the free marketplace

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In this video you can tell that panelists (specifically Larry Wilmore, but the others to another extent) aren’t particularly accustomed to aggressive discussion/debate.  Cued the time to the appropriate exchange, largely between Larry Wilmore and Milo Yiannopoulos.

Let’s specifically pull on the claim Milo made: transgendered people are involved more with sexual crimes than the general population.  Here’s what went wrong, so-to-speak, and basic steps for questioning or interacting with aggressive people in a discussion.

  1. Get their source.  To get this out of the way, if someone asks you for your source, you give them the source.  Saying “it isn’t a controversial statistic” is entirely dishonest when someone’s asking you for why you’re saying something.
    1. The other person might not be contesting it specifically but trying to understand what you’re saying/getting more information.  Source-checking is an important thing.
    2. Clearly it is a controversial statistic for the people you’re talking to.  So you’re just out-and-out lying to defend your point.
    3. This is much simpler digitally than in-person, as clearly people don’t walk around with legal and scientific research on them.  Even just a matter of “There was a review from the Bar Association” as an example, or “A study from psychology today a couple years ago”.  Usually answering “who” and “when” is enough of a general clue to where it can be verified simply enough after the fact.
  2. Refuse to continue until you have their source.  If you’re not working from the same data you’re never going to change minds or even come to an understanding.  If your data says Muslims make up 100% of the liars in the world and their data says Christians make up 100% of all liars in the world you two are never going to agree with them because, at that point, you have no empirical reason to believe them.
  3. Define the words used very specifically.  Trans people are more involved (Milo’s word, not mine) with sexual crimes?  Okay.  Define involved, please.  Define their relationships with sexual crimes; are they the victims or the perpetrators?  Are they more likely to be witnesses?  Are they more likely to be involved with sex-crime programs, both as patients (hence part of the subset of people actively trying seeking therapy and treatment) and administrators?  Are they more likely to be running or fundraising for these things than the general population?  In this instance “involved” is a purposefully nebulous word to both be something that can be verified by the literal meaning but only if you strip away context from it.
  4. Get specific claims.  I feel the need to stress this more clearly, but question the source and specific data more intensely.  They’re more likely to be “involved”?  Okay cool.  How much more likely?  Compared to what?  How is it a matter of 25%  vs 15%?  80% vs 14%?  Is this in absolute numbers (trans people making up 80% of all people involved in a sexual crime) or relative numbers (80% of trans people are involved in a sexual crime)?  Every good political/policy discussion starts with a specific thing being said.  The more specific the better.  If Milo was forced to change his stance from “trans people are significantly more involved in sex crimes” to “trans people are 4x more likely to be victims of sex crimes than the national average” then I don’t think Larry would’ve disagreed so vehemently.  
  5. Analyze their source.  Check their source for validity or credibility, both in terms of it being a solid piece of research (scientific controls) and the reputation of the person doing it (political leaning would go into this section), with the former being more important than the latter.  
    1. If the Bureau of Labor makes a report about the unemployment rate then that’s the gold standard.  
    2. If they then go on to make a study about sexual deviance in children under the age of 15  and their information goes directly against previous and concurrent research by the APA then you have a discussion.
  6. Provide your own sources.  
    1. This is damned critical.  Humans…don’t like being wrong.  They especially don’t like being wrong if they have no idea what being right actually is.  So give them something to review and look over, either then and at their leisure.  If seeing raw data or an article changed your mind there’s a good chance it could change theirs as well.
      1. If a person has no other information to latch onto they are just less likely to change their belief at all, preferring to know a lie than the wonder the truth.  If you want to actually change someone’s mind give them something else to know.
        1. This is largely a subconscious process and involves a whole host of other personality factors that I won’t go into here.  Just don’t judge someone too harshly if they refuse to believe what you do from a one-off conversation.
    2. You have to hold yourself to the same standards you apply to other people.  This includes providing people access to the reason you believe X over Y.  They deserve just as much of a right to question your information as you do theirs, as it’s always possible that you’re the wrong one.  This is what the Free Marketplace of Ideas is all about.
  7. Be vigorous in your own actions.  Call the other person out if they’re misrepresenting their own data to make it more powerful, or misrepresenting yours.  Disingenuous, or even just undisciplined, people will twist things either actively or passively.  Keep the claims in your head and make them clear, write them down if you need to.  Don’t let them change without a reason for why they’re changing and make sure that the both of you, explicitly, are okay with the change.
  8. You’re not in it to “win”.  This is an important rule in general, one that almost everyone on tumblr knows.  The odds of you actually getting someone to admit that they’re wrong, you’re right, and change their minds on the spot it about 0%.  But to paraphrase a line, “You’re not there for them; you’re there for everyone around them.”  Show everyone that they’re wrong, and if the conversation isn’t going anywhere then bow out and save yourself the time and frustration.  Trust in that you did a solid enough job demonstrating why your point was better than theirs, and provided at least one person was around (through followers or on facebook or a subway car) and your side will grow more popular than theirs and your message will spread, get reinforced over time, and become more persuasive.
VOCAB WORDS

OH YA AP EURO MASSIVE SUMMARY

Ok so first this may seem scary but here are key terms and comprehensive definitions taken tom R.E.A’s AP Euro Crash Course edition book… so ya look at these and make sure you know at LEAST vaguely what each one means. Just for more credit they are literally verbatim from the R.E.A. book. No credit to me.

Key Terms—you have to know these

a.       Europe in Transition, 1450-1650

  1. Humanism: The scholarly interest in the study of the classical texts, values, and styles of Greece and Rome. Humanism contributed to the promotion of a liberal arts education based on the study of the classics, rhetoric, and history.
  2. Christian Humanism: A branch of humanism associated with northern Europe. Like their Italian counterparts, the Christian Humanists closely studied classical texts. However, they also sought to give humanism a specifically Christian content. Christian humanists like Desiderius Erasmus were committed to religious piety and institutional reform.
  3. Vernacular: The everyday language of a region or country. Miguel de Cervantes, Geoffrey Chaucer, Dante, and Martin Luther all encouraged the development of their national languages by writing in the vernacular. Desiderius Erasmus, however, continued to write in Latin.
  4. New Monarchs: European monarchs who created professional armies and a more centralized administrative bureaucracy. The new monarchs also negotiated a new relationship with the Catholic Church. Key new monarchs include Charles VII, Louis XI, Henry VII, and Ferdinand and Isabella.
  5. Taille: A direct tax on the French peasantry. The taille was one of the most important sources of income for French monarchs until the French Revolution.
  6. Reconquista: The centuries-long Christian “reconquest” of Spain from the Muslims. The Reconquista culminated in 1492 with the conquest of the last Muslin stronghold, Granada.
  7. Indulgence: A certificate granted by the pope in return for the payment of a fee to the church. The certificate stated that the soul of the dead relative or friend of the purchaser would have his time in purgatory reduced by many years or cancelled altogether.
  8. Anabaptist: Protestants who insisted that only adult baptism conformed to Scripture. Protestant and Catholic leaders condemned Anabaptists for advocating the complete separation of Church and State.
  9. Predestination: Doctrine espoused by John Calvin that Gad has known since the beginning of time who will be saved and who will be damned. Calvin declared that “by an eternal and immutable counsel, God has once and for all determined, both whom he would admit to salvation, and whom he would condemn to destruction.”
  10. Huguenots: French Protestants who followed the teachings of John Calvin.
  11. Politiques: Rulers who put political necessities above personal beliefs. For example, both Henry IV of France and Elizabeth I of England subordinated theological controversies in order to achieve political unity.
  12. Columbian Exchange: The interchange of plants, animals, diseases, and human populations between the Old World and the New World.
  13. Mercantilism: Economic philosophy calling for close government regulation of the economy. Mercantilist theory emphasized building a strong, self-sufficient economy by maximizing exports and limiting imports. Mercantilists supported the acquisition of colonies as sources of raw materials and markets for finished goods. The favorable balance of trade would enable a country to accumulate reserves of gold and silver.
  14. Putting-Out System: A pre-industrial manufacturing system in which an entrepreneur would bring materials to rural people who worked on them in their own homes. For example, watch manufacturers in Swiss towns employed villagers to make parts for their products. The system enabled entrepreneurs to avoid restrictive guild regulations.
  15. Joint-Stock Company: A business arrangement in which many investors raise money for a venture too large for any of them to undertake alone. They share profits in proportion to the amount they invest. English entrepreneurs used joint-stock companies to finance the establishment of New World colonies.

    b.       The Age of Kings, 1600-1789

  16. Absolutism: A system of government in which the ruler claims sole and uncontestable power. Absolute monarchs were not limited by constitutional restraints.
  17. Divine Rights of Kings: The idea that rulers receive their authority from God and are answerable only to God. Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, a French bishop and court preacher to Louis XIV, provided theological justification for the divine right of kings by declaring that “the state of monarchy is the supremest thing on Earth, for kings are not only God’s lieutenants upon Earth and sit upon God’s throne, but even by God himself are called Gods. In the scriptures kings are called Gods, and their power is compared to the divine powers.”
  18. Intendants: French royal officials who supervised provincial governments in the name of the king. Intendants played a key role in establishing French absolutism.
  19. Fronde: A series of rebellions against royal authority in France between 1649 and 1652. The Fronde played a key role in Louis XIV’s decision to leave Paris and build the Versailles Palace.
  20. Robot: A system of forced labor used in eastern Europe. Peasants usually owed three to four days a week of forced labor. The system was abolished in 1848.
  21. Junkers: Prussia’s landowning nobility. The Junkers supported the monarchy and served in the army in exchange for absolute power over their serfs.
  22. Scientific Method: The use of inductive logic and controlled experiments to discover regular patterns in nature. These patterns or natural laws can be described with mathematical formulas.
  23. Philosophes: Eighteenth century writers who stressed reason and advocated freedom of expression, religious toleration, and a reformed legal system. Leading philosophes such as Voltaire fought irrational prejudice and believed that society should be open to people of talent.
  24. Deism: The belief that God created the universe but allowed it to operate through the laws of nature. Deists believed that natural laws could be discovered by the use of human reason.
  25. General Will: A concept in political philosophy referring to the desire or interest of a people as a whole. As used by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who championed the concept, the general will is identical to the rule of law.
  26. Enlightened Despotism: A system of government supported by leading philosophes in which an absolute ruler uses his or her power for the good of the people. Enlightened monarchs supported religious tolerance, increased economic productivity, administrative reform, and scientific academies. Joseph II, Frederick the Great, and Catherine the Great were the best-known Enlightened monarchs.
  27. Enclosure Movement: The process by which British landlords consolidated or fenced in common lands to increase the production of cash crops. The Enclosure Acts led to an increase in the size of farms held by large landowners.
  28. Agricultural Revolution: The innovations in farm production that began in eighteenth century Holland and spread to England. These advances replaced the open-field agriculture system with a more scientific and mechanized system of agriculture.
  29. Physiocrats: Group of eighteenth-century French economists led by Francois Quesnay. The physiocrats criticized mercantilist regulations and called for free trade.
  30. Invisible Hand: Phrase coined by Adam Smith to refer to the self-regulating nature of a free marketplace. 

    c.        Revolution and Reaction, 1789-1850

  31. Parlements: French regional courts dominated by hereditary nobles. The Parlement of Paris claimed the right to register royal decrees before they could become law.
  32. Girondins: A moderate republican faction active in the French Revolution from 1791 to 1793. The Girondin Party favored a policy of extending the French Revolution beyond France’s borders.
  33. Jacobins: A radical republican party during the French Revolution from 1791 to 1793. Led by Maximilien Robespierre, the Jacobins unleased the Reign of Terror. Other key leaders included Jean-Paul Marat, Georges-Jacques Danton, and the Comte de Mirabeau. The Marquis de Lafayette was not a Jacobin.
  34. San-Culottes: The working people of Paris who were characterized by their long working pants and support for radical politics.
  35. Levee en Masse: The French policy of conscripting all males into the army. This created a new type of military force based upon mass participation and a fully mobilized economy.
  36. Thermidorian Reaction: Name given to the reaction against the radicalism of the French Revolution. It is associated with the end of the Reign of Terror and reassertion of the bourgeoisie power in the Directory.
  37. Legitimacy: The principle that rulers who have been driven from their thrones should be restored to power. For example, the Congress of Vienna restored the Bourbons to power in France.
  38. Balance of Power: A strategy to maintain and equilibrium, in which weak countries join together to match or exceed the power of a stronger country. It was one of the guiding principles of the Congress of Vienna.
  39. Liberalism: Political philosophy that in the nineteenth century advocated representative government dominated by the propertied classes, minimal government interference in the economy, religious toleration, and civil liberties such as freedom of speech.
  40. Conservatism: Political philosophy that in the nineteenth century supported legitimate monarchies, landed aristocracies, and established churches. Conservatives favored gradual change in the established social order.
  41. Nationalism: Belief that a nation consists of a group of people who share similar traditions, history, and language. Nationalists argued that every nation should be sovereign and include all members of a community. A person’s greatest loyalty should be to a nation-state.
  42. Romanticism: Philosophical and artistic movement in late eighteenth—and early nineteenth—century Europe that represented a reaction against the Neoclassical emphasis upon reason. Romantic artists, writers, and composers stressed emotion and the contemplation of nature.
  43. Chartism: A program of political reforms sponsored by British workers in the late 1830s. Chartist demands included universal manhood suffrage, secret ballots, equal electoral districts, and salaries for members of the House of Commons.
  44. Zollverein: A free-trade union established among major German states in 1834.
  45. Carbonari: A secret revolutionary society working to unify Italy in the 1820s.
  46. Luddites: A social movement of British textile artisans in the early nineteenth century who protested against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution. The Luddites believed that the new industrial machinery would eliminate their jobs. The Luddites responded by attempting to destroy the mechanized looms and other new machines.
  47. Utilitarianism: A theory associated with Jeremy Bentham that is based upon the principle of “the greatest happiness for the greatest number.” Bentham argued that his principle should be applied to each nation’s government, economy, and judicial system.
  48. Utopian Socialists: Early nineteenth-century socialists who hoped to replace the overly competitive capitalist structure with planned communities guided by a spirit of cooperation. Leading French utopian socialists such as Charles Fourier and Louis Blanc believed that the property should be communally owned.
  49. Marxism: Political and economic philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. They believed that history in the result of class conflict that will end with triumph of the industrial proletariat over the bourgeoisie. The new classless society would abolish private property. 

    d.       Toward the Modern World, 1850-1914

  50. Second Industrial Revolution:  A wave of late-nineteenth-century industrialization that was characterized by an increased use of steel, chemical processes, electric power, and railroads. This period also witnessed the spread of industrialization from Great Britain to western Europe and the United States. Both the U.S. and Germany soon rivaled Great Britain.
  51. Social Darwinism: The belief that there is a natural evolutionary process by which the fittest will survive. Wealthy business and industrial leaders used Social Darwinism to justify their success.
  52. RealPolitik: “The politics of reality”; used to describe the tough, practical politics in which idealism and romanticism play no part. Otto von Bismarck and Camillo Benso di Cavour were the leading practitioners of realpolitik.
  53. Syndicalism: A radical political movement that advocated bringing industry and government under the control of federations of labor unions. Syndicalists endorsed direct actions such as strikes and sabotage.
  54. Autocracy: A government in which the ruler has ultimate power and uses it in an arbitrary manner. The Romanov dynasty in Russia is the best example of an autocracy.
  55. Duma: The Russian parliament created after the revolution of 1905.
  56. Imperialism: The policy of extending one country’s rule over other lands by conquest or economic domination.
  57. Sphere of Influence: A region dominated by, but not directed by, a foreign nation. 

    e.       The “Second Thirty Years’ War”: WWI and WWII, 1914-1945

  58. Fourteen Points: President Woodrow Wilson’s idealist peace aims. Wilson stressed national self-determination, the rights of small countries, freedom of the seas, and free trade.
  59. Bolsheviks: A party of revolutionary Marxists, led by Vladimir Lenin, who seized power in Russia in 1917.
  60. New Economic Policy (N.E.P.): A program initiated by Vladimir Lenin to stimulate the economic recovery of the Soviet Union in the early 1920s. The New Economic Policy utilized a limited revival of capitalism in light industry and agriculture.
  61. Existentialism: Philosophy that God, reason, and progress are all myths. Humans must accept responsibility for their actions. This responsibility causes an overwhelming sense of dread and anguish. Existentialism reflects the sense of isolation and alienation in the twentieth century.
  62. Relativity: A scientific theory associated with Albert Einstein. Relativity holds that time and space do not exist separately. Instead, they are a combined continuum whose measurement depends as much on the observer as on the entities being measured.
  63. Totalitarianism: A political system in which the government has total control over the lives of individual citizens.
  64. Fascism: A political system that combines an authoritarian government with a corporate economy. Fascist governments glorify their leaders, appeal to nationalism, control the media, and repress individual liberties.
  65. Kulaks: Prosperous landowning peasants in czarist Russia. Joseph Stalin accused the kulaks of being class enemies of the poorer peasants. Stalin “liquidated the kulaks as a class” by executing them and expropriating their lands to form collective farms.
  66. Keynesian Economics: An economic theory based on the ideas of twentieth-century British economist John Maynard Keynes. According to Keynesian economics, governments can spend their economies out of a depression by using deficit-spending to encourage employment and stimulate economic growth.
  67. Appeasement: A policy of making concessions to an aggressor in the hopes of avoiding war. Associated with Neville Chamberlain’s policy of making concessions to Adolf Hitler. 

    f.        The Cold War Era, 1945-1991

  68. Containment: The name of a U.S. foreign policy designed to contain or block the spread of Soviet policy. Inspired by George F. Kennan, containment was expressed in the Truman Doctrine and implemented in the Marshall Plan and the North American Treaty Organization (NATO) alliance.
  69. Decolonization: The process by which colonies gained their independence from the imperial European powers after WWII.
  70. De-Stalinization: The policy of liberalization of the Stalinist system in the Soviet Union. As carried out by Nikita Khrushchev, de-Stalinization meant denouncing Joseph Stalin’s cult of personality, producing more consumer goods, allowing greater cultural freedom, and pursuing peaceful coexistence with the West.
  71. Brezhnev Doctrine: Assertion that the Soviet Union and its allies had the right to intervene in any socialist country whenever they say needed. The Brezhnev Doctrine justified the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
  72. Détente: The relaxation of tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. Détente was introduced by Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and President Richard Nixon. Examples of détente include the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT), expanded trade with the Soviet Union, and President Nixon’s trips to China and Russia.
  73. Solidarity: A Polish labor union founded in 1980 by Lech Walesa and Anna Walentynowicz. Solidarity contested Communist Party programs and eventually ousted the party from the Polish government.
  74. Glasnost: Policy initiated by Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. Glasnot resulted in a new openness of speech, reduced censorship, and greater criticism of Communist Party policies.
  75. Perestroika: An economic policy initiated by Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s. Meaning “restructuring,” perestroika called for less government regulation and greater efficiency in manufacturing and agriculture.
  76. Welfare State: A social system in which the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens in matters of health care, education, employment, and social security. Germany was the first European country to develop a state social welfare system.
Just Had To Let This Out

Normally, I wouldn’t speak up about this, but I just about had enough with the negativity brought upon our fandom by people who aren’t really part of it. I get that some don’t believe that Sprousehart is real or some don’t even like Cole and Lili together whether off-screen or on-screen, and I totally respect that. What I cannot stand is other people shoving their own beliefs to other people because they cannot take an idea that is opposed to theirs. I mean we live in the age of the internet where basically it is the free marketplace of ideas. At this point in time, we are supposed to be diverse, and such diversity is celebrated because being diverse helps our society grow and develop into something more. That is why I get really bothered with people constantly trying to shut down a particular group by throwing ad hominem or shut an idea down just because it is different from yours. Then when you confront them and try to have a healthy discourse with them, they play the victim card or again just throw ad hominem. It is regressive and counterproductive.

On this note, I would like to call out, specifically, a particular account who I find rather troublesome, @forthepalette .

Dear, first of all I want to say that I did try to understand you by reading your blog. I get it. You want more representation for the LGBTQ community. You believe that Cole and KJ are dating. You believe that the whole Sprousehart thing is just PR. Those are all fine with me. I may not agree with them aside for your want for more representation for the LGBTQ community, but I recognize that you are a different person from me and I respect your right to have your own thoughts and ideas.

What I don’t like is the manner you express them. You come out rather bullish and aggressive towards Sprousehart fans when you express your opinions on any particular post. You often use the Sprousehart tag even when you post matters that don’t involve us at all, like when you want to push forth your theories about Coleneti. You INSULT us. You had this post before which is short of calling us stupid with your believers of the world is flat vs believers the world is round comparison of SH fans vs non-SH fans.

I don’t know why you are like this. Maybe some fans may have insulted you before, that is why you feel entitled to insult us back as well. I admit I may have been rather harsh on some of my replies on the posts you commented and I apologize for that.

All I want dear is for you to just let us be. Stop calling us homophobic just because we ship two people of different genders. It’s about the same level of absurdity of calling Lili a homophobe when she expressed in an interview before that she doesn’t think Beronica will happen anytime soon since she knows that the canon in Riverdale now is Bughead.

I think labeling people for something they aren’t is just as bad as being the things you label us as. It’s divisive to say the least. What if we are also for your cause, but because you call us those names, we won’t feel welcome to be part of the community anymore. Actually, I am a supporter of the LGBTQ community in my country. I have very strong views with the lack of same sex marriage in our country. I was one of those who lauded the U.S. Supreme Court for Obergefell v. Hodges decision albeit it being, technically, judicial legislation.

Anyway, I feel like I’ve digressed a bit and this post is rather long now. To sum up everything, I guess what I just want to request from everyone and from you especially @forthepalette is a little thoughtfulness with how you post. Respect begets respect.

Day 4: Kurogane Buys Some Cookies

After Kurogane settled the matter of the ride later that evening, towards where the pork bun had felt the feather, the group were at odds for a few hours at least. The kids, the bun, and the mage were thrilled to have some free time in the marketplace, but Kurogane was restless. They had plenty of money at the moment, so there was no need to find work, though Kurogane was considering asking one of the vendors if they needed help, simply for something to do.

Keep reading

The Analogy Of The Drug Dealer

The free market is not always moral but it is always just. It does not act with  favor toward any particular group (unlike aristocracy or Socialism which aim to advance the interests of the upper class or the common worker respectively)  but leaves men to exchange their own goods on their own terms. This is crucial for us to keep in mind for more than one reason. The free market is dependent upon us for its morality; it is an economic answer to human affairs not a general one.   The market is only concerned with the pleasure of the customer. A drug dealer caters to the pleasure of his client but it is a pleasure that  destroys the lives of him, his family and corrupts his surroundings. A person can deal in products that are just as deleterious  to the intellect and the character of those who consume it. What some have referred to as the “dumbling down” of society comes via the same free marketplace of ideas that we all cherish. This conditioning can ultimately even work to prejudice  the public  against the very market that made it possible. Only an authoritarian society is secure in itself, a free society always contains the instruments of its own undoing. 

This is why true Conservatism is not just watchful to preserve free markets but is mindful of the type of culture  that emerges within those markets and the society as a whole,  and fights within that free framework to  preserve the right principles. It does not respect something merely because it is profitable.  It respects the right for it to be chosen by free men,  but works within the marketplace and the society  to subvert it, and to replace it with higher alternatives .

An open letter to Tumblr about Net Neutrality

To Whom it May Concern (which is basically everybody),

As a regular Tumblr user, I was disappointed to see Tumblr’s open support of so-called “Net Neutrality.” I find it terribly ironic that a company which is able to exist solely because of the current state of internet freedom, supports regulation that would essentially hand over internet liberty to the federal government. “Save the Internet”? From what, exactly? Conditions that allowed your company to flourish? How…unselfish of you.

In the spirit of liberty, I celebrate everyone’s right to openly express any opinion, regardless of how much I might disagree with it. That being said, I’d like to exercise my right to free speech by pointing out that your support of “Net Neutrality” is either misguided or intentionally misleading. 

1.  Net Neutrality is a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

Supporters of so-called “Net Neutrality” will tell you that the government needs to have the power to regulate how ISPs prioritize their connection speeds to ensure that they don’t favor one internet user over another. But here’s what they never tell you: It’s a fictitious problem. It only exists theoretically. This, of course, is nothing new. The government is famous for concocting problems that it can only “solve” by assuming more control. Understand, I’m not suggesting that ISPs don’t prioritize connection speeds. They do. But often this is a good thing, not a bad thing. An internet company should be able to prioritize, say, Netflix over CrazyAndSillyCats.com. It only makes sense.

But here’s the rub: it is natural for the free to self-adjust, but history has shown that it is decidedly unnatural for the Federal Government to do so.  If CrazyAndSillyCats.com suddenly becomes an international success, and consumers suddenly demand faster access, they get to vote with their pocketbooks and only the service providers who adjust will succeed. Ten years ago, nobody could have imagined the success that a company like Netflix would have streaming HD movies on demand.  At first, the service was clunky and slow, but now that consumers have demanded the content, ISPs have adjusted and Netflix movies and shows can be streamed without interruption.  The Federal Government is not capable of that kind of rapid adjustment.

2.  Net Neutrality will ultimately lead to censorship.

The only developed countries in the world that do not a have free and open internet are countries where the government will simply not allow it to be free. The internet is censored in China. The internet is censored in Cuba. The internet is censored all over the Middle East. This is something that we in America have never had to fear because the government lacked the legal authority to censor, but by deeming the internet a “public utility,” that’s exactly what would happen. Why would we want to voluntarily give the power to censor to government?

Right now, internet content is free and open and controlled by no one (generally speaking). People can exchange information freely precisely because of the fact that the government doesn’t control it. Users aren’t required to have licenses to post things deemed controversial by those in power. I know, I know…you might think that it’s far fetched to suggest that the federal government would suddenly start blocking certain users from saying certain things online. That’s tinfoil hat stuff. but the truth is, it’s already happening. The FCC censors what can and can’t be said or shown on over-the-air television, radio and satellite mediums because these have been deemed “public utilities.” Why are we so confident that this won’t happen to the internet – with this administration or when a new one comes to power?

Furthermore, in the past, this hasn’t just applied to obscene content, it has applied to political speech as well:

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced.

In other words, every political view shared by every broadcaster had to be monitored and approved by government. This isn’t liberty. On the contrary. Fortunately this terrible law that censored broadcasters has been repealed. Look, if you think the government won’t attempt to regulate political speech (or punish certain behavior or try to control certain behavior) on the internet by fines, selective licensing, or other coercive measures, you’re being short-sighted and utterly naive.

3.  Net Neutrality will usher in internet taxes.

There are some that claim that this isn’t true because taxes aren’t mandated in the FCC regulations, but read the fine print. By changing the classification of the internet, the federal government opens up the possibility of state and local utility taxes, which is, of course, another way of saying that local and state governments will tax the internet (because that’s what governments do. If they can tax it, they will). Here’s one analysis from the Progressive Policy Institute:

By regulating broadband service under Title II…broadband would likely become burdened with a host of new state and local taxes and fees, the kind we pay on our monthly home and/or wireless phone bills. These taxes and fees are normally passed on to consumers; when they rise, consumers end up paying more. Expect the same with broadband.
According to Litan and Singer, these new state and local fees will increase by $15 billion, impacting consumers to varying degrees. The average American household with a fixed broadband connection would pay in the range of an additional $51 to $83 per year, and those with one smartphone or other wireless broadband device (tablet) would pay $72 more annually.

But local taxes aren’t the only ones that will show up on the average consumer’s bill. The FCC has long required fees of all of the entities it regulates in order to support its so-called “Universal Service Fund.” Allow Wikipedia to explain:

The Universal Service Fund (USF) is a system of telecommunications subsidies and fees managed by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) intended to promote universal access to telecommunications services in the United States. The FCC established the fund in 1997 in compliance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The fund reported a total of $8.33 billion in disbursements in 2013, divided among its four programs. The fund is supported by charging telecommunications companies a fee which is set quarterly. As of the fourth quarter of 2014, the rate is 16.1% of a telecom company’s interstate end-user revenues.

So they won’t tax you, per se. They’ll just charge you fees. Sound familiar?  That’s exactly what happened with Obamacare. They might not call it a “tax,” but make no mistake, getting several billion dollars into Uncle Sam’s pockets is one of the primary reasons for Net Neutrality, not fairness (however that’s defined). New taxes will come if the FCC’s plan comes to fruition. It’s not a question of if, but a question of when.

4. There is no reasonable argument for Net Neutrality.

I’ve seen memes. I’ve seen Facebook posts. I’ve read progressive articles. I’ve listened to progressive politicians. And when it comes to Net Neutrality, they all have the same argument: “We need to #SaveTheInternet from the evil cable companies.” It’s the same tactic that has been used to push through countless other liberty-killing bureaucracies, laws, taxes and regulations: a fear and hatred of corporations. But this is an argument based on emotion and personal bias rather than reason, history, principle or fact.

First of all, as has already been stated, there is no problem. Internet users in America have the ability to blog about whatever they’d like, watch Netflix almost immediately – even on their phones, listen to religious broadcasts, participate in things that some might find offensive, share controversial ideas, criticize government and, yes, even rail against evil corporations. No one is censored. No one is threatened (legally). No one has their rights violated. There is no problem. The government shouldn’t be going around solving problems that don’t exist.

Second, as anyone who is vaguely familiar with economics would surmise, even if a cable company did begin to throttle particular users and allocate resources for reasons other than traffic demand, they would begin losing customers to competitors and the problem would be immediately fixed. That’s how the free market works. It can adjust to market forces and demand instantaneously. The government? Not so much.

Third, not only is there no problem, but the competition in the free marketplace has been an undeniable success. In 1994, there were dial-up modems that supplied internet at a laughable (by today’s standards) 28.8 kbit/s. Now, gigabit connections are available in many communities nationwide. That means that our internet is 35,000 times faster now than it was just two decades ago. No government agency made that happen. The free market did.

Fourth, you may not like them, but corporations do not have the power that government does. Corporations can’t put you in jail. Corporations can’t coerce you. Corporations can’t tax you. Corporations can’t pass regulations that infringe upon your rights in any way. Government, however, can do all of these things. It has the monopoly on force.  If you think dealing with Comcast or ATT is bad, you should be petrified of dealing with the Federal Government.

5. Net Neutrality will create yet another way for corporations to get in bed with politicians.

Everyone claims to hate crony-capitalism, but when we have a real chance to curb corporate influence on government, we rarely take it. In fact, often laws, taxes, regulations and spending projects are initiated, not because they are needed, but because a corporation with powerful lobbyists pays off, bribes, or blackmails politicians to get them passed because they know it will benefit them in some way. And giving the government the power to grant (or not grant) internet licenses will likely cause this problem to increase exponentially.

You might slyly ask why many large ISP companies would be in favor of such a law if it truly will regulate them, raise taxes, take away liberty, usher in unprecedented amounts of red tape and raise the price of virtually everything related to the internet. The answer: The elimination of competition. Why is Amazon in favor of the proposed internet tax that they’ll have to pay? Is it because Amazon is so noble that it is just chomping at the bit to build more roads and bridges? Hardly. It’s because Amazon knows that its smaller competition couldn’t possibly afford to compete with its deep pockets and they would eventually go out of business. It’s not all cupcakes and rainbows when the government and corporations mix. I regularly hear people of all political stripes decry the cozy relationship that corporations have with politicians, and rightly so. So why would we want to encourage it?

6. Net Neutrality takes away liberty.

You may hate corporations. More specifically, you may hate cable companies and ISPs. That’s super. Good for you. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t (or shouldn’t) have the right to run their businesses as they see fit. Please understand, if they violate the Constitutional rights of someone, then they should face consequences. No question about it. But apart from that, they, like everyone else, should be allowed to conduct business without the thumb of government on them.

The vast majority of the time, people enter into contracts with ISPs for their internet service. These contracts generally outline the pricing structure, define the terms of service and often lock a user in for a limited time. But notice, the ISPs don’t come to anyone’s house, hold a gun to their head and force them to sign anything. These people enter into binding contracts of their own free will. And, a person who enters into a binding contract is obligated to abide by the terms of that contract, plain and simple. If they don’t have to abide by them, then what’s the point of the contract? And if the two entities agree that an ISP has the right to allocate bandwidth, then the ISP has the right to allocate bandwidth. No need for government intervention.

There are some who would argue that as long as communication companies receive special privileges, tax breaks and, in some cases, subsidies from the government, they need to be regulated. I could not agree more. This is why we need to eliminate these special considerations for all companies, regardless of the type of business they conduct. Just as all people should have exactly the same rights, companies should be treated exactly the same by all governing bodies.

Furthermore, I personally want my ISP to be able to be able to allocate bandwidth as it sees fit. I would expect that a large telecommunications company would know the most efficient way to serve its customers, including me. Think about it, supporters of these regulations are demanding that it be illegal for me to enter into a private contract with a company that might prioritize bandwidth. Even if I want to. Again, this isn’t liberty. It should never be illegal for two consenting entities to enter into contracts with one another. But it seems that it has become impossible for most people to separate the things they don’t like from the things that they believe should be illegal.

7.   Net Neutrality is nothing but a usurpation of power.

For some reason, there is a belief among millions of Americans that, in spite of the overwhelming evidence, the federal government generally has the best interest of the American people at heart. I’m not sure how this belief system got started, but it is astounding how prevalent it is. But at best, the government is made up of imperfect people who want to get reelected. At worst (which is unfortunately the most common state) it is made of up of power-hungry bureaucrats hell-bent on gaining control of every aspect of our lives. Liberty (or even pragmatism) is rarely, if ever, the goal. Power is. And they’ll bribe, lie, get in bed with corporations, backstab and blackmail to get it. Whatever gets the job done.

Again, I ask you not to be naive. It kills the statists in Washington that the government doesn’t control our internet communication. After all, one of the planks of Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto is to centralize the means of communication in the hands of the state. That’s precisely what this is. No, I’m not suggesting that supporters of this law sleep with copies of Communist Manifesto under their pillows at night, but this belief that the government is good and that the private sector is bad is instinctual to statists. It’s something they all have in common, by definition. Perhaps every American politician until the end of time will be noble and honorable and Net Neutrality will never be used in a sinister way at all. But maybe it will. Why would we risk it?

8.  Net Neutrality should be abhorrent to Liberals and Conservatives (and everyone else too!)

Up to this point, most of the vocal opposition to Net Neutrality has come from conservatives and libertarians. However, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when anyone who called themselves a “liberal” would be automatically and unequivocally opposed to any proposal that might give government the power to regulate speech or any other form of communication. Those days are gone. Liberals, those who once supported liberty in all forms, especially in regards to speech, are now eager to grant virtually unlimited regulatory power to a small panel of unelected bureaucrats, all under the guise of keeping the internet “neutral” – a term that seems more closely to resemble the Newspeak of George Orwell’s 1984 than something heard in The United States of America.

Tumblr, I implore you to reexamine your views on Net Neutrality. Or, at least admit that there might be a few reasonable arguments against it. You have thousands and thousands of users with political views all over the map. Please don’t continue to alienate those with whom you disagree by publicly taking sides on such a controversial issue.

That Guy.

So my regular RPG group has a few people who can be a little bit gamebreaking at times, but it’s mostly benign stuff like “I can hold my breath for 6 years” or “I have taken Exotic Weapon Proficiency: Human Corpse” or even “My max carrying capacity allows me to pick up the Eiffel Tower.”

Then there’s Aaron.

Aaron doesn’t really understand all the rules of the games we play, but he’s usually good for a laugh with his ridiculous characters, so when we started a Mythic Pathfinder Campaign, our GM let him play an Undead Gunslinger/Barbarian with clown paint and a viper living in his empty chest cavity.

So we open the session with Aaron’s Undead Clown leading a mismatched posse of characters who’s races/classes aren’t relevant to this story up to the gates of Bartertown. The gates are locked.

The guards demand to know our business and our identification, blah blah blah. Aaron gets a mischievous look in his eye that I recognise as “It’s screwing around time.”

The clown declares that he is Popo the Clown, returning to work at the local circus after a long journey away from Bartertown.The guards seem convinced, and just go to confirm this with some circus types. At this point, my Lizardfolk Swordsage drops back into charging distance and awaits us being rumbled.

It turns out that their circus does have a Popo the Clown. But he’s already at work, and isn’t an undead. Aaron adopts an attitude of indignation, demanding that this imposter Popo face justice and be brought outside. A critical success on bluff, while the guards fail horrifically. Popo the clown is brought to the gates, and before he can begin to defend himself, a quickdraw coat pistol drops Popo dead in the mud, with a cry of “How dare you, imposter! Shame on you!” before forcing the curious viper living in his chest cavity back between his ribs with a “No, Steve, not now.”

Flabbergasted, the guards call their captain, who casts a Zone of Truth spell on our “Popo”, failing to realise that undead are immune to mind affecting compulsions such as Zone of Truth.

The captain and his men don’t bother to sense motive on him, despite his bluff rolls barely passing the 15 mark thanks to their own stupidity, and we are allowed into the city, and “Popo the Clown” is given an official apology letter from the guards and the circus, while he and his “bodyguards” are given free reign over the marketplace, and our GM holds his head in his hands in despair.

This was the first ten minutes of the first session.

Progressives assume that they can take the free market for granted because they believe in the common myth that technological progress, and all other forms of progress come about through the mere passage of time. This is not the case.  Entire centuries of human history have passed with very little technological, political or social progress to speak of. Progress comes about as a consequence of the right human decisions, not the passage of time. And the best human decisions come about  in a free marketplace of ideas where one idea is free to compete with another. 

I keep envisioning this idea of a ‘deep web’ – a highly-integrated, decentralized network of individuals peacefully coalescing in a free and open marketplace of ideas and innovations thanks to technology – versus the ‘deep state’, a highly-centralized collective cabal of wealth and power orchestrating the global economy behind closed doors through violence and suppression of those same ideas and innovations.

It’s the perfect cyberpunk dystopian dichotomy.

theendlessclearbluesky  asked:

What are the differences between Redbubble, Storenvy, and Society6? I'm having trouble finding good information about that.

redbubble and society6 are both print-on-demand places that sell pretty similar merch types; they’re free to sell your work on and you have to put in almost zero effort (just upload your images at the proper dimensions/ratios, set your prices, done,) they handle all the actual printing, shipping, etc for you. the downside is their base prices on a lot of their merchandise are quite high, so you only get a small profit per sale unless you set the final price much higher, which could just make your products too expensive for most people to buy…

storenvy can be turned into a print-on-demand thing too, i believe, via third parties like printful, which i haven’t used so i can’t comment on that…but on its own, storenvy is just a storefront that you fill with whatever you have on hand – you’ll be the one stocking and shipping everything, just as you would with ebay or etsy. it’s more customizeable than etsy, though, and if you opt out of their marketplace it’s free to use. (you can choose to stay in the marketplace for extra exposure, but you have to be able to use stripe for payments, and storenvy will take 10% of each sale) so basically, it’s a lot more work, but you get more control over what you sell and you keep much more money from it all

i like using all of them, since s6/rb are free and they do all the work for me, why not, right? and storenvy is great for selling leftover convention merchandise that i’d have on hand anyway, it also lets me sell signed prints

Shailene Woodley Joins HBO’s Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman Drama

From David E. Kelley, limited series ‘Big Little Lies’ is based on Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name.

Shailene Woodley is returning to the small screen.

The Divergent star is joining HBO limited series Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman announced at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. Sources tell THR that Woodley’s deal is near finalized; it is expected to close next week. HBO did not return immediate response for comment.

Based on Liane Moriarty’s book of the same name, the drama hails from David E. Kelley (Boston Legal, Ally McBeal) who is writing the limited series. HBO landed the project in May following a bidding war with Netflix.

Starring Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies centers on three mothers of kindergartners whose seemingly perfect lives unravel to the point of murder. Woodley will take on the role of Jane, a single mother, and one of three leads opposite Witherspoon and Kidman.

Published in July, Kidman and her Blossom Films banner, as well as Withersppon and her Pacific Standard shingle, optioned the rights to the twisty thriller/soap and No. 1 New York Times best-seller as a potential feature film before refocusing the drama for television.

Kelley, who most recently served as showrunner on CBS’ Robin Williams-Sarah Michelle Gellar comedy The Crazy Ones, is attached to pen the series via his David E. Kelley Productions banner. Kidman and Witherspoon will both exec produce alongside Kelley, who currently is exploring the marketplace free of a studio-based overall deal.

Exec producers include Kelley, Witherspoon and Pacific Standard’s Bruna Papandrea, Kidman and Blossom Films’ Per Saari. Australian novelist Moriarty will serve as a producer on Big Little Lies. She previously penned best-sellers What Alice Forgot,Three Wishes, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and The Husband’s Secret.

For Woodley, Big Little Lies marks the actress’ return to television following her breakout five-season role in ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. On the big-screen, Woodley’s credits include her starring role as Tris in Veronica Roth’s Divergent franchise, The Descendants and the upcoming Snowden feature due next year. She’s repped by UTA, Principato-Young and Felker Toczek.

Big Little Lies marks the largest TV role for Woodley, Kidman and Witherspoon to date. The drama comes as A-list talent have been flocking to TV as limited fare serves as a way to take on different material with a reduced time commitment while still juggling feature films. Broadcast and cable networks have found both ratings and awards season cache with limited fare/anthologies including HBO’s True Detective as well as FX’s Fargo, among others.

Source

artdecco80  asked:

Well, on your blog site, you openly disparage Ghandhi. If you think we can't SHOW nazi symbols in an ad campaign, then you do not understand the First Amendment. The First Amendment only works when it protects speech we find offensive and irritating. People vote in the free marketplace of ideas. I respect your point of view. I did not spend much time on the post. PKD scholarship is not my POV it's pretty well settled. Revisionism always welcome. Amazon is what it is.

Who are you and why are you even fucking talking to me? I can’t even tell what your point is.

If you didn’t spend much time on the Man in High Castle post, then why the fuck are you giving your unwanted opinion on it?

What the fuck does Ghandi have to do with any of this? Besides trying to paint me out to be a bad person, I mean. You saw the post yet managed not to read about how Ghandi was horribly racist, sexist, and anti-semitic, but I guess you don’t let facts get in your way, huh?

And of course another goyische defender of the show accuses of us censorship. Do you hang out with fucking neo-Nazis and Gamergaters in your spare time or something? Absolutely fucking petty. Get your shit in order, maybe actually read the post, and stay on point next time.

Transgenderism In  The Law.

Those who cannot or will not reason refer to their ideological opponents as “hateful” rather than “incorrect”. First, logically refute your opponent, THEN attend to any alleged motives or attitudes he may have. There has been no new evidence or revelation within the field of biology that has precipitated the current push to eliminate the classical notion of gender. There has been no groundbreaking peer reviewed paper that has turned the scientific world on its head.  The movement in question is one that is sheerly ideological in nature. Ideology is fine, but it ought to be recognized for what it is, and it is to be challenged by alternative perspectives within the free marketplace of ideas. As I have said before, in a free society  a person may adopt any lifestyle they choose, they may think of themselves however they wish,  and they may alter themselves In whatever manner  they like. But no other citizen is obligated to recognize that person’s view of reality. You do not get to paint my picture of the world,  merely your own.. 

The more public pressure there has been on this matter the less candid and rational discussion there has been; people signing on to a political position not because of the force of the logical arguments offered in its name, but so that they do not face any scorn.  Citizens of a free society are being taught to conform to a cultural mob rather than to think.    

On Anonymity

CW: many of you will strongly disagree with this.

So I took a peek at We Hunted the Mammoth this morning, to see what was shaking out with the recent shooting. Anyway, they extensively quote the reaction to the shooting on 4chan.

Look, there is no reason you need to go read that stuff, unless you are sufficiently curious. I can save you the effort and tell you, it is as bad as you might expect. I mean, it is comically bad, to the point you cannot believe they would say these things in public.

I’ll be blunt, I would be perfectly happy if every one of those fuckers got doxxed.

We talk about doxxing a lot, but in the abstract, as a meta thing. And surely doxxing can be abusive. And surely we get why anonymity is powerful and important. Yep, anonymity, got it.

I remember when I first logged on as “veronica,” back before that was my legal name. It was a powerful thing, finally using the name that rung out in my soul. I’d hate to lose that.

But still, anonymity is not the only thing that matters, and sites such as 4chan are putting new pressures on old ideas.

I like many of Popehat’s ideas on free speech. Yep, you can say what you want. But what you cannot do is avoid what people say back to you, nor what they think of you, nor the damage your reputation might take for holding terrible ideas. Current rationality space seems to feel differently, and I think the rationalist position is newish, by which I mean, I recall many free speech debates with libertarians back in the 1980′s that matched Popehat’s position: speech but with social consequences. Let the market decide. A libertarian of that age would likely have had no problem with the pressure Eich’s was under to resign from Mozilla. “That’s free enterprise and the marketplace of ideas,” they might have said.

Now days many are invested in being able to speak without consequence to family or career, which is fine in some ways, but one outcome is a huge Internet subculture that encourages angry young men to commit mass murder. Furthermore, it seems to be succeeding at the task.

Many point out how such effortless free speech is necessary to foment revolution in oppressive regimes. However, there is a long history of revolutions without this kind of anonymity. Furthermore, while I oppose oppressive regimes, I’m not sure if this is the solution. Surely those regimes will figure out technological countermeasures, given time. It becomes an arms race.

Which is different from the effortless anonymity of the petty -chan troll, whose “politics” seems to be his license to be a dick and his call for sad virgins to kill.

This stopped being “isolated” some time ago. It is no longer “a few bad apples.” This is a big and growing thing.

Anyway, there is probably a way that a young “veronica” can come online as herself, and that nevertheless does not allow a 4chan to form.

It could involve people in authority who make judgements.

That’s a shocking thought, I know.