Re: Re: Re: Re: We need to ban it because a mass murderer featured it, so.....
And New Jersey and New Hampshire, which were part of the Union yet had legal slaves until 1865, would disagree with you. So would Abraham Lincoln, who said that if keeping slavery would prevent secession, he would keep slavery.
Slavery was certainly a huge factor in the Civil War, but slavery is what caused secession, not war. The war was fought because the South seceded, and the question became whether or not they had the right to do that.
This may seem like a minor distinction but it's important. Secession, and whether or not a state could choose to leave the United States, is 100% a state's rights issue. Slavery was the catalyst that forced the answer.
And the Union won, so the answer is that you can't secede, as the Supreme Court would reaffirm in 1869. But pretending those factors didn't exist because the Confederacy was pro-slavery and seceded due to slavery is pure fallacy and ignores a massive amount of context for the Civil War.
I don't either. I see it as a symbol of the South's history. Granted, some of that history is awful, but I don't think the U.S. flag should be throwing the first stone if we're talking about evil shit done in the name of a country.
But its history is different from its symbolism. Its history is fact. Its symbolism is opinion. And the latter differs from person to person.
To you the flag may symbolize hatred, racial prejudice, treason, and slavery. To someone else it may represent state vs. federal rights, oppression from government, freedom of speech, military and cultural pride, and state history. The slavery and racial aspect may not even be something that occurs to them.
I could make the same argument about the American flag. How dare you fly this symbol of racism, violence, and hatred! The U.S. practically wiped out an entire continent of people, has killed more foreigners per year on average than any other country in the world, is the only country to ever use atomic weapons in combat, and did so against civilian targets, and is currently killing children in foreign countries with drone strikes. Take down the flag!
See how silly that sounds? How it takes all the bad in a country's history and applies it to their flag? Every country in the world has things in their history they aren't proud of. That doesn't mean you have to erase the symbol of that country from the history books.
Keep in mind you're viewing the Civil War with a modern bias. For many people, especially in the southern United States, the issue has little to do with slavery and everything to do with whether or not the government can define your morals and override the social decisions of the states. From a modern perspective, the answer to this question is "Yes, of course they can," but for many people this is a major political issue that has virtually nothing to do with racism.
Switch this around. What if the Civil War was fought over the right to smoke Marijuana? What if we had "Weed" states in the South and "Clean" states in the North?
I'm not trying to minimize the horror of slavery, but that's only because I'm looking at it from modern eyes. The point is that the issue itself was secondary, and it was secondary for Lincoln. I'm sure Lincoln was anti-slavery (and he said as much elsewhere) but he would have abandoned abolition to prevent secession.
And that's what the fight was really about. Secession, and where the power lies. In the opinion of the North, the federal government ruled. In the opinion of the South, the states ruled, and the federal government broke ties. You can argue all day which is right and which is wrong but that's ultimately why over 620,000 men died in the Civil War; they were fighting for their "country" whether that was the Union or the Confederacy.
The South lost, a bunch of amendments were passed to solidify the power of the federal government, and today we have five unelected people determining a national social issue based on those amendments. Love it, hate it...that's the history, and that's the reality, and our current government is the result.
I get it. I hate racism and I believe homosexuals should be allowed to marry. But there are consequences when these things are resolved in the wrong way. I disagree with federal spying, extrajudicial drone killings, federal copyright law, civil asset forfeiture, police militarization...the list goes on and on. And if I want to move somewhere that doesn't have these rules or allow them my only option is to leave my country entirely. I can't just go to a state that fits my values because the federal government controls these policies for everyone.
So to actually answer your question, no, I don't believe it's appropriate for a state government to fly the Confederate flag. But I believe that they should have the right to choose whether or not they want to do so, and I reserve my right to ignore them. I don't believe in forcing my values on others, even when I find them awful.
That flag didn't kill anyone. Some psycho did, and there are plenty of psychos out there itching for a reason to kill. Label them as racists, label them as terrorists, they're all fundamentally the same...they're murderers, and we have ways to deal with them using our existing rules.
I don't know how to cure "murder." It probably isn't possible. But I do know what won't solve the problem...removing a flag from a statehouse. All you're doing is making more people angry and giving the symbol more meaning.
Seriously, for a site that spends so much time promoting free speech, no matter how awful, I'm honestly surprised that so many people want the flags taken down.
It's a 154-year-old symbol of the Army of Northern Virginia. Where you guys are getting 175 and 200 years is beyond me; the Confederacy didn't exist until 1861.
That's it. That's all the meaning the flag actually has...it's the flag of the Confederate Army's main fighting force.
You are free to disagree with slavery and the principles of the Confederate States of America. I sure do; I believe slavery was a reprehensible, disgusting practice, but I also recognize that it was practiced worldwide around the time that the American Civil War was fought, and existed in many places after. This includes New Jersey and New Hampshire until 1865...technically, per the executive order of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Confederacy "ended" slavery two years earlier than the Union.
It's easy to be judgmental and look back at the "barbaric" past with a modern viewpoint. People will do the same to us (*cough* how did you justify extrajudicial drone killings? *cough*).
But the flag isn't the problem. There will probably be many people who do terrible things because they're racists and bigots who live in a black-and-white world filled with nothing but ignorance and hate. They were that way without an old army's flag, and hiding the flag away won't solve the problem.
This is simply an example of America in denial. We don't want to address the real problem...that racism, sexism, and bigotry are very much alive in our culture and that we may have to take a hard look at our own behavior. Instead we attack things we don't understand, like video games, music, the internet, and flags.
Ironically, that reaction is exactly what drives the very same bigots everyone here claims to be so disgusted with...ignorance. We tend to hate what we don't understand. Bigots exist because they have decided that it's "us vs. them" and categorized the "others" into something they don't understand and therefore would be better without. The way to solve this is to gain a better understanding of other people; of other races, genders, cultures, and beliefs.
So the next time you go on a crusade against this new "thing" that is "evil" try and remember that you're doing exactly the same thing racist fanatics do. Terrorists have labeled the U.S. (and other countries) as evil, the police have labeled minorities as evil, the list goes on and on. Think carefully before doing the same thing yourself. Nobody is immune to bias, and it's always harder to recognize your own bias than someone else's.
Re: "focusing on the business models that do work" -- OKAY, SO WHAT ARE THOSE, COLLEGE BOY?
You blather on jealous of Taylor Swift but YOU HAVE NO OTHER BUSINESS MODEL.
You mean like the business model where all the content here is free and can be freely replicated elsewhere? Yeah, that clearly doesn't work...
I've pointed out many times that GETTING NOTICED IS THE TOUGHEST PART. You have NO advice on how to do that.
You mean like releasing your content for free, which naturally increases exposure, thus leading to more fans, and eventually more money? This is pretty much this site's entire argument...selling things that are limited and not relying on copyright to make an unlimited good into an artificially scarce one because it's counter-productive. The purpose behind this argument is to help with getting noticed, which, as you said, is the toughest part.
No advice? That's literally this site's main point. Try reading this, this, and this, all of which discuss core concepts of Techdirt as it relates to business models. Considering these articles are part of the "New to Techdirt?" list at the bottom of the site I'm not sure how you could argue Mike doesn't present advice.
YOU DON'T CALL FOR TARGETING CORPORATIONS, just insist that piracy (neither corporations nor artists getting money) is good for artists!
[Citation needed]. That being said, and this is my opinion, piracy can be good for artists! You said it yourself, in fact, in the second part I quoted...getting noticed is the toughest part. If that is true, then "piracy" increases exposure. This is pretty much what advertising is, by definition.
Someone who doesn't know about your content, or doesn't know if they will like it, is unlikely to ever buy any of it. People generally don't spend money randomly (maybe frivolously, but generally they know or think they know what they're buying). A pirate doesn't pay, sure, but neither does the ignorant potential customer.
The difference is that pirate has been exposed to the content...the potential customer hasn't. We spend so much on advertising because it works, and the pirate is much more likely to buy the content in the future than the unexposed individual.
I know I'm wasting my time because you've already decided that copyright infringement is theft. You most likely believe that piracy is a lost sale, and that if the pirate weren't able to get something for free, they would have bought it instead. There's little evidence for this, and even in cases where it is true, it generally only applies to content that is already popular. Which doesn't help the people in your second paragraph.
Anti-piracy fanatics love to point out piracy rates and the couple of instances where loss of big piracy sites (usually temporarily) slightly increased sales rates for legal retailers. They like to ignore the strong correlation from multiple studies where the individuals who pirate the most content also tend to be the biggest spenders on content, because that doesn't fit their "Piracy is theft...you wouldn't steal a car!" narrative.
Now, what Mike has actually argued, and I agree with, is the piracy is generally a service issue, not a social one. Piracy rates tend to decrease in areas where legal alternatives approach the quality and convenience of pirate sites at a reasonable price. The actual number of sites that do this are very few (and I would argue all are strictly inferior to pirate sites, both in breadth of content and actual value in the product received, regardless of price).
He has stated, and I agree, that offering legal alternatives that do not fetter customers with frustrating restrictions or ridiculous pricing will reduce piracy rates to a few die-hards who refuse to pay for anything (and will never be customers regardless). Keep in mind that buying power per customer is not linear; I "pirated" a lot of anime during my college years because A) most of it wasn't available in the U.S. and B) I didn't have any money. It didn't really matter if it was cheap; I couldn't afford to spend cash on anime.
I did, however, become a huge fan during those years, and now I've bought a lot of anime. It's more convenient to buy and lets me maintain a nice collection. I promptly rip all of it off those useless pieces of plastic they ship it in for actual use (the DVDs never actually leave my shelf once ripped) but I've spent literally thousands of dollars on anime. If I hadn't been introduced and developed a liking for it during college, however, there's no way I'd have had the time to discover it now, and all that money would never have been spent.
The world is only black-and-white if you are a child, fanatic, or idiot. Which are you?
That's poor programmers generally believe. They're wrong, but they use that excuse.
Apparently poor programmers understand the definition of words. If you plan for something, then you, by definition, acknowledge that it is a possibility. That means the thing is no longer "unforeseen." You foresaw it as a potential issue.
For example, if someone had programmed the Mars Climate Orbiter to convert metric to imperial units if there was a conflict, then it wouldn't have been an unforeseen problem (and would have fixed itself). It wasn't anticipated, therefore a $651 million operation ended up disintegrating into the Martian atmosphere.
Obviously you should try to handle as many eventualities as you can, and then build in error checking to try and make unexpected bugs cause the least amount of issue (and preferably generate a log to identify where the failure was). But no matter how skilled the programmer is they cannot create software solutions to directly handle unforeseen problems, they can only create general error handling to minimize unexpected issues.
Cars offer a bit more than "easy mobility." I assume by your logic if you're in a situation where an ambulance has to come and save your life you'd rather it stay away, because cars are dangerous, right?
That's the problem, though, you can't "prove safety." We've already established that science has been unable to find a direct (or really even an indirect) link between cell phone use and significant health effects. I use the word "significant" because merely affecting you is not sufficient to warrant regulation, just as coffee affects you but is considered safe to consume.
No conspiracy is necessary. This is the normal scientific process. A scientist can't say neutrinos are safe, either, but we're pretty sure they are. Who knows? Fifty years from now we may find out our atmosphere is the only thing protecting us from the little buggers, and without neutrino shielding (and yes, those who know what I'm talking about are laughing) we won't be able to survive space travel!
Conspiracies take effort, time, and money. Ignorance doesn't. It's far more likely that, assuming cell phones are as dangerous as you think, we just don't know about it than some group silence to benefit the wireless industry. If big, rich companies could so easily prevent health information from existing we'd still all be smoking and driving cars with leaded gasoline. If the oil and tobacco industries can't do it, with an astronomically higher budget than the wireless industry, I find your hypothesis that "lack of information equals suppressed information" to be pretty weak and not supported by available evidence.
This is the problem with people who aren't scientists interpreting the results of scientific research without understanding the nature of science itself. Scientists think in theories and hypothesis. These things are inherently unstable and tend to change constantly as new information is obtained. They also tend to conclude things along the lines of "might do this" or "may affect that."
The public, on the other hand, tends to think in laws and "bottom-line-up-front." Coffee may cause cancer? Headline: SCIENTISTS LINK COFFEE TO CANCER! ARE YOU IN DANGER? Global warming might cause an ice age in the future? New Movie: THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW: WATCH AS THE MODERN EARTH FREEZES IN A FEW DAYS!
I can't even imagine how much frustration this causes in the lab. And if you brought up your "all the scientists are saying that cell phones probably doesn't have significant health effects with a handful of exceptions which say they might" theory as saying "all scientists know cell phones are bad and are being paid to say otherwise" you'd probably be the cooler discussion on idiots.
Who knows? Maybe you're right, and in a few years I'll be buying those crappy RF sleeves and turning off my phone at night. More likely, a new FCC policy will be created to force phone manufacturers to comply with whatever safety standards don't cause the issue. But worrying about it now is like worrying about an alien invasion. Could we be invaded by aliens? Sure, it's possible. Am I going to buy a bunker, you know, just in case?
Any person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably interfere with or unreasonably disadvantage (i) end users’ ability to select, access, and use broadband Internet access service or the lawful Internet content, applications, services, or devices of their choice, or (ii) edge providers’ ability to make lawful content, applications, services, or devices available to end users. Reasonable network management shall not be considered a violation of this rule.
Ok, your turn. Where does this say the government can restrict content?
Yeah, that's right! The internet has never been regulated by Title II in the past, and if it had been, we wouldn't have had the free and open internet we have today?
(Wait, what? Title II regulations applied to dial-up? And it didn't destroy the internet, and in fact there was more competition between dial-up companies than there ever has been among broadband?)
Er, I mean net neutrality rules will remove free speech!
(The actual net neutrality rules specifically forbid prioritizing some content over other content, which is the entire purpose of net neutrality in the first place? And if I read paragraph A.15 of the rules there is a "No Blocking" provision that would immediately make any attempt to use these rules to block legal content impossible?)
Er, um, do your research! Actually, only do your research from my site! Don't look anywhere else, that would be counterproductive...I mean, full of lies!
No, no, you aren't understanding our point. The ISPs want to restrict users' viewing ability and this provision won't let them. The government is forbidding your friendly neighborhood ISP from properly restricting your internet access!
In a truly free country, corporations can do whatever they want without regulatory interference, because corporations always have the best interest of the consumer in mind. Because that's what our Austrian school economics blog tells us. No, don't ask for real world examples, I'm talking about a proper theory that only works without the government! Or math!
You crazy liberals and your "regulations" are ruining this country!
Very true, so when you start getting burns from your cell phone, I highly recommend you stop touching it (and getting a new one).
I think you might notice if your flesh is being cooked; if you put your hand on a hot stove, I doubt you think "huh, this might be a harmful effect." It's probably closer to "[bleep] [bleep] that hurts like a [bleep]!"
It sounds to me like you've already decided that cell phones are dangerous and any research done that indicates otherwise must have been paid for by wireless carriers. This sounds, how do I put this, rather unscientific?
I also like how the "independent studies" must inherently be unbiased, because reasons. Why can't I just as easily make the assumption that any study showing that cell phones are dangerous is funded by people trying to harm the wireless industry?
It's caused by many things, usually exposure to UV sunlight or artificial UV light. UV light, even in the non-ionizing spectrum, can cause free radicals to induce cellular damage, which can be carcinogenic .
You know what it's not caused by? Cell phones. I could not find a single study that had a conclusive case of skin cancer linked to cell phone usage. Cell phones have the same carcinogenetic rating as coffee, as in, it could cause cancer, we've just never seen any evidence it actually does.
Exposure to ionizing radiation, such as from radiation therapy, is known to increase the risk of cancer. However, although many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiation from radar, microwave ovens, and other sources, there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk (1).
The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating. The ability of microwave ovens to heat food is one example of this effect of radiofrequency energy. Radiofrequency exposure from cell phone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature. ... Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, to date there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.
It is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals (3–5).
Whatever. I can get "damage or effects" from eating spicy foods (usually in my bowels). If there were thousands of experiments showing that "damage" was occurring at levels less than a standard mobile phone I find it interesting that a medical journal and the government website for cancer research would both claim there's no evidence that cell phone radiation can cause cancer. After all, that's a pretty significant claim; if there really were thousands or even hundreds of contrary claims, I wonder why they chose the word "no" rather than "little." In fact, the entire page repeatedly states there is no known link between cell phones and cancer.
...and read the very portion that you quoted. The second part, specifically.
"While these assertions have gained increased public attention, currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses.
Now, read that again. The first part, that whoever has interpreted certain reports to suggest a link (I refuse to register to read what should be a public document) between wireless device use and cancer is completely irrelevant when placed into context of the second sentence. It flat out says that there is no scientific evidence linking wireless device use to cancer or other illness. I see the phrase "other illness" and place it next to the beginning of the sentence, which says "no scientific evidence."
Shit, I'm glad Im [sic] not as embarresed [sic] as you at this point.