The Sixth Conversation Thread

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Xonen
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Xonen »

Salmoneus wrote:
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!
I'd say they also have a moral obligation to, say, not aid in the spread of dangerous misinformation during a pandemic. I guess I was thinking in terms of this specific context and others comparable to it, and failed to consider various abstract ethical generalizations, so... yeah, I probably should've been more careful with my wording. I am, in fact, aware that any terms and conditions that are unlawful in the relevant jurisdiction are not binding, and that there are various anti-discrimination laws for specific cases.

However, companies can obviously set restrictions on what kind of content they allow or pay money for; that much is simply stating a fact, no? And these restrictions quite often seem to be stricter than what (Western liberal) governments tend to allow. If there's a case where they've actually broken (and been convicted of breaking) the law in so doing, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

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.
Really? Deciding what kind of business your company accepts is a "special right" now? So if a publisher refuses to buy your manuscript, you should just sue them for violating your freedom of expression? I don't know about the UK, but at least around here, the freedom of enterprise is itself in fact considered a fundamental right (which is kind of a hot topic right now, as it has led to some problems in terms of getting certain restrictions into effect with the pandemic situation, but that's a different matter).

I guess you're again thinking of some completely different level of things than what I was considering, although I'm not quite sure what. Obviously, the comparison to governments is rather flawed from the get-go, since those generally don't pay you money for making public statements, and don't necessarily even offer free platforms (other than, you know, street corners and the like) for doing so. But that's kind of my point: private businesses don't operate like governments, so just expecting them to grant you the same kinds of rights and freedoms by default strikes me as kind of odd.

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.
Speaking of non sequiturs, a single concept being difficult for someone to grasp does not make them a "simpleton", in my view. There's all kinds of reasons why something might be difficult for someone to grasp; strong opposing convictions perhaps most commonly. Maybe I should've said "weird" or something rather than "funny", since I meant it more in that sense, but anyway... Also, I'm not making ideological statements here – or at least I'm not intending to. This just seems to me to be the way the world works, although again, I'll admit I could have been more careful with the wording to take into account various exceptions and nuances. Now, it's certainly possible, and even likely, that my understanding of how the world works is flawed (especially compared to yours), but I'd like to make it clear that not everything I say about it is something I'm ideologically in favor of.

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.
Whoa, gun to the head? The way I see it, it's more like complaining that you don't like McDonald's food. I mean, I get that you think the burger they serve is terrible, but who's forcing you to eat there, then?

Granted, it could be argued that at this rate, we'll at some point be pretty much forced to use Google's services for some essential things, which is rather disturbing. And before that happens, it would in fact be nice if governments were to put more restrictions on its (and other massive IT companies') behavior. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect it to behave like a company rather than a government.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Corphishy »

qwed117 wrote:
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
Just get penne, the Italians won't touch the stuff.
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Xonen wrote:
26 Mar 2020 22:00
Salmoneus wrote:
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!
I'd say they also have a moral obligation to, say, not aid in the spread of dangerous misinformation during a pandemic.
That's a whatabboutism. The fact that one sort of immorality is possible doesn't mean that other forms of immorality are not also possible. Yes, some people speak irresponsibly, but that does not mean there is no general right to free speech.
I guess I was thinking in terms of this specific context and others comparable to it, and failed to consider various abstract ethical generalizations, so... yeah, I probably should've been more careful with my wording. I am, in fact, aware that any terms and conditions that are unlawful in the relevant jurisdiction are not binding, and that there are various anti-discrimination laws for specific cases.
Then I'm not sure what you were trying to say at all. I don't know how to interpret "absolutely no obligation" in a way that's compatible with "a great many obligations".
However, companies can obviously set restrictions on what kind of content they allow or pay money for; that much is simply stating a fact, no? And these restrictions quite often seem to be stricter than what (Western liberal) governments tend to allow. If there's a case where they've actually broken (and been convicted of breaking) the law in so doing, I'd be interested in hearing about it.
Again, this is a strawman. Saying that companies have SOME rights is not the same as saying they have ALL rights. Saying that a company can restrict speech in SOME ways is not the same as saying that they have "absolutely no" limits on what they can or should restrict.
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.
Really? Deciding what kind of business your company accepts is a "special right" now? So if a publisher refuses to buy your manuscript, you should just sue them for violating your freedom of expression?
Oh come off it!

The discussion is whether companies have an absolute exemption from rules (moral or legal) protecting free speech, or whether they can sometimes have an obligation to respect free speech.

Yes, if "the kind of business your company accepts" can in a particular situation seriously limit free speech, then having absolute freedom over it would indeed be a special right that non-companies do not enjoy. Obviously your strawman situation does not arise much in practice, because most companies cannot seriously influence freedom of speech exept by truly egregious acts.

However, it's certainly well established both in law and in ethics that corporate acts CAN be problematic for freedom of speech reasons. For example, if you're a newspaper selling advertising space, and you refuse to accept a request (otherwise acceptable - right fee, etc) to advertise, say, a charity campaigning for gay rights, then yes, you probably can be sued for, in essence, obstructing that charity's freedom of speech (note that this example does not fall under pure discrimination principles, because it's based entirely on the content of the speech, not the personal characteristics of the people seeking to place the advert). There are exceptions to this in many jurisdictions - there's often different rules for a publication that is considered to be effectively a private mouthpiece for an individual or group, there's often safeguards to allow the publication to make clear what is advert and what is editorial, and there's often exemptions where the publication (etc) is being asked to be actively creatively involved. So in the US, for instance, a baker can refuse to themselves write "happy gay wedding!" on a cake, but they can't refuse to sell a cake to somebody on the grounds that they've said they're going to write "happy gay wedding!" on it - because they cannot impinge on your free speech to use the cake however you wish, but you cannot impinge on their free speech (in this case the freedom to remain silent) by forcing them into an artistic expression they don't want to make.

In the case of a publisher who refused to take your manuscript: there probably are a range of reasons why this may indeed be an illegal infringement of your free speech rights, but they would be almost impossible to enforce in court. Partly this is because it's often easy to invent plausible excuses for any given act of censureship that are very difficult to disprove without some clear evidence.

But moreso, it's because now we're talking about laws, rather than rights. Laws are often created to protect rights, but laws are also created in the knowledge that they will be enforced by the state, and that enforcement of the law can itself intrude on rights. Laws must therefore balance competing rights.

In general, in liberal countries the laws prioritise limiting the possibilities for tyrannical oppression by the government, and therefore err on the side of safeguarding the rights of individuals and companies against the government. Against that background, exceptions are created to allow tthe government to intervene to protect particularly essential rights, or the rights of particularly vulnerable groups.

In the case of publication, you have a free speech claim against the publisher. The publisher, however, has a property claim against you - they have a prima facie right to avoid a financial transaction that will deprive them of their property (i.e. if they think publishing you will lose you money). The publisher has a free speech claim against you (you cannot force them to 'speak' against their will). And the publisher has a free speech claim against the government (the government cannot control what the publishers publishes). Given this complicated situation, the law errs on the side of letting people sort it out for themselves. However, in particular cases (particularly around protecting minorities), the government can step in.


However, morally speaking, yes, if a publisher refuses to publish your book for no reason other than to prevent its contents becoming widely known, then they could be violating your right to freedom of speech, yes. Whether they are ACTUALLY violating that right would then depend on whether their refusal to publish you materially impaired your ability to have your message widely heard - i.e. to what extent the publisher has a monopoly.


The moral position of an effective monopoly like Twitter is much more problematic than that of a single ordinary publisher in a diverse marketplace (though the latter is becoming more problematic with increasing monopolisation in the publishing sector).
But that's kind of my point: private businesses don't operate like governments, so just expecting them to grant you the same kinds of rights and freedoms by default strikes me as kind of odd.
Obviously companies don't grant you rights. But then governments don't grant you rights either. Governments recognise in law the rights granted either by nature or by society; the right remains whether it is recognised or not (otherwise it would be impossible to accuse a government of human rights abuses, if your rights were only what the government granted!).
Speaking of non sequiturs, a single concept being difficult for someone to grasp does not make them a "simpleton", in my view. There's all kinds of reasons why something might be difficult for someone to grasp; strong opposing convictions perhaps most commonly.
Maybe I should've said "weird" or something rather than "funny", since I meant it more in that sense, but anyway... Also, I'm not making ideological statements here – or at least I'm not intending to.
You're making statements about morality and political theory - these are by nature ideological!

And don't treat me like an idiot with the 'who, me?'. You're not unaware that saying things like "I can't understand how you can't even grasp this simple fact!" is effectively calling people who disagree with you idiots. You assume that what you believe is not only absolutely true (a fact) but so simple that it's astonishing (or weird, or funny, etc) that some people can't "grasp" (i.e. understand) it.

Given that you know fine well that other people don't believe it to be either a fact OR simple, you're effectively calling us... I don't, know, delusional?

In any case, dismissing an entire academic field as pointless because the truth as you see it is so 'simple' that it's baffling that anyone doesn't 'grasp' it is usually not something that will make people see you as either polite or well-informed.
Whoa, gun to the head? The way I see it, it's more like complaining that you don't like McDonald's food. I mean, I get that you think the burger they serve is terrible, but who's forcing you to eat there, then?
But given the absolute nature of your claim - companies have absolutely no obligation to ever respect freedom of speech - how can you specify that the analogy must be so limited and specific? The range of possible companies and possible corporate actions is so vast, I don't see how you can rule out the possibility that some of them might be more like a gun than a burger. And that's the point of the gun example: if there is even one example where your rule (and in this case the sub-rule that "if you can legally refuse to enter a contract, the terms of the contract by definition cannot violate your rights") does not hold, then the rule as a whole is not valid.

Even within your analogy: what if McDonalds is the only source of food in your area? What if it is the only source of food you can afford?

And even without the gun: what if McDonalds is putting drugs in your food that have a 5% chance of causing you to drop dead when you turn 40? Even if - being only 20 and not understanding risk or caring about the future, and being more concerned with not looking like a pussy to your friends - you agree to eat there knowing that fact, do you really not think that this would be, at the very least, morally suspect on McDonalds' part? Do you not think a government would have the right to intervene?

The point is, being theoretically able to avoid a contract doesn't make the terms of the contract morally justifiable. Harvey Weinstein is a monstrous predator who abused women - even if it is true that, legally and theoretically, those women could have refused to have anything to do with him. The power imbalance - founded on Weinstein's oligopolistic control over the product he was offering - was so great that he was able to exploit people despite their theoretical freedom (despite, to use your analogy, the fact they could have just "not eaten at McDonalds").

And of course if we go further back, Hollywood does offer an exact example of the sort of behaviour you're defending: the blacklisting era. It's now generally recognised that the practice by which Hollywood studios refused to offer employment to any individual suspected of harbouring pro-communist (or insufficiently anti-communist) opinions constituted a clear case of an immoral infringement of the right to free speech (and the right to association). Nonetheless, those were private companies, so by your reasoning should be exempt from such complaints. And again, those who were blacklisted had the freedom to take their scripts and their acting skills elsewhere - to 'not eat at McDonalds'.

So if Twitter would be justified in suppressing any ideology it disapproved of (like, say, "digital monopolies should be broken up"), do you also believe the Hollywood studios were justified their actions in the McCarthy era?



Granted, it could be argued that at this rate, we'll at some point be pretty much forced to use Google's services for some essential things, which is rather disturbing. And before that happens, it would in fact be nice if governments were to put more restrictions on its (and other massive IT companies') behavior.
Nice? Not, say, justified?

I don't understand how you can be so eager to defend large corporations, even while acknowledging their 'disturbing' monopolistic power. Even libertarians should be willing to oppose monopolism!
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't expect it to behave like a company rather than a government.
But that's not the point. These companies are made out of people. We expect people to behave ethically - why is it then that as soon as they join together to form a corporation, we have to wash our hands and say "well, they're a company now, we can't expect them to obey laws or not use babies as cat food, ethics no longer applies to them"?

Given that it's fair for you to be upset if I, as an individual, infringe your rights*, why is it OK for a company to do so?


*consider, for instance, a situation where we live in the same house, and you discover that I've been sneaking onto your computer and deleting all the e-mails you receive that I don't like the content of, and that I've been following you to the postbox, taking out and reading the letters you've sent, and burning any that I don't like the content of. Why is that wrong - I hope you'd agree that it's wrong - but it's OK if I do the same thing with a 'plc' by my name?

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Xonen »

Salmoneus wrote:
27 Mar 2020 00:39
Xonen wrote:
26 Mar 2020 22:00
Salmoneus wrote:
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!
I'd say they also have a moral obligation to, say, not aid in the spread of dangerous misinformation during a pandemic.
That's a whatabboutism. The fact that one sort of immorality is possible doesn't mean that other forms of immorality are not also possible. Yes, some people speak irresponsibly, but that does not mean there is no general right to free speech.
I guess I was thinking in terms of this specific context and others comparable to it, and failed to consider various abstract ethical generalizations, so... yeah, I probably should've been more careful with my wording. I am, in fact, aware that any terms and conditions that are unlawful in the relevant jurisdiction are not binding, and that there are various anti-discrimination laws for specific cases.
Then I'm not sure what you were trying to say at all. I don't know how to interpret "absolutely no obligation" in a way that's compatible with "a great many obligations".
This discussion started with a reference to someone complaining that YouTube demonetizing videos that mention COVID-19 is a violation of free speech. I was responding to that. Yes, my statement was, in retrospect, greatly overgeneralized, and I should've been more careful with throwing around words like "absolutely", but I wasn't really thinking about its literal meaning at that point.

As for me defending corporations, not to mention dismissing entire academic fields, I honestly no longer have any idea what you're talking about. I thought I was making a simple statement about (legal) obligations – again, in the context of someone specifically demanding that a company grant them the same kinds of legal rights as a government; turns out I was wrong. It seems to me that you're entering the discussion with a vastly more nuanced and well-thought-out frame of reference than what I originally had in mind, including various ideas of ethical philosophy and political theory and whatnot which I utterly failed to consider initially.

Which, as such, is fine, of course. Laudable, even. The problem comes from you apparently assuming that I did in fact consider all this, and then arguing against the position I should logically be holding were that the case. And quite frankly, this isn't the first time I've seen you do this over the past fifteen years or so. Just once, please do me the favor of accepting that I'm just simply stupider than you. Certainly stupid enough to occasionally make off-handed internet posts without fully considering all their implications.



In any case, your main point, insofar as I understand it, is actually very good. I'm fine with private businesses restricting (and having the legal right to restrict) speech when it's the kind of speech I disapprove of, but you point out many good examples of deeply problematic situations where I would indeed have opposed it. So thanks for bringing this to my attention. I'll need some time to process this cognitive dissonance now.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus »

Err... ok.

I guess it seems strange to me to enter into a political philosophy discussion, hurling rival views to the side as so obviously untrue it that was incomprehensible to you anyone could even believe them, firmly stating rules that hold 'absolutely'...

...and then act injured and perplexed when people defend themselves against that, and protest that of course your words weren't intended to have any meaning, how dare I treat you the same way you just treated others.

I mean, I get wanting to share an opinion. I don't get wanting to share what you then protest was never an opinion at all. I get realising that you hadn't thought something through, but I don't get acting like it's my 'problem' to have ever tried to engage with you in good faith. I mean, that's usually how political disagreement works - you say "no, because X", and I say "but X isn't true, Y is" or "but X would imply yes, not no", or "do you really think X? But then also Z!" - I don't get what game we're playing, if the rule is meant to be that you say "no, because X", and I say "but X isn't true", and then you say "what!? why are you acting like I would mean the things I said!? you've been doing this for 15 years now, just going around assuming that my words have meanings! Obviously I've no idea whether X, it was just something I said!"

Because, I guess, I do get saying things you don't really believe or haven't really thought about, but I don't get doing that to close down discussion and tell people they're wrong. I mean, if you're going to join an argument and deliver what looks like it's meant to be a killer blow, shouldn't you have an opinion on the issue at hand?

If nothing else, even if you don't believe the things you say and are just saying them for the lulz, or because the thought happened to occur to you, I think it's legitimate - even important - to disagree with you when the things you say aren't true. Because while you might mean something as a tentative suggestion, when you state it so firmly, other people are likely to think that you have reasons for saying it. So I think it's fair to disagree with it, so that people see that there is disagreement on the issue. Which is why we usually want people to be willing to defend the provocative statements they make!



I do also get, incidentally, why I'm the bad guy here. On the one hand, as this is an area of interest for me, I obviously care more than most people do, and that's always unwelcome. And yes, I've been a bit short-tempered. You were very patronising/superior and dismissive, and that can get me a bit riled up. I'm sorry if you feel I've bitten too hard. On the other hand, you did dangle bait in the water!

So I get why I'm the bad guy for being too curt and abrupt in these posts, and not taking the time to explore both sides of the argument in more depth and length (plus, to be honest, 15 years have shown me that it doesn't help much when I do anyway). What I don't get it why you seem to think I'm the bad guy just for disagreeing with you at all, and for taking you seriously. I didn't see any obvious markers that you were joking.


[I also still don't understand your claim not to be defending corporations. Someone said companies had a certain obligation; you said they had absolutely no such obligation - even taking 'absolutely' as hyperbole, clearly this is defending the company against the claim of them having an obligation!]

[I'll admit I assumed you didn't mean just a legal obligation, because that would seem like a non sequitur. When people complain about other people and say "they shouldn't do that!" or "it's so unfair that they did that!", or "how dare they stop me! I have a right to...", they are almost never making the narrow claim that the other person's actuals are actually demonstrably illegal in their jurisdiction. And I don't get the repeated idea you raise of the corporation 'granting' a right, legal or otherwise. If I say a corporation shouldn't violate my right to X, I almost never mean a right that the corporation has granted me. It's not about corporations granting rights, but respect them!]


But I guess we'll have to leave it there.

]

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Salmoneus »

I guess, in the interests of clarity, I'll explain what I disagreed with to begin with, in simple terms. You can reply or not, as you choose. Maybe, if you really don't understand what I was disagreeing with, this might at least provide some clarity regarding my appalling sins.

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.
I disagree with this, because everybody has an obligation to respect each other's rights, even corporations. Rights aren't just something that only governments have to respect. People have to respect rights too. In particular, people who have a huge amount of power - as much power as a government, in some cases - particularly need to respect people's rights. Because rights are a protection against power, and protection against the power of the leaders of corporations can be just as necessary as protection against the power of the leaders of governments.

Many people these days, however, seem to believe that corporations are exempt from having to respect rights, or that only governments have to respect rights. These views are in my view dangerous.

In addressing this point, I also pointed to the way in which government sometimes felt the need to compel private business to respect the right to freedom of speech (i.e. through the law), even though in general this is of course a complicated and dangerous area in which governments generally rightly err on the side of inaction, for fear of the government itself endangering rights.

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.
I disagree with this, because private companies do not have every right to choose what kind of content they allow or pay for. I can see no reason why this would be true.
If you don't like the terms and conditions of their services, it's still completely legal for you not to use them.
I agree with this as a fact, but disagree with your implication that this makes the actions of the company legitimate. The fact that a person can theoretically avoid entering a contract does not exempt the other party from the need to offer a fair contract. This is because the mere existence of a theoretical or legal alternative to signing is not sufficient, in cases of great power disparity, to create a genuine freedom of choice on the part of the one coerced into entering the unjust contract.


So, to summarise, I saw you putting forward, quite explicitly, three propositions:
- corporations are not obligated to respect the rights of individuals (or, at least, not the right to free speech)
- (provided their actions are not per se illegal (i.e. no murder, etc)) corporations have the unfettered right to chose how to conduct their business and with whom
- corporations have the right to put whatever they like in their terms and conditions, because if you don't like it you don't have to agree to it.

I assumed you were serious about all three of these, in part because all three are very common right-wing defences of corporation behaviour. But all three are, in my opinion (and I believe in those of many other serious-minded people), wrong.
It's funny how difficult this seems to be for some people to grasp.
This, I found offensive, as it implies that the above propositions (or at least the third one) aren't just true, but are blindingly obvious, and that the rest of us just are finding it 'difficult' to 'grasp' them. On the contrary, I think that even if these propositions ARE true, they are at least highly debateable in good faith. I didn't think I was just failing to grasp the point, but rather that I legitimately and with good reason thought the point was wrong.



Anyway, I hope that leaves things in a state of clarity, at least regarding what I thought I was replying to and why.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Xonen »

Salmoneus wrote:
27 Mar 2020 02:42
I guess, in the interests of clarity, I'll explain what I disagreed with to begin with, in simple terms.
Thanks, this does help clarify a few things. At the very least, it seems to confirm my suspicion that we were approaching this from completely different viewpoints.

Thing is, I didn't mean to defend the rights of corporations specifically. I meant to defend the rights of privately owned internet services – such as, and this is important here, this board – to determine their own rules concerning content. But you've pointed out that this might not be as unproblematic a view as I initially thought, so I'll have to put some more consideration into it. It's certainly the case that it becomes a huge problem at least if a private business essentially has a monopoly on a medium. I wouldn't quite say Google is there yet, but I won't say it's not heading uncomfortably close to that direction.

And if the final sentence of that post was dismissive... Well yeah, it probably was. But I certainly wasn't thinking of political scientists or philosophers when I wrote it! If I had been, I would've been a lot more careful (or rather, said something else entirely), precisely to avoid this kind of follow-up discussion. In my experience, the people who generally complain most loudly about their freedom of speech being violated on private platforms tend to be various kinds of conspiracy theorists, racists, or just plain obnoxious abusive jackasses with a grandiose sense of self-importance (and certainly very little understanding of political philosophy). And yes, I have in fact felt that it's only natural and proper that private businesses have the right to tell such people to take a hike; there's also the fact that allowing your platform to become too toxic can lead to other users leaving. So yes, I tend to be dismissive of those people, or at least of their opinions on their right to spew bile at other people (but still, I wouldn't go as far as to label them "simpletons"; some of them may in fact be rather intelligent in other respects). But again, I had a completely different group of people in mind than what you apparently took me to be referring to.

Also, incidentally, I'm not a right-winger. So in general, if I make statements that make me sound like one, I'm probably trying to say something else.

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by elemtilas »

Maybe time to cool off and shut this subthread down?

Go away for a few months and come back to find mods & owners & MVPs cat fighting!

You all are trampling on at least 4 House Rules.

Can we please get back to something approaching language invention and world building?

Thank you!

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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by qwed117 »

elemtilas wrote:
27 Mar 2020 07:49
Maybe time to cool off and shut this subthread down?

Go away for a few months and come back to find mods & owners & MVPs cat fighting!

You all are trampling on at least 4 House Rules.

Can we please get back to something approaching language invention and world building?

Thank you!
Corphishy wrote:
26 Mar 2020 22:20
qwed117 wrote:
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
Just get penne, the Italians won't touch the stuff.
I thought this was pretty funny tbh
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

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sangi39
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 »

Corphishy wrote:
26 Mar 2020 22:20
qwed117 wrote:
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
Just get penne, the Italians won't touch the stuff.
Plus, they double as tiny little spears, while conchiglie would make nice tiny shields. Obviously not for people-sized people, though, but for some sort of goblin or feegle maybe?
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

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Ser
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Ser »

Xonen wrote:
27 Mar 2020 03:25
And if the final sentence of that post was dismissive... Well yeah, it probably was. But I certainly wasn't thinking of political scientists or philosophers when I wrote it! If I had been, I would've been a lot more careful (or rather, said something else entirely), precisely to avoid this kind of follow-up discussion. In my experience, the people who generally complain most loudly about their freedom of speech being violated on private platforms tend to be various kinds of conspiracy theorists, racists, or just plain obnoxious abusive jackasses with a grandiose sense of self-importance (and certainly very little understanding of political philosophy).
May I suggest that you hang out elsewhere on the Internet? Why are you even reading such people...

I find Twitter to be a terrible pool of urine where you can't avoid reading people attacking their political rivals fairly constantly, even if you try to do so by following people that are supposedly there to just talk about linguistics, history or whatever. On Twitter, one time I saw a nice post about medieval paleography by somebody living in Ireland, followed the person, and lo and behold my timeline got flooded with political posts because that person liked to click the heart button on about every post he came across attacking Trump. After enough of these instances, I am not on Twitter anymore.

I am not in favour of people getting censored for discussing politics exactly, but if I am not able to avoid such things if I want to (only reading them on the occasions I feel like it), then I'm not going to be on that platform.
hīc sunt linguificēs. hēr bēoþ tungemakeras.

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qwed117
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by qwed117 »

sangi39 wrote:
27 Mar 2020 14:47
Corphishy wrote:
26 Mar 2020 22:20
qwed117 wrote:
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
Just get penne, the Italians won't touch the stuff.
Plus, they double as tiny little spears, while conchiglie would make nice tiny shields. Obviously not for people-sized people, though, but for some sort of goblin or feegle maybe?
conchiglie are due for our best conchiglieres
Image
Spoiler:
My minicity is Zyphrazia and Novland
What is made of man will crumble away.

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kiwikami
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by kiwikami »

qwed117 wrote:
27 Mar 2020 23:56
sangi39 wrote:
27 Mar 2020 14:47
Plus, they double as tiny little spears, while conchiglie would make nice tiny shields. Obviously not for people-sized people, though, but for some sort of goblin or feegle maybe?
conchiglie are due for our best conchiglieres
Wee weapons for wee beasties.
Image
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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sangi39
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by sangi39 »

"Wee beasties" are what I call the cats (Odie, and the kitten I refuse to call by its given name because it's utterly ridiculous).

No idea why, but I talk to cats in a Scottish accent. Then The Voices came out, with Ryan Reynolds, also voicing Mr Whiskers in some sort of Scottish accent, and I finally thought "damn, I'm not the only one!" [:P]
You can tell the same lie a thousand times,
But it never gets any more true,
So close your eyes once more and once more believe
That they all still believe in you.
Just one time.

Khemehekis
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Khemehekis »

According to my profile, 1.00% of the posts on this forum are now mine.
♂♥♂♀

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31,416: The number of the conlanging beast!

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DesEsseintes
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by DesEsseintes »

Khemehekis wrote:
31 Mar 2020 02:58
According to my profile, 1.00% of the posts on this forum are now mine.
And 1.79% are mine. That means every 56th post. That kinda makes me feel lonely.

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Creyeditor
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Creyeditor »

I am also at 1.76%. No need to feel lonely [:D]
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eldin raigmore
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by eldin raigmore »

Anything less than 50% means someone else is replying!
Or at least “replying”.
It’s possible even then that you’re just talking past each other; but there’s also a chance you’re having an actual conversation!
.....
I wouldn’t worry until over a third of the posts come from one user.
....
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with 56 people in the room talking?
Really, if there are more than eight participants, you need to start using Roberts’s Rules of Order or something, or it’s just a hub-bub.

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kiwikami
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by kiwikami »

None of us can ever be truly certain that every other user isn't an alternate account for a single individual; perhaps there are only two people on here after all, talking to themselves and each other. Or perhaps we are all only one person, with very conveniently-timed memory loss allowing us to immediately forget when we log in and post under another account. Or perhaps you are all highly-advanced bots. This is not unlikely.
Edit: Substituted a string instrument for a French interjection.

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Dormouse559
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Re: The Sixth Conversation Thread

Post by Dormouse559 »

kiwikami wrote:
01 Apr 2020 00:08
None of us can ever be truly certain that every other user isn't an alternate account for a single individual; perhaps there are only two people on here after all, talking to themselves and each other. Or perhaps we are all only one person, with very conveniently-timed memory loss allowing us to immediately forget when we log in and post under another account.
You have a point. Have you ever seen all of us in a room at the same time? [O.O]

kiwikami wrote:Or perhaps you are all highly-advanced bots. This is not unlikely.
I would feel a lot better about my life if it turned out I was just a bot. [xD] Like, you can only ask so much of the algorithm.

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