On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Questions and comments
Crusader
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by Crusader »

@Campitor
I would rather live in a world where I talk freely, and people bust me on my BS (credit: Penn Gillette), because that is how we/I learn, not by holding my tongue and being afraid. That is not to say that we shouldn't be intellectually humble.

But, regarding the topic in question, I personally don't really care either way because I am a pretty open person, so I don't think I will be asking the moderators to delete my traces. If it ever comes to that, I would expect the onus of deleting my controversial posts to be on me, but I don't think this is true for everyone.

Campitor
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by Campitor »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:21 pm
@campitor

However, you do not know what someone's situation may be and whether is warrants a nuclear option based on their circumstances. Losing the ability to do either is disconcerting given the recent and drastic deviation from previous norms the COVID social phenomena has produced. If it can happen once...
I agree with you in that a nuclear option should be the last resort and for compelling reasons. I'm for allowing users to edit their own posts but a forum nuke should have a high bar for the reasons I've stated. However there's no guarantee that nuking an entire history will prevent a personal Armageddon. People can screenshot conversations. Jacob forums could be hacked. Jacob himself could change from a benign and ethical Dane and scientist to a Dr. Evil who secretly publishes all our posts to the illuminati. :lol:

It seems exceedingly prudent to moderate what we say online knowing mores can change and witch hunts can occur. If I firmly believe in something, I say it boldly and as politely as I can. However we are living in strange times and there are moments when we must be guarded but that's why we all should think before posting.

Never write if you can speak; never speak if you can nod; never nod if you can wink.” - Martin Lomasney

sky
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by sky »

chenda wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:31 pm
But death is nothing to an Epicurean :lol:
LOL
there you go pointing out internal inconsistencies and logical fallacies. now i'm going to have to delete it all! jk

7Wannabe5
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Another consideration might be inaccuracy in predicting reaction of other people to your writing or revelations. In addition to the omnipresent possibility of too busy with their own stuff to focus on your stuff, there is also the possibility of perverse or transcendent or ??? reaction or response. Think about how often your modeling or internal rehearsals of future interactions in real life do not resemble reality. Human behavior is just not that predictable.

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fiby41
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by fiby41 »

Three things once on their trajectory cannot be redacted- an arrow from a bow, words from the bowstring of tongue and bow of lips and something else which I cant remember. Why should it be any different online?

Alphaville
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by Alphaville »

fiby41 wrote:
Tue Jan 05, 2021 11:19 am
Why should it be any different online?
because the internet is forever?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_be_forgotten

AxelHeyst
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by AxelHeyst »

The wikipedia article on the right to be forgotten wrote:The right to be forgotten "reflects the claim of an individual to have certain data deleted so that third persons can no longer trace them."[12]:121 It has been defined as "the right to silence on past events in life that are no longer occurring."
The concept doesn't imply that individuals necessarily have the right for any/all information to be deleted, but *certain* data. The article mentions information such as expired criminal records and the like. So

a) the concept of the right to be forgotten doesn't necessarily imply a right for any data to be forgotten for any reason, and
b) as a new concept, it's still being wrestled with by thinkers and legal entities across the world. I just mention this to say that it isn't exactly a closed case like how we think about the right to vote or the right to a fair trial.

It's also distinct from the right to privacy, and doesn't really apply here, because we're posting all this information publicly. (The right to privacy means that we anonymous posters should have a right to not be doxxed.)

But the right to be forgotten and the right to privacy intersect in a tricky way when you have *anonymous* posters posting information *publicly*, but not doing a great job at covering our tracks (I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that except for those of us who have serious infosec chops, anyone who wants to discover our true identities can and will, regardless of a nuclear purge. We're mostly safe from that because we're mostly not worth the bother to anyone).

So now we're introducing the concept of personal responsibility and how that intersects with the right to be forgotten and privacy. If I post a riddle about my SS number and bank account passwords on my journal, that's my fault and I have to deal with the consequences. There are a ton of obviously moderate- to high-NW individuals in the public sphere who didn't have their accounts drained the moment they posted information linking their real identities.

Most of us (I think?) choose anonymity because we're concerned about our employers learning that we're planning on bouncing in N years, and we want to be able to whine about how much our bosses suck without fearing reprisals.

But it seems the larger concern here is with expressing political or social views that may become unpredictably unpopular in the future, leading to cancelation or even government/organization repercussions. That's a legitimate fear, but... this is a FI/lifestyle-ecology forum! Yes I understand that it is valuable and interesting to be able to discuss potentially fringe social/political viewpoints with ERE-minded folks, but the premise of this forum is *not* that it's a political discussion house. Contributing a bunch of blameless content to the ERE subs, and then contributing some viewpoints in the political sub that make you think again and request a nuke, is a personal communications strategic failure. If you think that you're "safe" to post whatever political ideas you want because you're anonymous, you have some very naïve ideas about how the 21st century works. You're also very naïve to think that having jacob nuke all your posts is going to totally CYA, in my opinion.

In terms of forum guidelines for this sort of thing, my suggestion is something along these lines:
.Realize that your "anonymity" is probably only good to keep your luddite boss from discovering that you're planning on quitting soon and that you think he's incompetent. Unless you are an infosec pro, assume that anyone who actually wants to dox you will dox you.
.The 21st century is wild, man. Assume that any political or social view you express here a) will be linked to your real identity eventually and b) will be used against you by the WokeSquad/qanon/cancelculture/the aliens. Post accordingly. Does that mean the political sub will get less rambunctious? Darn. :roll:
.Do not assume you have the "right" to nuke all your posts, and recognize that it won't save you anyways.
^This is really no different than the way jacob already wrote the forum guidelines anyways.

In short, the dream of the internet being consequence-free is a dangerous illusion [snarky comment about people learning this lesson the hard way in recent events pro-actively not written because consequences!!] and we'd all do well to forget it and adapt our behavior to the internet we actually live in. In an ideal perfectly-anonymous forum-space, my suggested guidelines would be a little different, but, I also don't want to hang out on /b, which is what you get when a bunch of people assume near-perfect online anonymity.

Hristo Botev
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by Hristo Botev »

I don’t disagree with any of this @AH; and my own personal choice for attempted (poorly, no doubt) anonymity here has everything to do with the fact that I’m still in the wealth accumulation phase of my FIRE journey, and I’m not self employed (I for sure don’t think my bosses “suck,” in any way; but it’s the nature of employment that employees AND employers necessarily aren’t 100% transparent with one another—e.g., I have no idea what the person in the office next to me makes). To the extent I’ve personally gotten somewhat more forthcoming with personal details the longer I’ve been on this forum, it’s directly related to how much closer to FI I’ve gotten; I mean, that’s in part what we FIRE aspirants are all striving for, right: the desire to be free of the constraints that prevent us from living truly authentic lives?

That said, ERE is at its core political, in the small “p”/Greek sense of the term, as a movement or philosophy concerned with how people interact with one another, especially in terms of the distribution of limited resources and status. I don’t think we can separate and compartmentalize FI/ecology, on the one hand, from “politics,” on the other. I mean, I think ERE is a “fringe social/political viewpoint”; and one that has less to do with a person being able to save up enough money to quit their job, and much more to do with rethinking how we live and provide for ourselves and our loved ones, and how we interact with others, both at the level of the individual and in groups (ie, politics).

I’ve only been on this forum for about 2.5 years, but in that time I’ve seen some of the folks who inspired me to join in the first place leave, some deleting most traces they were ever even here in the first place. In retrospect some of what those folks had shared here prompted me to make some pretty drastic changes, for the positive, in the way I live my life and interact with the world and the people in it. So, it’s sad when they leave.

However, I certainly understand and sympathize with their reasoning. First, of course, I think given the very nature of this forum most/all of us who are in the wealth accumulation phase can’t really take the risk of not at least attempting anonymity. But, to the more relevant issue here of “politically”-motivated departures, this Forbes editorial was recently shared (following the DC insurrection) on a group text chain with some neighbors with whom I am friends, if not especially close friends (I mean, we’ve vacationed together on several occasions, but perhaps we’re not so close that they know my political leanings—bc if they did then some of what’s said in the text chain I’d have to think are attacks directed at me, personally): https://www.forbes.com/sites/randalllan ... c20fe5710b. This editorial i think is meant to be limited specifically to Trump’s mouthpieces; but the implication from my text thread was, basically, “if you supported this guy, in any way, we are now justified in canceling your ass!” It’s that sentiment I think that would motivate someone to ask @Jacob to delete their existence on this forum, even if they’d never said anything beyond what would have been seen as recently as a couple months ago as relatively innocuous and non-controversial. I don’t intend to leave, but man, strange times indeed.

IlliniDave
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by IlliniDave »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:18 am
“if you supported this guy, in any way, we are now justified in canceling your ass!” It’s that sentiment I think that would motivate someone to ask @Jacob to delete their existence on this forum, even if they’d never said anything beyond what would have been seen as recently as a couple months ago as relatively innocuous and non-controversial. I don’t intend to leave, but man, strange times indeed.
If you generalize that to say, "If you disagree with us, we are now justified to ..." you've got one facet of the "political risk" I've expressed concern about in other contexts (referring to other facets).

It has been quite strange to watch the evolution of the public dialogue, something I started becoming aware of in the 1978-1980 time frame when I got old enough that "civics" first showed up in my school curriculum. My teachers were of an age and bent such that they were greatly influenced by the liberal movements of the 1960s, and through them I was. Barely removed from their hippie roots, they were by today's standards spouting fascistic lies. As you pointed out, the great flip is extremely recent, and to me both disorienting and deeply concerning. Most of all, disappointing. A large fraction of the people I know are advocating for censorship, enough that it could actually get codified.

Two large factions each claim an exclusive monopoly on fact and truth. Neither one of them have that. Neither are particularly close when you look at what is broadcast through the respective political PAs. And therein lies the danger of allowing one or the other to dictate the terms of public dialogue. If it is not the sole motive to begin with, it is at least an irresistible temptation to silence competing ideas via dictating what is true and untrue, treating complex situations as if they are simple binary items that are either fact or not fact, true or false.

Once we get to that point on the slope where there is no avoiding the chaotic slide and eventual fall to the bottom, I'm pretty much screwed insofar as being allowed to retain any sort of social standing. Maybe having the ability to live somewhat apart from society, and adopting a low key presence if I'm able, will allow me to skirt by. Erasing myself isn't an option.

7Wannabe5
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I did read that 62% of Democratic females will not even consider dating Republican men. Since I tend to think of politics as being superficial to stronger underlying trends, my theory is that this has to do with the fact that more adults these days spend more of their life time in friend groups than family groups, and this is due to the high expense of child-rearing through college or graduate degree and declining birth-rates. IOW, most young women are Democrats and most of them would not even consider "bringing home to dinner" to their friendship group (as opposed to Mom and Dad as in previous eras) anybody even vaguely affiliated with the crowd that invaded the Capital. OTOH, as with fertility rates, this trend somewhat reverses at highest levels of affluence.

AxelHeyst
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Re: On deleting journals, posts, and accounts

Post by AxelHeyst »

Hristo Botev wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:18 am
That said, ERE is at its core political, in the small “p”/Greek sense of the term, as a movement or philosophy concerned with how people interact with one another, especially in terms of the distribution of limited resources and status. I don’t think we can separate and compartmentalize FI/ecology, on the one hand, from “politics,” on the other. I mean, I think ERE is a “fringe social/political viewpoint”; and one that has less to do with a person being able to save up enough money to quit their job, and much more to do with rethinking how we live and provide for ourselves and our loved ones, and how we interact with others, both at the level of the individual and in groups (ie, politics).
Yes, completely agreed. (And just to be really clear, my points here are all related to "ideas on how people should use this forum", not "how Axel thinks the world should ideally work".)

But I think there's a difference between discussing Plato's cave and how consumer culture is wrong-headed, and getting in to a heated discussion with another poster about the specifics of being pro-A vs. pro-B, or whatever the very specific political issue being "discussed" is. Let us be honest: a lot of the political discussions that occur here have little to do with, and contribute very little to, ERE. It's just a bunch of people who happen to gather around a common cause (ERE) getting in to political discussions because that's what humans who gather tend to do. I'm not against this in principle at all.

And I am very much not suggesting that the forum should be policed or discussions judged as to how relevant they are to ERE; I am suggesting that even political discussions that are related to ERE, if conducted with common sense, shouldn't run anyone afoul of serious personal-life implications, and so if everyone gets a little more cautious around what topics they discuss, the harm to ERE-specific discussions will be negligible. The closest anyone should get to controversial topics within the remit of ERE might be debating the merits of US citizens choosing to live without health insurance, for example. Anything more controversial should be discussed with extreme caution and plausible deniability.

The trick, as folks are pointing out, is that people will write things that they think aren't dangerous at all, and find in five years (or weeks) that it suddenly is. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think it's all that hard. Maybe that's because I'm young and paranoid, and have never had an expectation that I wouldn't be hunted down for my beliefs. Perhaps we could have a different thread for a "best practices on how to survive the internet in the 21st century" discussion, as that's getting in to tactics.
Hristo Botev wrote:
Sun Jan 10, 2021 5:18 am
However, I certainly understand and sympathize with their reasoning. ..... This editorial i think is meant to be limited specifically to Trump’s mouthpieces; but the implication from my text thread was, basically, “if you supported this guy, in any way, we are now justified in canceling your ass!” It’s that sentiment I think that would motivate someone to ask @Jacob to delete their existence on this forum...
Yes. I don't think it's safe to post one's *specific* political leanings, such as who they voted for or what they *really* think about this or that candidate or cause, on the internet, anymore. I think anyone who does think it's safe to do so is kidding themselves, or simply has a much higher risk tolerance than I do, or has a set of ethical beliefs that requires them to speak up even at risk to their personal lives.

In so far as someone feels they've already posted too much and are worried about being #canceled, my feeling is that it's a matter of personal responsibility. Do the work to cull your own posts. Maybe everything in the pol sub can be nuked, but the journals are left alone. It's inappropriate to ask for a nuke, except for really extenuating circumstances.
  • We should assume our anonymity only goes far enough to protect us from employers/bosses/colleagues.
  • We should assume that, at any moment, some bad-faith actor is lurking this forum and might take exception to what we've posted, do the five minute's work required to dox us, dump it on /b (or wherever) and call a witch hunt. This is just how everyone should treat the internet now.
Also, it occurs to me that the vast majority of people on the internet post their views about politics on their social media accounts, often to a more extreme view than the discussions on this forum. I wonder if we're all worried about not that much.

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