MonkeyDavid: I thought this article was going to make a good point, but then it went off in on the "people are mean when opinions are expressed" direction.I believe public discourse really fell apart starting with CNN's Crossfire. Suddenly, there were no longer a bunch of different opinions across a spectrum being presented on TV. Everything needed to fall into either "right" or "left" and the definition of those categories became extreme. If you expressed sympathy with some ideas of the other side, not only were you decried as a traitor, but you were no longer useful to the networks presenting "balanced" programs. They needed one guy on the left, one on the right, and the guy moderating (the best part of the article was the first paragraph). If you couldn't play in this, you didn't get called by the news networks, so everyone became shrill idiots shouting the party lines.What that meant to everyone else is that you could no longer feel safe, in private life, expressing a moderate position, because everyone tries to associate you with one of those idiots or the other. You can't say "well, of course global warming is real, but I'm not sure we've thought through solutions fully" because then you are labeled a right wing idiot. You can't say "well, I believe in the free market, but isn't Wall Street rigged to make huge profits for the companies and not investors?" without being told you are a Occupy sympathizing lefty.Yes, we've always had extremist idiots shouting at each other throughout American history. But we've also had more moderate, thoughtful grown-ups talking things through. At least until the last couple of decades...
palelizard: The problem in the story is the villagers used the rocks to write things to each other, rather than stoning the elders to death when they made catastrophic mistakes. Leaders should fear their constituents, not the other way around. It helps ensure the only people who want to be leaders are people who want to lead.
skozlaw: kgf: The author said none of the things you attribute to him...Except for that part right in the middle where he says exactly all of that. You know, where he lists off all those people who were "wronged" because they said something that got responses from people who disagreed. Or the part right after where he talks about how it's not right that the "middle" sometimes reacts to speech it disagrees with by harming the speaker financially or socially, as if it's wrong to make value-based decisions in a world with numerous options. Which is funny since immediately after he deigns himself arbiter of those ideas which are "off-limits" and glorifies the fact that that retaliation for racist and anti-semitic speech make the "social costs of saying the unsayable ... prohibitively high". Because, apparently, he gets to decide what is and is not off-limits.Even ignoring all that, though, it's a bullshiat argument anyway. There is no "outrage bubble". The fact that people are able to communicate and organize their outrage is new, but the fact that people became outraged by the outrageous is not. He's essentially biatching because people are able to come together and their voices are now louder than before, but the voices aren't new, they're just organized and in unison now.Get the fark over it. There was a time when you could take a Polaroid of your junk and then burn the evidence for good if you had misgivings later. Well, like those days of yore, the days when a CEO or other public figure could say something hateful and take it back before anyone noticed are gone. The solution to that isn't to stop holding assholes accountable for being assholes, it's for assholes to simply stop being assholes.Since Eich is the current preeminent example, we'll use Eich. I personally don't care enough to get that worked up about his bigotry, but apparently a lot of other people did. I'm not going to say it's wrong what they did because it's not. There's no shortage of browsers out ther ...
Syrrh: No, but it doesn't surprise me that someone would go there. And I honestly wouldn't push for a whatever-th amendment to allow foreigners to run for president because there *is* a (tiny) chance that someone could try to undermine US leadership.
palelizard: Voiceofreason01: OR, I'm just throwing this out there, nobody fears anybody and we all work cooperatively to make the world better. We could get together to make rules that everybody agrees to live by and because we can't all take the time out of our day to do that we could vote to elect representatives to do it for us; and everybody puts a little bit of money based on what they can afford into a pot so that we can all collectively pay for things that are a common good, like roads and shiat...but whatever, that's just crazy talk.It's a great ideal and I'm all for it. The problem is there are bad people out there, and they tend to pose as good people but continuously put their own interests ahead of others' in a way that is detrimental to the whole. On a practical level, we need a methodology to minimize their impact. Fear will keep the local politicians in line. I'm not saying literally kill people for making bad decisions, but there have to be consequences or we allow them to keep making bad decisions.
Voiceofreason01: OR, I'm just throwing this out there, nobody fears anybody and we all work cooperatively to make the world better. We could get together to make rules that everybody agrees to live by and because we can't all take the time out of our day to do that we could vote to elect representatives to do it for us; and everybody puts a little bit of money based on what they can afford into a pot so that we can all collectively pay for things that are a common good, like roads and shiat...but whatever, that's just crazy talk.
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