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Pol Lounge General News Thread of "This doesn't deserve it's own thread" (Page 57)
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subego
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Apr 14, 2021, 07:20 PM
 
Any FOSS dorks following the RMS kerfuffle?

Even though he’s a weirdo, and says stupid shit, I can’t help but like the guy (from afar).

Not my own insight but I kinda have to agree with the proposition his job is to be a salesman, which is a bad fit for terminal social awkwardness. That said, I feel free software needs some of his brand of insanity.



Edit: for non-dorks, Richard Stallman (RMS) wrote a bunch of important software back in the day, and segued into being the spokesman for the free software movement. He’s... a character. Quite obviously on the spectrum. He was canceled recently from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which he created, for some of his more colorful opinions.

This made people mad.

Then he was uncanceled, which really made people mad.
     
Laminar
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Apr 15, 2021, 10:30 AM
 
Iowa's going hard on the pro-police legislature lately. Here's a sampling of what the House just passed in their "Back the Blue" bill and sent over to the Senate:

Raising penalties for protest-related offenses: The bill would expand the definition of felony criminal mischief to include defacing or altering publicly owned property and would make being present during a riot punishable by a charge of felony disorderly conduct. The bill would raise the penalty for rioting to a felony and the penalty for unlawful assembly to an aggravated misdemeanor. It would also expand the definition of unlawful assembly to include joining a lawful assembly but willingly remaining after that assembly becomes unlawful. And it would add intentionally pointing a laser pointer at someone "to cause pain or injury" to the definition of assault.
Show up to a protest, someone throws a brick through a window. You're now a felon. Good thing that outside groups have never provoked any violence.

Eliminating liability for drivers who hit protesters: The bill would grant civil immunity to drivers of vehicles who injure someone who is blocking traffic while engaging in disorderly conduct or participating in a protest, demonstration, riot or unlawful assembly without a permit. The driver must be exercising "due care" at the time and not engaging in "reckless or willful misconduct."
They're literally telling people to go plow over protestors. Because **** Heather Heyer and the sanctity of her human life.

Enhancing "eluding" penalties: The bill would add failing to stop for an unmarked law enforcement vehicle to the definition of eluding.
Ah, Secret Police, the cornerstone of liberty and freedom in every functioning democracy.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...ty/7219096002/
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 15, 2021, 10:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
He was canceled recently from the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which he created, for some of his more colorful opinions.
He made statements that were widely read as attempts to explain-away sex with minors. That's a bit beyond "colorful."
     
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Apr 15, 2021, 11:14 AM
 
willingly remaining after that assembly becomes unlawful
So once the police surround the protest with blocades, pepper spray someone, then people react angrily, everyone within the barricades is a felon. That won't be abused at all.
     
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Apr 15, 2021, 12:41 PM
 
Cops being assholes? Never.
     
Laminar
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Apr 15, 2021, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
So once the police surround the protest with blocades, pepper spray someone, then people react angrily, everyone within the barricades is a felon. That won't be abused at all.
And then when some random dude tries to grab you and shove you into a Honda Odyssey, and you run away from him, you'll face enhanced "eluding" charges. But that won't matter because you'll immediately be plowed over by Bubba McDumb**** in his lifted Chevy Silverado plastered with blue line Punisher skulls, at which point the Secret Police will give him a high five and buy him Burger King.
     
reader50
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Apr 15, 2021, 04:47 PM
 
People protest when they perceive injustice, or feel they have no other choice. Clamping down on protest doesn't address the causes - it only makes them worse. In other words, a positive feedback.

State Republican* leaders could address the causes by changing unpopular policies. Instead, this looks like the early stages of a death spiral. Businesses fail whey they stop making a profit, and don't address the causes. In politics, votes take the place of profits. But you get the same result. Shrinking market share until your enterprise becomes irrelevant.

Gerrymandering is another positive feedback to avoid addressing policies. Likewise voter suppression. Likewise trying to run famous candidates, while skipping over their policy positions.

*Democrat leaders sometimes play too. Gerrymandering and running famous candidates sans policy positions. Not voter or protest suppression so far as I've observed.
     
subego
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Apr 15, 2021, 05:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
He made statements that were widely read as attempts to explain-away sex with minors. That's a bit beyond "colorful."
The way I understand it, he’s made two notable statements on the subject.

The first was commenting on the absurdity of inconsistent consent laws (i.e., whether a given sex act is legal depends on where one is physically located). I agree with him on that. It is absurd. I would only add there are some fairly obvious reasons why it’s that way, but they don’t make it any less absurd.

The second was to defend Marvin Minsky, who was his close personal friend, and also dead, so he couldn’t defend himself. I’m naturally inclined to cut Stallman slack for that. As I said, though, I like Stallman (and Minsky, too), so that’s going to influence my opinion.
     
subego
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Apr 16, 2021, 02:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
Iowa's going hard on the pro-police legislature lately.
To be fair, have you ever met an Iowan? They’re ****in’ savages.
     
Laminar
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Apr 16, 2021, 08:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Gerrymandering is another positive feedback to avoid addressing policies. Likewise voter suppression. Likewise trying to run famous candidates, while skipping over their policy positions.
Well Republicans have proven over and over again that you don't have to win the popular vote to win the election. They're just aspiring to be Russia, where any dissent toward the party can be met with violence, poison, or just disappearing people, all of which have ramped up in the US over the last four years. They're not just formally legalizing the practice now.
     
Laminar
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Apr 16, 2021, 08:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To be fair, have you ever met an Iowan? They’re ****in’ savages.
I mean, there was hope for a while. Iowa has historically been a leader in quality of education, though that has dropped off in recent years. Iowa was the third state to legalize gay marriage, but a campaign by religious groups got the judges that approved it recalled and kicked out. For a while, Des Moines was consistently rated one of the best states for young professionals, with plenty of insurance, finance, and tech jobs coupled with a low cost of living and generally a good place to raise a family. But the last several years of KKK-sympathizer Steve King's reign, Trump sycophants Joni Ernst and Kim Reynolds putting party over providing for their state, and Iowa's absolute garbage response to Covid, a lot of people are questioning why they'd bother sticking around.
     
subego
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Apr 16, 2021, 09:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
For a while, Des Moines was consistently rated one of the best states for young professionals
I was going to scoff, but Des Moines losing statehood was pretty crummy. This too, is meant as a joke.
     
subego
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Apr 16, 2021, 10:10 AM
 
Actual serious question, which I was sorta trying to get at with my first joke.

Did Iowa actually have any problems with protests?
     
Thorzdad
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Apr 16, 2021, 11:08 AM
 
Nope.
     
subego
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Apr 16, 2021, 11:19 AM
 
That was my assumption.
     
Laminar
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Apr 16, 2021, 11:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Actual serious question, which I was sorta trying to get at with my first joke.

Did Iowa actually have any problems with protests?
Initially, yes.

7:33 p.m. May 29

While some rally attendees left the area after the function, a majority staid and continue to give chants and testimonies. A few of the attendees yelled to the crowd that they would bring their chants to the police around the corner.

The Des Moines Police Department had been blocking of side streets for the rally and protesters met them at East Second Street and Court Avenue chanting "Hands up, don't shoot." When authorities attempted to move their vehicles, a few of the protesters surrounded the vehicle, threw water bottles, kicked the vehicle, and jumped on the rear end of the vehicle. The officer in the police vehicle rolled down the window and sprayed a substance in order to get the crowd to disperse. The officer drove to the southeast side of the street where police gathered, using police vehicles to block the road.

During the altercation, there was damages to some of the police vehicles. One vehicle had all of the windows broken in. More spray was deployed while authorities pushed the protesters back into the intersection.

9:10 p.m. May 29

Law enforcement sprayed the crowd, dispersing the group of protesters throughout the intersection. The authorities then threw canisters of tear gas and other substances into the intersection.

10 p.m. May 29

Multiple law enforcement units assist the Des Moines Police Department including the Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Iowa State Patrol. More tactical units join law enforcement in pushing back protesters away from the Des Moines Police Station. Buildings downtown had windows broken including Hilltop Tire Service, Embassy Suites and the Federal Court House.

9:30 p.m. May 30

A large group of protesters formed at the Des Moines Police Station for a second night in a row to protest Floyd's death. After marching around downtown, they came to the Polk County Courthouse where few of the protesters broke the windows of the building.

10:30 p.m. May 30

After leaving the Polk County Courthouse, protesters headed toward the Iowa State Capitol where protesters were met by a line of law enforcement in riot gear. During the stand off, authorities announced that the gathering was illegal and they were issuing a disperse order. Law enforcement used a megaphone to warn the crowd four times to leave before law enforcement used tear gas, mace and other methods.

12:20 a.m. May 31

Protesters marched East on Court Avenue across the bridge where they were met at the intersection near the police station by authorities in riot gear barricading the street. Authorities immediately began using tear gas, mace and other methods on protesters. The protesters began to run and the cars that followed them attempted to turn around on the bridge, nearly hitting a few of the protesters.

Authorities pushed the protesters back between Second and Third Street on Court Avenue. They continued to use various methods to disperse the protesters.

7:30 p.m. May 31

Protesters came face-to-face with police at Merle Hay Mall. Some of the public involved broke windows of the mall and people were seen looting while others were seen vandalizing the building.

8 p.m. May 31

KCCI crews witnessed a Des Moines Register reporter taken into custody and put into a police wagon at Merle Hay Mall while on the scene. Other Des Moines Register employees including Barbara Rodriguez have tweeted that Andrea Sahouri, breaking news reporter, was arrested while working during the protests.

11:30 p.m. June 1

A group of people faced police officers on the steps of the Statehouse Monday following a series of protests throughout downtown Des Moines.

Authorities first issued dispersal orders just before 11:30 p.m., prompting some protesters to leave the area.

Police used tear gas around 11:45 p.m. after issuing three dispersal orders.
Since then it's been mostly peaceful. Oh, and that journalist who got arrested was finally found not guilty.

https://www.npr.org/2021/03/10/97567...-matter-protes

A Des Moines Register reporter has been found not guilty by an Iowa jury of failing to disperse and interfering with official acts.
...
"I wasn't doing anything wrong," Sahouri said, as Iowa Public Radio reported. "I said, 'I'm press, I'm press, I'm press.' He grabbed me, pepper-sprayed me and as he was doing so said, 'That's not what I asked.' "

Police body cam video that was shown to the jury supported Sahouri's version of events, showing that as she dealt with the effects of the pepper spray, she told the officer: "This is my job ... I'm just doing my job. I'm a journalist."

Sahouri said she was running away from police in riot gear who fired tear gas into the crowd as they moved to disperse protesters near a Des Moines shopping mall.

When she saw Wilson coming toward her, she said, she put up her hands.
...
On cross-examination by Sahouri's attorney, Wilson said he charged her with interference because she briefly pulled her left arm away while he was arresting her, the AP said. He acknowledged that his police report doesn't mention that accusation.
Pull your arm away while you're being wrongfully arrested? Ope, that's another charge.

     
subego
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Apr 16, 2021, 12:30 PM
 
Thanks!

Seems relatively low-key.



Edit: the protests... I’m not characterizing the police response.
     
Laminar
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Apr 16, 2021, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Thanks!

Seems relatively low-key.

Edit: the protests... I’m not characterizing the police response.
Yeah, it was mostly those first three days, just a couple things since then.

Police used pepper spray on at least one protester who grabbed an officer. A reporter saw police use pepper spray on another protester who did not touch or assault an officer. The officer was likely giving the person orders to get back, Parizek said.

"There has to be a point where we de-escalate," [DMPD information officer] Parizek said. "We don't want to assault them so we need that safe space. If people are coming close to us they may get pepper sprayed."
****in' safe space...it's too on the nose.

Of course just this week they took a high school girl to the ground and arrested her for...touching an officer's arm.

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/st...st/7128326002/
     
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Apr 17, 2021, 12:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The way I understand it, he’s made two notable statements on the subject.
Stallman has a history of being a very difficult individual, some while ago I read the craziness that ensures when he was staying over for a visit once. (I searched, but could no longer find the link.) Like you wrote in your first post, this isn't just about Stallman's opinions, but the fact that he is a figurehead for the FSF and OSS more generally. And if your job is marketing, but you are not good at it and you are not good at keeping good relations with other people, it is a matter of time until you run into problems.

I would also take issue with characterizing what has happened as (un)cancelation: the fact that speech and actions have consequences is not the same as canceling someone. (Although many people like to mix the two.) Likely, this wasn't the first issue the FSF had with RMS.

The whole thing reminded me of Glenn Greenwald resigning from The Intercept last year. Greenwald saw this narrowly as being a protest against censorship (it seems he thought he could publish whatever he wanted without having to deal with The Intercept's editors). He insinuated that The Intercept was soft on Joe Biden before the election out of fear that Trump might be re-elected. (Having seen their coverage pre- and post-election, I think they have been very critical of Biden and his administration.) Knowing nothing about the internals, one immediate conjecture of mine was that a main contributing factor was the fact that Greenwald lives in Brazil whereas the HQ of The Intercept is in NYC. So he was out of the loop and I reckon does not work well with others. It doesn't make him a bad journalist, though. Just a prodigy who is hard to work with.
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subego
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Apr 17, 2021, 04:00 AM
 
How are you defining canceling?
     
subego
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Apr 17, 2021, 04:40 AM
 
The one Stallman sleepover story I’ve heard is he barged into his host’s room after everyone had retired for the night demanding to use a hardwire Ethernet connection.

This was because Stallman didn’t have an open source driver for the WiFi on his laptop.

Peak Stallman.
     
OreoCookie
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Apr 17, 2021, 07:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
How are you defining canceling?
I don’t know, it is not a term I use. I mostly see this term used by conservatives who dislike that they or someone they like and support are facing consequences of their speech. On the other hand, in their minds, Colin Capernick wasn’t canceled.

I prefer to use descriptive language, e. g. “RMS was forced to resign.”
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subego
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Apr 17, 2021, 10:46 PM
 
Interesting.

At the least, cancelling implies a specific mechanism (the Internet) was used to achieve the result, whereas “forced out” leaves the mechanism undefined.


Edit: as an aside, I’d say cancelling is almost exclusively a tool of the left (with a few big exceptions like Kaepernick and James Gunn). This isn’t due to any moral superiority on the part of the right, just that the tactic works poorly for them. The right gets a lot more mileage out of extreme cyberbullying.
     
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Apr 18, 2021, 12:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
At the least, cancelling implies a specific mechanism (the Internet) was used to achieve the result, whereas “forced out” leaves the mechanism undefined.
I don’t know about that. I thought advertisers pulling their ads from e. g. a TV program were also included under the moniker “cancelled”. I don’t think the mechanism matters much, and I haven’t heard other people make this distinction. Social media are a form of media. I understand “cancelled” as meaning having been unjustly fired or been forced to resign for something that is deemed controversial by a loud, vocal minority. Sure, social media is a way for the small minority to exert pressure, but social media is part of the ocean society swims in. I wouldn’t single out that particular mechanism, though.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Edit: as an aside, I’d say cancelling is almost exclusively a tool of the left (with a few big exceptions like Kaepernick and James Gunn).
Not really, apart from verbiage, I can come up with a ton of examples from the top of my head. The Dixie Chicks were “canceled” twice (for their opposition to the Iraq War and their opposition to Trump). Chelsea Manning lost her Harvard scholarship while Shaun Spicer kept his fellowship after losing his job as Trump’s first White House spokesperson. It is just that these were not described as cancellations, at least not at the time. Take Youtube, for example, you cannot advertise videos where you use terms like Black Lives Matter even though you can advertise videos associated with White Lives Matter or All Lives Matter. The Arstechnica article I linked to has a bunch of other examples of banned/allowed keywords for Google and Facebook ads that have a similar imbalance.

I think the fact that the term cancelled is associated with a political color just has to do with marketing: as far as I can tell, it was coined by Republicans who are using it as part of their narrative that they are being unduly oppressed and pressured by “The Left”. The same people who claim that Facebook has a leftwing bias. So IMHO this is probably where your impression comes from that it is a tool of “The Left”, simply because it is a term predominantly used by people who see themselves on “The Right”.

That’s why I don’t want to use the term “cancelled”, because it mingles cases where people justly lost their jobs for something inappropriate they did (I’d call that consequence culture), even though they wouldn’t have if it happened a few years ago. The Me Too movement is a good example, it changed society’s perspective. But it also includes cases were people unjustly lost their jobs. And cases that were borderline.

When it comes to the cancelling debate, what irks me the most are cases of prominent people who were supposedly cancelled, but still of have tons of outlets and are usually quite rich and powerful. For example, JK Rowling has received lots of criticism for her characterization of transgender people. Roseanne Barr was fired for continuing to spread crazy conspiracy theories, not her conservative points of views. I don’t want to weigh in on the specifics of these controversies, but I’d just like to point out they are still supremely rich public personas. If you are a public persona worth more than 500 million pounds, you can take a punch or ten. Ditto for Trump, if he had been banned from Twitter earlier, he’d still have been able to call a press conference any time he wanted. Was Kevin Spacey cancelled? Was Bill O’Reilly cancelled? What about Al Franken?

I’d rather look towards people with relatively little power, where the impact of them losing their job is severe and immediate and potentially irreversible.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This isn’t due to any moral superiority on the part of the right, just that the tactic works poorly for them. The right gets a lot more mileage out of extreme cyberbullying.
I think the tactic has worked supremely well for American conservatives. Look at the Anti-BDS laws, which restrict people’s First Amendment Rights. Look at the regulations by the ad monopsonies that are Google and Facebook. Deeds and general laws are much impactful than single cases. Conservatives have successfully called for boycotts of e. g. companies in the past for years. At the same time, “having been cancelled” works extremely well to perpetuate the myth of victimhood that is way too rampant. IMHO it is mostly marketing to avoid having to think through the nuances of individual cases.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Apr 18, 2021 at 07:55 AM. Reason: Fixed a typo)
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subego
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Apr 18, 2021, 07:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I understand “cancelled” as meaning having been unjustly fired or been forced to resign for something that is deemed controversial by a loud, vocal minority.
I need a neutral version of this word.

One where it applies regardless of justification, and distinguishes it as an Internet phenomenon.
     
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Apr 18, 2021, 07:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I need a neutral version of this word.

One where it applies regardless of justification, and distinguishes it as an Internet phenomenon.
“Cancelled” isn’t neutral by definition (at least as I understand it), it always implies that someone lost something (a job, a position, etc.) unjustly in the mind of the person who says it? To me “internet phenomenon” isn’t the important bit, but “unjustly”, that the speaker or the group the speaker is talking about interprets the loss of a job etc. as something the person did not deserve.

Otherwise you could just say someone has been fired or forced to resign. That’s neutral and perfectly describes the situation.
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subego
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Apr 18, 2021, 07:18 PM
 
Can you hit me with that first sentence again? There’s a typo.

I think I know what you’re saying, but want to be sure.
     
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Apr 18, 2021, 07:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Can you hit me with that first sentence again? There’s a typo.

I think I know what you’re saying, but want to be sure.
In my mind you use the non-neutral word “cancelled” rather than something like fired or forced to resign if you want to imply that you or the person you talk about think they lost their job or position unjustly.

The internet phenomenon aspect doesn’t seem central to me. Yes, the internet is part of it, but that’s simply because it is part of the air we breathe.
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subego
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Apr 19, 2021, 02:56 AM
 
Thanks for the clarification!


I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.

I put “cancel” into Twitter. This thread was the first hit.






Takei is doing something similar to what was done to the phrase “social justice warrior”, which was also initially coined as a slur. He’s adopting the word as an accurate descriptor, and is saying it applies in situations where he considers the loss to be just (the America First Caucus), and unjust (the notion elections were free and fair).

The meaning of “canceled” is bit of a free-for-all.



Phun Phact Edit: Takei adjacent, I live right by where Tokyo Rose had her shop, and hung out there a lot back in the day. It was almost like she was my babysitter.
( Last edited by subego; Apr 19, 2021 at 03:22 AM. )
     
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Apr 19, 2021, 05:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Thanks for the clarification!
Welcome!
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I put “cancel” into Twitter. This thread was the first hit.
To be fair, many of my examples came from periods before the term was invented (or at least, before I became aware of it).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Takei is doing something similar to what was done to the phrase “social justice warrior”, which was also initially coined as a slur.
I think this is a good analogy, although I'd say you add to the meaning. There are many words like that, e. g. gay, Jew, girl, etc. When I was a kid, (the German word for) gay was used as a slur on the playground. But the gay community adopted it for itself and now it is a normal, neutral word. Of course, if the speaker does not like gays, then the listener will still pick up on the derision that is implied.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
He’s adopting the word as an accurate descriptor, and is saying it applies in situations where he considers the loss to be just (the America First Caucus), and unjust (the notion elections were free and fair).
Maybe we are reading the tweets differently, but I thought Takei was mocking Republicans when he used the term canceled/cancel culture. Basically, I understand this as Takei calling out conservatives for whining about having to face consequences when they do or say something objectionable (like wanting to found a caucus whose name is intrinsically linked to the KKK and American Nazis).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The meaning of “canceled” is bit of a free-for-all.
Meaning of words evolve, and sometimes have different meanings to different people. The way I'd read it is that canceling someone and cancel culture are something negative. But I can see how the meaning of canceling someone could morph into something neutral. However, I have a harder time seeing that happen to cancel culture.

By the way, if you like this topic, check out the podcast Pivot, hosted by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. It is a bit business centric, but given Swisher's background in tech, they often stick to tech companies. The two have often discussed cancel culture (Galloway) vs. consequence culture (Swisher). I reckon you'd like that. Knowing you, I reckon you like Galloway's perspective (a conservative, pro-business, socially liberal Democrat).
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Phun Phact Edit: Takei adjacent, I live right by where Tokyo Rose had her shop, and hung out there a lot back in the day. It was almost like she was my babysitter.


PS One more question: do you write cancelled with one l or two?
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Apr 19, 2021, 05:38 AM
 
Any other examples of conservatives using positive words as insults?

Liberal is the best one, but Social Justice Warrior works too.

How long before "What are you, some kind of god-damned decent human being?" becomes their go to attack line?
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subego
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Apr 19, 2021, 05:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Welcome!

To be fair, many of my examples came from periods before the term was invented (or at least, before I became aware of it).

I think this is a good analogy, although I'd say you add to the meaning. There are many words like that, e. g. gay, Jew, girl, etc. When I was a kid, (the German word for) gay was used as a slur on the playground. But the gay community adopted it for itself and now it is a normal, neutral word. Of course, if the speaker does not like gays, then the listener will still pick up on the derision that is implied.

Maybe we are reading the tweets differently, but I thought Takei was mocking Republicans when he used the term canceled/cancel culture. Basically, I understand this as Takei calling out conservatives for whining about having to face consequences when they do or say something objectionable (like wanting to found a caucus whose name is intrinsically linked to the KKK and American Nazis).

Meaning of words evolve, and sometimes have different meanings to different people. The way I'd read it is that canceling someone and cancel culture are something negative. But I can see how the meaning of canceling someone could morph into something neutral. However, I have a harder time seeing that happen to cancel culture.

By the way, if you like this topic, check out the podcast Pivot, hosted by Kara Swisher and Scott Galloway. It is a bit business centric, but given Swisher's background in tech, they often stick to tech companies. The two have often discussed cancel culture (Galloway) vs. consequence culture (Swisher). I reckon you'd like that. Knowing you, I reckon you like Galloway's perspective (a conservative, pro-business, socially liberal Democrat).



PS One more question: do you write cancelled with one l or two?
I’m going by the second to last sentence in the second tweet.

“The America First Caucus is actually the first time they did it for the right reason.”

He’s explicitly stating here a cancelation can be done for the right reason, which presumably means it is also justified.

I interpreted the pair of tweets as not mocking the Republicans, but calling them hypocrites. They complain about cancel culture, yet take no issue with canceling something themselves, be it for a good reason (the caucus) or a bad reason (the idea elections were free and fair).

Part of the definition George and I disagree on is whether a thing can get canceled. To me, only a person can get canceled. Wikipedia seems to go with that definition, stating a cancelation has occurred when someone is ostracized, not something.

However broad we want to make the definition, my opinion on canceling is like my opinion on the death penalty. I don’t question whether there are people who deserve to die, but I have huge problems with the state being the arbiter because they have shown time and time again they do an appallingly poor job.


I’ve been all over the place with the “L”. iPhone spel check seems to accept both one or two. I use the “Advanced English Dictionary”, and it seems to say either works, except with the base-word, where two is obsolete. I figured I should be consistent, and a few posts ago decided I would do my best to stick with just one.
     
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Apr 19, 2021, 07:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
He’s explicitly stating here a cancelation can be done for the right reason, which presumably means it is also justified.
Sure, but I understand him mocking the GOP and pointing out (like you picked up on, too) that they are hypocrites.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I interpreted the pair of tweets as not mocking the Republicans, but calling them hypocrites. They complain about cancel culture, yet take no issue with canceling something themselves, be it for a good reason (the caucus) or a bad reason (the idea elections were free and fair).
Agreed, although I think it isn’t one or the other, but rather a mixture of all of them. You could also read it as a way to show the absurdity of cancelled/cancel culture — because more often than not, there is good reason why people got into trouble. To me the messages had a strong sarcastic, even sardonic touch, too.

But I think before we descend too deeply into reading tea leaves, I’d just say that in my mind Takei is not using “cancel culture” or cancelling literally, but he is making a mockery of them and/or of people who use those words, but have no issue “cancelling” others themselves when it is convenient for them.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Part of the definition George and I disagree on is whether a thing can get canceled. To me, only a person can get canceled. Wikipedia seems to go with that definition, stating a cancelation has occurred when someone is ostracized, not something.
Uff, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I’m not a language prescriptivist, it is about how words are being used. If you said to me, “The America First Caucus got cancelled.”, I’d understand what you meant perfectly.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
However broad we want to make the definition, my opinion on canceling is like my opinion on the death penalty. I don’t question whether there are people who deserve to die, but I have huge problems with the state being the arbiter because they have shown time and time again they do an appallingly poor job.
Good idea, let’s circle back to the original question. In RMS’s case that’d then depend on what his actual job is. I don’t really know. It seems he’s one of the FSF’s elder statesmen, someone to give talks, awarded to him for his rich, past achievements. But I don’t know that for sure.

But let’s pretend this is what his job entails. Then he should consider that his words are seen as speaking for the organization. He must be quite cautious, especially if you know the topic is sensitive, because he has to be aware that he will be viewed as speaking for the FSF. I think I can understand that the organization (and other organizations he is associated with) severed their ties with him. I don’t know RMS gossip well enough, but there are accusations that he has had a long history of misogynistic remarks, so the remarks that got him fired (initially, at least), were just the tip of the ice berg. (FWIW, having been around STEM people of RMS’s vintage, I can see how that happens. In the past, I failed to speak up when one of my former colleagues (with a well-deserved reputation) made remarks in bad taste. And I believe that he didn’t act in bad faith, he was no Weinstein.)

For example, I’m not a public person. So you could ask me “Coke or Pepsi?” and it’d be no problem for me to answer. (Coke if anyone cares, although I drink coke very rarely.) But if I were chancellor of Germany (two l if anyone is counting), I wouldn’t want to answer publicly. Not because I’m shy about the answer, but because it could be construed as me replying as an official of the German state. Perhaps Pepsi might fear reprisals for producing the inferior beverage, that is clearly just a knock-off of the original.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’ve been all over the place with the “L”. iPhone spel check seems to accept both one or two. I use the “Advanced English Dictionary”, and it seems to say either works, except with the base-word, where two is obsolete. I figured I should be consistent, and a few posts ago decided I would do my best to stick with just one.
… which made me reconsider my spelling choices, too, thank you very much!
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Apr 21, 2021, 05:48 PM
 
Sorry for the delay!

I see the question whether Stallman should front the FSF as totally different from the question of whether he’s misogynist, ableist, and transphobic, which is what he’s accused of in the open letter.

To use an extreme analogy, let’s say I’m falsely accused of murder. We’ve been working on a system of fair and blind justice for centuries. It is based in the philosophy it is better for 10 guilty people should go free rather than one innocent be found guilty.

Should I not fear my trial since I’m innocent?

No. I’m quite frankly still scared shitless, because I know despite all the checks and balances, along with centuries of refinement, innocent people are found guilty all the time.

Consequence culture is this, only without any grounding in the theory of justice, or the checks and balances.
     
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Apr 21, 2021, 08:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Consequence culture is this, only without any grounding in the theory of justice, or the checks and balances.
While I don't share your characterization of consequence culture, let's roll with it for a moment. I think the first mistake you make here is that you apply the legal standard for a criminal case to life at large. So someone has to break a clearly defined law and the evidence needs to be beyond a reasonable doubt. The reason is quite clear: punishments for crimes can be severe, we are talking about depraving someone of their freedom and perhaps (unfortunately) their life. Whereas here the stakes for famous cases are much lower. Let's take Justice Kavanaugh: he already had a lifetime appointment, so what was on the line for him was a promotion. If he didn't get confirmed, he wouldn't have to ask for benefits, he and his family wouldn't be out in the streets, he'd still be at the Court of Appeals for DC — a lifetime appointment on probably the second most important court in the US.

Very often the most significant consequence is no longer being accepted in polite society. For example, it is no longer acceptable to make homophobic jokes in the presence of most people. Or to make openly sexist remarks. Think of J. K. Rowling, what actual consequences did her controversial statements about transgender people have? I bet they still have the Harry Potter world at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka (I think it is closed at the moment, but not because of anything J. K. Rowling has said, but because of the Covid-19 pandemic). Do you think she'll be denied her next book contract? I sincerely doubt it.

And I do think in most circumstances the standard of evidence and the egregiousness increase as the punishment increases — at least if the person is famous. I am most concerned about “cancel culture” if the person does not have any power. But these are the cases we hear nothing about (with very, very few exceptions).

The second thing you are forgetting, I think, is the rights of the other person/side to act. For example, if someone's sexism has stalled the careers of several women for no good reason, then there is damage — and this damage is harder to see. Because it is harder to see what could have been as opposed to someone taking something away you had (a job, income, etc.). A company or organization has a right to defend itself against a loss of reputation. For example, if an advertiser sees advertising on Bill O'Reilly's show or Tucker Carlson's show as damaging to its brand, I think it is prudent for the company to withdraw its advertising dollars. Would they have to wait until the damage is established beyond a reasonable doubt? If having Donald Trump on the platform makes Twitter toxic and cost them literally billions in market cap, at what point is it reasonable for the company to ban him?

And when the law finally does get involved, the beyond a reasonable doubt standard is what counts. Are cases like Weinstein's with lots of publicity different from those that are quietly proceeding through the judicial system? Yes, although I'd argue this cuts both ways. If the verdict conflicts with what a sizable share of the population feels is just, then this will cause a stir. And in some cases, you have a small, but vocal minority. Then there are cases where the majority of people believe the person has done it, but there was insufficient evidence to convict. Just think of the OJ trial, for example. But it isn't the only thing that counts, in fact. Even if there is incontrovertible evidence, many crimes have a statute of limitations. That's how, for example, many sexual abuse cases systematically covered up by the Catholic Church in Germany are legally non-issues, the statute of limitations has expired so victims can't push for legal justice.

However, in the types of cases we are talking here, the justice system was usually sidestepped with civil litigation that usually ended in the perp paying a princely sum and the victim signing an NDA. In his latest settlement, Bill O'Reilly paid $32 million to Lis Wiehl. You don't fork over that kind of cash unless there is ironclad evidence (beyond a reasonable doubt). I. e. you are paying to stay out of jail (perhaps for a long time). It wasn't the first payment of this kind either.

Eventually, we also need to argue about your characterization of consequence culture not being anchored in any theory of justice. But I'll leave that for another post.
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subego
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Apr 21, 2021, 09:31 PM
 
Off-the-cuff replies:

The question of to what extent a person is canceled is legitimate (e.g., Kavanaugh, Rowling). However, we have a specific case before us. Stallman. I posit him getting thrown out of the organization he created and tarred with numerous derogatory labels goes well beyond ostracism from polite society. It would absolutely destroy him.

I didn’t so much forget about the rights of the accuser as consider those implied. The whole reason this culture exists is to address the grievances of the accuser. To put it another way, my points can be summed up with the question of how do we balance the rights of the accuser with those of the accused?

The specific “theory of justice” I had in mind is the Blackstone Ratio. What would be the analogue in consequence culture?



This is kind of pedantic, but (in the US at least) only criminal cases have the “reasonable doubt” standard. Civil cases are held to a lesser standard. Also note “reasonable doubt” holds true in criminal cases whether it’s egregious (murder) or not (say, drunk and disorderly).
( Last edited by subego; Apr 21, 2021 at 09:53 PM. )
     
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Apr 21, 2021, 10:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
However, we have a specific case before us. Stallman. I posit him getting thrown out of the organization he created and tarred with numerous derogatory labels goes well beyond ostracism from polite society. It would absolutely destroy him.
When you write “derogatory labels”, it seems you are implying that the accusations against him are false and fabricated or exaggerated.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
To put it another way, my points can be summed up with the question of how do we balance the rights of the accuser with those of the accused?
Yes, that's apt. When we look at the spectrum of sexual misconduct, ranging from inappropriate remarks to rape, it is exceedingly rare that this has any consequences. When the Me Too movement bubbled up, only then did I realize how ubiquitous this is. Even my sister didn't dare sharing her experiences. To go to the extreme end of things, in my circle of friends, about 8-10 people have been abused either sexually or physically by their (former) partners, (former) friends or family. In not a single case did then end up in the judicial system. With more casual forms of abuse, the ratio is less. What is worse, on most occasions I did not speak up when it happened. (I can give you plenty of examples of casual cases of sexism and their problems if you'd like, but I am sure you know plenty.)

I think the whole system is out of whack vastly in favor of not doing anything to punish wrongdoing and make sure that inappropriate behavior has consequences. I haven't seen men's careers being impacted in my personal experience. And I know there are men being falsely accused, the ratio seems to be roughly the same as for all other crimes, i. e. you should believe the accuser.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
This is kind of pedantic, but (in the US at least) only criminal cases have the “reasonable doubt” standard. Civil cases are held to a lesser standard. Also note “reasonable doubt” holds true in criminal cases whether it’s egregious (murder) or not (say, drunk and disorderly).
No, that's fair and I am aware of that. I'm saying that it is justified to relax the standard if the consequences are smaller. And that society does not function like a court.
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The specific “theory of justice” I had in mind is the Blackstone Ratio. What would be the analogue in consequence culture?
I would say this is the wrong question to ask and very simplistic. (While the name “Blackstone Ratio” was new to me, the concept, of course, is not.) This concept applies to criminal law where the consequences can be exceedingly harsh, and because of that care must be taken. (Although I'd say that in the current system of justice in the US, you are far off the Blackstone ratio if you do not have the means for a lawyer of your own. Another point for another day.)

With public utterances, you also do not need a standard of proof, which is necessary to establish facts in the eyes of the court. Roseanne Barr's tweets are public (unless she has deleted them in the meantime), everyone can read them. The issue is more about the appropriate verdict by society, that decides what the appropriate repercussions (consequences) are. We are not discussing what J. K. Rowling said, her tweets are public domain. The issue is what they imply and whether that is bad, ok or good. In a sense, if I make the analogy to a court, society negotiates what the law is dynamically. Also in that sense your analogy to a court is not apt, I feel. Society is in some cases also the judge. (Sometimes it is a company or another person.)

Note that this worked (and in many cases still does work) against the victims. When I came to the US, “gay” was a curse word at high school and if you thought being gay was ok, you were an outlier. I got pushback from my peers for saying so. So I know this cuts both ways.
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Apr 30, 2021, 08:54 AM
 
Arkansas father of transgender youth arrested after running 30 seconds over his allotted speaking time, testifying against proposed trans health care ban law.
Groups testifying in support of anti-trans law were allowed to speak over their allotted times. This is today's GOP.
     
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May 1, 2021, 03:10 AM
 
Here’s what actually happened at that hearing.

There were four people who spoke in favor of the bill. They each went about five minutes, and had another five worth of Q&A from the committee. No individual spoke for 40 minutes. All four were 40 minutes total.

There were 16 speakers in opposition to the bill. When it was their turn, a representative made a motion to limit them each to two minutes. A different representative said this was unfair, and made a counter-motion they should get five minutes. The committee voted and the counter-motion failed. The original motion was then voted on and passed.

There’s certainly room to attack the GOP here, but considerably less than the article would lead you to believe.
     
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May 7, 2021, 04:54 PM
 
     
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Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
In an interview Wednesday with a local CBS affiliate, John Brakey — an assistant to Bennett who has described himself as a Democrat who supported Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, in 2020 — said workers were looking for traces of bamboo.
I mean, we all know by now that all of the anti-Hillary and anti-Biden Sanders supporters were just Trump supporters cosplaying as Democrats. So that's not a good cover story to use anymore.
( Last edited by Laminar; May 10, 2021 at 11:35 AM. )
     
subego
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May 10, 2021, 11:21 AM
 
Not sure if serious.
     
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May 10, 2021, 11:37 AM
 
     
subego
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May 10, 2021, 11:47 AM
 
I’m an anti-Hillary and anti-Biden Sanders supporter.

One can debate whether I’m a Trump supporter. I’ll provide two data points.

For 2016, I never once considered voting for Trump, and would have voted for Hillary if I was in a swing state.

2020 was complicated.
     
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May 10, 2021, 01:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I’m an anti-Hillary and anti-Biden Sanders supporter.
I'd consider myself in the periphery of this camp as well. I'm not saying these people don't exist, but this is a set of glasses and a fake moustache that Trump supporters commonly put on in order to try and legitimize their criticism of Democrats and not get immediately shouted down by people that hate Trump.
     
subego
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May 10, 2021, 02:09 PM
 
Oh, no question. I’m just not sure how many we’re talking.

I think there’s a bigger pipeline between the two than it may appear. They’re both populist outsiders, and while from vastly different angles, they both directly targeted the working class in their campaigns.
     
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May 10, 2021, 07:11 PM
 
Trump was never an actual populist, though. He leveraged populist rhetoric to rake in donations, votes, and adoration, but that's as far as his involvement with the concept went. Bernie's the real deal. With Trump, it's just a tool for the grift.
     
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May 10, 2021, 07:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
One can debate whether I’m a Trump supporter. I’ll provide two data points.
I don’t understand: why don’t you tell us whether you are a Trump supporter or not? If you write it like that, it seems as if you invite us to project onto you. Which IMHO is a recipe for trouble. Are you trying to tell us you were a reluctant Trump supporter in 2020? Have you voted for him in 2020?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
2020 was complicated.
What was complicated about it?
Originally Posted by subego View Post
They’re both populist outsiders, and while from vastly different angles, they both directly targeted the working class in their campaigns.
Although I’d say this is an unfair comparison, there is a huge gulf in terms of substance. Sanders has decades worth of history of being involved in politics, being on the right side of issues like desegregation and civil rights. He has an idea for a health care plan that is inspired from other first-world countries with good health care systems. Trump on the other hand lacks any kind of substance when it comes to conviction and policies.
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May 11, 2021, 05:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I don’t understand: why don’t you tell us whether you are a Trump supporter or not?
Because the definition of Trump supporter varies so widely from individual to individual. How I self-identify based on my own idiosyncratic notions of what constitutes a Trump supporter is a worthless piece of information.

In 2016 I never considered voting for Trump. In 2020 I did. Does that make me a Trump supporter? If that fits someone’s definition, me saying “no I’m not” won’t get the discussion anywhere.
     
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May 11, 2021, 05:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Although I’d say this is an unfair comparison, there is a huge gulf in terms of substance. Sanders has decades worth of history of being involved in politics, being on the right side of issues like desegregation and civil rights. He has an idea for a health care plan that is inspired from other first-world countries with good health care systems. Trump on the other hand lacks any kind of substance when it comes to conviction and policies.
Trump lacks conviction, but there was substance to his working class policy.

Crack down on illegal immigration.

No more sending Joe Sixpack and his friends and family to die in the Middle East.

He made good on both of these, though not nearly enough for supporters of the former.
     
 
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