Battle of Wits

Freedom Magazine. Battle of Wits issue cover

Political correctness is the rule of the day, and it reigns like a dictator. The insurgent invites harsh lashes from this tyrant: 10 of ‘em for the very idea, and 10 more for presenting it well. But the sting of the whip only fuels the fire in an iconoclast’s heart, deepens his battle cry against the armies of the status quo.

Scientology is no stranger to this—the reaching for more, and the pushback. But nothing has quelled the spirit of this religion, the conviction in what it needs to do. That spirit imbues it, fueling its growth and its social betterment activities, which include this magazine you’re reading now.

Words can leave you broken inside, but they can also uplift. That’s why we’re here. Freedom is our job, and for all the reasons people take pride in their work, we take pride in ours. There’s a kick we get from educating and entertaining the masses through scintillating magazine journalism, and we’re driven to the best of perfection by the love of turning a phrase this way and that—just so. We’re grateful for the opportunity to work with artists who forge with their swords, be it a pen, or a stylus or a stick of charcoal. And a noble purpose—we believe in that too.

With that information, and your view on how this interest might affect what we print, you can choose to read Freedom or toss it in the nearest recycle bin. Others in the information biz are a bit more cagey—and sometimes downright deceptive—in disclosing their motives, as John Sugg discusses in this month’s Media and Ethics, which is aptly titled “Spin Cycle,” because spin is what your just as likely to get as news when you rely on the mainstream media.

Employment is another theme you’ll find in this month’s Freedom—or rather, the lack of it and the problem that poses—in South Africa, where joblessness and socioeconomic inequality underlies the tragic xenophobic violence that has been a recent, unfortunate feature of life there. And right here in America, where this country’s veterans struggle against stigma to find jobs, and to adjust to civilian workplaces after risking their lives on various battlefields for the cause of preserving your freedom and mine to live, work, worship and read as we please. Happy Fourth of July.

Money is another theme—the lack of it for maintaining America’s vital infrastructure, which is crumbling whilst politicians stand by, and the future of it, in the frame of technology. Indeed, the framework underlying Bitcoin might transform democracy, news delivery, the fruits of employment and—well—just about everything. You can read about that in this month’s story “Coin Trick.”

It took an iconoclast under-wraps—Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous cryptography buff whose real identity is a mystery—to come up with the idea for Bitcoin, and the underlying accounting system that powers—quite beautifully and in a way that’s entirely new—a virtually incorruptible currency that cuts out the most ruthless of money mongers: you know them as banks and the government. So in his honor, or hers, or whoever Satoshi Nakamoto is really, we chose as a profile subject this month another guy who bucked the system—from the pages of history: Arthur Powell Davis, who brought you the Hoover Dam.

And, yes, we had to look to the past to find Davis, who is among that rarest of breeds in modern America: the iconoclast.

It takes a little gumption to go your own way—a little spunk—because there’s resistance when you don’t toe the line. When you look to the future, see the big picture, and behold mostly your heart—ignoring, with gusto, what everyman says. As L. Ron Hubbard put it “There’s nothing succeeds like insouciance. Plain flippancy will actually get more done in less time than anything else you can name.”

Amen to that.

—Jennifer Lankheim