How can we protect words from becoming cheapened? What kind of things can facilitate the emergence and transmission of the most valuable words? What kind of activity is listening? When is it time for silence and when is it right to shout? In the public space, democracy needs words that circulate unhindered, but often the words that we hear are the ones that least deserve it. In networks and in media, words are rarely cultivated carefully. The citizen is a speck lost in a limitless sea of connections, but still has the freedom to select which voices to grant authority to... i.e. which voices deserve to be heard. In those situations, freedom of speech is always an act of resistance and courage. But the right words, the best ones – the author tells us – are clearly not to be found in the public sphere, but elsewhere, in everyday contexts: «To hear them, all you need to do is stop and listen to how people speak to each other when they not only share the same language, but also the same air, affections and destinies.»
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