South African Skeptics

Censorship in the defense of free speech.

Offline BoogieMonster

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Some days I really wonder if I could ever be imaginative enough to make this shit up:

Quote from: Gigaom
In the wake of this week’s terrorist attacks in Paris, which began with the killing of 12 people at the offices of satirical publication Charlie Hebdo, the interior ministers of 12 EU countries have called for a limited increase in internet censorship.

The interior ministers of France, Germany, Latvia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the U.K. said in a statement that, while the internet must remain “in scrupulous observance of fundamental freedoms, a forum for free expression, in full respect of the law,” ISPs need to help “create the conditions of a swift reporting of material that aims to incite hatred and terror and the condition of its removing, where appropriate/possible.”
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline BoogieMonster

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Heh, I should have read all the way through, here's another gem:

Quote
They said they had resolved “to develop positive, targeted and easily accessible messages, able to counter this propaganda, aimed at a young audience that is particularly vulnerable to indoctrination.”

So... counter-indoctrination indoctrination.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Mefiante

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In a similar vein, Eusebius McKaiser weighs in.  His article is fraught with several sorts of dodgy presupposition and oversimplification.

While there clearly are individuals who time and again show themselves to be unrepentantly nasty pieces of work, censorship would still be a mistake.  Though there's no express right to it, the Internet provides a global forum where words, even highly questionable and unpleasant words, can be exchanged instead of bullets and bombs.

And, “You have not converted someone because you have silenced them.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Brian

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Let's be scared very scared! When this shit starts, where do "we" draw the line? Who draws the line? The religious and morally decrepid? the politicians and their corrupt buddies? A new section of the Anti terrorist lobby, let's say a moral police force? Interpol? I cringe when I hear morally outraged politicians spew this rubbish...The United Nations has for a long time been considering requesting governments to pass laws forbidding all "anti-religious utterings" and hate speech. Constitutions such as ours as well as the USA Decl of Independence are limitations on government, not on private individuals: they describe and proscribe government actions and conduct: they are not a charter for government power but the individual's protection against government. Laws that start to undermine these constitutions for the common good (an oxymoron if ever there was one) allows governments to violate the rights of individuals. We can see this happening increasingly in the USA as a response to terrorism.
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Offline Rigil Kent

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Any increase in censorship at this time is exactly the type of thing that would signal to the terrorist that his despicable methods pay. So go ahead, but do expect more attacks until such time as the level of censorship is to the terrorist's liking.
 

Rigil
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline BoogieMonster

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There's a point that goes whooshing over all of these people's heads:

The same people who supposedly "Are Charlie" the moment a photo-op is to be had, want to pass laws that would've made publication of Charlie Hebdo a crime. From a religionists' standpoint you could without breaking a sweat argue that they were the actual "trolls". In fact I've read several headache-inducing rationalisations in the last week or so doing exactly that: Re-stating the "she was asking for it" rape argument, but in the publication sense. All completely somber and without a moment's regard for what that would actually entail: Justification for Religion X killing people of Religion Y simply because Religion Y is "blasphemous". That's the problem with these kinds of laws: They are universally ripe for individual interpretation and biased enforcement. Or worse: Over-zealous enforcement.

Quote from: Brian
When this shit starts, where do "we" draw the line? Who draws the line? The religious and morally decrepid? the politicians and their corrupt buddies?

This is exactly why I don't believe in free speech coming with ANY caveats. If someone "incites violence" which does lead to actual crimes then charge them with conspiracy to commit a crime. That's already illegal. The premise here lies in the flawed perception that stopping someone from saying something in public somehow prevents them from planning and carrying out illegal deeds in private. I'd argue letting people say whatever they want online would result in a much fuller list of suspects for law enforcement to keep tabs on.

I would qualify that with "as long as one's right to privacy is maintained", but I'm not sure who I'd be kidding.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


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I'd argue letting people say whatever they want online would result in a much fuller list of suspects for law enforcement to keep tabs on.

And for many of them, it is also a safe way to blow off steam. Furthermore, message boards where people can freely spew their hatred often attract people with opposing views, and then they can all have a nice war of words instead of running around shooting people.

Anyway, thank goodness once again for the web, where it is pretty difficult to enforce censorship, and where people like the Paris shooters very rapidly become big time victims of the Streisand effect.


Offline BoogieMonster

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My words were barely cold...

Quote from: BBC
There should be no "means of communication" which "we cannot read", [David Cameron] said.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline cr1t

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Terrorist attack our freedom
And our governments react in taking it away from us.

In any case any sophisticated terrorist group could design a communication tool that
no NSA or likes would be able to intercept unless they compromised a device that was accessing the communication.

So just blanket spying is not going to deliver any real result.



Offline BoogieMonster

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Of course it delivers a real result, it delivers the result of those in power having even more power and control over your life.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Mefiante

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Amen.  ;)

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline cyghost

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freck yeah
Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit


Offline cr1t

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Amen.  ;)
'Luthon64

I fear that any real argument about islam extremist. Is being taken up by bigots
and will be used to fuel there own hatred of people who is either muslim or from
middle eastern decent.

So I would say that last line is false. There is such a thing as islamaphobia.
and to be honest the Americans and our government had a bad case of 'comunisphobia' there was just not a catchy term for it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McCarthyism

https://books.google.co.za/books?id=6SoXAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT185&lpg=PT185&dq=south+african+government+obsession+with+communism&source=bl&ots=22KsO91Jkc&sig=2f4ASqN6cFaHMKuCQ2wnS_xnvqM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BBC2VOOfGYX5UNOug7AC&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=south%20african%20government%20obsession%20with%20communism&f=false



Offline Mefiante

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But it doesn’t say, “There is no such thing as Islamophobia.”  When I sorta squint a ju-u-u-u-ust right, the caption looks to me like it actually says the following:
Quote
People have rights.                                                                        Ideas don’t have rights.
Every ideology must be subjected to open, free discussion in regard to its value or otherwise, without fear of reprisal.  No Exceptions.
“Islamophobia” is not racism, any more than “Communistophobia” or “Fascistophobia” would be, because Islam is an idea, not a race.
In a civilised society, no idea – religious, political or philosophical – can claim any special treatment, or be set beyond the reach of empirical evidence.
                                                                                           Support free speech.   Support people.
I really, really, really hope that I’m reading it correctly…

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Brian

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I believe I am reading like you too: ideas are open to debate/mocking/criticism: people are protected from the bulk of that (hate speech etc)... ???
Never let the child in you die!


Offline cr1t

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But it doesn’t say, “There is no such thing as Islamophobia.”  When I sorta squint a ju-u-u-u-ust right, the caption looks to me like it actually says the following:
Quote
People have rights.                                                                        Ideas don’t have rights.
Every ideology must be subjected to open, free discussion in regard to its value or otherwise, without fear of reprisal.  No Exceptions.
“Islamophobia” is not racism, any more than “Communistophobia” or “Fascistophobia” would be, because Islam is an idea, not a race.
In a civilised society, no idea – religious, political or philosophical – can claim any special treatment, or be set beyond the reach of empirical evidence.
                                                                                           Support free speech.   Support people.
I really, really, really hope that I’m reading it correctly…

'Luthon64

Yes sorry that is what it reads.

On second reading, I still have a problem with it thou.

Any meaningful discussion as the paragraph puts its should not be labeled “Islamophobia”.
“Islamophobia” is what bigots might have.

I have no phobia about muslims. I do want to stand up and say if you have believe that killing
people in defense of you religion is right. Your believe has no place in this world.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Oh for freck sakes

(My emphasis)
Quote from: NY Daily News
Pope Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good. But he added there were limits. While Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence, he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs. By way of example, he referred to a friend: "if someone says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch". "There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs."

See what I meant about the "asking for it" argument? These people truly believe they're making a consistent point.

So acc. to our dear pope free speech can, and should, beget violence. Except when it's other religions doing the violence. Then it's bad. Ya'll got that?
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Hermes

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"if someone says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch".

One may argue that the merits would depend on whether Pope Francis's mother was indeed a whore.  If a person entertains ridiculous beliefs, those beliefs deserve to be ridiculed.
My thoughts, my beliefs, my feelings are all in my brain.  My brain is going to rot. - Richard Dawkins


Offline Mefiante

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Maybe he became Pope because someone spoke ill of his friend’s mother, in which case it’s not clear who deserves some punch… ::)

More seriously, the whole basic premiss (i.e., that violence somehow constitutes a sane and commensurate response to words, however hurtful) can itself only be “defended” by invoking the religious principle that says there are holy cows that thou shalt not touch.

ETA:  And just when you thought the PC bag had been emptied, you find another pork sausage in it.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


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"if someone says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch".

One may argue that the merits would depend on whether Pope Francis's mother was indeed a whore.  If a person entertains ridiculous beliefs, those beliefs deserve to be ridiculed.

In any event, here we once again have a failure to understand the difference between the rights of people and the rights of ideas. Calling your mother a whore is simply not in the same category as calling your religion silly.


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ETA:  And just when you thought the PC bag had been emptied, you find another pork sausage in it.

Oh for vark's sake.

I wonder if it is not time to deliberately launch an "offend a Muslim today" campaign, so the poor sensitive little babies can develop a thicker skin.


Offline Rigil Kent

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I wonder if it is not time to deliberately launch an "offend a Muslim today" campaign, so the poor sensitive little babies can develop a thicker skin.
After which the nation can relax in front of an eight-thirty screening of Babe.
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline cr1t

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Oh for freck sakes

(My emphasis)
Quote from: NY Daily News
Pope Francis spoke about the Paris terror attacks, defending free speech as not only a fundamental human right but a duty to speak one's mind for the sake of the common good. But he added there were limits. While Francis insisted that it was an "aberration" to kill in the name of God and said religion can never be used to justify violence, he said there was a limit to free speech when it concerned offending someone's religious beliefs. By way of example, he referred to a friend: "if someone says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch". "There are so many people who speak badly about religions or other religions, who make fun of them, who make a game out of the religions of others," he said. "They are provocateurs."

See what I meant about the "asking for it" argument? These people truly believe they're making a consistent point.

So acc. to our dear pope free speech can, and should, beget violence. Except when it's other religions doing the violence. Then it's bad. Ya'll got that?

What was that line again about turning the other cheek. And who said it again?


Offline Mefiante

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How soon people forget that long before Charlie Hebdo offended Islamists with ridicule and lampoonery, the Qur’an offended rationalists with murder and oppression.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


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How soon people forget that long before Charlie Hebdo offended Islamists with ridicule and lampoonery, the Qur’an offended rationalists with murder and oppression.

'Luthon64

And this is indeed a very good, and not merely rhetorical, point. Why on Earth does a Muslim's offense count for more than mine? This is precisely the problem when we start censoring "offensive" literature: there are very few, if any, people who do not sooner or later run into something they find offensive. Most of us then just put down the book/magazine/whatever.

Anyway, it does present an interesting opportunity: if government does decide to start censoring offensive material, rationalists really should launch a lawsuit to have the Bible or Qur'an censored...


Offline Tweefo

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How soon people forget that long before Charlie Hebdo offended Islamists with ridicule and lampoonery, the Qur’an offended rationalists with murder and oppression.

'Luthon64
Mind if I use this as a quote to go with the "Draw Mohammed" picture?
If you don't agree with me you are obviously not from this planet.


Offline Mefiante

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Mind if I use this as a quote to go with the "Draw Mohammed" picture?
Please feel free to use it wherever and in whichever way you see fit.



And this is indeed a very good, and not merely rhetorical, point.
Thanks.  It occurred to me while hearing for the umpteenth time someone going on about how Charlie Hebdo should not have provoked Islamic sensitivities.

Why on Earth does a Muslim's offense count for more than mine?
It shouldn’t, but the idea that it does is just one aspect of religions’ success in arrogating special considerations for themselves.

Anyway, it does present an interesting opportunity: if government does decide to start censoring offensive material, rationalists really should launch a lawsuit to have the Bible or Qur'an censored...
An even better strategy might be also to include the Tanakh, the Vedas, Dianetics and other prominent “holy” books, and then getting each group of believers to call for the censoring of all the others.  (However, it remains doubtful that such an initiative would actually succeed in getting the basic point across.)

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Mefiante

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A long but worthwhile read: Defending Charlie Hebdo’s publication rights.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline Mefiante

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The insidious creep of PC officiousness continues apace.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Quote
in particular the “B-word” (boer)

Well, that's gonna suck for actual Afrikaans farmers, who I guess will now perpetually be relegated to the sin bin.

Quote
met at the weekend to discuss among others the terms used to refer to white, black and coloured people living in the province.

Gotta love those who think they're in charge: "We, your exalted and flawless leaders have had a meeting and have decided things for you! Our decisions are binding. That is all."

Quote
Members say issues that raised eyebrows included claims that the “coloured majority was being neglected for the needs of a small black voter base”.

To me that is just a sad, condemning commentary on the state of SA politics and the world in general.

Quote
service delivery should be focused on the majority race in the province - who had faithfully voted for the DA.

In case you needed any more proof that politicians don't give a flying freck about you....

"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


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I have been known to refer to myself as a Boer. I wonder if that would get me in trouble with the DA...


Offline Rigil Kent

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I have been known to refer to myself as a Boer. I wonder if that would get me in trouble with the DA...


Ag I'm sure a boer can call another boer a boer.
You know it's cold outside when you go outside and it's cold.


Offline Mefiante

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Old thread, I know, but this is too good to pass up, and it fits in here perfectly.

The art of judicious fine-graining: Free Speech vs. Just Access.  IMO, this article should be required reading for all classes where free speech issues are taught and discussed.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Offline BoogieMonster

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Yes. I have a problem with that article. It is horribly biased. Argue that it is biased in the "correct" (left) direction.... but it's still biased. It's telling us that it's up to some elite public institutions to decide on our behalf what we should be exposed to because most of us aren't the objective paragons of pure logic that they are. Poppycock.

The article holds up Murray's claims about IQ as an example of opinions the public should be sheltered from. But in the "debunking" article they link, we find this:

Quote from: Vox
We believe there is a fairly wide consensus among behavioral scientists in favor of our views, but there is undeniably a range of opinions in the scientific community. Some well-informed scientists hold views closer to Murray’s than to ours. And there are others who challenge views that we accept about the utility of the general concepts of intelligence and heritability.

So. To get this straight. This is free speech about a controversial scientific concept about which there is no consensus, with many facts that they concede in the article about which he is 100% correct, but maybe not quite exactly describing it the same way they would and making some undue inferences ... and those inferences themselves are in dispute... not resolved. YET, "we" know that what this guy is saying is wrong (according to us) and he should be fired and never allowed to talk at a university again? My fucking head hurts.

Note: I don't care if he's right or wrong at this point. Just the flimsy example being shown here as clear-cut settled and clearly justifying censure which is ... anything but, and revolves around a real scientific debate which we supposedly need to silence. Hurting again....

I'm sorry, I remain a free speech absolutist. The point is that not everyone in the public eye is a rational actor being 100% objective. The point is that in the long run it allows rational, critical, unpopular voices to speak to truth in spite of popular opinion or "settled fact". It should exist exactly because intellectual elites are often completely and utterly WRONG. Has history taught us absolutely nothing?

"Yeah but, Boogie, crazies end up on TV!" Yes, they do, because nothing is perfect. I probably prefer distributed self-correcting imperfection to imposed tyrannical imperfection.
"Monkey killing monkey killing monkey over pieces of the ground, Silly monkeys, give them thumbs, they make a club and beat their brother down. How they survive, so misguided, is a mystery. Repugnant is a creature who would squander the ability to lift an eye to heaven, conscious of his fleeting time here" - Tool


Offline Mefiante

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[The article is] telling us that it's up to some elite public institutions to decide on our behalf what we should be exposed to because most of us aren't the objective paragons of pure logic that they are.
I don’t read it that way at all.  What van Norden is saying is that (1) loopy viewpoints will never want for a soapbox (these days, the biggest being the Internet and its retarded descendants, social media), and (2) information dissemination agents (chiefly assorted media and universities) are in any case already deciding which information to publicise, but that their selection criteria are ethically delinquent when they treat all viewpoints as basically equal in merit.  Wherever possible, they should be guided by what’s verifiably true (in the sense of being in accord with available evidence, fact, and/or observation), or where relevant expert consensus is strong, or where customary rationality leans significantly towards a different take on a given issue.  To do otherwise, as when featuring the most salacious/titillating/provocative stories, just to keep controversy on the boil, is to violate their obligation as reliable sources of information; is irresponsible; and is a serious disservice to their audience.

In short, he’s advocating that such agencies must, each on its own terms, be guided by more stringent fact-based, rather than popularity-based, discretion when compiling content.  By no stretch of the imagination can this be said to be censorship, covert or overt.  The sheer variety and number of such agencies guarantees that every clamouring twit gets their 15 minutes, but the overall bias needs to snuggle up closer to what’s true.

'Luthon64
"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


Online brianvds

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What van Norden is saying is that (1) loopy viewpoints will never want for a soapbox (these days, the biggest being the Internet and its retarded descendants, social media),

Which is why, to significant extent, the debates about both free speech and copyright have become moot. People do now have freedom of expression, and copyright is a thing of the past, whether these are good things or not. We'd do well to learn to live with it.


Offline Mefiante

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  • In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται
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"Sensitive" people are now carefully examining the entire universe, trying to find something to be "offended" at. It won't stop until such time as the "offenders" learn to stop apologizing, and saying "freck off" instead. — brianvds, The ShoutBox Classics, 02/07/2018.


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Well, perhaps it’s not quite that easy in practice…

'Luthon64

Want to see that offensive video? Here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YJBWCLeOEaM&bpctr=1530168328

And that's sort of my point. It is true enough that one cannot say literally anything under one's own name, on a street corner. But upload the stuff to the web, and if it's popular it will spread like wildfire, and there is preciously little anyone can do about it. My guess is that even in China, a great deal of the stuff they try to prevent from coming in by having shut down half the web nevertheless gets in anyway. And of course, they will know all about the end of copyright... :-)

The web is like the printing pres in overdrive. It wasn't long after Gutenberg that governments frantically tried to control it, but such attempts were never entirely successful. Underground presses ran even in Nazi-occupied territories, despite draconian punishments. Good luck trying to control anything of which copies can easily be made and distributed.