Random Thoughts (Political Edition)

GRtak

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Pooh has a thin skin.
 

CraigB

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Man, we are already to the literal Kool-Aid part of this? Cults grow up so fast these days.
 

Momentum57

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Man, we are already to the literal Kool-Aid part of this? Cults grow up so fast these days.
By the way isnt it weird how all the "end times" churches didnt call the pandemic as a sign of the coming of Jesus but as a hoax and if anything punishment for gays.

Then again I dont get these nutzo thinking groups. I would have thought that the pandemic really blew up "the plan". Or when Trump being fake unelected and unable to magic up being represidented or whatever the pillow man thinks was going to happen would have been enough of a wake up call.
 

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Ugh. So much of this state is run by absolute psychopaths. Case in point:



A bunch of my friends who have kids are in Round Rock ISD, and the idea that *that* school district has anything remotely X-rated on the shelves is beyond laughable.

It's really pathetic when the children going to a school system are more tolerant and mature than some of the adults over it.
 

GRtak

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GRtak

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Momentum57

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This isn't a political however because of the issues this story touches on this thread maybe the most appropriate location.


This story wasn't that big of news, there had been two school shootings in Aurora. That's not abnormal for Aurora which like Denver had an increase in violent crime unlike every other city in Colorado. Though while Denver saw a single digit rise Aurora saw a rise of 34% from 2017. Its known for having highly confrontational people, its in the water. I pay a toll road to avoid having to drive through it when going to the airport. I bring this up to contextualize some local views.

Since the story we find out that there is a video from a Ring doorbell camera. Given this the father makes a plea "why isnt this guy charged". Police issue a warrant for arrest and


I'm genuinely surprised that this becoming a national story. I can understand why, because its got guns. Though i wish it would be framed as incivility. The kids allegedly were speeding. Yes speeding in neighborhoods is trouble, its a habit that is dangerous. This is where the adult furthered the incivility in how he confronted the situation.

This is something that I wish we (drivers) could have an agreement of what's the chill way to confront bad driving/parking. In this I feel rather than jumping out of his truck with his gun drawn he could have left a note at the house where the car had stopped explaining the issue and then call the cops note the complaint and license plate. Passive aggressive seems way better to having a road rage incident yelling at your neighbors.

That said that all that goes out the window with shitty people.
 

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Scathing piece on "deaths of despair" and the general state of health(care) for working-class and working-age Americans. Truly shocking.
 

GRtak

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ninjacoco

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Man, the far right is really fixated on that $10K figure. Ugh.

Elsewhere in our dystopian hell world:
 

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Scathing piece on "deaths of despair" and the general state of health(care) for working-class and working-age Americans. Truly shocking.
Oof. This one hit close to home after I was unemployed for so long, especially this part:
Echoing Durkheim, Case and Deaton concluded, “Jobs are not just the source of money; they are the basis for the rituals, customs, and routines of working-class life. Destroy work and, in the end, working-class life cannot survive. It is the loss of meaning, of dignity, of price, and of self-respect that comes with the loss of marriage and of community that brings on despair.
Boldface mine, for emphasis. I can't tell you how often I went back and forth with my therapist about how I tied so much of my self-worth and identity into my job—which isn't healthy, but is definitely something a lot of people do. (And I'm one of the lucky ones who was able to find someone to talk to about this—which a lot of folks are either priced out of or otherwise kept out of thanks to the inadequate mental health resources in this country.) Remove your role in society—which doesn't necessarily have to be a job, but just something that you do—and what's left? It's hard to feel any reason to go on when you feel like you don't have any purpose.
 

Dr_Grip

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The same Big Tech who censored [some anti-vaxxer who was on Joe Rogan]?
Moving this to politics because it pisses me off.

"Censorship" is defined by a government deciding what media can report on, and from which angles/with which opinions on it.

What we see with Big Tech is something different. No matter how important for the public discourse social networks are, they are private property. Let's take a small-scale analogy: Imagine a town somewhere in middle England where there's only one pub. This place is where everyone goes, where people fall in love, where marriages are brokered, business deals are hedged, and politics are discussed. If you don't have access or don't got to the pub, you are excluded from the most influential discourses in society, just like it seems with social networks on a global scale.
But that does not change the fact that the pub's landlord decides who shall be allowed to drink in his establishment. If you piss him off, by being rude, by being annoying, by starting a fight, by having an opinion he does not like, or simply because he does not like your face, he will kick you out. And ban you. And no matter how much that means you now are excluded from any meaningful access to discourse, it's his right as a businessman to refuse you service. So now all you can do is keep a low profile and wait until he lets you in again. Or, of course, open up a competing pub where bar fights are allowed, and see how that goes.
But censorship it ain't, it's a business deciding whom to allow on their property and serve.

And as a sidenote, I find it darkly funny that it's those heralds of free enterprise, who decry any kind of regulation, healthcare, unions as "socialism" that interferes with the free market, that claim they are being "censored" by big tech.
 
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calvinhobbes

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And as a sidenote, I find it darkly funny that it's those heralds of free enterprise, who decry any kind of regulation, healthcare, unions as "socialism" that interferes with the free market, that claim they are being "censored" by big tech.
We’re living in strongly conservative societies* and the conservatives lack an actual enemy and/or scapegoat. So they continue to make up bogeymen to keep their voters in that perpetual state of fear that makes said voters vote against their own interests.

*private property is more important than human rights, money talks louder than anything else, entrenched class system, nationalism/jingoism getting stronger etc. pp.
 

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Addendum - also, how exactly does it work that all these "alternative sources" which are being "silenced" and "censored" are not only ready-linkable on a forum like this, but also make a decent living from being a full-time "oppressed opinion"?

If we stay with, for example, what share of the scientific community thinks the mRNA vaccines are pretty great vs. those who on one level or another think they are dangerous (all the way from "underestimating side effects" to "death syringe") it's pretty much 99,9% to 0,1%, so I'd say the "dissenting opinion" is very much overrepresented through Fox News, Steve Bannon, Tucker Carlson, Joe Rogan, etc, etc.
 

gaasc

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Moving this to politics because it pisses me off.

"Censorship" is defined by a government deciding what media can report on, and from which angles/with which opinions on it.

What we see with Big Tech is something different. No matter how important for the public discourse social networks are, they are private property. Let's take a small-scale analogy: Imagine a town somewhere in middle England where there's only one pub. This place is where everyone goes, where people fall in love, where marriages are brokered, business deals are hedged, and politics are discussed. If you don't have access or don't got to the pub, you are excluded from the most influential discourses in society, just like it seems with social networks on a global scale.
But that does not change the fact that the pub's landlord decides who shall be allowed to drink in his establishment. If you piss him off, by being rude, by being annoying, by starting a fight, by having an opinion he does not like, or simply because he does not like your face, he will kick you out. And ban you. And no matter how much that means you now are excluded from any meaningful access to discourse, it's his right as a businessman to refuse you service. So now all you can do is keep a low profile and wait until he lets you in again. Or, of course, open up a competing pub where bar fights are allowed, and see how that goes.
But censorship it ain't, it's a business deciding whom to allow on their property and serve.

And as a sidenote, I find it darkly funny that it's those heralds of free enterprise, who decry any kind of regulation, healthcare, unions as "socialism" that interferes with the free market, that claim they are being "censored" by big tech.

Technically correct, but perhaps not inclusive of some rather crucial modifiers.

I like the pub analogy. usually I use a town square or a park because even on those at some point the police will be summoned and remove you off the premises if your behavior is disruptive enough, but let's keep with that one. The crucial element on this one is summed up on a sentence

"On a global scale"

So suppose that someone in the town in medieval England doesn't want to conduct their business in the pub, they move away, they find another pub in the town, just kidding, they have been transported to the same pub. In more modern times, it is a pub chain. And no matter where this person goes on the entire planet, the pubs are owned by the same chain. Advertising space disproportionately favors the pub. And whenever a competing pub shows up, they're fine with it until it shows the possibility to rise close to the incumbent pub chain. They can deal with this in a couple of ways:

- Buy the pub chain outright. That way you can even have the illusion of choice while maintaining absolute dominance
- Since everyone is coming to your pubs anyway, you can just edge the conversations related to the new pub into a narrative that says that it is entirely populated by assholes. This is actually rather easy. After all, nobody buys newspapers anymore, they get their news from people in the pub who have read them. Not to mention the clippings on the bathrooms (you decide which clippings you put there).
- Get the owners of that pub to sell the drinks from your pub. you're big enough that brewers willingly give you preferential treatment and will sell to you first, and independently hopefully.

Also, the drinks in these pubs are laced with cocaine. The owner of the pub has realized addicts make him loads of cash, is not especially interested in their wellbeing, and has extrapolated that the ideal behavior for his business is that everyone in the single pub chain available on the entire planet is addicted to its products, everything on the rest of their life be dammed.

Slightly more dystopic, isn't it?

Now, awdrifter's example is rather a good one, because it is an example where the fact that social media as an arbiter of truth is welcome and justified. We can all agree that misinformation about vaccines and anti-vaccine campaigns is dangerous and should be kept as tightly monitored and controlled as possible. Hilariously, anti-vaccine behavior even affects the very small, but still existent number of people who are unable to take the vaccine and end up being paraiahs no matter how many special exemption papers they have.

However, the concern, as ever, remains the execution of this behavior on matters that are not so clear cut. Unsurprisingly, these are generally political. and if they aren't, they will inevitably turn towards being political. Private enterprise will have a vested interest on one or another political stance (just as anyone else). More than one of the big platforms has been categorical in saying that their duty is to "shape the conversation". Now, if you agree with how they want to do that today it sounds great. Hooray, we're on the winning side and we're sticking it to the ignoramuses and the wicked. For everyone else, it's horrifying. This is before considering that you may agree with them today, not tomorrow. And then the structure you praised is now crushing you.

Merriam-Webster defines censor as: "an official who examines materials (such as publications or films) for objectionable matter". There is no mention of government. And, as someone who likes free speech, I wince a bit whenever the unconfortable truth about social media and its disproportionate power on world discourse is tackled.
 

calvinhobbes

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Addendum - also, how exactly does it work that all these "alternative sources" which are being "silenced" and "censored" are not only ready-linkable on a forum like this, but also make a decent living from being a full-time "oppressed opinion"?
Is it any more than a part of their sales pitch? These people combine a pinch of “maverick” bullshit, a dollop of incessant whining and spoonfuls of COVID conspiracy myths and then mix it all together to create a foetid manure which is baked fresh every day with the help of lots of hot air into the kind of turd sandwich served by “conservative news” outlets. When their products eventually get banned from the largest mass-market shelves, they fall back onto the established niche media networks.
 

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Quick question for anyone who cares to be able to explain this: how is this a voluntary decision by AT&T and Verizon? We're talking about potential life-threatening issues with a technology here. How can the agency in question not simply prohibit the usage of the bands in question? This is utterly baffling to me... an agency in charge of regulating telecom has to beg the regulated parties about stuff like this? What kind of dystopia is that?
 
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