The Sixth Conversation Thread

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sangi39
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 » 16 Mar 2020 19:25

Maybe people "stockpiling" fresh meats aren't storing them uncooked? Some people do their cooking for the entire week on, say, a Sunday, so I wouldn't be surprised to find that at least some of those people are now doing prep for meals further down the line on the same day, although, yeah, I don't think that's enough to explain it (unless people are now buying basically anything they can get their hands on).
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by kiwikami » 16 Mar 2020 22:43

Most of the fresh food here is still around, milk and eggs and produce included, while there is nothing frozen left on the shelves, no rice, no beans, no canned vegetables (or canned anything, really). There's still pasta, and plenty of fresh vegetables, so I just got some onions and peppers and chopped them up to freeze them myself. I understand stockpiling to some extent, but there's a line between wanting to be prepared to not leave the house for a few weeks and loading 30+ cans of tuna into a shopping cart.

At least there's still Easter candy. Give me sugar or give me death.

Also my university just announced that they're moving the next quarter up a week as well as moving it online, ostensibly to give professors more time to prepare online courses, which is nice, but it rather neglects the fact that professors now have to both move their courses online and take one less week of teaching into account. It's all a bit of a mess. I have a phonology experiment to run that needs human subjects, but we've closed down the lab, and I'm not sure what's going to happen with that, if there'll just be extensions of all deadlines for experiments across the board or if this will count as an official Requested Extension (which I hope it won't, as that doesn't look great on my academic record)... I've got about six weeks to figure it out, so fingers are crossed. And scrubbed with soap.
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus » 17 Mar 2020 00:47

On the bright side, the UK government seems to have woken up from its "let everyone get the disease and then we'll be immune!" fantasy, and is reversing some of the policies it had a few days ago (like, it's now working to start testing people again, having previously prohibited testing for anyone not critically ill).

Unfortunately, it's still determined to screw over anyone who isn't a big corporation. So, the PM has very carefully told pubs, restaurants, theatres, stadiums, etc, to all remain open... while in the same speech forbidding members of the public from actually visiting such places. Why the seeming incoherence? Because if he does it this way, small business, arts organisations and so on will go bankrupt en masse... whereas if the government officially requires things to close or be cancelled, those groups will often be eligible for insurance payouts or government compensation.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus » 19 Mar 2020 23:04

Another cruel irony:

- everyone 'vulnerable' (old or with underlying conditions) is meant to be completely self-isolating. Therefore, they're not meant to be shopping: they have to order online.

- it is impossible to order online. All delivery slots for all the companies are already booked well into next month, and even 'click and collect' (order online, pick up in the store or, now, in theory, from the car park) has been suspended.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 20 Mar 2020 02:56

Salmoneus wrote:
19 Mar 2020 23:04
Another cruel irony:

- everyone 'vulnerable' (old or with underlying conditions) is meant to be completely self-isolating. Therefore, they're not meant to be shopping: they have to order online.

- it is impossible to order online. All delivery slots for all the companies are already booked well into next month, and even 'click and collect' (order online, pick up in the store or, now, in theory, from the car park) has been suspended.
That hasn’t happened here in SouthEast Michigan yet.
There have been changes:
It takes the shoppers 9 hours to do the shopping, (it used to take 5 at the outside),
and they can’t deliver until the next day — or the day after. (Because they already have too much shopping to do! I think?)
Also they not too infrequently have to get you your second choice, because the store’s out of your first choice.
Still: it’s a lot easier than doing it myself.
I always tip them the maximum, because I don’t have to find or carry anything and I don’t have to stand in line next to random other people whom I don’t know for Sure aren’t infected.
If tipping turns out to be too expensive, maybe I’ll go back to shopping for myself after this is all over.
But if not, I’ll probably keep shopping online!

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by qwed117 » 20 Mar 2020 04:34

Salmoneus wrote:
19 Mar 2020 23:04
Another cruel irony:

- everyone 'vulnerable' (old or with underlying conditions) is meant to be completely self-isolating. Therefore, they're not meant to be shopping: they have to order online.

- it is impossible to order online. All delivery slots for all the companies are already booked well into next month, and even 'click and collect' (order online, pick up in the store or, now, in theory, from the car park) has been suspended.
Something that I've noticed is that particular actions that are intended to decrease spread don't necessarily have such an effect.

At my college they've eliminated dine-in (good), but replaced self-serve food places with attendant service- which means that if a single attendant (who interacts with several hundred people on a daily basis) gets sickened they have a greater likelihood of creating fomites in their environments and infecting hundreds during their infectious period. Essentially reducing low R0 patients but increasing the R0 of a small subset.

The same effect of releasing a good amount of their staff to self-isolate at home was also that a lot of dining places have shortened schedules, which has resulted in very large lines of people waiting for food... in lines, separated roughly a foot apart, in cold and dry conditions (prime coronavirus spread conditions). Oops.
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Dormouse559 » 23 Mar 2020 08:14

Random thought for tonight: We have the initialisms "wtf" (what the fuck), "tfw" (that feeling when) and "ftw" (for the win). That's three of the six possible permutations of those letters. Someone needs to come up with meanings for "fwt", "twf" and "wft".

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore » 23 Mar 2020 18:30

Dormouse559 wrote:
23 Mar 2020 08:14
Random thought for tonight: We have the initialisms "wtf" (what the fuck), "tfw" (that feeling when) and "ftw" (for the win). That's three of the six possible permutations of those letters. Someone needs to come up with meanings for "fwt", "twf" and "wft".
FWT might be part of a negative imperative:
“Hey! Don’t FWT!”
It might stand for “fiddle with that”, or some other wording.

I can’t think of anything for twf.
I think the w in wft is probably going to stand for “when” or “while”. But I haven’t thought of a whole three-word phrase.
Well, I thought of “who fucking talked?”, but I don’t like it.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by cedh » 23 Mar 2020 19:31

eldin raigmore wrote:
23 Mar 2020 18:30
Dormouse559 wrote:
23 Mar 2020 08:14
Random thought for tonight: We have the initialisms "wtf" (what the fuck), "tfw" (that feeling when) and "ftw" (for the win). That's three of the six possible permutations of those letters. Someone needs to come up with meanings for "fwt", "twf" and "wft".
FWT might be part of a negative imperative:
“Hey! Don’t FWT!”
It might stand for “fiddle with that”, or some other wording.

I can’t think of anything for twf.
I think the w in wft is probably going to stand for “when” or “while”. But I haven’t thought of a whole three-word phrase.
Well, I thought of “who fucking talked?”, but I don’t like it.
A few random collocations:

fwt:
"fall while turning" / "fail while trying" / "fail with tragedy" / "future will tell" / "feel with them" / "feel wild today" / "fun with toys" / "first wave through" / "fucking white trash" / "facing weird truths" / "full width trainwreck" / ...

twf:
"this will fail" / "this will fade" / "this will fit" / "this way forward" / "that was fine" / "that won't follow" / "that's what's focused" / "too weird feelings" / "take with fairness" / "take with faith" / "talent with future" / "there were fairies" / ...

wft:
"with full tilt" / "with full treatment" / "with full triumph" / "with full trust" / "with fake titles" / "with false tolerance" / "with fine tools" / "wishing for truth" / "waiting for thanks" / "words for today" / "walked far today" / "why fight this?" / ...

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus » 23 Mar 2020 22:14

Finally, we have a (sort of) lockdown. The weekend's scenes (ram-packed Tube carriages*, mobs fighting to enter supermarkets and spitting on NHS workers, etc) have evidently persuaded the government to act.

It's not exactly all fixed, though. We're continually told not to stockpile (as the government warned: if we all try to stockpile, we'll run out of food; or, as the public (quite reasonably) heard it, "we're going to run out of food! stockpile now!"), and to only buy what we'd ordinarily be buying. [only, you know, not toilet paper, rice, pasta, bread, or any kind of meat...] Except now we're also told to go to buy food as infrequently as possible. How can you buy food less frequently, but NOT in larger quantities!?

And, of course, we should all be buying online. Except that there isn't a single delivery slot (even click and collect) in the entire country, from any store...

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus » 24 Mar 2020 12:49

Oh, forgot my footnote:

*not entirely people's fault. Apparently by Monday usership of the Tube had fallen 70% duing the day, and 90% in the evening - and of course, there are many key workers who do need public transport. However, in their wisdom, TfL responded by, in turn, massively slashing the number of trains running, and entirely cancelling night trains, so that the ram-packed-ness of the carriages could not improve. GENIUS. Then they threatened that unless the carriages became less crowded, they'd run even fewer of them...

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 » 25 Mar 2020 10:53

The lockdown is certainly going to be an interesting time. The roads have massively quietened down, as far as I can tell (the A1 up our end is now mostly lorries and vans, with the odd car in between, and our already quiet village is almost completely silent now, despite one of the main roads in the area, the A684, running through it).





We've just had someone at work kick off about how YouTube has started demonetising videos that mention the words "coronavirus" and "COVID-19", saying that it's an "affront to freedom of speech", and how one streaming site has, apparently, completely banned people from saying those words at all.

I'd suspect, on the part of YouTube at least, it's to discourage people from spreading misinformation (can't make money off a video, might be less likely to make a video with that content), but I wouldn't call it an "affront to freedom of speech", since you definitely can still say those words. I'd guess the streaming site they were talking about has made the same choice, but just outright banned the word (assuming, of course, that this isn't just one of the "oh you can't even say X any more" reactions that comes from people from time to time).

It sucks, I guess, since some of the people of the people this will apparently affect (again, assuming it is true), have been trying to pass on as much information as accurately as they can (Smarter Every Day, TLDR News, 3Brown1Blue, Kurtzgesagt, etc. to name a few), but then a blanket policy is a lot easier than trying to sift through it all, especially now when so many videos are going up, the situation is changing daily, and information is coming at people from so many different directions before it even makes it onto YouTube (or some other online platform).



EDIT: YouTube has been doing this since February, so presumably some YouTubers are already aware that this will affect them, and yet make the videos anyway.
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Xonen » 25 Mar 2020 17:37

sangi39 wrote:
25 Mar 2020 10:53
We've just had someone at work kick off about how YouTube has started demonetising videos that mention the words "coronavirus" and "COVID-19", saying that it's an "affront to freedom of speech", and how one streaming site has, apparently, completely banned people from saying those words at all.

I'd suspect, on the part of YouTube at least, it's to discourage people from spreading misinformation (can't make money off a video, might be less likely to make a video with that content), but I wouldn't call it an "affront to freedom of speech", since you definitely can still say those words.
Right. There's also the minor issue that a private business has absolutely no obligation to respect your "freedom of speech" on their platform in the first place. And even if Google does de facto pretty much rule us all already, it's still technically a private company and not a government, and hence it has every right to choose what kind of content it allows or pays for. If you don't like the terms and conditions of their services, it's still completely legal for you not to use them. It's funny how difficult this seems to be for some people to grasp.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 » 25 Mar 2020 20:46

Xonen wrote:
25 Mar 2020 17:37
sangi39 wrote:
25 Mar 2020 10:53
We've just had someone at work kick off about how YouTube has started demonetising videos that mention the words "coronavirus" and "COVID-19", saying that it's an "affront to freedom of speech", and how one streaming site has, apparently, completely banned people from saying those words at all.

I'd suspect, on the part of YouTube at least, it's to discourage people from spreading misinformation (can't make money off a video, might be less likely to make a video with that content), but I wouldn't call it an "affront to freedom of speech", since you definitely can still say those words.
Right. There's also the minor issue that a private business has absolutely no obligation to respect your "freedom of speech" on their platform in the first place. And even if Google does de facto pretty much rule us all already, it's still technically a private company and not a government, and hence it has every right to choose what kind of content it allows or pays for. If you don't like the terms and conditions of their services, it's still completely legal for you not to use them. It's funny how difficult this seems to be for some people to grasp.
I did bring that up in the end, that if he has that much of a problem with it, he should either go complain to them (instead of us at work who have nothing to do with it), or find a new platform where people are free to say what they want (but good luck with that because most places that do allow open discussion online either eventually adopt rules or get "taken over" or "overrun" by vocal groups within the wider community).

He's one of those people who's constantly complaining about "Twitter and its agenda" or how "special interest groups on Tumblr are trying to dictate language", so half the time it's not worth talking to him about much of anything.
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 » 25 Mar 2020 22:23

But yeah, I'd agree with that, that there's "freedom of speech", as a state-given right, and then there's "freedom of speech" as a "community"-determined right, and that more people should be aware of the difference.

Freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas, is considered by many, I think, within democratic societies to be a key component of the democratic process, with free discourse allow for everyone to have the possibility of having their voice an opinion heard at the state level.

But online communities aren't states, and they're very often definitely not democratic, so freedom of speech (or freedom of discourse or free exchange of ideas), isn't much of a concern for them them, to a point. They'll have their own ideas on how individuals within that community should act towards each other, what they can and can't say, what ideas they can and can't bring to the table, but those will rarely have a direct impact on the running of the community, only the "shape" of it, on its style. Communities can live or die by that, but at the end of the day, you're state-level freedom of speech, as far as I understand it, was never infringed, you just couldn't use that particular community as a platform for what you wanted to say.

If a community wants to try and prevent misinformation, then so be it. Take it somewhere else. If they ban explicitly right-wing or left-wing ideas, then oh well. But that's a bit different that the state stepping in and going "oh, you like Marx? Well you're not talking any more".



There is, of course, the discussion of personal honesty as an online user (pretending to be someone else), and intentional disinformation for political gain (sometimes by foreign actors), but I think that's a bit beyond the the scope of "they won't let me say "coronavirus while people watch my play a game".
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 26 Mar 2020 16:52

Xonen wrote:
25 Mar 2020 17:37
Right. There's also the minor issue that a private business has absolutely no obligation to respect your "freedom of speech" on their platform in the first place. And even if Google does de facto pretty much rule us all already, it's still technically a private company and not a government, and hence it has every right to choose what kind of content it allows or pays for. If you don't like the terms and conditions of their services, it's still completely legal for you not to use them. It's funny how difficult this seems to be for some people to grasp.
I agree. If this is to change, then the laws need to be changed to recognize Facebook and Twitter as public spaces subject to the same free speech laws as any other public space. Either that or we nationalize social media. Although I always find it ironic that those who are so adamant to defend the rights of corporations are hesitant when the corporations are run by progressives and those who are skeptical of government regulation now suddenly want the government to take over social media...

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus » 26 Mar 2020 20:29

Xonen wrote:
25 Mar 2020 17:37
Right. There's also the minor issue that a private business has absolutely no obligation to respect your "freedom of speech" on their platform in the first place.
They certainly have a moral obligation! And to a considerable extent, in most Western jurisdictions, they also have extensive legal obligations in this regard as well. Terms of service that were interpreted to give a company an unfettered right to unilaterally withdraw from your contract if you said anything they disliked - with no justification on the basis of what speech it is reasonable to restrict - would simply not be binding, as it would violate your rights as a consumer. For instance, if Twitter banned users for tweeting "Twitter sucks", they would be sued, and they would lose. And more specifically, most jurisdictions have laws against discrimination on many different grounds - if Twittter banned users for saying they were Jehovah's Witnesses, they would be sued, and they would lose.
And even if Google does de facto pretty much rule us all already, it's still technically a private company and not a government, and hence it has every right to choose what kind of content it allows or pays for.
That's an amazing non sequitur you have there! I know a lot of people get very excited about rich people, but the fact that somebody is acting on behalf of a mega-rich conglomerate does NOT grant them special rights - in morality and in legal theory, at least, even if in practice they may often be able to extract special rights by force.

Private companies in fact have - certainly in law - much FEWER rights over what thy can and cannot do than governments do.
If you don't like the terms and conditions of their services, it's still completely legal for you not to use them. It's funny how difficult this seems to be for some people to grasp.
Good god that's patronising. Sure, just assume anyone who doesn't share you ideology is a simpleton.

Here in the world of us simpletons - and the law, and ethics - the fact that you can in theory legally withhold consent when pressured by someone with vastly more power than you does NOT automatically legitimise the actions of the powerful. If I put a gun to your head and say "your money or your life", legally you have a right to reject those terms and conditions, but that doesn't make it lawful, let alone ethical, to take your money in that way.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus » 26 Mar 2020 21:08

sangi39 wrote:
25 Mar 2020 22:23
But yeah, I'd agree with that, that there's "freedom of speech", as a state-given right, and then there's "freedom of speech" as a "community"-determined right, and that more people should be aware of the difference.
Why? What is the basis for this distinction you have invented?
Freedom of speech, and the free exchange of ideas, is considered by many, I think, within democratic societies to be a key component of the democratic process, with free discourse allow for everyone to have the possibility of having their voice an opinion heard at the state level.

But online communities aren't states, and they're very often definitely not democratic, so freedom of speech (or freedom of discourse or free exchange of ideas), isn't much of a concern for them them, to a point.
That makes no sense. They are not democratic - but they exist within democracies. They are not states - but they are subject to states. Therefore the rights granted by states still apply to them. Similarly, the state says I shouldn't be murdered - that doesn't mean that Twitter, not being a state, has the right to have me assassinated! And of course, to the extent that the rights granted by the state (citizen's rights) are founded upon a basis of ethical necessity (human rights), the same necessity also dictates what it is ethical for a platform to do.
Communities can live or die by that, but at the end of the day, you're state-level freedom of speech, as far as I understand it, was never infringed, you just couldn't use that particular community as a platform for what you wanted to say.
It's misleading to describe Twitter as a 'community'; it's a platform. You can use that platform to create communities, but it's not itself a community.

In any case, talking about 'state-level' is misleading, because Twitter, Facebook, Google, etc, are bigger than any single state. In a sense, the 'state-level' is actually below the level of international platforms.
[/quote]
If a community wants to try and prevent misinformation, then so be it. Take it somewhere else. If they ban explicitly right-wing or left-wing ideas, then oh well. But that's a bit different that the state stepping in and going "oh, you like Marx? Well you're not talking any more".[/quote]

It is different, yes, in that it's much less important when the state does it, because the state is less powerful - a non-totalitarian state (i.e. any modern state) cannot control your speech to the same degree that monopolistic corporations that control major digital platforms can.


To quote a fellow moron, at risk of further inflaming Xonen's contempt:
Society can and does execute its own mandates; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself. Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough; there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling, against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development and, if possible, prevent the formation of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own. There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence; and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs as protection against political despotism.
(Mill is able to simply talk of the govenment and society as the two options, without considering the idea of a single individual with as much power as a government, because in his day no one newspaper editor (or the like) had the monopolistic power that modern platforms have, and so he can talk about the newspapers and other forms of information control as an amorphous plural...)

The foundation of the traditional freedom of speech (as opposed to the later 'freedom of expression') is not the right of the speaker, but the right of the listener: the right of the listener not to have concealed from them opinions that may be true, or that, even while being false, may in their falsity bring the listener to a more robust, justified, nuanced and active apprehension of the truth. If I say "the government should be overthrown", and the government prevents my message from getting out, the primary harm done is not to me, but to you - you lose the opportunity to learn why the government should be overthrown, and to learn that people other than yourself wish to overthrow it, and so forth. Crucially, this harm is done in exactly the same way - and consequently the right has always been considered to encompass equally both situations - whether I am censored by "the government" itself, or by a monopolistic media proprietor who merely happens to wish to support the government.

This modern idea that when the censor is a private company - which is only to say, when the censor acts as a dictator and NOT as a democratic representative of the people! - they should be free to do anything they like is perplexing and dangerous. It seems like stockholm syndrome.

[it also make the whole idea of the freedom of speech as a practical concern effectively meaningless. Very little censorship was done by the state under Stalin, after all, but by 'indepenent' (albeit not 'private' in the capitalist sense) media organisations. Likewise, much of the censorship in fascist societies is not ordered by the state, but by private companies who closely support (and are supported by) the state.]

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 » 26 Mar 2020 21:53

Well then maybe we're either expressing the underlying reasons and framework for the House Rules regarding expression incorrectly, or we just don't understand the underlying reasons that allow them to exist. Or for similar rule sets to exist elsewhere online. Or, hell, maybe they shouldn't exist at all!
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by qwed117 » 26 Mar 2020 21:57

Day 5 of quarantine not going well; I'm now reading arguments in an online forum dedicated to constructed languages and worlds about politics. I've run out of toilet paper. I came to this forum to avoid Twitter where I read arguments about politics. Without toilet paper, I'm defenseless against the hordes of Italian zombies who want our pasta. We are losing the war. I repeat we are losing the war
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