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New A2K is Anti-Free Speech

 
 
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:34 am
Well, of course, I don't mean that one can't state an opinion here, since obviously, one can. What I mean, and I did raise this issue briefly before, is that the new voting process will inevitably have the effect of making it harder for people with minority opinions to express them, and I'm not sure that wasn't the intention. Posts with low ratings become less visible, and no matter what the claim, it's inevitable that people will vote down opinions that they don't agree with. One of the greatest concerns when the American Constitution was designed was to make it hard for the majority to oppress the minority, and I think that that is the correct goal. Of course, when I say "oppress" in this case, I only mean that the inevitable effect of this design will be to make it harder for people to air minority opinions than popular opinions. I think that this is the opposite of what we should be trying to do.

I know that the claim will be made that this wasn't the intention and it won't be the effect of the voting, but it certainly will be the effect, and I suspect that it was the intention.
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Type: Question • Score: 21 • Views: 9,788 • Replies: 154

 
littlek
 
  7  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:39 am
@Brandon9000,
Free speech means you can say whatever you want. It doesn't mean anyone has to listen to you.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:47 am
@littlek,
littlek wrote:

Free speech means you can say whatever you want. It doesn't mean anyone has to listen to you.

Very true, but it does mean that people who are not violating a rule should have equal access to air their opinions. When the majority makes it difficult for the minority to express their opinions publicly and be heard, that indeed is not freedom of speech. Freedom of speech doesn't mean, "you can try to express your opinion, but we'll make it hard for you to be heard." In the old A2K, no one had to listen to opinions once they realized that they realized they didn't like them. In the new A2K, minority ideas become less and less visible by design. Not something that people who actually believe in freedom of speech, as opposed to merely claiming it, would do.
Rockhead
 
  5  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:50 am
@Brandon9000,
You want a "forced" audience. Lock the doors and make them see me?

All new threads hit the forum equally. If you want a topic to live, make it interesting.
old europe
 
  5  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:54 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
Very true, but it does mean that people who are not violating a rule should have equal access to air their opinions.


I'm trying to think of a situation in real life where that might apply...............

Let's say you're meeting your friends in a restaurant. You enjoy their company, you enjoy talking to them. You can all voice your opinions.

Now, if there's a nutty preacher guy, who wants to air his opinion that the end is near, and your group doesn't invite him to sit at your table - are you violating his right of free speech?

After all, he has an unpopular opinion... but he's not violating any rules.

What do you think?
Brandon9000
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:58 am
@old europe,
old europe wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
Very true, but it does mean that people who are not violating a rule should have equal access to air their opinions.


I'm trying to think of a situation in real life where that might apply...............

Let's say you're meeting your friends in a restaurant. You enjoy their company, you enjoy talking to them. You can all voice your opinions.

Now, if there's a nutty preacher guy, who wants to air his opinion that the end is near, and your group doesn't invite him to sit at your table - are you violating his right of free speech?

After all, he has an unpopular opinion... but he's not violating any rules.

What do you think?


Well, remember that I'm only talking about posts that don't violate the TOS or rules of good behavior.

Here's my scenario. You live in a country which has majority rule, and free elections, but the majority has passed laws stating that certain unpopular ideas may not be stated or written publicly. The difference here, is that minority opinions may be stated, but will be moved further and further off stage, simply because they are minority opinions.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 09:59 am
@Rockhead,
Rockhead wrote:

You want a "forced" audience. Lock the doors and make them see me?

All new threads hit the forum equally. If you want a topic to live, make it interesting.

If that were all that there was to it, I wouldn't mind, but the problem in this case is that posts will be hustled off stage, not because they're boring, but because they contain minority views.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  4  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:00 am
@Brandon9000,
Yet another person who doesn't know what free speech is.
old europe
 
  4  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:01 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
Well, remember that I'm only talking about posts that don't violate the TOS or rules of good behavior.


The "rules of good behavior"? Where can I read up on those?

Brandon9000 wrote:
Here's my scenario. You live in a country which has majority rule, and free elections, but the majority has passed laws stating that certain unpopular ideas may not be stated or written publicly. The difference here, is that minority opinions may be stated, but will be moved further and further off stage.


That doesn't seem to be a very specific scenario. How are those minority opinions "moved further and further off stage"? Simply by virtue of nobody listening to them? Or are they being censored?
edgarblythe
 
  4  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:02 am
I don't know how to answer this one. I would think most of us would vote down a troll (their own definition used), but I'm not sure they would vote down a person simply because they disagree with them. For the most part. It's still new. Who knows the final result so early into it?
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:04 am
@old europe,
old europe wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
Well, remember that I'm only talking about posts that don't violate the TOS or rules of good behavior.


The "rules of good behavior"? Where can I read up on those?

You know, the ones your mother taught you?

old europe wrote:

Brandon9000 wrote:
Here's my scenario. You live in a country which has majority rule, and free elections, but the majority has passed laws stating that certain unpopular ideas may not be stated or written publicly. The difference here, is that minority opinions may be stated, but will be moved further and further off stage.


That doesn't seem to be a very specific scenario. How are those minority opinions "moved further and further off stage"? Simply by virtue of nobody listening to them? Or are they being censored?

Posts which have negative net votes are compressed to the caption "voted down," and I believe that there is a sort for viewing by vote.
Brandon9000
 
  0  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:09 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I don't know how to answer this one. I would think most of us would vote down a troll (their own definition used), but I'm not sure they would vote down a person simply because they disagree with them. For the most part. It's still new. Who knows the final result so early into it?

I know you're expressing your honest opinion, Edgar, but I believe that it's inevitable that people will give posts negative votes for no reason other than that they disagree with them, and I really suspect that the designer(s) had more than suppressing trolls in mind.

I am constantly astounded by how little many people understand or appreciate freedom of speech, which, incidentally, doesn't mean, "I should have the right to say what I think because I'm right." This is something the American founders understood very well. A big part of the intention of the American Constitution was to protect the minority from the majority. Didn't Jefferson say something to the effect that we shouldn't fear repugnant opinions, because in a free and open discussion, they will go away in the natural course of things?
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:10 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:
You know, the ones your mother taught you?


You mean they are different for every person?


Brandon9000 wrote:
Posts which have negative net votes are compressed to the caption "voted down," and I believe that there is a sort for viewing by vote.


Ah. I thought we were still talking about the hypothetical country.

You know that those settings can be changed, right? You can set your "Minimum Post Votes" preference to "No Minimum". Just as you can voluntarily go down to the street corner and listen to Nutty Preacher Guy for hours on end.

The posts do not disappear. Nutty Preacher Guy can voice any kind of opinion that he wants to make known.

It's the prerogative of others whether or not they want to listen.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:12 am
@Brandon9000,
A big part of the intention of the Constitution was to protect the minority from the majority. Didn't Jefferson say something to the effect that we shouldn't fear repugnant opinions, because in a free and open discussion, they will go away in the natural course of things?
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:29 am
@Robert Gentel,
Brandon recently told me he was going to ignore me on this site. So he not only doesn't know what free speech is but is a hypocrite and should be giving me equal access by his purported standards.
joefromchicago
 
  5  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:35 am
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:

Brandon recently told me he was going to ignore me on this site. So he not only doesn't know what free speech is but is a hypocrite and should be giving me equal access by his purported standards.

Interesting. Considering that putting someone on "ignore" is the functional equivalent of voting down all of that person's posts (because the posts from ignored posters and "thumbs down" posts are compressed), then it seems pretty evident that Brandon is practicing his own form of censorship. And censorship, according to him, is contrary to his right to free speech. And being against free speech is un-American. So my question to you, Brandon, is: why do you hate America?
Brandon9000
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:40 am
@joefromchicago,
First, I note that you consider this little dig to be more interesting than the thread topic. I would think that, as a lawyer, you would be interested in defending the ideals expressed in the Constitution. The trivially obvious answer to your question is that I've stated that everyone should have absolutely equal access to self-expression, not that anyone ought to pay attention to something he/she doesn't want to pay attention to. What I personally pay attention to doesn't limit what other people can do. And, just to set the record straight, I may ignore certain things, but I have never put anyone on ignore. I would ask you to show some elementary respect for what we're all doing here, and not try to alter the thread topic to be about me.
Robert Gentel
 
  0  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 10:56 am
@Brandon9000,
Brandon9000 wrote:

I would think that, as a lawyer, you would be interested in defending the ideals expressed in the Constitution.


You are a hypocrite and don't follow your own misinterpretation of the constitution.

Doesn't know what free speech is: check
Adds hypocrisy for good measure: check
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:06 am
You are wasting your time Brandon, as we have already been through this topic. While a sizable portion of a2ker's are nervous there is not enough energy for a revolt, the ownership has dug in their heels and refused to change course, so the outcome has been determined. Already many of the most interesting and thought provoking members have departed or reduced activity, and this trend will continue. a2k will not attract replacements for them. I gather that this site was the go to place after Abuzz went to hell, and I suspect that many of us will eventually meet up at the next hot spot now that a2k is failing.

Your point about a lack of support of free speech is right on. Many commentators in America have pointed out that it is highly unlikely that the people who make up America in 2008 would ratify the Constitution as it is written. The speaks to how Americans have been corrupted by fear, been manipulated with fear up power games for so long that the majority no longer know any other way to live. For the majority the freedoms in the Constitution represent uncertainly and danger, it is a bad idea.

Which gets to why it was a bad idea for a2k owners to empower majority rule and to set up a system where group decisions are emotionally made on the fly. The tendency of modern majority is to choose safety and comfort over the hurly-burly of the free exchange of ideas. It is not by accident that the level of discourse in general society has become a shadow of what we once had, back when America was the home of the free man who was determined to stay free. The old a2k with its energetic discussions and cultural clashes was an aberration, and that aberration has been fixed.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 11:08 am
@joefromchicago,
Want the real kicker? Brandon has voted posts down himself. Clearly to "oppress".
 

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