1357: "Free Speech"

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby WibblyWobbly » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:19 pm UTC

Xaa wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:And again: That is not what "opinion" means.

A false belief about a factual claim is a mistaken factual belief, not an opinion. Something doesn't become an opinion just as soon as it's both sincerely believed and wrong.


Actually, yes, it does. The term "opinion" in the dictionary is defined as "a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge." Something most certainly does become opinion when it is both sincerely believed and yet still wrong.


But the nature of a view or a judgment is that both are subjective. Facts are not. If I tell you the moon is made of cheese, that's not an opinion, no matter how strongly I believe it. It's not an opinion because it is verifiable. Not subject to interpretation or judgment. If I tell you the moon is made of cheese, I am making a statement of fact. An incorrect statement, but a statement of fact nonetheless.

Now, if I tell you the moon is the worst satellite in the solar system, that IS an opinion, because it is a subjective judgment. There is no objective scale of "moon quality" I can use to rank our own little moon to Europa or Io. Whether it's made based on fact or not, it is a subjective conclusion, and thus an opinion.

If I said "Jews run the world", regardless of how difficult it would be to do so, that statement is verifiable, and thus not an opinion. Believe it or not.

Xaa wrote:I earned that tech several turns ago.

I'd push for Planetary Economics. Leads to Quantum Power.
Last edited by WibblyWobbly on Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:20 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:20 pm UTC

It's more complicated than a one-line Google dictionary definition. The takeaway point, though, is that generally speaking opinions are statements which aren't subject to verification the way facts are. False statements of facts are still statements of facts, subject to verification, they just turn out to be false.

In any case, the difference only matters if you use it in an argument that everyone should be entitled to their own "opinion". While I agree with you for the common subjective sense of the word (everyone is entitled to make their own subjective judgments about things), I disagree with your redefinition of the word to include mistaken factual beliefs. I mean, sure, you're allowed to believe ridiculous things, but I don't see any compelling reason why I should let you spew utter nonsense unopposed.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:23 pm UTC

speising wrote:by not providing exposure to certain concepts deemed harmful, it is hoped to change public opinion. see also cigarettes in movies.


Whereas in my opinion, by explaining why these concepts are harmful rather than simply treating everyone like children and hiding the naughty stuff in the attic, we mature as a species.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:26 pm UTC

WibblyWobbly wrote:I'd push for Planetary Economics. Leads to Quantum Power.


Yes, but then the damned Morganites corner the energy market and leave you sitting in a cave before you get it. :P

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:30 pm UTC



HAH! The google phrasing is identical to my own! Amazing.

False statements of facts are still statements of facts, subject to verification, they just turn out to be false.


While true, the point I was driving at is a false statement of fact that you believe to be true is not false to you. Hence, it's opinion. ;-)

In any case, the difference only matters if you use it in an argument that everyone should be entitled to their own "opinion".


Which I do believe, yes. Everyone should be entitled to their own opinion. Even when they're wrong. And if they're wrong, they should not be punished for it, but educated.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Weeks » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:34 pm UTC

Xaa wrote:
speising wrote:by not providing exposure to certain concepts deemed harmful, it is hoped to change public opinion. see also cigarettes in movies.


Whereas in my opinion, by explaining why these concepts are harmful rather than simply treating everyone like children and hiding the naughty stuff in the attic, we mature as a species.
Harmful speech isn't particularly hidden, and the intention is not really to hide it anyway but to remove it. Because these are not things the human race needs.

There's been plenty of harmful speech in the past which wasn't removed, and enough suffering caused by it.

Also, I think adulthood is a little late to be like "But please don't punish me, educate me! It's my family's fault for raising me a homophobe"
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Kewangji wrote:I'd buy you chili ice cream if you were here, or some other incongruous sweet.
natraj wrote:i have a bizarre mental block against the very idea of people enjoying mint and chocolate together.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Lenoxus » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:36 pm UTC

How
Xaa wrote:
avocadoowl wrote:So you support boycotts then? Because those are certainly speech.

Getting someone fired? No, I don't support that. If the company itself decides it's in their best interests to let them go, that's fine. But people actively working from outside the company to get someone punished for an opinion? No. Not even when they're wrong.


Is it okay to boycott a company so effectively that the company actually goes under, thus putting everyone in that company out of a job (at least temporarily)? (I'm not aware of that ever having happened, and I would be hesitant to support such boycotts unless it could be shown that the company, as a whole, really does insist on awful practices. Say, if Fisher-Price changed its business model to making exclusively racist toys, or making nothing but choking hazards.) I would assume yes (with caveats like mine).

If so, would you say there's an important distinction from boycotting with the firing of an individual in mind as a goal?

Also, I'm particularly struck by your explicit accepting of a company firing an individual, presumably for that individual's views. Why is it okay for a group of board members make such a decision, but not for a group of keyboard ninjas to counsel that board to make it?

By contrast, if all you wanted to argue is that the set of expression considered "covered" by free speech should be seen as analogous to religion, race, sexuality etc as things it should be wrong to fire anyone for, then by all means defend that view, and focus your attention on the firing, not (just) on the people who called for it.

I'm hearing a lot of shaming of posters here, but less for Mozilla (if we grant the assumption that Mozilla "fired" Eich in all but official terms). The implication is that Mozilla's hands were tied (or washed, like those of Pontius Pilate after the crowd called for him to free Barrabas instead of Jesus). It's odd.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Weeks » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:39 pm UTC

Lenoxus wrote:(or washed, like those of Pontius Pilate after the crowd called for him to free Barrabas instead of Jesus
in Jerusalem way back when the Roman Empire was still a thing, and then they crucified Jesus)
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Kewangji wrote:I'd buy you chili ice cream if you were here, or some other incongruous sweet.
natraj wrote:i have a bizarre mental block against the very idea of people enjoying mint and chocolate together.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:43 pm UTC

Yes, Ted, that was the reference?
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:44 pm UTC

Weeks wrote:
Xaa wrote:
speising wrote:by not providing exposure to certain concepts deemed harmful, it is hoped to change public opinion. see also cigarettes in movies.


Whereas in my opinion, by explaining why these concepts are harmful rather than simply treating everyone like children and hiding the naughty stuff in the attic, we mature as a species.
Harmful speech isn't particularly hidden, and the intention is not really to hide it anyway but to remove it. Because these are not things the human race needs.


While I agree that harmful speech isn't anything we need, the problem with suppressing it is that we have to ask "Who decides?"

Again, I return to William Lloyd Garrison. The majority of people at the time he lived disagreed with him. A minority disagreed violently. Today, we believe he was right. At the time he lived, however, this was not true. Certainly, it's easy to say "that is homophobic/racist/sexist/insert-whatever-ist-here speech and should be silenced." But that sets a precedent that I cannot agree with. To me, it is better to say "Here is why this is wrong, insert_explanation_here."

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby speising » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:47 pm UTC

in order for such a prohibition to become widespread enough to actually have an effect, a lot of discussion and explanations do have to take place anyway. it's not like one day, everyone wakes up and decides not to say something anymore.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:54 pm UTC

Lenoxus wrote:Is it okay to boycott a company so effectively that the company actually goes under, thus putting everyone in that company out of a job (at least temporarily)?


I don't even think a boycott that effective is even possible in today's world, but for the sake of argument, we'll say it is.

My answer: Yes.

Why?

Because in many ways, that's how change happens. You may remember the Montgomery Alabama Bus boycott. That boycott did cost drivers their jobs, and cost the city a large amount of money. But in the end, it was a seminal moment in the history of Civil Rights, and a necessary turning point for our nation.

If so, would you say there's an important distinction from boycotting with the firing of an individual in mind as a goal?


Yes, because the former targets an idea, whereas the latter targets an individual.

Why is it okay for a group of board members make such a decision, but not for a group of keyboard ninjas to counsel that board to make it?


See the above answer. More: Do we really want to live in a society where you must hold a pre-approved list of specific thoughts and beliefs to be hired? Particularly if those thoughts and beliefs are defined by an ever-changing group of keyboard ninjas? And your skill, talent and ability to do the job is entirely secondary to your ability to hold your tongue and speak only words that will meet with approval?

I do seem to recall George Orwell penning a little fable about a world precisely like that. ;-)

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:58 pm UTC

Xaa wrote:I do seem to recall George Orwell penning a little fable about a world precisely like that. ;-)
No, Orwell wrote about a world where the totalitarian government punished thoughtcrime. You're falling into the same trap of conflating the no-legal-consequences version of free speech with the no-social-consequences kind, and using problems with denying the first in order to support the second.

(Also, you seem to be unaware that different companies have different philosophies and respond differently to different (threats of) boycotts and would thus have different lists of pre-approved beliefs in your watered-down version of an Orwellian dystopia, meaning having particular views would most likely just mean you wouldn't get hired at some particular companies.)
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby addams » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:14 am UTC

speising wrote:this freedom of speech is not unlimited anyway. you'll hardly find any white person calling anyone a nigger anymore, for example. this has been effectively banned, because we do think that speech forms thought.
by not providing exposure to certain concepts deemed harmful, it is hoped to change public opinion. see also cigarettes in movies.

so, banning kkk parades is actually not a bad idea for me.

Banning them is a bad idea.
Let them march.

You are certainly not encouraged to Join In.
A silent witness is a very good idea.

One silent witness is a very sad thing.
Two silent witnesses is Tea After.
Three silent witnesses usually has popcorn.
Five silent witnesses often produces costumes and some more popcorn.
Twenty silent witnesses rarely stay silent.
Fifty silent witnesses have to be very careful.

Do you have a Permit?
Hoola Hoops are fine.
No Fire Dancers!

Ballerinas in Fairy Suits.
Men in Tu-Tus and Semi-Formals.
Some one might bring a horse.

The poor Neo-Nazi,
It's their Parade.

Why didn't they think of confetti?
An online boycott is easy.

Going to a Parade.
That takes commitment.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:16 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Xaa wrote:I do seem to recall George Orwell penning a little fable about a world precisely like that. ;-)
No, Orwell wrote about a world where the totalitarian government punished thoughtcrime. You're falling into the same trap of conflating the no-legal-consequences version of free speech with the no-social-consequences kind, and using problems with denying the first in order to support the second.


It's not an intellectual trap I fell into, I intentionally made the reference. ;-)

Let's take another story:

Imagine me for a moment waving a newspaper at you. Because I would, if we had newspapers anymore, but hell, they died years ago around here. But anyway... Newspaper, fluttering in my hands, with me pointing to the headline. The headline is from today, it says "Clippers Owner Banned For Life!"

Now, let's think about this for a minute. We have a recording, purchaed by TMZ from his girlfriend, which is allegedly of him yelling at his girlfriend, telling her not to bring black men to the games. Oh, the horror! He must be punished!

So, he was.

But wait a moment. Is that recording really of him?

There really is no proof that it is, other than the girlfriend saying "yes, it's him."

It has not been subjected to any kind of scientific analysis. It has not been presented as evidence in a court of law.

Instead, it's a recording sold to a gossip website by his girlfriend. The same girlfriend who is in a very messy three-way legal and emotional battle between him, his wife (yes, he's married) and herself over gifts he gave her, and has vowed revenge.

So: Did he really say it? And if he did, did he say it because he actually meant it? Or is it because there's a lot of super-high emotions going on, and that's merely a snippet of a conversation where he lost control of himself and began screaming stuff he didn't really mean?

We'll never know. He has been judged, convicted and sentenced by the Court of Public Opinion. All done.

So...

This really isn't a lot different from Orwell's "Thoughtcrime" idea. Because essentially, this is what we have. This man was accused of having prohibited thoughts, and was punished for it. That is the essence of thoughtcrime - you, having thoughts that you can (and will) be punished for.

Or, in the above case, simply being accused of having them.

My reference to "1984" was intentional. Because what I was talking about was you, as an employee, being required to hold in your mind a specific list of approved thoughts and beliefs - and should you ever express opinions contrary to those beliefs, punishment follows. That's thoughtcrime - you are being punished for your thought.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:20 am UTC

Yes, I understand that it was intentional, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a ridiculous slippery slope argument where you go from organizing the occasional boycott to oust the head of a company for expressing and/or acting on abhorrent beliefs, right to literal thoughtcrime.

And much as people like you seem to enjoy pretending they're the same, "the court of public opinion" is not the same as a court of law, and you don't do your arguments any favors by constantly conflating the two.
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:23 am UTC

We're still dancing around that same broad difference I outlined earlier, where your position is "Yes, it is okay to punish people for saying objectionable things" and I am saying "no, it's not." There's still no middle ground, there. ;-)

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby avocadoowl » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:24 am UTC

Xaa wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:
Xaa wrote:I do seem to recall George Orwell penning a little fable about a world precisely like that. ;-)
No, Orwell wrote about a world where the totalitarian government punished thoughtcrime. You're falling into the same trap of conflating the no-legal-consequences version of free speech with the no-social-consequences kind, and using problems with denying the first in order to support the second.


It's not an intellectual trap I fell into, I intentionally made the reference. ;-)

Let's take another story:

Imagine me for a moment waving a newspaper at you. Because I would, if we had newspapers anymore, but hell, they died years ago around here. But anyway... Newspaper, fluttering in my hands, with me pointing to the headline. The headline is from today, it says "Clippers Owner Banned For Life!"

Now, let's think about this for a minute. We have a recording, purchaed by TMZ from his girlfriend, which is allegedly of him yelling at his girlfriend, telling her not to bring black men to the games. Oh, the horror! He must be punished!

So, he was.

But wait a moment. Is that recording really of him?

There really is no proof that it is, other than the girlfriend saying "yes, it's him."

It has not been subjected to any kind of scientific analysis. It has not been presented as evidence in a court of law.

Instead, it's a recording sold to a gossip website by his girlfriend. The same girlfriend who is in a very messy three-way legal and emotional battle between him, his wife (yes, he's married) and herself over gifts he gave her, and has vowed revenge.

So: Did he really say it? And if he did, did he say it because he actually meant it? Or is it because there's a lot of super-high emotions going on, and that's merely a snippet of a conversation where he lost control of himself and began screaming stuff he didn't really mean?

We'll never know. He has been judged, convicted and sentenced by the Court of Public Opinion. All done.

So...

This really isn't a lot different from Orwell's "Thoughtcrime" idea. Because essentially, this is what we have. This man was accused of having prohibited thoughts, and was punished for it. That is the essence of thoughtcrime - you, having thoughts that you can (and will) be punished for.

Or, in the above case, simply being accused of having them.

My reference to "1984" was intentional. Because what I was talking about was you, as an employee, being required to hold in your mind a specific list of approved thoughts and beliefs - and should you ever express opinions contrary to those beliefs, punishment follows. That's thoughtcrime - you are being punished for your thought.


You mean the quote he never actually denied saying?

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:26 am UTC

Xaa wrote:We're still dancing around that same broad difference I outlined earlier, where your position is "Yes, it is okay to punish people for saying objectionable things" and I am saying "no, it's not." There's still no middle ground, there. ;-)
Yes, that's the problem with absolutist positions like yours: they never admit to even the slightest of gray areas or middle ground. If your position is that it is literally never okay to punish someone in any way for saying anything no matter how objectionable, then it's true that there is technically no middle ground between that and the more nuanced view that, no, actually it is sometimes okay to use some kind of social punishment for some acts of expression.

(Except, you already hold a less-than-absolute position, since you yourself previously exempted slander and intentional lies.)
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:32 am UTC

avocadoowl wrote:You mean the quote he never actually denied saying?


Yes. But "I have no comment" is not the same words as "Yes, I did it" - despite that the two are often interpreted as the same, leading to many politicians and celebrities simply opting to remain silent when accused of something.

The point was that there has been no hard evidence presented that this recording is even real, yet he was punished on the basis that it was - this punishment being for speaking words that were found to be objectionable, despite that there is no proof (as of this writing) those words are his.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Xaa » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:37 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Xaa wrote:We're still dancing around that same broad difference I outlined earlier, where your position is "Yes, it is okay to punish people for saying objectionable things" and I am saying "no, it's not." There's still no middle ground, there. ;-)
Yes, that's the problem with absolutist positions like yours: they never admit to even the slightest of gray areas or middle ground. If your position is that it is literally never okay to punish someone in any way for saying anything no matter how objectionable, then it's true that there is technically no middle ground between that and the more nuanced view that, no, actually it is sometimes okay to use some kind of social punishment for some acts of expression.

(Except, you already hold a less-than-absolute position, since you yourself previously exempted slander and intentional lies.)


Heh.

You have just said "That's the problem with absolutist positions like yours" then admitted in the last line my position is not absolute.

More to the point, I already said this myself, and pointed out my position contains a logical contradiction, in that I am essentially saying"all speech should be free and never suppressed except speech intending to suppress other speech, which should be suppressed." ;-)

Look, I don't wanna get into a fight with you, and I can't see this discussion having too many pleasant turns hereafter, so I'll bow out. It's been seriously nice chatting with you, and everyone else who spoke up. I'll try to visit again another day. :)

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Lenoxus » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:02 am UTC

Using the word "punishment" feels incorrect anyway, on a number of levels.

One is that there is no actual person or organization with relevant law-like power. Who is doing the "punishing", and how does that work? Those organizations which, in some cases, choose to dismiss their public faces are entirely free to ignore the crowd, to whether out the storm, or to rebut boycotters with a clever counter-argument, etc. Politicians, whose jobs are kept based entirely on public approval, do that all the time, and it often works. (And I sure hope you don't extend this "never punish any individual for their views" notion to the ballot, where it becomes nonsensical.)

I suppose in a broad sense you could say that the cultural zeitgeist is the judge and jury here. But this has always been the case, in countless ways we don't even think about. The culture's usually-unspoken sentiments about fashion have a silencing effect, for instance. Even rich people aren't all "free" to dress as they like if they want to avoid the perception of eccentricity. They could theoretically lose their jobs for it.

Another issue is that no one's talking about "punishment", but withdrawal of an extended privilege. Billions of people manage to get by without being the owners of a basketball team, and Sterling doesn't need to remain the Clippers owner to be alive and fulfilled. (Going back to point one, even the players wearing their shirts inside out lack the power to actually remove the owner, so they're not like a legal force to begin with, they're just people expressing their view.)

I grant that certain individual-targeted activities could constitute punishment. If someone hacked into Sterling's computer to install malware in retaliation for his views, that would be punishment, and I would consider it a low blow. But a general social outcry of "We won't cooperate with this racist", not so much. No one owes him cooperation, and no one owes him a presumption that he's entitled to that particular job.

Xaa wrote:So: Did he really say it? And if he did, did he say it because he actually meant it? Or is it because there's a lot of super-high emotions going on, and that's merely a snippet of a conversation where he lost control of himself and began screaming stuff he didn't really mean?


I'm troubled by the idea that racism can be acceptable in the heat of the moment, as you suggest. Swearing, sure, but racism? And yeah, we can talk about his upbringing or whatever, but that comes around to a point I made earlier: If we restrict ourselves to attacking bigotry only when it isn't an "understandable" effect of the person's upbringing, then we never get anywhere, because everyone becomes "grandfathered in", forever.

As it happens, knowing Sterling's prior history... yeah, he definitely meant it. I imagine his skeleton is at least 50% racist bones.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:11 am UTC

Xaa lost me at "I should be allowed to say that I intend to punch you without you being allowed to 'punish' me by threatening me with consequences for saying that" - if I'm understanding his argument correctly, then it's fine to say "I intend to punch you" but not to say "I intend to punch you because you said you intended to punch me".



For his more general point:

Yes, people sometimes get things wrong, and there are sometimes negative consequences of allowing people to suppress some forms of speech. But there are worse negative consequences if people aren't allowed to suppress some forms of speech. The fact that people sometimes make mistakes doesn't mean that people shouldn't stand up for their beliefs, any more than the fact that innocent people have been convicted of murder means that we shouldn't imprison convicted murderers.

The correct response to knowing that you'll sometimes be mistaken about what the right thing is is not to never do anything for fear of being wrong, but to weigh the consequences of being wrong and your degree of certainty that you're right, and try to maximise your chance of making the world a better place, knowing that sometimes you'll make things worse instead.


On the question of whether Mozilla should have appointed Eich as CEO, I assume they weighed the pros (co-founder and shaper of the company, long-standing CTO) and cons (unfortunate views about gay marriage) and decided that the latter shouldn't be given much weight. As it turns out, they misjudged the strength of people's feelings about Mozilla's official position on the gay marriage issue. Misreading the intensity of public feeling on an issue is not exactly gross incompetence - yes, they got it wrong, but it's a very understandable mistake.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby jsharpminor » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:55 am UTC

Lenoxus wrote:One is that there is no actual person or organization with relevant law-like power. Who is doing the "punishing", and how does that work?


Um, the NBA?

Lenoxus wrote:Another issue is that no one's talking about "punishment", but withdrawal of an extended privilege. Billions of people manage to get by without being the owners of a basketball team, and Sterling doesn't need to remain the Clippers owner to be alive and fulfilled.

Not buying it. If a filthy rich executive performed poorly and they revoked his membership at a swanky country club, reduced his salary to $850M a year, denied his vacations in the company's tropical island, and made him fly first class when they took away the Gulfstream jet, that would in fact be punishment. Much as it is also punishment to revoke a driver's license.

Lenoxus wrote:No one owes him cooperation, and no one owes him a presumption that he's entitled to that particular job.

No one owes him cooperation, except those contractually bound to it. No one owes him the ticket price to see a game, and if his arena is empty then boo hoo.

But this wasn't his job that was taken - it was his property. A team he owned. Making no comment as to the rightness or wrongness of this action, it was punishment of a severe kind.

Lenoxus wrote:I'm troubled by the idea that racism can be acceptable in the heat of the moment, as you suggest. Swearing, sure, but racism? And yeah, we can talk about his upbringing or whatever, but that comes around to a point I made earlier: If we restrict ourselves to attacking bigotry only when it isn't an "understandable" effect of the person's upbringing, then we never get anywhere, because everyone becomes "grandfathered in", forever.

Nobody is trying to excuse racism here. What's being asked is if he even agrees with what he said. If not, then why punish a man for an idea he doesn't even own? Most people have done and said things in anger that they regret later. If that's not you, then here's to you. But for the rest of society, if people have anger issues that ought to be addressed, exactly how does it make anyone want to admit to it if they know they could be stripped of their possessions if they did?

Lenoxus wrote:As it happens, knowing Sterling's prior history... yeah, he definitely meant it. I imagine his skeleton is at least 50% racist bones.


Then perhaps this particular case is justified. Who knows? All I know is the NBA hasn't reviewed the details of the case with me.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Use The Bug Luke » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:11 am UTC

Randall really can be a little fascist C**t at times - for example the anti-PUA rant toon.
But heck - we are debating an individual's online toon here, he can say whatever he wants.

Which brings me to this one. Oh dear, oh dear.
The arguments around Free Speech are never correct, they always miss the point.

Yes, if somebody suppresses anything you say, they are suppressing your Free Speech. Period.

But there may be tactical reasons for doing so: the most 'excusable' reason is to prevent the spread of a meme.

And that's it.

(And whoever sent me that board warning: I didn't read it and you can bite me.)

avocadoowl
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby avocadoowl » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:21 am UTC

Use The Bug Luke wrote:Randall really can be a little fascist C**t at times - for example the anti-PUA rant toon.
But heck - we are debating an individual's online toon here, he can say whatever he wants.

Which brings me to this one. Oh dear, oh dear.
The arguments around Free Speech are never correct, they always miss the point.

Yes, if somebody suppresses anything you say, they are suppressing your Free Speech. Period.

But there may be tactical reasons for doing so: the most 'excusable' reason is to prevent the spread of a meme.

And that's it.

(And whoever sent me that board warning: I didn't read it and you can bite me.)


No, they are suppressing your Speech. Period. Only the government owes you any sort of "free" speech.

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Weeks
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Weeks » Wed Apr 30, 2014 2:42 am UTC

Xaa wrote:I'll try to visit again another day. :)
When you come back, fix your keyboard or computer, because it's randomly inserting emoticons into your posts, and it makes you sound like a douchebag.
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Kewangji wrote:I'd buy you chili ice cream if you were here, or some other incongruous sweet.
natraj wrote:i have a bizarre mental block against the very idea of people enjoying mint and chocolate together.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby KrytenKoro » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:02 am UTC

Xaa wrote:We're still dancing around that same broad difference I outlined earlier, where your position is "Yes, it is okay to punish people for saying objectionable things" and I am saying "no, it's not." There's still no middle ground, there. ;-)

You're conflating "disagree" with "punish", and saying "punishment is not ok".

Which silences just a HELL of a lot of speech.
From the elegant yelling of this compelling dispute comes the ghastly suspicion my opposition's a fruit.

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addams
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby addams » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:06 am UTC

avocadoowl wrote:
Use The Bug Luke wrote:Randall really can be a little fascist C**t at times - for example the anti-PUA rant toon.
But heck - we are debating an individual's online toon here, he can say whatever he wants.

Which brings me to this one. Oh dear, oh dear.
The arguments around Free Speech are never correct, they always miss the point.

Yes, if somebody suppresses anything you say, they are suppressing your Free Speech. Period.

But there may be tactical reasons for doing so: the most 'excusable' reason is to prevent the spread of a meme.

And that's it.

(And whoever sent me that board warning: I didn't read it and you can bite me.)


No, they are suppressing your Speech. Period. Only the government owes you any sort of "free" speech.

use the bug is funny.

My nation may owe me Free Speech.
It can't deliver. For Reasons.

My nation is 4 Trillion dollars in debt.
It does not have a Free, AnyThing!

I think the Baggers may have sold some shit.
Ya' know. There are a few things missing.

Like the Crazy Old Uncles that took over, for a while.
They must have needed to sell stuff.
How desperate was their need?

They must have sold the important stuff, first.
They sold Rights, Responsibilities, Identities, Dignity.

They sold it, Lock, Stock and Barrel.
Of course, they sold a bunch of stuff before they went Hat in Hand to the Communist Chinese for a loan.

What did the Crazy Old Uncles want so damn bad?
What do you think?

Don't attack me.
Attack the idea.

A nice way to say the US does not protect freedom of speech?
I don't know how to say it nicely.

From your Government you may gain the right to speak your mind,
without fear of punishment from both Government and Independent Agents.

I think many Americans think they have such Rights.
I think none of them do.

We have the right to say stupid shit.
After 17 years of this shit, many have lost the ability to say anything that isn't Stupid.
What is so sweet and so sad is many know it.

I spoke to a young man.
He said, "I was taught Not To Think, in school."

He knows.
Like the Scarecrow. He knows.

He and I both know the Transformation for a Real Man is not as effortless as the Transformation for a Fictional Character.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Jave D
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Jave D » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:42 am UTC

Use The Bug Luke wrote:Randall really can be a little fascist C**t at times - for example the anti-PUA rant toon.
But heck - we are debating an individual's online toon here, he can say whatever he wants.

Which brings me to this one. Oh dear, oh dear.
The arguments around Free Speech are never correct, they always miss the point.

Yes, if somebody suppresses anything you say, they are suppressing your Free Speech. Period.

But there may be tactical reasons for doing so: the most 'excusable' reason is to prevent the spread of a meme.

And that's it.

(And whoever sent me that board warning: I didn't read it and you can bite me.)


Late to the party and brought no beer. Disappointing.

Throwing around accusations of fascism does a really good job at making you look like you have no idea what you're talking about. For that I salute you. Ignorance shouldn't remain a secret.

Unfortunately your character rolled a 2 so the attempt at casting Dispel Mass Arguments failed.

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addams
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby addams » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:55 am UTC

Jave D wrote:
Use The Bug Luke wrote:Randall really can be a little fascist C**t at times - for example the anti-PUA rant toon.
But heck - we are debating an individual's online toon here, he can say whatever he wants.

Which brings me to this one. Oh dear, oh dear.
The arguments around Free Speech are never correct, they always miss the point.

Yes, if somebody suppresses anything you say, they are suppressing your Free Speech. Period.

But there may be tactical reasons for doing so: the most 'excusable' reason is to prevent the spread of a meme.

And that's it.

(And whoever sent me that board warning: I didn't read it and you can bite me.)


Late to the party and brought no beer. Disappointing.

Throwing around accusations of fascism does a really good job at making you look like you have no idea what you're talking about. For that I salute you. Ignorance shouldn't remain a secret.

Unfortunately your character rolled a 2 so the attempt at casting Dispel Mass Arguments failed.

Jave?
Really?

Are you joking?
Did you read that?

Not, just, the insult to Our Lord and Master.
The, "bite me."

I am waiting for someone to step forward to bite LetTheBug.
Is that you, Jave? Have you come to Bite The Bug? ok.

Was the c***t word, Cunt?
That's an Oldie.

Is it a different word?
One from Urban Dictionary?

I try to keep up, Jave.
The nomenclature changes so fast.

Has Time invaded The World?
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Jave D
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Jave D » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:07 am UTC

My lawyers have advised me that I affirm my intention is not now, and has never been to bite anybody.

I like to think that the c**t word was "cult," referring of course to the many characters existing within Randall's mental universe and often portrayed in the comics who could, in a sense, be described collectively as a cult. Although I think that term is a bit pejorative, even if Black Hat is excessively creepy and controlling and possibly malicious and/or apocalyptic.

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yanfan388
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby yanfan388 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:28 am UTC

Weeks wrote:Oh, right, that's why he was so paranoid about his e-mail, he's an ArtistTM.

i don't think he was, but iTMam.

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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby addams » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:39 am UTC

Jave D wrote:My lawyers have advised me that I affirm my intention is not now, and has never been to bite anybody.

I like to think that the c**t word was "cult," referring of course to the many characters existing within Randall's mental universe and often portrayed in the comics who could, in a sense, be described collectively as a cult. Although I think that term is a bit pejorative, even if Black Hat is excessively creepy and controlling and possibly malicious and/or apocalyptic.

oh! Cult.
Well...Why didn't Bug say that?

People!

So, funny.
Were asterisk placed in an attempt to self-censor?

See? Censorship is bad.
What I imagined was worse than what Bug didn't write.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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yanfan388
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby yanfan388 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:25 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Did he say he was in his sixties, or that he had passed 60?

It probably was the same guy; he mentioned being in the music business.

He could have potentially been a cool addition to our community here, but unfortunately had a bad start that only got worse, and he essentially asked to be banned, so eventually Belial went ahead and obliged.

Kindof a shame, really. If he hadn't demanded to cut all connection with the forum, people probably would have been willing to forgive and forget a rocky start if the argument in this thread had died down. There are definitely other regular posters who started out from a pretty adversarial perspective but eventually got a feel for how we interact here and are now full members of the community.

that must have been bonsai. everybody seems older when you're a teenager. i'm really glad he's still around. i heard he's been kicked out of one or two countries, maybe a joke? getting banned here seems like a step down.

the story with bonsai and me was that he supposedly had connections with asian punk bands, and sometimes those bands were able to get information and reports from the outside during a bad epidemic. i remember asking him, if you were a smoker, were you protected? that's the kind of information we were being given. i think he was really a programmer but did something in music too. maybe just helped bands.

i've read bonsai's original post and don't see anything wrong with it at all. i thought the cartoon was talking about online forums being censored too. why everybody jumped him, i guess because they just didn't want those ideas discussed?

it looks like bonsai posted 25-30 responses before he really snapped out at somebody. nothing worse than maybe a little sarcasm before that. right away his account was restricted and his sanity and health questioned. my guess is he had already given up on getting through to anybody by then and was deliberately testing how far people would go. i think he had fun letting people show their meanness sometimes.

i know for sure he wouldn't accept anybody's forgiveness.

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Weeks
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Weeks » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:02 am UTC

yanfan388 wrote:i know for sure he wouldn't accept anybody's forgiveness.
I keep getting this vibe that bonsaipark is some sort of musical god we should revere for no good reason.
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Kewangji wrote:I'd buy you chili ice cream if you were here, or some other incongruous sweet.
natraj wrote:i have a bizarre mental block against the very idea of people enjoying mint and chocolate together.

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yanfan388
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby yanfan388 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:09 am UTC

Weeks wrote:
yanfan388 wrote:i know for sure he wouldn't accept anybody's forgiveness.
I keep getting this vibe that bonsaipark is some sort of musical god we should revere for no good reason.

you're a very funny guy.

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Weeks
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Weeks » Wed Apr 30, 2014 6:10 am UTC

I am flattered
suffer-cait wrote:One day I'm gun a go visit weeks and discover they're just a computer in a trashcan at an ice cream shop.
Kewangji wrote:I'd buy you chili ice cream if you were here, or some other incongruous sweet.
natraj wrote:i have a bizarre mental block against the very idea of people enjoying mint and chocolate together.

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Lenoxus
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby Lenoxus » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:11 pm UTC

jsharpminor wrote:Nobody is trying to excuse racism here. What's being asked is if he even agrees with what he said. If not, then why punish a man for an idea he doesn't even own?


In vino veritas. And anger, like alcohol, doesn't insert novel ideas in our minds. If racism is Sterling's back-pocket tool for expressing anger, then he's a racist.

I don't think much of a coherent distinction can be drawn between things people "intend" to say and things that they just happen to say because it was bouncing around in their skulls. At least, not a distinction I consider relevant to judging someone's character. If he were self-aware about his own racism and seeking to change, I'd give him a pass, but I don't think he is beyond being sorry he got caught.

Most people have done and said things in anger that they regret later. If that's not you, then here's to you.


Of course I've said things in anger that I regret later, but I also own those things; they reflect my character. And I hope none of those things crossed a line equivalent to the bigotry line.

But for the rest of society, if people have anger issues that ought to be addressed, exactly how does it make anyone want to admit to it if they know they could be stripped of their possessions if they did?


Sterling didn't simply "admit to" racism, something for which (to my knowledge) no public figure has been socially punished if they were contrite about it. It's entirely possible to make a genuine apology for racism, people just don't do it because they would have to make themselves vulnerable.

jsharpminor wrote:But this wasn't his job that was taken - it was his property. A team he owned. Making no comment as to the rightness or wrongness of this action, it was punishment of a severe kind.


If I'm not mistaken, although he was given a "lifetime ban", he still owns the team, because he hasn't sold it. Presumably this means he still receives some sort of revenue from it.

I am willing to call it punishment. I think it's still overreaching to say that anyone outside the NBA punished him. And I can't see any coherent way to develop a general ethical principle against such punishment. If Sterling were a coach, and he said his comments at a press conference instead of privately, would it be ethically wrong to fire him?

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addams
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Re: 1357: "Free Speech"

Postby addams » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:39 pm UTC

Lenoxus wrote:
jsharpminor wrote:Nobody is trying to excuse racism here. What's being asked is if he even agrees with what he said. If not, then why punish a man for an idea he doesn't even own?


In vino veritas. And anger, like alcohol, doesn't insert novel ideas in our minds. If racism is Sterling's back-pocket tool for expressing anger, then he's a racist.

I don't think much of a coherent distinction can be drawn between things people "intend" to say and things that they just happen to say because it was bouncing around in their skulls. At least, not a distinction I consider relevant to judging someone's character. If he were self-aware about his own racism and seeking to change, I'd give him a pass, but I don't think he is beyond being sorry he got caught.

That is a damned High Standard.
Every Freudian Slip to be dissected and punished appropriately.

That is funny.
This has become The American Way.

"What did you say?"
Sane people ask for Clarification.

Ya' add one little compound word and the whole conversation changes.
"What did you say, AssHole." See?

The word AssHole is often not said or not written.
It hangs in The Air, anyway.

Where did we learn to talk like That?
From each other?

Spoiler:
I spoke to a man about my background check.
He told me, "Anything you say and anything you don't say can and will be used against you."
He got all Gruff with me. "Why are you withholding information?"

Then it was my job to guess what he might be thinking.
That shit is weird.

I prefer the old fashioned kind of Background Check.
I give them my name and number.
They get back to me.

Don't let The Children or The Internet hear you.
They copy everything.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.


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