Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Reblogged:Of Bans, Quarantines, and Mandates

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Today, a story about a "ban" on smart phones for children in Ireland caught my eye.

Interestingly enough, like so many other words that appear in headlines, an often-misused word is sprinkled throughout:
Image by Tim Gouw, via Unsplash, license.
Parents' associations across the district's eight primary schools, where kids range from about 4 to 12 years old, can opt into the ban, The Guardian reported. It is meant to be enforced not only at school, but also at home. Area schools already banned or restricted cell phone usage, but the effects of social media remained present, according to the report.

"If everyone does it across the board you don't feel like you're the odd one out. It makes it so much easier to say no," Laura Bourne, whose child is in primary school, told The Guardian. "The longer we can preserve their innocence the better."

Not all parents have chosen to partake, but Rachel Harper, a primary school principal who led the initiative, told the publication that enough parents have opted in to make a meaningful difference. [bold added]
Contrast this with the more common (and perhaps modern) use of the term later in the same story:
Meanwhile, a town in India has banned smartphone usage for all under the age of 18, according to the Times of India. Those who are found using a smartphone will face a small financial penalty. Another village in India is imposing an evening "digital detox," the Times noted, with all smartphone users — children and adults alike — barred from engaging with the devices between 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily. [bold added]
The story from Ireland sounds almost quaint, with the idea of individual parents making decisions for themselves, free from government threats or extortion perhaps enough to make one reread the piece.

Most such stories would employ the word ban -- with approval -- to mean that a government is meddling in the lives of individuals, as it is plainly doing in India.

This reminds me of the widespread misuse of quarantine during the pandemic to mean universal, indefinite home detention, rather than its older (and more appropriate sense) of forcibly isolating contagious individuals who negligently or deliberately put others at risk of infection; and mandate, which is usually now taken to mean that the government is forcibly making people do things, rather than preventing them from doing so.

It is worth noting that a major presidential candidate is happy to capitalize on the confusion by selectively banning mandates by businesses that they should absolutely be free to impose on their employees and customers by extension of their rights to property and free association.

-- CAV

Link to Original

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...