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GMT 99


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7 replies to this topic

#1
OmgPonies

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It's been out a while, but I appreciated the discussion of free speech in GMT 99.  It's a complicated and touchy subject, but I think many of the points were spot on.

 

I think the key (that Jason and Bri correctly identified) is that everyone has a right not to be silenced through coercive means.  Nobody has a duty to provide a platform for any particular person or speech, or to associate themselves with that speech or person.

 

Even if that's understood, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's gone wrong in situations where someone's speech rights have been violated, but multiple parties are involved.  For example, a university recently cancelled a speaking event due to riots.  One might wish that the university had "stood up" for free speech on principle, and allowed the event to happen anyway.  They might be applauded for doing so, but it wasn't their duty.  There's no reason the university shouldn't act in its own self interest (to prevent further damage), or in the interest of the safety of its students.  The rioters have violated free speech (and committed arson, vandalism, etc.).  The university is not an accomplice, but another victim.

 

One might also argue that the university has a duty to expose its students to different points of view, but I don't think that's quite a free speech issue.  It's a duty to the students, rather than to any particular speakers.  And I think it could best be served by hosting civil debates, rather than giving equal airtime to speakers at different events.

 

With so much information available today, there are innumerable examples of efforts to silence offensive speech, especially because in many forums that speech seems to go unchallenged.  I think in these types of situations it is important to be sympathetic, and try to imagine how we would feel depending on whether we strongly agreed or disagreed with the speech in question.  Even then, it's often complicated, and I'm not sure how I feel about certain situations.


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#2
JadziaGrace

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Colleges especially seem to be in a bad spot in the current political climate. I feel bad because I remember my time in college so fondly. That said, I only went to two or three political events (that weren't voting) during those years, and they certainly weren't hosted by the college itself. I don't think colleges have a duty to platform politically. I don't think they shouldn't be allowed to, either.

 

Like you said, it's within a colleges right to work within its own self-interest. Right now, that's probably avoiding the subject entirely. Though I also have heard of a new type of course some colleges are promoting that is basically a Discourse 101 class. It's not political, it's not scientific, it's not anything other than teaching students HOW to argue. Things like what to avoid, how to actively listen, ect. From what I heard from a current college student, it was an elective offered and it taught them some really good stuff. I think that shit should be 100% mandatory in college. Fuck it, maybe even high school. Middle schools. Elementary. All of them.

 

Teach people that shit. Teach me that shit, I'm sure I could learn a ton. I'm not joking when I say a course like that being taught in schools could actively change the way current political 'talks' go, and change the way politics work in general. Because it didn't used to be this bad, and I'm not talking about any specific issue. Just society at large. It used to be better, before social media was readily available. I vaguely remember it.


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That's my secret, Cap. I'm always the kettenhund.


#3
OmgPonies

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I think that's a great idea.  For the same reasons kids have to take government and economics in high school, they should learn how to reason and argue.  Or maybe more importantly, how to discover why an argument is bad, or why two ideas are inconsistent with each other.  How to spot bias in others (and ourselves), and how to find trustworthy sources of information.

 

If people knew how to do that better, I think the platforms of our political parties would be very different.  And political discussions would be better than people screaming different sets of facts at each other and calling the opposition different sets of names.  And maybe the most unreasonable voices wouldn't be the best at being heard.


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#4
JadziaGrace

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Lesson 1: No, disagreeing with you doesn't mean that person is a nazi.

Lesson 2: Fake news and how to spot it.

Lesson 3: If you're using all caps, you already lost.


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#5
Bad Neighbor

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Lesson 3: If you're using all caps, you already lost.

 

I DISAGREE


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#6
Varex Sythe

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I DISAGREE WITH YOUR DISAGREEMENT...

ALSO PARADOX



#7
DSheeks

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I DISAGREE

 

I abstain.


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#8
OmgPonies

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Required reading: "On Liberty" by JS Mill






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