Wednesday, 18 August 2021

Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop / ISWG hop: Freedom of Speech …

 

My mind has been wandering along about this prompt – and I’ve been wondering how we got to speak …


We have two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one very clever brain which ensures an action … there’s also only one mouth – which we use over enthusiastically at times …

 


It is thought that speech evolved differently from other primates – we use our tongue for producing sound, together with lips and other moveable parts within the head.

 

Sorry it's black - I know there's a way to change
the background to white ... 

The sun rays are processed by the eyes, signalled to
be transduced, then to be processed by the brain - 
which would then allow actions ... 



Platter of sea-foods
It also appears that human speech might have evolved from our waterside past, being able to obtain brain-specific nutrients in sea-foods, voluntary breathing as we searched for shellfish to eat, and suction feeding of soft-slippery sea-foods … yummy oysters!  As we evolved … our oral apparatus adapted …

 


Freedom of Speech – now do we use that Freedom too much in our shouting matches … and in the open mouth ‘shouts’  - seeing people’s tonsils is too much!


A new reptile found in Australia - it has a large
mouth and I couldn't resist using the depiction -
a wide, cruel mouth ... 
Australian Pterosaur
 

Where does Freedom come from – our power source: the brain … we’ve learnt so much over thousands of millennia … yet it seems the ancient Athenian democratic principle of free speech may have emerged in the late 6th or early 5th century BC – the values of the Roman Republic included freedom of speech …  

 

Did you know there’s a Free Speech Flag … more details here at the link ...    

 

Free Speech Flag


I'm not sure where this post came from ... but that's me! and I'm not an academic ... but a blogger with a curious, eclectic mind ... who decided to go into how we were able to speak ... so I looked and used my common sense, if you consider I have any!, to write this odd post and here are the links I looked at ...


New Scientist - Time Line: Human Evolution 

Origin of Speech - see 'Background' section 

A Sense - the biological system used by an organism for sensation 

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

65 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

What a fascinating take on a challenging prompt. I really like the way your mind works and the rabbit holes you generously open for us to get lost down.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

That's such an interesting piece, Hilary, and sends me off on another train of thought connected with the many people I supported who had no speech. It's a gift that we seldom appreciate - at the moment there's a radio on in the background with lots of people who get paid for just talking, how strange is that?

Charlotte (MotherOwl) said...

Thanks for teaching me something new. I like the idea of a freedom of speech flag. And would like to use it somehow.

Gail M Baugniet - Author said...

Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to watch my grand niece begin to talk - via video. Her dad speaks only Spanish to her while her mom speaks only English. The capability of children to master languages is fascinating.
https://gail-baugniet.blogspot.com

Jemima Pett said...

That's an interesting way to handle this one.
I've been working on something, but really, my heart wasn't in it. It kept coming out too political. I don't want to write politics on my blog, especially as it's been getting a bit that way every now and then in my comments.
So, no WEP from me this month.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ EC – many thanks … I really didn’t know how or what I was going to write … but I’ve learnt quite a few things re my pondering … appreciate that you too like my rabbit holes …

@ John – thank you – I remember you worked with the deaf … and yes we don’t appreciate our ability to speak – and we use it so inappropriately so often. I know so much we can absorb without realising how capable our senses are.

I saw a woman, who’d lost her voice box because of cancer, but who could hear … visit a bank – where she told the teller she could hear … b-u-t the teller insisted on writing the answer to the woman’s questions!! As she laughingly said – who’s stupid? – made me laugh too.

@ Charlotte – I’m glad you were able to learn something … that freedom of speech flag was an interesting find – thank you.

@ Gail – how fascinating to be able to watch your grand-niece begin to talk – and yes it is so interesting to see how we can absorb languages almost through osmosis when so young. I’d love to speak more than one language … enjoy those video connections with your family and the little one.

@ Jemima – yes I almost gave up – but I too didn’t want to go political … Pat Hatt, another WEPer, has written a very interesting one on Sojourner Truth (1797 – 1883) – an American abolitionist, author, human rights activist …

Thanks to you five – the prompt is giving us some interesting reads – enjoy them … I am – cheers Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

Your curiosity keeps me reading, Hilary. I've always wondered how we were able to evolve so differently - so much of our evolution seems to have been based on luck!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I never knew there was a free speech flag. How cool. And so true about the mouth being overused sometimes. Thanks for sharing your great take on this prompt.

Joanne said...

I always learn something new from your wide ranging posts. And I do know silence is golden...too. Or as Alice Roosevelt said, "If you don't have something nice to say, come sit by me."

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Freedom of speech IS political and that cannot be avoided. That the Romans put it into law demonstrates this... and it continues to this day. It is not to be confused with the correctness of speech - the appropriate use of language to determine attitude and result. We are definitely not free to curse and blaspheme - although that barrier does seem to be broken now. However, I do believe that anyone who has something to say has the right to say it. It is always up to the listener as to whether they wish to receive and retain what has been heard.

It is not wrong to have varying opinions and to voice them. It IS wrong for any one party to shut down on another with the intent of preventing their voice from being heard. Look at what is happening in many places around the world (Afghanistan and India are just two examples)... YAM xx

bazza said...

You have the most eclecticist mind I know! (I just made that word up!)
CLICK HERE for Bazza’s literally lachrymose Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

Jemi Fraser said...

Love it! I didn't know about the flag and the Pterosaur pic is perfect!! well done!

Christine Rains said...

I love your take on the prompt. I do wonder if it is what we can eat being omnivores that helped develop speech. I had no idea about the flag either. Hope you're having a lovely week. :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Annalisa – thanks … I’m glad you enjoyed the read through and evolution is luck isn’t it – and we have the abilities via evoluation to think and try and work out how and why we got here …

@ Natalie – I didn’t know about the free speech flag until I came across it .. so felt it needed to be included. The mouth is definitely overused at times …

@ Joanne – thank you … I’m just grateful my brain wanderings can occur here and seem to be appreciated (if only to a degree!). Yes – silence is golden … and Alice Roosevelt’s comment is so true and needed – though her own actions perhaps didn’t follow that suggestion. She sounds such an interesting character …

@ Yam – yes now-a-days Freedom of Speech is so political and we all have opinions … yet we can all converse sensibly and kindly … thanks for your appropriate thoughts …

@ Bazza – yes I’m afraid I believe I do – still it seems to bemuse you, and others who venture here – thank you for venturing and wanting to comment with a new word – eclecticist … I’m a happy blogger!

@ Jemi – thank you … it made a different write up for this prompt … and I always enjoy adding in the pics …

@ Christine – the scientists do believe that our ability to talk, because we used the water to keep ourselves alive – and then develop on. Being omnivores did that help that development/evolution? – I didn’t go that deeply I’m afraid – it’s beyond my brain!

Thank you all – so great to have a range of thoughts – I love it – cheers Hilary

Keith's Ramblings said...

I think I speak for us all when I say what an interesting and thought-provoking little piece this is!

Jacqui Murray said...

It's a good post, Hilary. I have taken freedom of speech for granted but have come to realize of late, I can't. I'm shocked when I hear college students say it should be limited. Who told them that? I am becoming more tolerant of speech but less tolerant of the bullying that accompanies it too often.

Back to writing my story--such a wonderful escape.

Yolanda Renée said...

I agree with Sue, wonderful information, so much more to learn! I love how your mind works to produce such thought-provoking entries!
Excellent!

Hels said...

One of the things that amazes me about speech is that "content" is not the only thing we listen to. Out of the 7.7 billion people on the planet, I could detect Billy Connolly or Geoffrey Robertson by "voice" alone, within 30 seconds.

Olga Godim said...

Fascinating! A Freedom of Speech flag - I never knew about it.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

I think that freedom of speech is a motherhood issue that we all support, yet many give little thought to what it actually entails. I always worry when you get to the interface between freedom to say what you wish, however odious it may be, and the incitement to violence against others. At that point I think you have crossed the line into an area that should not be permitted. You should be perfectly free to say that you hate Jews, Women, Gays - pick your group - but once you say "Gays should be killed" or "Jews should be exterminated", that is no longer justifiable free speech. We have all seen the dreadful consequences when such license is sanctioned.
As to the mechanics of speech, I give you birds. The organ of speech for them is the syrinx located at the junction of the trachea and the bronchia, where air is passed over membranes to vibrate them and create sound. Many species have two separate "circuits" enabling them to sing two different songs simultaneously. Astounding, huh?

Sandra Cox said...

We do indeed tend to use our mouth over enthusiastically at times, Hils.
Great post.
Cheers,

cleemckenzie said...

You nailed it, Hilary. Freedom of speech isn't the same as shouting at each other and not listening to the other side. Thanks for this WEP contribution.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Now this was interesting

Dan said...

It is clearly possible to abuse this freedom. You raise some interesting points, Hilary. I wish more people would think like this.

Liz A. said...

Freedom of speech has been a big topic of late. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. That applies to me, of course.

A Hundred Quills said...

A free speech flag. That was most fascinating. You gave us all so much curiosity to be taken care of now. Having said that, I think Freedom of Speech is a good balance between knowing how well to use it and letting others use theirs as well.
Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

Pat Garcia said...

Hi Hilary,

I didn't know about the Free Speech Flag and found it extremely interesting. Went to the link and read all about it. I would like to see where this leads us to.
Shalom aleichem

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Keith – thank you – I just ‘needed to perhaps know’ how we’re able to speak … I like the learning I can give myself – even in that snippet of overview. Appreciate your comment …

@ Jacqui – great … I felt I couldn’t go into freedom of speech – too political for me. Equally I know I want to speak of things that matter … but I’ll discuss them with like-minded souls.

Yes – strange that students should be limited … but perhaps often should be done more quietly … it seems we need to follow someone else, without thinking through what is being said. We certainly don’t need to be bludgeoned into others’ thoughts … as you imply.

Excellent – I know you enjoy writing your books … an excellent escape from the world around us.

@ Yolanda – oh we’ve so much to learn haven’t we – and if I can I prefer to do something different and not follow the crowd – so thank you.

@ Hels – it is interesting about speech isn’t it – I too can recognise who someone is from the time they open their mouth – I’d know Billy Connolly … and though I know of Geoffrey Robertson – you’ve made me look further … an interesting man – whom I should know more about … thank you for that ‘push’ introduction …

@ Olga – thank you … the flag seems to be the thing people are picking up on – I hadn’t known about it either …

@ David – thank you for your thoughtful comment re Freedom of Speech – sometimes it is opined so strongly … not opening the door to discussion – which is really free speech … making sure we think …

Thank you re birds’ mechanism of communicating … I did pick up that birds had evolved differently as far as their vocal organs were concerned … but could not possibly stretch my brain in that direction … it was the fact that our vocal organs utilise the tongue – which intrigued me. So I appreciated being told about the Syrinx … I’ve noted!

Evolution is, I agree, quite astounding and extraordinary … thanks for this great answer.

@ Sandra – thank you - we open our mouths too much too often, and interrupt more than we should do – I know I do …

@ Lee – thank you … we are so opinionated and we most certainly need to listen and to think about others’ points of view …

@ Jo-Anne – thank you …

@ Dan – yes way too many abuse the freedom of being able to shout their way through/ out of things. I appreciate your support …

@ Liz – yes … there’s definitely too much ‘just because you can, means you should’ …

@ Sonia – good to see you – thank you re the flag – it’s an interesting development.

I agree re your comment – we need that balance … but sadly the mouths open and out comes so often nothing of value …

@ Pat - great to see ... and to see you've investigated the Free Speech Flag ... any developments will certainly be interesting - thanks for the visit ...

Thanks so much to all of you – I’m somewhat amazed with the comments on the post … and certainly appreciate that you could take something away to think about. Stay safe – cheers Hilary

Deniz Bevan said...

Fascinating post, Hilary! It's been a while since I read an overall history of science, like Boorstin's books or Bill Bryson's The Body. I'd like to read more of them!

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love your ability to think out of the box and your treatment of the prompt each time is so different and just fascinating! I had no idea that there's a freedom of speech flag - how cool is that?!
Agree with Yamini above that all sides should get a fair hearing and equal airtime. Unfortunately that's not the case in many societies right now, including mine.

Chrys Fey said...

I did not know about the Free Speech Flag. Interesting to note that the flag came about because people wanted to bypassing DRM to copy HD DVDs, and in order to do that, they needed the encryption key for HD DVDs, so the flag is embedded with the secret HD DVD key (the colors).

L.G. Keltner said...

It's interesting how the ability to speak may have evolved over time. I didn't know there was a free speech flag. That's cool to know. Great take on the prompt.

Denise Covey said...

Yes, Hilary, you can be relied upon to let your curiosity roll on and come up with a riveting conclusion. Wonderful thoughts on our speech. I didn't know there was a flag either. In the Bible it says there was a confusion of languages which is why we have so many different languages today I think. Babel babel babel...babble babble babble...

Lisa said...

I didn’t know there was a free speech flag! I also hadn’t seen an image of the Australian Pterosaur! Thanks for sharing these, and making us think yet again about what freedom of speech is really about.

retirementreflections said...

I'm inspired by your curious, inquisitive mind and your fun, creative and informative posts. Keep them coming!

D.G. Kaye said...

Well I love the free speech flag for sure! <3

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Deniz – thanks … I’ve never heard of Boorstin – I’ll have to find one of his books at the library. Bill Bryson too – must be in the library …

@ Nila – thanks … I’m just so grateful to have blogging friends who are kind enough to enjoy my posts and rabbit holes. The flag was an interesting find …
As you agree with Yam – we need to find equality and balance … so right …

@ Chrys – oh great – you’ve explained how the Free Speech Flag came about … I couldn’t quite grasp it – hence the link! Now I understand – thank you …

@ Laura – Evolution is such a huge subject to consider … how life came about and how it’s evolved over time. The Free Speech Flag was just an interesting find …

@ Denise – it is such a huge subject … and I’m always questioning things (always!) – it can be a pain … but keeps me amused and some of which I can use here … thankfully.
I’m grateful to Chrys for explaining the Flag! I ‘looked at languages’ … but that was stretching my imagination way too much …

@ Lisa – thank you … just a few different thoughts to bemuse … while both the flag and Pterosaur deserved to be aired in this post …

@ Donna – thanks so much … life here is like that – I’m just grateful to have bloggers who appreciate these rather odd aspects of life …

@ Debby – thanks … I’m just glad Chrys explained the hows and whys of the Free Speech Flag.

Lovely to see you all – and thanks for supporting me here in blogland … have good weekends - Hilary

Sally said...

Such and interesting piece.

Debbie D. said...

Hi Hilary, I love your take on the prompt. Absolutely fascinating! I had no idea there was a Freedom of Speech Flag. Thanks for the education. Cheers!

https://www.freedomandhope.de/blog said...

Interesting take on the prompt. Never really considered those who cannot speak when it came to freedom of speech. Thanks for prompting us to think!
Carole

Christopher Scott Author said...

A fascinating take on the prompt. Yet, I must wonder if the world would be better off if people valued silence over the sound of their own voice? Well done.

Anabel Marsh said...

Another one here who had no idea about the flag!

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

That was really interesting, Hilary. In this digital age, and when more things are blasphemous than when God ruled (bless her), I seriously worry about our freedom of speech - and freedom as a whole. One danger (and there are several) is that what we can say is determined by people who are intellectually incapable of seeing that they are as authoritarian as the people they despise.

Susan B.Rouchard said...

Thanks Hilary for all these great details on speech and your very original take on the prompt. Happy WEP week and thanks for commenting on my blog……problems replying on my own account……Blogger and I are not friends this month ! ha, ha, …..

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sally – many thanks …

@ Debbie – the Freedom of Speech flag was an interesting find …

@ Carole – thank you … you’ve raised the point about those who are dumb, and unable to speak … while I’m glad I’ve got you thinking …

@ Christopher – that’s a philosophical question … whether we’d value silence over the sound of our own voice – it’s something many could practise …

@ Anabel – thanks … the flag was a fun find, probably not that relevant in the circumstances – but useful to know about …

@ Mike – I’m just glad the post is getting people to think a little differently. I like your point about those who are incapable intellectually to realise their place in life … excellently said in your comment.

@ Susan – many thanks … I’m just glad commenters are thinking about the post. Sorry about your Blogger connectivity … it has its moments, doesn’t it …

Cheers and have good weekends - Hilary

Sue Bursztynski said...

Never heard of the free speech flag! Must check it out,

I do get a bit suspicious of Greek and Roman free speech, given what Socrates was executed for, and I really wouldn’t want to say what I thought of any given Emperor in Rome. But the Romans did have a thriving graffiti culture, and Aristophanes had fun sending up politicians of his time, so maybe…

Jamie said...

🦀🦐 Oh, seafood! Yum.
🐬 Maybe we learned speech from dolphins? Puts a spin on Seaquest DSV...

DMS said...

Definitely interesting to think about! Thanks for sharing your sources with us and for walking us through your thought process. I am always amazed at speech and how different languages have different sounds (which can be hard to learn as an adult when you have never made that sound before). So much to think about. Thanks!
~Jess

Nick Wilford said...

Fascinating stuff - happy to fall down the rabbit hole. The luckier among us take freedom of speech for granted when there are still countries where one can be imprisoned or executed for saying the wrong thing.

H.R. Sinclair said...

Very nice! And I was curious about the Free Speech Flag. It's been around since 2007! I had no idea.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sue – it seems to be a techie one.

You’re probably right … I only put that in because it seemed to fit what I was writing about – questioning how evolution enabled us to talk – but I need to study more of the Greek and Roman times …

@ Jamie – seafood is indeed yummy. Communication developed differently in each of the species … see David’s comment re birds. I note your comment re the early science fiction tv …

@ Jess – evolution is so interesting … I thank David for his comment … but languages too; I’m just glad the links open doors for you to investigate a bit further … we do live in a wonderful world.

@ Nick – thank you … it is a wide rabbit hole isn’t it … but we, who are able to speak, and to express our opinions … are as you say ‘lucky’ and we should be grateful and generous for our world. I’m so grateful to be in a free country … I feel for peoples in difficult countries …

@ Holly – thank you … the Free Speech Flag has obviously interested many commenters … so I’m glad I put it up …

Thanks so much to you all – we’re so lucky we’re free in this world today – all the best and stay safe - Hilary

Erica/Erika said...

Hi Hilary, Your phrase “…which we use over enthusiastically at times…” made me smile. How true. Fascinating about the brain specific nutrients. And, how the oral apparatus adapted. I appreciate your fresh take on this subject. You remind me what my daughter said when she was about 8 years old ‘you would be surprised how uncommon common sense is, Mom’ From the mouths of babes. Loved this post, Hilary! I learned many new concepts!

Sandra Cox said...

Fascinating that speech may have evolved from our connection to the water.
YOU take special care.
Hugs

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Such interesting stuff to think about! And, perhaps, an excellent reminder for me to eat more seafood, ha!

Kalpana said...

A free speech flag? I always learn so much when I read your fascinating posts. An interesting and inspired take on the prompt.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Erica - lovely to see you ... don't we shout too often - yes ... thanks for noting. The brain specific nutrients was a fun find ... this post is very paraphrased ... and with David's comment about how a bird's larynx evolved ... differently to ours.

What fun to remember your daughter's advice aged 8 - love it ...

Thanks - I'm pleased to have got you thinking ...

@ Sandra - good to see you ... I'd like to learn more too ...

@ Elizabeth - thanks ... and yes I love fish and eat it everyday ... but it was an interesting post to write - it's not very erudite, but is getting us thinking ...

@ Kalpana - a techie free speech flag ... thanks so much for appreciating my posts ... and I appreciate the 'inspired thought' ...

Cheers to you four ... take care and stay safe - Hilary

diedre Knight said...

Hi Hilary!

Such a thought-provoking post! Communication, I think, is intrinsic to all lifeforms, by almighty design. What differs is the way in which we (humans) choose to do so sometimes. More’s the pity.

However, I can’t fathom a world without communication. What would be the point of taking up space together?

I agree there are better ways than others to communicate.

For example, there was a collective sigh of relief among our closest neighbors when at age five I abandoned swing-songs at sunrise for storytelling on paper. It seemed the written word had accomplished what threats to disassemble my swingset had not :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diedre - good to see you ... and thanks for your comment. Communication is, I think you're right, intrinsic and necessary to life forms ... we need to protect ourselves and to contact others - people seem to have developed unhelpful ways of attracting attention, not communicating and/or discussing aspects - allowing other ideas to be thought about.

Ha ha - about your age 5 self ... much better to be quietly writing! We need to advance that to today's age too ...

Cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

I love that you have an eclectic mind.
YOU take special care.

Lenny Lee said...

Hi Grandblogmom

I knew you'd come up with an interesting take on this challenge. You made me curious and I'll look up more info on the history and development of speech. Wow, a freedom of speech flag. How cool is that! I'll have a look.

Stay safe.

L&BH.....Lenny

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sandra - yes the eclectic mind is always around gathering different thought processes ... thank you ...

@ Lenny - excellent to see you - and great you enjoyed the post ... and are curious enough to go look up more about how over evolutionary millennia on top of other things we defined speech ...

The Freedom of Speech Flag - is a techie thing ... but interesting to know about - and seems to have piqued most commenters notice!

Cheers to you both - and yes ... stay safe - Hilary

J Lenni Dorner said...

Very interesting, as always. You put a good spin and a nice amount of thought into this.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks J Lenni ... it was interesting to think about ... where did speech originate in the evolutionary order ... all the best - Hilary

JEN Garrett said...

I loved this post! I, too, went wandering off on a blog post tangent. It's fun isn't it? In my case, the result was a bit... shocking. (Oh, that's just me being punny.)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Thanks Jen - good to see you ... and am glad you went off down a few interesting rabbit holes - cheers Hilary