available. And while I have no opinion on the usefulness or otherwise of this drug, I suspect there is a bit of spam voting at work. But no corrective action has been taken there.

I have no doubt that if Irish became the primary language of the country (ahead of Polish and English) that the opportunities for investment, employment, and prosperity in Ireland, would be severely hindered. Yet somehow utterance of this heretical fact is not permitted. Furthermore I have no doubt that investment, employment, and prosperity in Ireland is being held back by forcing our young people to study Irish.

However, even if my proposal was of no merit, I do not believe that the moderators should have taken the extreme step of removing it. The rather ridiculous proposal to solve the twin problems of energy dependency and low self-esteem in pets, by putting cats and dogs on power generating treadmills, remains. As does the impossibly impractical, but presumably noble proposal to make Irish the official language of the USA.

In a week when Google moved from China to Hong Kong rather than tolerate censorship, I wonder how Cisco would feel about sponsoring censorship. I guess like China, Ireland too, has subjects that may not be openly discussed.


Enda said…
Ha I remember an old secondary school Irish teacher trying to trick us into putting as much effort into learning this useless language as Maths and saying among other things "a country without a language, is a country without a soul. . ." to which I shouted back to him "But a country with a backward language, is a backward country. . ." Typically, he banned me from the class.

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