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Affectations, such as of speech, are mires for those trying to live well; this labelling takes a fraction of the work you need to do your own thinking, and of the time you need to move others. You can live a good life even if everyone else disagrees, or if no one knows or cares.

Game theoretically, the person that never interrupts will be hindered during a debate by someone who does. One solution: adopt a posture so magnanimous that an aggressive response falls flat. Another: threaten to disrupt the conversation totally unless both sides behave.

If you disengage from other people, you get solipsism; if you don’t exercise your personal faculty of reason, you will fall prey to false gurus, cultists and demagogues. If you can face down a mob, and the mob of one in your head, you have at least a shot at freedom.

Hypothesis: low-integrity people have few qualms about expressing their views; high-integrity people are more cautious. Recommendation: high-integrity people should consider it their duty to publish, and their friends should consider it their duty to encourage them.

In John Carpenter’s “They Live,” the main character dons a pair of shades that reveal reality, undistorted: billboards read “CONSUME,” “OBEY,” etc. I need a pair that filters out speech (especially mine) arising through herding and imitation, and not conviction and thought.