Twelve Rules For Not Being A Total Free Speech Hypocrite

from the yes,-we-mean--you-peterson dept

I have to say that I've never received so many earnest and detailed--but super angry--emails as I did after my article earlier this year calling out Jordan Peterson's obvious hypocrisy for claiming to fight for free speech, while suing a university for "defamation" over the speech of some of its staff members. So many very, very earnest young men, really, really wanted to debate the finer points of how suing over speech could magically lead to more free speech. Again, to be clear: I thought that what Wilfrid Laurier University did in punishing a teaching assistant for showing a video clip of Peterson was completely asinine and the university and its staff deserved all of the ridicule it got.

The lawsuit, however, was another story altogether. Beyond it being a completely obvious SLAPP suit -- using defamation to try to silence someone -- there were all sorts of weird conflicts of interest (it was filed by the same lawyer representing the teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd, and as some have pointed out, Shepherd and Peterson are clearly in conflict with one another over this, since it was Shepherd who actually "published" the negative comments about Peterson by posting them in a video). But the key point is that it's blatant hypocrisy to sue someone for criticizing you while basing a large part of your persona on being about freedom of speech. Indeed, much of Peterson's claim to fame was in loudly protesting a proposed law in Canada that he claimed would be an attack on his own free speech.

Since then, however, Peterson only seems to be doubling and tripling down on his attacks on free speech. A few weeks ago he filed a second lawsuit against Wilfrid Laurier University arguing (I kid you not) that the University's own defense to his original lawsuit defamed him again because it claimed that he benefited from the press attention around the controversy (rather than harming him, as required to be defamation). This seems even more ridiculous than his original lawsuit. Canada, like the US, has absolute privilege in judicial proceedings, meaning you can't claim defamation for things said in the course of ongoing litigation. But, apparently Peterson is going to ignore that.

Then, even more recently, the Cut revealed that Peteron threatened to sue Cornell University professor Kate Manne after she criticized his book in an interview with Vox. Specifically, she called his work misogynistic, which is a clear statement of opinion (and done so based on disclosed facts). But, no matter, she still received a threat letter:

In letters to Manne, Cornell, and Vox, Peterson’s lawyer, Howard Levitt, demanded that all three parties “immediately retract all of Professor Manne’s defamatory statements, have them immediately removed from the internet, and issue an apology in the same forum to Mr. Peterson. Otherwise, our client will take all steps necessary to protect his professional reputation, including but not limited to initiating legal proceedings against all of you for damages.”

As the Cut article makes clear, these threats are utterly bogus, and appear to be attempts to chill speech that criticizes Peterson. Indeed, the Cut notes that this is all even more ironic, given that Manne actually engages pretty thoughtfully with Peterson's ideas, rather than dismissing them wholesale as many others have. As Peterson claims to be a supporter of the give and take debate of free speech, it's blatantly hypocritical of him to then threaten to sue people for fairly tame criticism.

In fact, reading the full threat letter that Peterson's lawyer sent on his behalf, makes it quite clear just how allergic to "open debate" the apparently "free speech" supporting Peterson appears to be. Multiple statements listed as "defamatory" are so obviously statements of opinion that they include phrases indicating that they are opinion:

  • "I also think..."
  • "I also suspect..."
  • "I believe..."
Manne is clearly expressing her opinions on Peterson's work. She is critical of Peterson's ideas, but if you truly believe in the "marketplace of ideas" then you're supposed to be cool with that -- not threaten to sue them.

Also, utterly bizarre is that beyond going after Manne, the letter also threatens to sue the institution where she works, Cornell University (disclosure: also my alma mater) claiming that in Canada "liability can be imputed to employers due to damages caused by their employees and/or officers." To support this claim, the letter points to John Doe v. Bennett, a Canadian case in which the Roman Catholic Church was found liable for sexual abuse by its clergy. To argue this means a university is somehow liable for defamation because one of its staff members criticized Peterson is quite a stretch.

Oh, and remember, that some of Peterson's rise to fame was his claim to be taking a principled stand against compelled speech by arguing that a Canadian law would have compelled him to use specific pronouns in addressing people that he felt was a violation of his speech rights. He also has a page on his own website complaining about "perhaps unconstitutional" compelled speech by the Law Society of Upper Canada. And yet, in this letter sent on behalf of free speech warrior Jordan Peterson, his lawyer demands some compelled speech from Manne and Vox in the form of "an apology to Mr. Peterson." So, apparently taking into consideration a misuse of pronouns in investigating hate crimes (which is actually what the bill Peterson was so upset about was really about) is an unconstitutional form of compelled speech... whereas requiring a public apology for someone being mildly critical of your work is perfectly fine?

To me, that seems like evidence of some fairly blatant hypocrisy, not to mention legal thuggery, which will likely create chilling effects, causing others to shy away from stating their opinions on Peterson's statements. That may or may not be Peterson's goal, and at least some of his fans seem to think that silencing criticism is pro-free speech because it allows Peterson's ideas to spread -- but that's not how it works. Threatening lawsuits and claiming defamation over someone criticizing your ideas is the literal opposite of supporting free speech.

Even if you think it's cool to create chilling effects for someone who doesn't want Peterson to speak, you simply are not promoting free speech by silencing critics of free speech. That's not how it works. At all. Any attempt to completely silence people -- even if they're not fans of your free speech -- is still an attempt to stamp out free speech and antithetical to free speech. So, given that so many of Peterson's avid followers seem to like lists, let's give you a nice list of twelve rules for not being a total free speech hypocrite:

  1. Speak out when you have an opinion on something.
  2. Express yourself appropriately when you think someone else is incorrect about something.
  3. Recognize that not everyone may agree with your take on things. That's cool.
  4. There may be consequences to your speech. That's part of free speech.
  5. Some of those consequences may involve people calling you nasty names. That's no fun, but it's still free speech.
  6. Those people are not harming your free speech. They are engaging in it.
  7. Don't sue or threaten to sue those people for defamation. It makes you look like a hypocritical dipshit.
  8. Don't then sue again because of their legal response pushing back on your original defamation lawsuit.
  9. Don't then go screaming at people who call you out as a hypocrite for suing people for criticizing you.
  10. Perhaps try a little introspection and recognize that suing people for criticizing you creates massive chilling effects and is entirely counter to free speech.
  11. If you're going to insist that others accept your ideas, maybe recognize that you have to accept others' ideas, even if you disagree with them.
  12. Don't sue a cat when it hisses at you in the street.


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  • identicon
    Christenson, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:45am

    12 Steps....

    These steps need re-organizing along the lines of a 12-step program...like the one for Alcoholics Anonymous. We don't need a higher power for this, but...

    1) Recognize that FREE SPEECH means *EVERYONE* is entitled to speak, not just you.

    2) Asking the government to "Do Something" about speech is *never* supporting free speech. [Defamation? That's not about speech, it's about power...]

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    • icon
      Bamboo Harvester (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:57am

      Re: 12 Steps....

      The thing to remember, which the young firebrands often forget in their haste to be offended, is that the First Amendment is there specifically to protect *objectionable* speech. Unobjectionable speech needs no protection by definition.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Christenson, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:55pm

        Re: Re: 12 Steps....

        1a) Free speech is OFFENSIVE, OBJECTIONABLE SPEECH you don't want to hear...

        3) Moderation is deciding what is acceptable in my house. It is a consequence of your free speech.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Azrael, 27 Sep 2018 @ 1:56am

          Re: Re: Re: 12 Steps....

          Your house?
          No, a public space that you own , one that yourself has decided to make it public - remember, you can't have the cake and eat it too.
          BTW, just fyi lies + slander =/= free speech.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 7:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 12 Steps....

            Open to *the* public. It's still a private space. Big difference, and part of the reason moderation can occur.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rich, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:47am

    I agree, except for #12. Cats are evil.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Cat Mandu, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:49am

    Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

    1. Don't sue a cat when it hisses at you in the street.

    Wow. SAGE ADVICE there. The others are nearly as silly.

    How about instead of the 1-12 wacky and difficult to figure out:

    A) Common law is the only reliable guide to what's acceptable. If within, then take NO action. If outside, then REMOVE.

    B) Don't advertise free speech unless mean it FULLY. You cannot exercise "editorial control" in the comments section except as in A.

    C) Providing a mechanism in your site's code for disadvantaging dissent is OUT. Compounding that by LYING that it's solely "the community" without Administrator approval just confirms.

    D) Be FAIR. Letting trolls who support your views run wild is same as hindering "free speech": anyone reasonable is lost in the cacophony.

    E) Running pieces extolling free speech, then blatantly violating your own principles on the same, THAT'S unique hypocrisy so bad that has to be called MASNOCRISY.

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    • identicon
      Rich, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:51am

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      It's sad that you conflate free speech with a blog's comment section.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Cat Mandu, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:56am

        Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

        It's sad that you conflate free speech with a blog's comment section.

        Yeah, where the HELL did I get that idea?

        Masnick / Techdirt only provide HTML code and invite the whole world to comment, advertise "free speech", write about it all the time as an absolute, wanting any question to be decided in favor of allowing, but HERE the practice is to attack and disadvantage dissent.

        YOU ARE THE HYPOCRITES.

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        • icon
          Gary (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Invite

          Mike invited us into his website to discuss the stories.
          His website - not yours.
          There is a little flag on the right that hides annoying trolls who show up, shout about how they refuse to tale their meds, and run off if someone tries to discuss their 'points.'

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          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

            but he is still correct, but be sure to hit that flag button.

            Nothing gets more attention then making martyrs out of people.

            Why do you think that the extreme lefts and rights are coming out of the wood work? People like YOU are pushing them into those extremes by gaslighting and insulting them every chance you get.

            If anyone here needs meds, that would be you. Yes, this is Mike's site, he can do whatever he wants, but remember what "consequences" are when it comes to speech. No matter what laws/rules you create the consequences eternally remain. The best solution to bad speech is more speech from the opposite direction, not attempts to silence it!

            But I can understand why you have a problem with that, because like most people you are assume guilty until proven innocent. Do not worry, your kind will dominate the world again just like they did in the past and more innocent will suffer and you will whine even louder at what you have done while simultaneously refusing to accept that you were responsible for it.

            Hypocrisy is the 2nd greatest sin.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

              Q: "Why do you think that the extreme lefts and rights are coming out of the wood work?"

              A: People like YOU are pushing them into those extremes by gaslighting and insulting them every chance you get.



              Your answer seems a bit short on details.

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:12pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                no, I am not either right or left, I share opinions from both sides too much for like either side.

                Both are full of shit, just like you!

                That's kinda the problem, you have to be full of shit to be too far right or left, but being centered does not mean you are not full of shit either. So sadly, most people are full of shit.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                  "Both are full of shit, just like you!"

                  I am full of shit, as you claim, because I pointed out your lack of supporting evidence? That's rather lame isn't it?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                    identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:02pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                    History is all the evidence necessary.

                    This is not the first century people have experience dumb-asses like you.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:56pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                  You are a martyr because you’re a jackass Dunning-Kruger victim. Sure you and about a billion other people. Now run away like you do little man. That paints not gonna eat itself.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

              The best solution to bad speech is more speech from the opposite direction, not attempts to silence it!

              This has been and continues to be attempted for a long time now. The problem with your assertion is that all of these attempts fail because the original speaker refuses to hear any dissent to their assertions. They're firmly entrenched in their beliefs and nothing will dissuade them. Trying to discuss their points is invariably met with insults rather than intelligent discussion.

              There's no doubt why most just flag and ignore. That's not hypocrisy. It's a desire not to waste one's time.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:09am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                Some minds are like concrete...

                Thoroughly mixed up, and permanently set.

                I think ALL politicians fall into this category.

                So if the solution to bad speech is more speech,
                and the courts have said that $ = speech (corporations),
                then there is no solution to bad corporate speech (unless you are a billionaire and can afford to 'out speak/spend' them).

                It's no wonder we are ending up in the situations we are in, we have let the foxes run the hen house for way too long...

                "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." seems to be about time for a constitutional convention...

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              • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:13pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                no that is just your opinion. It's okay if you cannot change peoples mind. Let them destroy themselves, just be ready to fight when they invariably want to drag you down with this because they are definitely going to try.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 8:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

                "all of these attempts fail because the original speaker refuses to hear any dissent to their assertions."

                I'm not convinced it is a failure as there are benefits beyond convincing the original speaker - others are probably are listening.

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            • icon
              Gary (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Invite

              gaslighting and insulting them

              Not gaslighting to call out their insulting and bad behavior: Name calling Off topic posts Overuse of CAPS Repeating the same post again and again to make sure we all get "The point." Running off as soon as anyone tries to debate the points.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          I.T. Guy, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

          "attack and disadvantage dissent"
          No... just the idiots. Of which you are one of. As we have mentioned time and time again, your verbal diarrhea does not get censored nor does it get disadvantaged. Just because your content is disadvantaged and gets appropriately marked is no reflection on the site design.

          In fact Muppet, one could argue that the link to view the marked comment actually attracts people.

          Funny thing though. I noticed. The hidden comments are almost always from you.

          Maybe it's you Brah. Juss sayin.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2018 @ 6:40am

          Re: Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

          Your comments haven't been deleted, anyone can still see them, they merely need to click show.
          Your just too stupid to realise that this isn't censorship.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Cat Mandu, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:51am

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      Total Free Speech Hypocrite

      That's an interesting Freudian reveal which says PARTIAL OR SELECTIVE HYPOCRITE IS OKAY.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gary (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re: Read the Troll

        And by downvoting you to oblivion, we exercise Our free speech - see how that works?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Cat Mandu, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:09am

          Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

          And by downvoting you to oblivion, we exercise Our free speech - see how that works?

          SHEESH. Proud of being a Nazi, are you?

          The site providing code for "downvoting" is the only way you win. See how that works?

          You are explicitly advocating censorship, have crossed the barrier in own mind to justifying. Don't complain when happens to you, then.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

            Being told that your posts are crap ain't censorship, boy.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
              identicon
              Azrael, 27 Sep 2018 @ 2:11am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

              Yes, but flagging them solely because you disagree with them surely is.
              It's just you feel entitled to that power and you take it so naturally that you don't even care anymore about censoring dissenting views.

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              • identicon
                Talmyr, 27 Sep 2018 @ 6:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

                There's disagreeing, and disagreeing. Disagreeing with the absolute content isn't the same as disagreeing with the portrayal, constant ad homs, and unwillingness to properly discuss issues.

                And it's a form of 'free speech' that it can actually be used as a way of expressing disagreement. Of course, a proper 'downvote' option would be helpful there, but needs must...

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          • icon
            Gary (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

            I'd love to debate this further on your website where you aren't at such a disadvantage. Where was that again?

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          • icon
            techflaws (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

            LOL, noone needs a downvote button to outsmart your little brain. Gonna vote funny on this brain fart of yours.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2018 @ 6:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Read the Troll

            Censorship?
            You're not being censored.
            Your comments are still visible to every who hits show.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:05am

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      You don't know what common law is.

      You don't know what free speech is.

      You're still lying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Cat Mandu, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:14am

        Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

        Oh, dear. The usual simplistic "AC" which stands for Automatic Contradiction -- and is clearly a regular, if not an Administrator astro-turfing.

        You don't know what common law is.

        WELL, 'splain it, snowflake! Gainsaying is easy, NOW SHOW.

        You don't know what free speech is.

        Oh, I know when DON'T see it, as here. Just false claims of "free speech" when IN FACT can't stand little bits of text.

        You're still lying.

        State one lie. You are only a tactic (notice I don't mean using) of appearing to answer: astro-turfing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

          WELL, 'splain it, snowflake! Gainsaying is easy, NOW SHOW.

          Look it up. The rest of us (who care) did.

          Oh, I know when DON'T see it, as here. Just false claims of "free speech" when IN FACT can't stand little bits of text.

          There is no "free speech" on a platform not operated by the government. Why is that so hard to grasp?

          State one lie. You are only a tactic (notice I don't mean using) of appearing to answer: astro-turfing.

          The 2nd quote above.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

          You don't know what common law is.

          WELL, 'splain it, snowflake! Gainsaying is easy, NOW SHOW.

           

          I can explain what the phrase "common law" means. Here's what Wikipedia says:

          In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is that body of law derived from judicial decisions of courts and similar tribunals.

          Now, can you explain what the phrase means to YOU, Blue, because it seems to differ from the definition that everyone else in the world uses.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:28am

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      Where does free speech mean that you can try and compel people to listen to you, especially by using and platform that other have built to publish their speech?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:30am

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      Simple request:

      Point to three websites that have more open comment sections than Techdirt. There are a few easy criteria to be equally open:

      • They must allow commenting without any kind of account signup
      • They must allow anonymous commenting without providing an email address, and under any pseudonym entered on the fly
      • If they have a reporting/flagging system, it must not result in comments being deleted or being hidden behind a click that require a page-reload, or be removed from the flow of comments - rather, like Techdirt, they must remain in place and be immediately viewable with a single click

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:58am

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      Didn't you promise last weekend you were leaving the site forever if Mike responded to you and debunked your assertions, which he did? Why are you still here?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:48pm

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      Common law is the only reliable guide to what's acceptable.

       

      Really? That's very interesting. Can you provide a link to this so called "reliable common law guide" so I can read it?

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    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:23pm

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      Common law is the only reliable guide to what's acceptable.

       

      The more I thought about this statement the more realized how utterly silly it really is.

      Free Speech, although being enshrined in our Constitution, is really a product of common law. Two hundred and some odd years of judicial interpretations (or in other words: common law) of the First Amendment have given us the guidelines we have today.

      So I guess when Blue says "Common law is the only reliable guide to what's acceptable" he's actually kind of correct, but I'm guessing that's not what he meant. To Blue "common law" is some sort of mystical phrase that means "stuff he agrees with or doesn't offend him".

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 8:17am

        Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

        Is there anywhere that identifies exactly what this nebulous "common law" phrase refers to? I want a list of each and every "law". Is there a document that does this?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      allengarvin (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 6:44pm

      Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

      A) REALLY suspicious of anyone who says this. Do you know the history of common law? It was so cruel that in the 18th century hundreds of crimes resulted in the death penalty. The courts of chancery were introduced to grant some small, very small measures of leniency.

      And, there is no federal common law. Federal law derives exclusively from the constitution.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 7:56pm

        Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

        Don't bother trying to argue "common law" with him. The definition he has in his head is shared by no one.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 8:22am

          Re: Re: Re: Read the list first, saved much time. I have never sued a cat.

          afaik, common law back in the day included
          1) hanging horse thieves
          2) lynching
          3) hunting down run away slaves
          4) rape
          5) stealing land

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 9:52am

    Having never actually paid attention to Petersen, when I heard about who he was I ambled on over to wikipedia and took a look at their description of controversies.

    By and large it looked like a bunch of hooey. "Oh, no, he said political correctness was bad? That it's being abused as a bludgeon to silence people rather than a shield to defend vulnerable groups?"
    Well, that about matches my perception of (some) of what's going on these days. Cool, he seems like he has his head screwed on straight.

    That was years ago.
    Having been reminded that he exists and filled in on what his activities have been like since then, I have to admit it sounds like my initial glance was inadequate diligence.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:04am

      Re:

      It's possible and entirely probable to agree with someone on one point even if you think they are largely objectionable. I think Bill Cosby's bit on the ridiculous roads in San Francisco is timeless and accurate. Yet I find the man contemptible for the whole, y'know, rape thing.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re:

        That just makes you a blithering fucking moron. Let go straight to Godwin for effect here.

        If Obama told you to jump off a Cliff would you?
        How about if Hitler told you to jump off a Cliff?

        By the time you are reading this line you will have "consciously" wondered if Obama had a good reason for asking this while Hitler would obviously have an evil reason for asking this.

        Truth is truth, no matter the character of the person uttering it. This is why people like you get fooled so often because you love the honey that lies bring so much that you will never have room in you belly for a drop of truth. If it does not taste sweet going down you won't swallow it, but all the while you bitch endlessly about how much your belly aches... which is why they call it bellyaching in the first place.

        Lies taste sweet but are bitter in the belly, while Truth tastes bitter, but warm in the belly!

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        • identicon
          I.T. Guy, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "That just makes you a blithering fucking moron."

          Says the guy that missed the point entirely.
          Why did you not post this as Cat Muppet?

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, you missed the point, let me explain how.

            He said they were "contemptible" in a way that imply that because they are, they should not be listened too even if they have good things to say.


            "I think Bill Cosby's bit on the ridiculous roads in San Francisco is timeless and accurate."

            This is tantamount to the "I am not a racist, but..." right before they say something racist.

            In all things, listen to words being said... judge not the source, but the merit of the words on their own. Truly remove the messenger from the equation entirely. If you cannot do that then you get what this guy wrote. Someone whom is detestable being disregarded, regardless of the truth of their words.

            I have seen this trick and gimmick before. Kinda like a doctor that says this won't hurt a bit...

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            • icon
              James Burkhardt (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Actually, its the opposite:

              The AC noted that the message expressed by Cosby in his famous bit on San Francisco roads is not invalidated by the AC's disgust for Cosby as a person. In other words, the statement remains valid when separated from the author.

              I disagree that the source can not be considered however. For instance, if a youtube video has a moment where the creator describes their love for Pepsi over Coke, the value of that message changes if those lines are compensated for by Pepsi. In this, no matter how genuine the words, the message is not an entirely genuine endorsement, but a paid for endorsement and we can no longer separate the message from the reason it was expressed.

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                zippy, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:29pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Not entirely on topic but since Cosby was already brought up, I just thought I'd mention that the prosecution's star witness actually admitted at the trial that she was never raped. It's not the first time a colored man has been railroaded by false accusations of such behavior, and it you do a little research, you'll find that the woman's family hates black people and was using him to hurt them. Also, just before this entire controversy began, Cosby tried to buy NBC. But those against him - mainly rich white men - didn't want a man of color to have that much power. So they orchestrated a media campaign to discredit him with false accusations. You'll find if you dig that not one of the womens' testimonies holds up under scrutiny, and that many of them were already known liars or cons by the time this began and that they simply saw a way to get easy money. Not to mention the prosecution has ignored and superseded the Fifth and Fourteenth amendments in their quest for his head, not to mention breaking the law by bypassing the statute of limitations. It ism't justice, it's mob justice. Just because the media says someone is guilty of something doesn't mean they are. Don't let them dictate what you believe. Do your own research.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:37pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I just thought I'd mention that the prosecution's star witness actually admitted at the trial that she was never raped."

                  Is that why he is now going to jail?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • icon
                  James Burkhardt (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:14pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Well, I did some google searching, and while some news headlines suggest that one of the witnesses made up the claim, the body of the articles clarifies that the meaning is that the memoir was "made up" - there were inconsistencies between the memoir version and the version of events expressed on the stand, and the witness notes that in the memoir, she wasn't under oath and intentionally sanitized the memoir account at her publishers behest. Hardly admitting to not being raped.

                  I'd love some citations on the legal analysis of constitutional abuses, of which of the 5 testimonies were by known lairs and how that was established, and how the statute of limitations was bypassed. "Do your own research"? No. You are the one making claims. You can cite your sources. It is not my failure that I do not review your specific sources.

                  Additionally, You don't know anything about me. If you did, you'd know I had serious concerns at the outset of the Cosby trial due to the treatment of the accusation as the verdict. Moreover, I made, in my comments, no personal claims about my own views of Cosby, only highlighting that the comments I replied to characterized statements of another. Directing this rant at me, rather than the commentator who expressed issues with Cosby would have been far more on point.

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                  • identicon
                    Christenson, 27 Sep 2018 @ 1:23pm

                    Re: Bill Cosby

                    If you want to know the truth on Bill Cosby's escapades, you should read his 2005 civil deposition, the part about the quaaludes.

                    What the hell was he thinking??

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                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 5:51pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  60 women accused him of sexual misconduct. You're saying they all made it up?

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                    Azrael, 27 Sep 2018 @ 2:28am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    If you would have ever had to deal with gaggle of women you wouldn't have felt the need to ask such an easy and obvious question.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Wendy Cockcroft, 27 Sep 2018 @ 5:38am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      We're people, not geese. And I don't make stuff up, especially if I want to have a go at someone, I'll tell them what the problem is and give them a chance to clear things up between us.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 8:25am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      If you would have ever had to deal with tavern full of drunken men trying to grab your pussy you wouldn't have felt the need to ask such an easy and obvious question.

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Sep 2018 @ 10:53am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        You need to find a new tavern. I've been to hundreds of taverns, I've seen the occasional drunk guy do something stupid, but never a tavern full of them.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                    Azrael, 27 Sep 2018 @ 2:51am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    If you would have ever had to deal with gaggle of women you wouldn't have felt the need to ask such an easy and obvious question.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          What does the prior comment have to do with Hitler or Obama?

          But Rudy Giuliani told us all that Truth is not Truth.

          Maybe you should go grab a bite to eat as you sound hungry.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:11pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's like...the opposite of what I'm saying. If Hitler said that beef Chinese noodles are awesome, I would agree with Hitler on a point while also finding him to be the awful person we (mostly) all understand him to have been.

          I'm not saying blindly accept 100% things that are said by people I like. I'm saying people being awful doesn't make them 100% wrong about everything ever forever amen. In the OP's case, it's possible to agree with the guy's fundamental ideals and also find him hypocritical for throwing those out when his feelings are hurt.

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    Cat Mandu, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:04am

    Watch this be filled with editorial warnings of "dangerous!"

    As always here at Techdirt, "free speech" will become EXCEPT FOR YOU WHO DISAGREE. Already one up there.

    That's what Techdirt has become, Masnick. You stepped over the line by starting to "hide" comments and now your fanboys just clutter the site with off-topic ad hom solely trying to hide / stop any other notions than yours.

    By the way, I'm reminded that Techdirt has blocked my home IP address so that I must use TOR, and "average_joe" stated that too.

    So, just another false "free speech" piece when in fact you're unable to bear little bits of totally mild text in dissent. -- While again, fanboys are NEVER reprimanded.

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:18am

      Re: Watch this be filled with editorial warnings of "dangerous!"

      Keep whining, dude.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:45am

      Re: Watch this be filled with editorial warnings of "dangerous!"

      Even vineyards don't have this much whine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Rocky, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:06pm

      Re: Watch this be filled with editorial warnings of "dangerous!"

      From the post you have made I wouldn't call your contributions "disagreeing". You call everyone that doesn't agree with your particular worldview for idiot, stupid, nazi, fanboi, snowflake, hypocrite etc.

      You entire tone suggests that you believe yourself to be superior to everyone else. In other words, people think you are an a-hole and they will - surprise! - treat you as such.

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    • identicon
      bob, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:29pm

      Re: Watch this

      Congrats, you are seeing the consequences of your actions.

      Now if only you could learn from the experience.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:15am

    Ahh...

    How does it not surprise me that TD is a Peterson hater.

    The only think you silly folks care about is everyone repeating the same mantra and dogma.

    Peterson is not being hypocritical, you are just too flipping stupid to understand what he is doing, but that is not a shocker for TD where the bar for intelligence is so low that Nike uses them as shoe sizes.

    Peterson is on record as stating that he is against "compelled speech" he said nothing about being against certain types of speech. He is clearly against defamation for example.

    It's not like you buffoons have the intellectual capacity to grasp this, which is probably why you got so many mean emails about it.

    Life is hard, it's harder when you are stupid! Stupid like Mike!

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    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:33am

      Re: Ahh...

      Peterson is on record as stating that he is against "compelled speech"

      And here he is trying to compel speech. His letter directly demands a compelled apology. That's hypocritical, buddy, sorry - there's no way out of it.

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:52am

        Re: Re: Ahh...

        Tell me, if you are in court suing someone for defamation, how would you plan to force them to retract their statements if they lost against you? Any attempt to force them to retract is compelled speech too! Apparently for you, it's okay to not force people to recant disprovable lies because that's bad if you are against "compelled speech".

        This is not the same type of "compelled speech" being discusses and you know it. How are people dumb as you able to function?

        Do you know what else is compelled speech? Truth in Advertising laws. I am against compelled speech too, but I support Truth in Advertising laws... and you know what. A smart person would figure out what I meant by that... but apparently not a blither knob like yourself.

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        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          Oh, I see the issue. You think he was trying to force someone to "recant disprovable lies".

          In fact, he was trying to force someone to recant some opinions that hurt his feelings.

          Hypocrite.

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:01am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

            You are aware that Peterson has explained why he is suing them right? You don't have agree with this reasons, but they are sufficient enough to recuse him of hypocrisy. The problem is that you are not intelligent enough to understand this.

            Look, you can be stupid if you like, I can't stop you, all I can do is point it out. It's up to you to change it.

            Jordan is not after them for their "opinions" he is after them for their lies that are harming other people. There really is a difference... well unless for someone like you that probably believes a few of those lies.

            The problem with Peterson for you is that he is right and you are wrong and if there is one thing you lefties cannot stand... is the truth.

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            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              10:57am - a hypocrite is not required to KNOW/ANKNOWLEDGE they are being hypocritical.

              11:01am - You don't have agree with this reasons, but they are sufficient enough to recuse him of hypocrisy.

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                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                Still too stupid to figure it out... well not surprising.

                But don't worry, you can think he is a hypocrite all you want, I don't agree.

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                • icon
                  Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                  I don't agree

                  That means I can sue you now, right?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:03pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                    lol, you really are a moron.

                    Sue away, you will only lose.

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                    • icon
                      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:04pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                      Sue away, you will only lose.

                      Indeed, I would. You might recognize this as the reason that, even though Kate Manne and Vox laughed off Peterson's threat and never retracted anything or issued the compelled apology he demanded, he never actually took them to court.

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                        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:13pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                        I don't care about any of that, I don't care if he sues or does not sue, that is not the point here.

                        what I am saying is that you have no proof of him being hypocritical. You just have things you THINK are proof and I just do not agree with your flimsy evidence.

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • icon
                          Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:24pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                          Loves free speech and open dialogue, sues someone over some criticism and demands they apologize.

                          That's all the "evidence" and "proof" I need, thanks.

                          To quote someone who definitely thinks of themselves as one of history's greatest minds: "People do not have to be aware they are hypocrites to be one."

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                            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:01pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                            Peterson is not suing over the criticism aspects, he is suing over the factually disprovable aspects, there is a difference.

                            If he only seeks an apology, it seems like a low bar but if that is the only example he seeks then so be it, it's his lawsuit he can make any attempt at restitution he seeks, he just needs to convince a judge of it as well.

                            "That's all the "evidence" and "proof" I need, thanks."

                            If you were not lying and misrepresenting the situation I would agree with you if Peterson was clearly suing over nothing more than criticism.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:07pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                              What is "factually disprovable" about the statements he specifically threatened over which start with "I think", "I suspect" and "Maybe"?

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                                identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:41pm

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                                Lets start here.

                                a) "I also think the way Peterson cherry-picked the few more dignified-sounding sentences from the diary of one of the Columbine killers, Eric Harris, was downright dishonest."

                                Depending on Canda's libel law which I am no expert, this may not be the same as saying they think Peterson is dishonest, for the same reason Canada had to create an actual law that states people apologizing to people is no admission of guilt.

                                That sentence says they think the WAY Peterson did it WAS dishonest so depending on how that is interpreted legally it could be understood as as a factual claim that Peterson is lying.

                                b) "I also suspect that for many of Peterson's readers, the sexism on display above is one tool among many to make forceful, domineering moves that are typical of misogyny."

                                The sentence between the commas is a clear declaration/accusation of sexism. This means that there could be opportunity in Canada's legal code for libel or slander.

                                I am going to cut to the specifics now.
                                C) "...This suggestion is classic, straight-up misogyny."

                                D) is all supposition being stated as though it is fact.

                                E) "...cruel things."

                                F) "gaslit by her therapist"... does she have a therapist or are they making the claim that she is in therapy without knowing the truth?

                                G) "skepticism about objective facts" there is no such think as objective facts. They are making claims that do not exist.

                                Now, I will agree that they are defamatory... but it is up to the courts interpretation of the "Libel and Slander Act" to find if they are illegal defamatory accusations in Canada.

                                You clowns need to remember that Canada has a different definition of free speech. I don't agree with Canada but you all are conflating your "American" understanding of freedom of speech with Canada's.

                                And also, I am not making the claim that Peterson is NOT a hypocrite just that there is not enough proof as being put forth here. But it will not stop you hypocrites from going to town on it either way.

                                Now, on a principled level, there is no such thing as a human that is not a hypocrite, there is none of us that walks clean. But there is no evidence here that Jordan is being one based on conflating TD's understanding of their Idea of freedom of speech vs Canada or Jordan's version of freedom of speech.

                                I have listened to enough of Peterson to know that I don't agree with everything he says, but I also do not know enough about "his" or "canada's" version of "freedom of speech" to know if he is being hypocritical.

                                If you make a claim about someone you cannot backup and proof then you could be guilty of libel, that is also true in America and there is only so much wiggle room you get to have in how you make your claims against others.

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:45pm

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                                  What a hero of free speech you are. No policing of people's language and thought on display here!

                                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:14pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                                    No, my idea of freedom of speech is definitely different than Jordan's or TD's.

                                    I follow the 1st explicitly. You can say whatever the fuck you like about anyone, unless it is a provable lie. Which is why the burden of proving that a defamation is a lie is the burden of the accuser. Now, Jordan has to prove they are lying, or whatever proof the Canadian courts require.

                                    But this does not mean that Peterson is a hypocrite, he has to do something that is contrary to his stated beliefs as "HE" states them... not necessarily as "TD" believes them.

                                    We need Peterson's definition of "freedom of speech" to know. So far all I have heard is that "Peterson is against Compelled speech by the government". This is not proof of Peterson being a hypocrite because as you all know... once you break the law, you lose certain rights and privileges as part of that punishment and that could be "compelled speech" as a result. The speech that might be compelled as a punishment for breaking the law is NOT the same as speech being compelled from a law saying you have to say this guilty or not. And Leigh is just too fucking dumb to understand that!

                                    The principle is simple, Jordan is against speech compelled by legislature, he did not say he is against speech compelled by judicial ruling as part of a punishment being handed out, and neither does it prove he is a hypocrite on these merits alone.

                                    It only proves that Peterson is not as "pro-freedom of speech" as others.

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                                    • icon
                                      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 4:06pm

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                                      So far all I have heard is that "Peterson is against Compelled speech by the government". This is not proof of Peterson being a hypocrite because as you all know... once you break the law, you lose certain rights and privileges as part of that punishment and that could be "compelled speech" as a result. The speech that might be compelled as a punishment for breaking the law is NOT the same as speech being compelled from a law saying you have to say this guilty or not. And Leigh is just too fucking dumb to understand that!

                                      Well, you are correct that I do not understand what the fuck you just said. As to whose dumbness is to blame, I suppose I'll leave that to each reader to decide for themselves.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:46am

      Re: Ahh...

      I suppose that if one is a hypocrite but is "just too flipping stupid to understand what he is doing" then technically they are not a hypocrite - but the words uttered are still hypocritical even though the author is "just too flipping stupid to understand what he is doing" to realize it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:57am

        Re: Re: Ahh...

        Incorrect, a hypocrite is not required to KNOW/ANKNOWLEDGE they are being hypocritical.

        Look at definition #2.
        "a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings"

        For example, people that believe in "evolution" but also "universal healthcare". If evolution is true then we must allow the weak to die so that evolution can continue to allow humans to evolve. Interfering with that mechanism will result in an increase in the pollution of the gene pool.

        People do not have to be aware they are hypocrites to be one.

        Jordan could very well be a hypocrite, but I have not seen enough evidence to convince me of it. However I have seen more than enough evidence to believe that TD is hypocritical.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          For example, people that believe in "evolution" but also "universal healthcare". If evolution is true then we must allow the weak to die so that evolution can continue to allow humans to evolve. Interfering with that mechanism will result in an increase in the pollution of the gene pool.

          Bwahahaha oh man please tell me you are just a troll, and that Petersonianism doesn't actually make people this stupid.

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

            Not a troll, but I am not a follower of Peterson, either. I formed my opinions and ideas long before the world learned of this person.

            I just think he is far more intelligent than a monkey like yourself.

            And what I stated is a verifiable provable fact. It's not really an opinion, whether evolution is true or false. The more people that are saved by science with genetic diseases the higher the chance that they will reproduce and create more humans with these genetic defects. Are you saying that is not true? Because you just called me stupid for saying that. The only thing you revealed is how stupid you are!

            This is not opinion, it is just a fucking fact!

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            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Yes, and curing some skins to wear prevents people from dying for not growing enough fur, as they rightly should, y'know? Farming has stopped us from selecting only for the best gatherers and letting the rest starve. And don't get me started on how nine out of ten babies are SUPPOSED to die of childhood illnesses, but those damn liberals are like "oh boo-hoo no! we want fewer dead babies, let's eradicate measles". Snowflakes.

              All of civilization was a mistake! You've really taken Peterson's lobster philosophy to the extreme.

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                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:11pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                This is why you are a fucking moron. Just because I recognize the fact that using science to save people help pollute the gene pool does not mean that I support that.

                But I noticed that you did not hesitate to jump to a whole bunch of conclusions.

                And I have already stated, I am not a follower of Peterson. Just the fact that he is far more intelligent than you and happens to have a lot more followers.

                that must piss you off huh?

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                • identicon
                  Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:25pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                  Obvious troll is obvious.

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                • icon
                  Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:28pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                  If evolution is true then we must allow the weak to die so that evolution can continue to allow humans to evolve

                  ...

                  Just because I recognize the fact that using science to save people help pollute the gene pool does not mean that I support that.

                  ...

                  So, er, which is it?

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                    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:53pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                    Dimwit, I don't believe in evolution. So I am obviously okay with helping people survive while simultaneously looking at the "Church of Evolution" zealots and wonder why they don't let evolution happen naturally since they "believe" in it so much.

                    I am also able to recognize the fact that you are a moron despite hoping that you would stop being one. See how that works?

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                    • icon
                      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:00pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                      Yes, now I understand that you don't believe in evolution because of your incredibly shaky understanding of what "scientific theory" means. I misunderstood before, my bad. I will stop talking to you now, as I probably should have some time ago.

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                    • identicon
                      Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:07pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                      "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - evolutionary biologist and Eastern Orthodox Christian Theodosius Dobzhansky

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                        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:55pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                        Okay, moron, that is a statement of Opinion. It is your pathetic ability to read coupled with your dogmatic religion of evolution that causes you think that was a statement of "Scientific Fact".

                        do you see the word "fact" his statement? Notice how he avoids the usage of that word? For him it only makes sense to "believe" in evolution because of what he sees in biology but to think that he sees all and knows everything about biology is abject stupidity.

                        I reuse a lot of computer code, does that make it evolutionary? to someone without enough information it will look like it! Sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic to the ignorant.

                        Biology is very advanced, we understand more than we used to but we still understand very little. We are still working on technology to see what is physically going on inside of a cell at a mechanical level.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:43pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                      You are provably mentally retarded if you think believing that evolution is real is in direct conflict with self-preservation through modern medical science. Seriously. Did your pastor teach you that?

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                        Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:01pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                        I made no such claim you blasted fucking moron. I only said that if you believe in evolution then you are not living up to that believe. It does not imply that it is in "direct" conflict just that it is provable that saving people with genetic disorder increases their chance of reproducing and introducing more genetic disorders into the gene pool.

                        Science might find a way to cure that too, eliminating that that as a contention, but until then...

                        The one thing I can count on at TD is that there is no end to the number of morons frequenting the site.

                        There is one thing I am guilty of and that is casting pearls of wisdom before swine. If tell you guys one thing you quickly twist it to mean something else.

                        I don't agree with evolution, I do agree with saving as many people as morally possible.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:08pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                          I do agree with saving as many people as morally possible.

                          Yeah, you wouldn't want to run out of people to berate and call morons, you humanitarian you.

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                            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:17pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                            lol, life is more fun with you morons around.

                            Perfection might be very boring. Either way, I don't hate you morons, I just disagree with your stupidity.

                            Most of you hate me.

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                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:23pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                              Ha. You aren’t worth disliking, much less hating. We like to laugh at you because your absolute refusal to learn from your mistakes is mildly entertaining.

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        • icon
          aethercowboy (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:14am

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          Your evolution analogy is flawed on so many levels.

          1. You cannot have a "belief" in something that has sufficient empirical evidence to prove or disprove its existence. That would be like saying "I believe that 2 + 2 = 5" or "I believe that 2 + 2 = 4". Either it's true, or it isn't. As with metaphysical things, these are inherently unprovable, and thus, can be believed: unicorns, fairies, Odin, etc.

          2. Assuming for the sake of argument that evolution is an empirically provable fact (your quotes indicate that you may not agree with this statement otherwise), then it's likely that humans have also been selecting for compassion for as long as we've been living in groups. Therefore, a human who believes that survival of the fittest is desirable, and also believes that everybody should be afforded health care, may be unable to act on the former, and choose the latter, because compassion.

          3. Further, the ideas of evolution are about the propagation of a species (or, perhaps a gene, if you believe what Dawkins has to say), and therefore, it's perfectly reasonable that someone who considers the evolutionary ramifications of things will also appreciate keeping other members of their species alive.

          4. One could also argue that advances in medical science are an evolutionary step in humanity. Therefore, where do we draw the line between what is human evolution and what is just being silly and helping people otherwise live?

          5. You're also not considering the fact that most people don't actually care enough about evolution enough to hold the tenants of survival of the fittest to be a major guiding principle of their lives.

          Don't you find it to be silly that the people who don't believe in evolution also don't believe in universal healthcare? If evolution is false, then it's on us (and decreed by many of our gods) to help other people, especially those that aren't good contributors to the gene pool.

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        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:41am

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          "For example, people that believe in "evolution" but also "universal healthcare". If evolution is true then we must allow the weak to die so that evolution can continue to allow humans to evolve. Interfering with that mechanism will result in an increase in the pollution of the gene pool."

          I don't believe in evolution. The evidence supporting it is so overwhelming, no belief system is needed.

          No believing in evolution doesn't mean the weak should die. If anything, evolution shows that if there is a really bad day, variation helps the species survive.

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:38pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

            "I don't believe in evolution. The evidence supporting it is so overwhelming, no belief system is needed."

            When you choose to believe a "theory" as though it is science fact like that then you are involved in a "belief" whether you like it or not.

            "No believing in evolution doesn't mean the weak should die."

            I did not say that, no matter what I state you morons keep twisting shit up because lies are your only avenue of challenge.

            There is a big difference between saying "the weak should die" and "the weak should be allowed to die". The reason it is said that way is because if you actually "believe" in evolution then you factually take a risk of condemning humans to extinction if you work against evolution. The reason it is wrong to say "the weak should die" is because that implies you know what weak is and you don't. Evolution decides that based on a range of dynamic things. Additionally, now that we are interfering in evolution, intelligent design is now at play, especially since we are beginning gene splicing and editing.


            "If anything, evolution shows that if there is a really bad day, variation helps the species survive."

            Potentially, but there is also a really good day. Evolution is not just superior genes, it is also luck of the draw. If a genetically superior species did occur but was eaten while it was still just an egg then is evolution "truly" survival o the fittest? Or is is just survival of the Lucky and we are assuming that genetics even play a significant role in this when it could only be mostly minor. There are only so many improvements genetics can make on your survival odds if you are subject to an apex predator.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:43pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Scientific theory is not the same as the layperson's use of theory.

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                Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:51pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                Probably, most lay persons conflate theory and hypothesis.

                Evolution is a theory because parts of it has been tested. The problem is that there is insufficient evidence to push it past nothing more than a theory. There is barely enough to push it past hypothesis.

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                • identicon
                  Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:11pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                  Your ignorance of science is pretty good.
                  There is nothing in science past theory.

                  It's been established theory for over 100 years. We know more about evolution than gravity.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:53pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Also that's a really less-than-basic understanding of the idea of 'survival of the fittest'. Another way to think of it is nature's confirmation bias. The one's that survived were the fittest to survive.

              In your example, there could have been a mutation that allowed something to better survive the hostile environment, but the egg was eaten. However, say there was a mutation in which the eggs were colored to camouflage themselves in the surrounding environment. Those would have been the fittest to survive, because they managed to avoid being eaten and assumedly went on to reproduce and create more camouflaged eggs.

              Or one of the eggs went on to become a creature that innately knew to hide their eggs in trees, and so slowly the species biased itself towards tree-dwelling because more of them survived that way than the previous generations. That species thrived while the original was picked off.

              THAT is survival of the fittest. To compare with humanity, we have evolved a level of intelligence that allows our offspring to better survive diseases and once-fatal injuries. Sure it's an outside factor, but is it really any different than pigs wallowing in mud to stay cool? If not for mud, the pigs would overheat and die. If not for vaccines or other lifesaving techniques, diseases or various internal injuries would prove absolutely fatal. Having overcome those, are they not fit to survive?

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            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:08pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              "When you choose to believe a "theory" as though it is science fact like that then you are involved in a "belief" whether you like it or not."

              Well you don't know what basic science is when you say that. If it's a theory, it has facts to back it up.

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              • icon
                That One Guy (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:30pm

                'Gravity is just a theory after all.'

                Yeah, anytime I see someone try the 'Evolution is just a theory' trick it's pretty much a given that they have no idea what they're talking about.

                If it's a theory, it has facts to back it up.

                Not just that but also that it has withstood rigorous testing and attempts to find flaws. There is nothing higher than theory in science, that is what every fledgling idea/hypothesis, were they capable of thought, would aspire to be.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:01pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              "When you choose to believe a "theory" as though it is science fact like that then you are involved in a "belief" whether you like it or not."

              Like the theory of gravity?

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        • identicon
          Shufflepants, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:09pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          Newton's theory of gravity describes how an apple will fall from a tree, it doesn't tell us we should be dropping apples on people's heads.

          Einstein's theory of general relativity describes how black holes will form. It doesn't mean we should be doing anything to help make them.

          Germ theory describes how diseases spread, it doesn't say we should just do nothing and let them spread.

          It's the same with evolution. Do you know the difference between "descriptive" and "prescriptive". Evolution as a theory is just a description of what did, is, and will happen on the general whole, not a prescription of what we should do.

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

            "not a prescription of what we should do."

            I did not imply that we should do anything specific... I said we should let things play out without overtly interfering in a way that could run counter to evolution.

            but I don't believe in evolution, I fully support saving as many lives as possible. Just saying that those whom do, are the one running contrary to a belief they hold. It does not matter if you like it or not.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 7:57pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              > but I don't believe in evolution

              Right, but you apparently have an incorrect understanding of what evolution implies and an incorrect understanding of what people who accept evolution as scientific fact believe.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          "a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings"

          How can a person who is "just too flipping stupid to understand what he is doing" actually have beliefs and/or opinions?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          Oh I get it. You’re a religious nutter home schooled middle schooler doing an extra credit assignment that involves arguing with the heathens. Because no adult would be so absolutely brain damaged as to conflate a social program like healthcare and a basic biological fact like evolution. Here’s hoping your graduation is attended by more that your grandparents and your absentee dad.

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            Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:46pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

            No what is nutter is to claim that evolution is a biological fact. The best you can do is natural selection and that is not evolution. People are just trying to conflate natural selection with evolution to try to fluff up evolution.

            Evolution has turned into a religion, and that is sad because that is unscientific.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:58pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Natural selection is not evolution, of course. Evolution is a combination of mutation and survival over time. Now if you want to get into the nitty-gritty then sure you can argue with macro evolution until the cows come home, but micro evolution is just a matter of course at this point. Arguing against it is like arguing which side of the planet the sun comes from; it's missing the point entirely.

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            • identicon
              Baron von Robber, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:17pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Speciation - Speciation is the evolutionary process by which populations evolve to become distinct species

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speciation

              List of speciation events
              http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-speciation.html

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            • identicon
              Flat Earth Society, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:06pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Hello, We here at the Flat Earth Society are looking for new members to join our community of advanced thinkers, we think you could be a major contributor to our vast knowledge of the physical world that surrounds us.

              Hope to hear from you soon.

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              • identicon
                Talmyr, 28 Sep 2018 @ 5:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

                Flat Earth Society: A bunch of people who would think outside the box if they ever manage to un-flatpack it.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:21pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

              Let’s add, natural selection, evolution, and religion, to the enormous list of words you don’t understand the meaning of. Enarmous means really big by the way.

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        • icon
          Matthew Cline (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 4:10pm

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          If evolution is true then we must allow the weak to die so that evolution can continue to allow humans to evolve.

          Why must we? Why would evolution imply a moral imperative to allow humans to continue to evolve?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 12:01am

          Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

          You're just an evil shit aren't you?
          "For example, people that believe in "evolution" but also "universal healthcare". If evolution is true then we must allow the weak to die so that evolution can continue to allow humans to evolve. Interfering with that mechanism will result in an increase in the pollution of the gene pool."

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          • icon
            Matthew Cline (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 2:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Ahh...

            Interfering with that mechanism will result in an increase in the pollution of the gene pool.

            1) Wouldn't that require a utilitarian moral system? I'm not a utilitarian, so I'm not going to let the ends justify the means.

            2) Even if I was a utilitarian, why would decreasing the number of people with genetic diseases necessarily increase total happiness? Why would using medicine to keep them alive lead to less total happiness? Or are you saying that a utilitarian, for some reason, would try to maximize gene pool purity over maximizing happiness? Why would a utilitarian consider "pollution" of the gene pool to be bad?

            3) So far as I can tell, your position is that if evolution is false, then a person with a genetic disease dying before reproducing does not decrease the likelihood of that disease showing up in future generations? Is that right? If so, what is the mechanism that keeps reintroducing the genes in question? Do all genetic diseases come from spontaneous mutations rather than inheritance?

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          • icon
            Matthew Cline (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 3:50pm

            Oops

            Sorry, I thought you were the "evolution implies Social Darwinism person" replying to me.

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  • icon
    aethercowboy (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:16am

    I'm generally in agreement with you, Mike. I think that Peterson going after these people for defamation would be like me going after a toddler for calling me a doody-head.

    However, Item (f) does seem legitimately defamatory. It suggests that he inappropriately manipulates his clinical patients, something that could, potentially affect his career as a clinical psychologist.

    Of course, I'm all open to explanations as to why this isn't a legit claim.

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    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:36am

      Re:

      If you read the statement in full context, it becomes very clear. Remember that for something to be libel you have to be stating it as fact - or as an opinion in a way that implies you are basing it on facts that you know but aren't disclosing. With that in mind, here's what Kate Manne wrote (regarding a story Peterson told in nhis book about a patient of his):

      I’d raise an alternative explanation: Maybe she was raped — five times, as she stated — and then was effectively undermined or even gaslit by her therapist. To be clear, I’m not saying that that is what happened. I can’t possibly know, on the basis of what Peterson writes here. But I’d certainly like to know more, and I’m surprised Peterson has not yet been asked about these and similar passages, in which he comes across as highly contemptuous of female clients.

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      • icon
        aethercowboy (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:54am

        Re: Re:

        Thank you for the response.

        While I may have a fairly decent understanding of defamation law in the US and my own state (a lawyer once threatened me with a defamation counter suit while I was suing his clients for real estate fraud... which he never followed through on, as it was a baseless claim to begin with), it seems that Canadian defamation law is a little less free.

        After taking a brief crash course in Canadian defamation law, it seems that this could potentially be construed as libel. However, it all depends on the interpretation of "fair comment" wrt Manne, and "responsible communication on matters of public importance" wrt Vox.

        It also depends on how the courts would interpret that statement, and whether it was "calculated to disparage the plaintiff in any office, profession, calling, trade or business held or carried on by the plaintiff at the time of the publication."

        According to my research, Canada has the most plaintiff-friendly defamation law in the English-speaking world. So, it's anybody's guess how it will turn out. Though, thanks to the SPEECH act, it's unlikely that if Peterson does win this case, any Americans will be harmed in the making of this lawsuit.

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        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think the UK beats out Canada on plaintiff-friendly defamation, but yes it is true that nowhere has as strong protections as the US.

          However, I still find it extremely unlikely that a Canadian court would see Manne's article as defamation. We don't have as many incredibly strict protections codified in law, and the procedural differences that put more onus on the speaker would mean the legal battle might take a little longer or be a little more involved for Manne, but at the end of the day we do have a constitutional right to free speech and a judiciary that takes it seriously, and (like the US) a long history of court rulings upholding the idea that we need to foster vibrant dialogue and protect free speech.

          Believe me, much nastier things than Manne's interview get published in Canada every day, and it's not like it's a libel-lawsuit-circus or anything.

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        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:59am

          Re: Re: Re:

          (Of course none of that changes the question of hypocrisy. Just because Peterson could conceivably win the lawsuit doesn't change how hypocritical it is. He's even, I believe, commented himself that he admires and respects America's strong first amendment compared to Canada's much weaker charter free speech right. And more generally, his non-legal comments about the principles of free speech and free thought and their psychological importance and blah blah blah are all in direct opposition to suing someone over a statement like that.)

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  • icon
    Thad (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:19am

    There may be consequences to your speech. That's part of free speech.

    Unfortunately "speech has consequences" probably needs a little more clarification, because people have started using that phrase to defend suing people for protected speech.

    "There may be private consequences to your speech"? Does that work? Or "There may be social or economic consequences to your speech"?

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      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 10:25am

      Re:

      it is already correct as it is. there is no point in saying it any other way because there are multiple levels in which your speech will have consequences and I will take this time to point out another ignorance you are presenting.

      Consequences are neither default good or bad. There is such a thing as a positive consequence. Yet another ignorance that you have and seem to wish to peddle about Mr. Blue Mountain State!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 12:44pm

      Re:

      I am told one can sue others for anything but it may not turn out as planned.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 4:21am

      Re:

      I believe that freedom of speech means that you are not prohibited from saying whatever you want. However freedom of speech does not mean that you're immune to the consequences, and if you do defame someone, you can be penalized for that.

      Merely prefacing your statements with "I believe that..." shouldn't be a "get out of penalty free" card. If someone says "in my opinion you're a pedo and rapist and need to be put out of business," that's pretty defaming and, again imho, grounds for a lawsuit. So I'd say I kind of disagree with #7 in the 12 rules - but only depending on context.

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  • icon
    spamvictim (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 11:21am

    Ithaca is in Canada?

    I was particularly impressed at the threat to sue Cornell under Canadian law. Unless something has radically changed since I was there three days ago, Ithaca is in the US, not Canada.

    Doesn't the LSUC have sanctions for frivolous threats?

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 1:56pm

    Thanks to Peterson for clearing that up

    My first encounter with him online did not leave me with a good impression as to his character.

    His actions since then have confirmed the original view, and if anything made it clearer and clearer that said impression wasn't low enough.

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    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:09pm

    1.) Stop defending your corporate donors when they censor billions of people.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:31pm

    This is amazin'. How are people so blind to what is happening. Jordan Peterson is trying to share the idea of responsibility. You need to take responsibility for your actions. Slander is not ok. It is an illegal offense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 2:34pm

      Re:

      Jordan Peterson is also trying to spread the idea of intellectual freedom and unfettered, uncompelled speech.

      Saying "I believe Jordan Peterson is a misogynist" is not slander. It is not an illegal offense. It is not even irresponsible. It is me expressing my opinion based on having read and listened to his ideas, but not seeking to silence him or compel him to say something different. That is precisely what Jordan Peterson claims to believe in.

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      • icon
        Pieter Hulshoff (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 6:24am

        Re: Re:

        I do believe there's a bit of a difference between just anyone claiming that Dr. Peterson may have gaslit a patient or a professor of philosophy making such a claim. It is a pretty serious accusation to make, and her position gives her a certain amount of credibility in this regard. While I still think this lawsuit is misguided, I do notice that Dr. Peterson has been called a lot of things by a lot of people, and he's only filed a few very specific defamation lawsuits. It's not like he's trying to silence everybody who disagrees with him.

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        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 27 Sep 2018 @ 7:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The specific lawsuits target speech that's not particularly defamatory. That's the problem.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Pieter Hulshoff (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I might agree with you on most, but I have my doubts regarding point f.

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            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 10:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              If you have your doubts about (f), read the full paragraph in context:

              "I’d raise an alternative explanation: Maybe she was raped — five times, as she stated — and then was effectively undermined or even gaslit by her therapist. To be clear, I’m not saying that that is what happened. I can’t possibly know, on the basis of what Peterson writes here. But I’d certainly like to know more, and I’m surprised Peterson has not yet been asked about these and similar passages, in which he comes across as highly contemptuous of female clients."

              Kinda couldn't be more explicitly clear that it is a matter of opinion and speculation, based solely on the passage in his book (which she quoted right beforehand), not an assertion of fact. It's not even close to defamation.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ray, 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:00pm

    As a general principle, I am curious what the "free" in "free speech" means if enacting consequences on people in retaliation for their free speech is also free speech.

    Aren't consequences and freedom mutually exclusive?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 26 Sep 2018 @ 3:04pm

      Re:

      In that phrase, consequences has always been intended to mean social or economic consequences - as in, other people exercising their own freedoms in reaction to your speech.

      Unfortunately some people have weirdly co-opted it to include things like lawsuits under the header of "consequences". In that context, you are certainly correct: to say "freedom of [x] does not mean freedom from legal, government-enforced consequences" certainly does render the entire concept of "freedom" utterly meaningless.

      But that meaning is not what was intended here. I suppose, as Thad suggested above, we who use the phrase correctly might need to start clarifying our meaning. That's bloody frustrating though since the other usage is so utterly stupid, and so completely devoid of any useful meaning whatsoever - even managing to obliterate the meaning of all the words it uses - that I'm still holding out hope we can ignore it until it goes away.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 5:52am

        Re: Re:

        As I replied to an earlier comment, this definition of "freedom" seems to ignore real life.

        If I speak up about something I disagree with, and the other side starts accusing me of something terrible, such as pedophilia and child rape, even if they preface with "in my opinion" or "I believe...", whatever, while they have a right to express such thoughts they shouldn't be absolved of any consequences. These are merely thinly veiled accusations.

        Freedom of speech means that you can't be prevented from making any statements you want (prior restraint?), but if you truly cause harm to someone or their reputation, there should be some "government-enforced consequences" allowed.

        It's not limiting free speech to do that. Our liberties do not absolve us of responsibility in how we exercise them. The right to bear arms does not absolve me of any harm caused by me misusing that right. The right to freedom of religion doesn't prevent me from being penalized if I misuse that right to cause harm.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 8:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Apparently you want the government to police your social image and insure that no one says anything bad about you unless you approve of it first. This will not work, obviously.

          Comparing defamation to murder - really?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 10:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are allowed to accuse people of terrible things, so long as your accusations are a matter of opinion rather than a claim that you know special secret facts that prove their guilt.

          That's why Jordan Peterson is allowed to say that left-wing politicians and academics "subscribe to a mass-murdering ideology" and are seeking to "destroy Western civilization". Those are some pretty heavy accusations - and he doesn't even bother opening with "I think" or "I believe" most of the time! But he's free to make them, and others are free to accuse him of things in response.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2018 @ 8:10pm

    *giggle* I love how much he pisses you off... and how you're setting yourself up for trolls to just make it worse. The lack of personal replies from you seem to show you're afraid of chasing off or refuting trolls OR differing opinions now, too.

    Trolling aside (your articles are 80% okay on TD, so I'll stay 80% genuinely involved), maybe try reading up on Canadian freedom of expression and defamation laws in addition to the way American law works... because these lawsuits originate in Canada. I'd prefer a write-up of that instead of these silly rules.

    Your take on it seems somewhat willfully uninformed. Which set of laws would take precedent with a lawsuit started in Canada? I honestly don't know, but it may be better to do research instead of pooh-poohing the whole thing from the start; the article comes across as more of a personal attack instead of an informative rebuke with facts to back it up.

    There are differences in Canada's freedom of expression laws vs. American freedom of speech, though I don't know what they all are (aside from some more stringent Canadian "hate speech" laws that thankfully don't get applied often). No idea how defamation laws are applied in either country.

    Since there are differences in the way the law is applied in each country, saying the lawsuit has no teeth may be premature. Same with the first lawsuits, which only apply to Canadian citizens and therefore cannot come under the same kinds of American-style free speech or defamation laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 12:31am

      Re:

      "Trolling aside"

      no, not really...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Pieter Hulshoff (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 2:18am

      Re:

      I think the question is not so much whether he *can* sue under Canadian defamation laws, but whether he *should*. These lawsuits appear more focused on teaching university professors to be a tad more honest in their opinions due to their standing than on compensating for actual harm. Though that may be a legal course of action under Canadian law, I do think someone who portrays himself as a free speech advocate should consider whether doing so might impact his credibility.

      That said, I *am* curious as to where the draw the line between speech one should let slide, and cases of libel or slander where legal action is needed. IMHO, there should be *some* limits on knowingly expressing falsehoods. Is adding "*I think*" or "*in my opinion*" sufficient in all cases? Can I avoid any legal blame by doing that?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 27 Sep 2018 @ 7:18am

        Re: Re:

        Agreed about knowingly expressing falsehoods. I can see Alex Jones and his ilk falling foul of that to a chorus of "Censorship!" from his fans.

        I'm not sure what adding "I think" or "in my opinion" does in terms of being a get out of jail free card for defamation. I'd appreciate some clarity from people in the know.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Leigh Beadon (profile), 27 Sep 2018 @ 10:50am

        Re: Re:

        These things are evaluated by humans - judges and juries - who take context into consideration and try to determine how an average, reasonable reader would understand a statement that was made.

        As such, there are no "magic words" in making the determination. A statement opening with "I think" might still rise to the level of defamation if it implies your thoughts are based on special knowledge of (false) facts that you are not sharing. Conversely, a statement that doesn't open with "I think" can still be seen as opinion by the very nature of what is stated.

        I suggest taking a step back, and reading through Kate Manne's Vox interview in full again (or for the first time if you haven't already). It's not very long.

        It is very critical of Peterson, and says some harsh things about him and raises some theories about him that would reflect very badly on him if they are true. But it is, from top to bottom, a case of a person simply reading his book and watching his videos and then honestly expressing their opinions and reactions. It might, to some readers, change or darken their opinion of Peterson - but there is not a word in there that could leave any reader with the impression that they have learned new (false) facts about Peterson.

        Seriously, read that interview and imagine a world where that level of criticism was deemed actionable libel. Think about all our political discourse, our social discourse, our global conversation about the most important and the most trivial topics. Think how much of it would fall afoul of such a widely applicable concept of defamation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Oct 2018 @ 12:52pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If a respected peer of mine in a similar field said these things about me, things that could very well affect my career, then it would be reasonable to limit a defamation suit to only those peers, no one else.

          Someone in academia who should know better. Fact-checking is part-and-parcel of their career. Not a one of these defamation suits is for your average Jo or reporter online, it's only been Peterson's peers in academia.

          The suits don't target Vox, Fox News, CNN, or regular people on Reddit, Twitter or Facebook, only academics like him.

          To lie about a peer is also a potential conflict of interest for you, too. Discrediting someone you disagree with might mean you get attention and status for doing a similar job instead of the person you lied about.

          If the scope of the suits stays limited, I see no problems. It won't create bad precedent (aka. "case law" for Americans) if it targets people in a very limited way.

          If it does go too far when (if?) the trials go forward, then yeah, I'll join you in saying it's turned into overreach. We just don't know yet. That's why I asked for a better kind of article that would go deeper into what Canadian laws or would apply (or not apply) in this situation.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Sep 2018 @ 1:54pm

    I don't agree with rule 12, "Don't sue or threaten to sue those people for defamation. It makes you look like a hypocritical dipshit."

    You have the right to sue the shit out of someone insulting you, telling lies about you. The problem is powerful people, that is, with lots of money, abusing the law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
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