Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

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Hristo Botev
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Hristo Botev »

As another anecdotal deviation, as someone who spent the past few weeks putting in the effort of reading Jacob's various posts on the topic of CC, as well as several (though admittedly not all; that textbook is just too expensive) resources that have been suggested along the way, I've learned that with the exception of something like trademark and advertising law, which I've actually put in the time and effort to become expert in, my conversations concerning other areas of speciality--on this forum or IRL--really should just be limited to asking lots and lots of questions.

ETA: This is perhaps the single biggest incentive for me personally to work towards FIRE; I don't mind "working," but I want to be able to let my "work" go wherever my particular interests lead me. And, frankly, I want to become an "expert" in something other than what I do for a living currently.

IlliniDave
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by IlliniDave »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 12:17 pm
ETA: This is perhaps the single biggest incentive for me personally to work towards FIRE; I don't mind "working," but I want to be able to let my "work" go wherever my particular interests lead me. And, frankly, I want to become an "expert" in something other than what I do for a living currently.
Same here. My tombstone reading: "Here lies iDave, he was an expert at modeling, simulation, and analysis" would constitute an epic fail. :lol:

Right now the last thing I foresee wanting would be to achieve expert status in anything, but we agree on the idea of being free to pursue what we will. For me the stated goal is to look for the simplest of truths as I move from shiny distraction to shiny distraction. Probably not far from a hybrid of 7Wb5 and one of her grouchy, somewhat old school, somewhat well-to-do companions, with a much dimmer mind than such a hybridization would suggest.

Hristo Botev
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Hristo Botev »

@iDave: You're right about the expert thing; that was the wrong word. I want to be able to follow an interest (to the exclusion of everything else) until I understand it enough that I'm no longer interested in finding out much more, at least in any sort of hyper-focused way; that isn't really "expert"-level understanding, in a world of hyper-specialization. It's more polymath-level focus.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

“IlliniDave” wrote: Probably not far from a hybrid of 7Wb5 and one of her grouchy, somewhat old school, somewhat well-to-do companions, with a much dimmer mind than such a hybridization would suggest.
Dude, trust me, you can do MUCH better than that :lol:

UK-with-kids
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by UK-with-kids »

UK-with-kids wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:35 am
This led me to an idle thought - we think the internet has too many echo chambers now, but what if platforms like Twitter and Facebook can't survive such divisiveness and ultimately fail to satisfy the authorities and users of every persuasion. Maybe we will end up with separate social media giants for right and left wing views. That would surely make things even worse :(
According to today's Times newspaper (UK): "Rightwingers abandon Twitter for Parler and Rumble".

"Parler, an app with similar functions to Twitter that calls itself the world’s “premier free speech social network”, rose to the top of Apple’s app store download charts last weekend. On Monday it had eight million members, up from 4.5 million the week before."

Doubling in a week? That's spreading faster than Coronavirus.

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Jean
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Jean »

Anyone that disagree with the narative gets censored and called a right winger (this is in reaction to UK with kids's post, i've seen more and more content having to migrate to other platforms.). Apple is already censoring groups and message on third party apps (source: it happened to me as i tried to forward somethings on a friends on Iphone, he could opening from the app on is PC though).
I think you underestimated how much in a buble you are. All I can do is warn you so you take a look around and don't get surprised when it bursts.
I'de be highly reinsured if someone could come up with an historical (from an other form of government, so pre ww1 more or less) example of censorship that was trying to hide something wrong. Flat-earther and people claiming every one in charge is a lizard people don't get censored.

IlliniDave
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by IlliniDave »

I don't do twitter, but I noticed even a couple blue-leaning (not ferociously blue) friends on FB announcing their new Parler handles. It's really bad policy for media corporations, or worse, the government, to tell large groups of people in the US to stfu.

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Alphaville
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Alphaville »

there’s always gonna be a 4chan or a brothel at the edge of town where anything goes

UK-with-kids
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by UK-with-kids »

Alphaville wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:17 am
there’s always gonna be a 4chan or a brothel at the edge of town where anything goes
I wouldn't call it that. They describe themselves as "the free speech social network".

For more details, see: https://company.parler.com/values

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Alphaville
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Alphaville »

oh, i mean in general. in social life we always had a public and a private sphere. zuckerberg destroyed all that. now everyone’s bowel movements are a subject for public consumption. what you say to 2 friends you say to the planet. we’re not wired for that. there was always gossip but it wasn’t the same thing.

seth godin used to write (not sure if he still does) that using one’s real identity was good for the internet because it made people act nicer. i don’t think that happened. but there is still a requirement for propriety in public life—where your words and deeds follow you everywhere.

we’ve gone from the anonymous internet where everything goes without consequences, to everyone being on tv all the time and having enormous unexpected uncontrolled consequences. and we don’t know what to do with this,

it makes sense to reintroduce some standards of propriety to the public sphere to prevent some disasters we inadvertently generated.

at the same time there is value in the wilderness where people can practice witchcraft away from the inquisition. :lol:

wanting to put it all out in public is asking for a meteorite to fall on your head.

eta: that network seems to be not about “free speech” but about safety and equality if i read their pamphlet correctly. good luck trying, let’s watch what happens.

jacob
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by jacob »

I actually don't like the term "free speech" and how it has been reduced from "freedom of speech from government regulation". "Free speech" in the "free beer" sense ignores that someone which in practice/modern times are the platforms and other users pay the cost. It is IMHO a rather selfish (me-first) attitude that one should be able to say anything anywhere---especially when one is refusing to pay the consequences (e.g. by hiding under anonymity or a joke-defense).

The expanded (original) definition suits me better in the sense that "a government with the consent of the governed" doesn't work very well insofar the governed are not allowed to critique the government.

I'm curious where people stand on the following assertion:
In order for democracy to work an informed electorate is required(1) and to become informed there must be no constraint on the flow of information(2).
1) Flipping this around, does democracy work if the electorate is misinformed or disinformed? What defines a democracy? Is it just going through the voting process or does the voting process have to be informed? In short, what constitutes actual "consent [of the governed]"? If I trick someone into acting against their own interests, do I actually have their consent? Is idiocracy a democracy as long as it's chosen by a voting process? I'm not sure where I stand on this.

2) I'm pretty sure where I stand on this. Unlike the solutionists at Zuckerberg Inc, I don't think the solution to misinformation or disinformation is more information. Humans in general are just not very good at dealing with bias. The historical solution has been a hierarchy of experts and gate-keepers. However, now everybody can look like a friggin' expert using google. The problem is not misinformation per se but that it's no longer easy to tell it apart from disinformation due to the fact that most can't tell the two apart outside their personal field of expertise. Basically, the solution to misinformation is informed information, but informed information is a lot more expensive and it doesn't work when the uninformed can't tell the difference anyway.

The various crackdowns on social media platforms seem to me to be some kind of overlap between the two where disinformation actively interferes with the "government with the consent of the governed" process. This is why e.g. qanon and spurious claims about election fraud get quashed whereas the inconsequential flat earth society is allowed to remain.

For my part, the long-standing forum policy, first implicit by culture and now explicit by rules, is that uninformed speech (posting disinformation after a 5 minute google search) has not been free. The optimal way to deal with that is to refute it step by step. This, however, requires a lot of effort and over the years the required effort has become larger and larger until it becomes a full time occupation. This is why I've resorted to the brutish approach of locking down threads instead in recent years.

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Alphaville
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:47 am
Humans in general are just not very good at dealing with bias.
this is why, even with the best intentions, anything you say can and will be used against you at some point—but most especially in social media.

IlliniDave
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by IlliniDave »

Replace "information" with "ideas and information; and discussion and opinion regarding said." and I'd be fine. The special federal legal status afforded Twitter and the like aside (should be repealed since they don't live up to their half of the bargain), both are private entities and should be free to control content in any way they want. Consumers are free choose their own forums. If there is a demand for open multilateral conversation spaces someone will provide it unless the government prevents it.

CS
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by CS »

I think the key to that quote about democracy, as you stated, is the 'informed' part and item number 2.

1. I would say this is not a democracy. It might look like it on the face, but those in power are those who control the narrative, not those voting as directed (essentially). There is no completely bias free history, but suppressing stories is a classic control measure. Judging this would be difficult. Treating our teachers as prized members of society would help attract better people, important for many reasons including they often pick the textbooks.

2. Humans crave the serotonin hit from confirmation bias. I think a good step for countering this is the quashing of conspiracy/lies by major platforms (silence is permission). I further think that actively going after those who threaten violence online is a good thing. I can't stand our new culture of death threats. Disagreeing with the government, backed up by reasons, is one thing, bullying into power is another.

Personal note - I know of people that like to 'think out loud', aka use that as an excuse to talk out their rear. No. Shut up. Got better things to do with my time to deal with what is basically an uninformed opinion (at best).

nomadscientist
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by nomadscientist »

In the footsteps of others the US society is playing out the terminal internal contradiction of socialism, whereby everyone must have an equal voice (socialism is democracy) but what everyone has an equal voice concerning is every aspect of life leaving no private sphere in which one can control and use one's voice (socialism is dictatorship).

You can vote for who you like but the state can educate you, can force you to attend that education, can shape news and increasingly even bound books, can disemploy you if you say the wrong things at work, encourages your children to report what you say at home, etc. The right to vote increasingly becomes a formal ritual and not a meaningful exercise of power as the basis for making a decision is constrained such that there's only one decision possible.

The end destination is East Germany in which there was a range of parties represented in the parliament and you were allowed to vote for any of them - including one bearing the same name as the West German conservative party - but they weren't allowed to have policies that contradicted the ruling ideology. Democracy as the British monarchy: a show for tourists.

The problem with this sort of society is that unless the imposed ideology is perfect it tends to be outmanoeuvred by freer-speaking societies with better situational awareness. The way out is for the people behind the ruling ideology to become a real aristocracy, secure in their rule by their personal position and not their adherence to the ideology, which then allows them to step outside and change the ideology, and even tolerate more constructive disagreement provided it's coming from people who accept the aristocracy's right to make the final decision. This happened in China.

The West is now drifting into a new Cold War in which it is the Warsaw Pact.

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Jean
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Jean »

I don't think it's fair that it is allowed to deny service to someone because of its opinion (like people being baned from paypal), but not any other reason. And if a platform, takes an editorial stance by quashing some opinion, then it should be held accountable for everything published on it.

I'm really worried about peoples reaction if it occurs that those fraud allégation weren't spurious, and that they only ear about them once the election results get officially called.

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jennypenny
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by jennypenny »

jacob wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 9:47 am
I actually don't like the term "free speech" and how it has been reduced from "freedom of speech from government regulation". "Free speech" in the "free beer" sense ignores that someone which in practice/modern times are the platforms and other users pay the cost. It is IMHO a rather selfish (me-first) attitude that one should be able to say anything anywhere---especially when one is refusing to pay the consequences (e.g. by hiding under anonymity or a joke-defense).
'Free Speech' has always meant more than just freedom from government regulation of speech, at least in my lifetime. It was primarily a guarantee that people can speak out freely against the government, but my understanding was that one was also free to express themselves (art was always assumed included) in a way that might offend other people. People are not allowed to lie outright in a way that harms others, nor can they incite violence or harmful act, but that last part is tricky now that people equate offense with harm. (a different discussion) It's also hard to determine when misleading someone leads to harm, and is therefore is not protected speech.

I think an argument can be made that huge domains on the internet like Twitter should be considered 'public domain' like the town squares of old, and regulated as such. Smaller, private forums and exchanges are not the same and should be able to make up their own rules of engagement.

I'm curious where people stand on the following assertion:

1) Flipping this around, does democracy work if the electorate is misinformed or disinformed? What defines a democracy? Is it just going through the voting process or does the voting process have to be informed?
The American electorate is more accurately informed now than at almost any point in our history. Up until the 1960s, political chicanery was common place and the press was often complicit. The recent trend of increasing disinformation/misinformation campaigns is more of a return to the mean than an aberration.*

People used to get marched down to the election office by their unions, employers, etc and told how to vote. Women used to vote based on what their husband told them. Those were not informed votes. TBH, the push for 'informed' voters sounds a little similar to how they used to keep blacks from voting. Any bar is subjective, and therefore open to abuse.


I think people's differences come down to whether one feels that any gatekeeping leaves the door open for abuse, and therefore gatekeeping (like censorship) should be reserved for only the most egregious offenses (like pedophilia). One side will argue like you (@jacob) that the information free-for-all has become too destructive. The other will argue that gatekeeping is too powerful a weapon for any politician or technocrat to hold. (Technocrats like Dorsey and Zuckerberg are similar to the press titans of previous generations in their influence.)

The biggest difference I've observed is that some are sick of the free-for-all and are willing to give up a lot of ground to authorities so that life can be more routine/peaceful/predictable. Others feel that the current free-for-all is the pain that comes with living in a democratic society -- that these painful periods of are the cost we pay for living in a society where people are mostly free to do as they wish. That difference seems to determine whether a person sees our democracy as succeeding or failing.

A meritocracy is not a democracy. IMO one cannot argue for both. If you prefer gatekeeping, then you help establish a power that someone in the future can use to change the definition of meritocracy itself by changing the definition of 'merit', and possibly in a way that does not promote the good of the people. I think most people here would be comfortable with taking that risk. I'm just trying to explain why others would not ... it's not necessarily out of ignorance or a disregard for the truth. For some, it might just be a reaction to the contempt that is evident in many who support a meritocracy (including here). It's hard to blame them.


* Were even successful leaders like FDR 'truthful' with the American public?

7Wannabe5
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom, socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent, a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.-

Alexis de Tocqueville
Most nerds like me fear tyranny of the masses, but the opposite can be just as bad.

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Ego
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Ego »

To his credit Jacob has been incredibly free here considering this is his "creation" and it is now common practice for governments to check online postings when being considered for citizenship or visa/green card renewal. It is easy to overlook the fact that the ground he walks on is not as firm as it is for the rest of us. Unlike most here, he is not anonymous.

While it may not be immediately obvious, some frequent posters have all but disappeared while living in countries where visa renewals are challenging. I am certainly not criticizing them. I have done the same myself. It is hard to explain the unbalanced feeling involved in dealing with a government official who has the ability to determine on a whim where and when you can live in a particular place. I've felt it in situations where we just wanted to stay a few months longer. Minor compared to what it must feel like when that official has the ability to make it nearly impossible for you to live together with your spouse and family.

All things considered, he is pretty damn courageous.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Free Speech: Thank You Jacob

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

If success is determined by proximity to a copying machine, and the entire political Machine is dedicated to gaslighting everyone about it, then the idea that the Machine would be honest about anything else is a joke.

Edit: I believe the phrase used to describe people who did not have proximity to that copying machine were referred to as “economic roadkill.” Those people helped create the wealth that the copying machine uses printed money to buy. To gloat over their fate as roadkill and then claim a meritocracy is preposterous. The people who have no access and worked their whole lives do not believe what they are told because many of them broke their backs and now they have nothing to show for it. And then they become the repository of the elites’ white guilt, something to be denigrated and despised, so the anger of the servants in the city is deflected. So after being used, discarded, dehumanized, and gaslighted, they then get cancelled, censored, and told to shut up. Here, have some opioids.

I believe in science, I believe in scientists, but I do not believe The Scientists (with a capital S) that play their role as servants to the Machine. The Machine and the Scientists destroyed their own credibility. You sow the wind, you reap the whirlwind (The Machine and the Scientists, not Dr. Fisker).

Citation, Hosea 8:7

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