I look back at this place when it was much, much busier and I can’t believe I had the bandwidth for it all.
You could have gone for the Super Woke Bloke formula for upping trafic – make endless attacks on The Media and The Elites, wage vendettas against moderates and dance around defending the free speech rights of extremists all covered in lashings of self pity and self righteousness.
It’s working for a disturbingly large number of people.
I think the underlying issues that make free speech a rather complex conundrum don’t get overt attention in the debates about free speech.
How resilient is liberal domocracy? Do we really understand how we arrived at liberal democracy? To what extent does society get shaped unexpectedly by changes in communication technology? Are there basic limitations to language that get amplified by social media? Can we trust language itself to favour liberal ideals?
As a related aside, I was thinking about the current controversies surrounding the n and c words. I tend to agree with Mariana Davidson about reappropriation – “cock” is now somewhat comical in comparison. The difference – a vicious demonisation – seems to be some legacy of patriarchy. I do think though there’s an underlying issue of what language is.
I thought Vice Chancellor Jan Thomas‘ decision was wrong and her given reason even worser. But it doesn’t appear to be indicative of any underlying trend in universities re freedom of speech.
But given it’s a University, Thomas should have set up a committee to deal with public safety issues. Can’t think of a suitable name for such a committee off hand.
Has Marama Davidson been reading too much Pinker?
The “First they came for Alex Jones...” line was tragically predictable.
The idea that “Russia” was the primary actor behind a black swan event (Trump’s victory) is arrant nonsense, a stab in the back myth that conveniently serves to deflect from the need for the US establishment Democrats to examine their own disasterous choice of Clinton as a candidate,
The Democrats are not claiming that Putin was primarily responsible for Trump’s win. It’s a straw man argument put out by alt world haters of Clinton.
The Dems recognise that such factors as voter suppression played a far greater role.
The issue is that Putin did collude with Trump, the GRU hacked the DNC and with Assange and the alt world set our to destroy Clinton’s campaign. Irrespective of how effective that was that was what happened. And if it had only a small effect it wasn’t for want of trying.
But the lie the Dems blame Putin exclusively for the defeat and that they are obsessed with Putin to the exclusion of other issues is still being pushed very hard by the alt world. So it’s something important to those people to continue to push – and even harder as the evidence of Putin’a actions becomes more unassailable.
I’ve just finished reading Radzinsky’s biography of Stalin.
One of the main points I took away from it was that The Big Lie is not intended to deceive, convince or to be believed. It’s intended to provoke. It gives a tactical advantage that’s hard to combat and pointing out it’s a lie can paradoxically make things worse.
I don’t fully understand the psychological dynamics – one would think that if someone lies and the other person knows it’s a lie then the liar would lose the advantage. But in a public arena it’s more complicated.
Ignore them and hope the numbers drop off but reactionary clickbait seems to be an end in itself?
They deliberately play into that dynamic and social media is the perfect communication technology for them to do that.
And in the background there are people like Putin funding these sorts of activities.
The Dems weren’t responsible for Trump – the racists and misogynists – mostiy not economically deprived – who voted for him were. In conjunction with an electoral system that strips votes from ethnic groups that vote for the Dems allowing Trump to win with 3 million less votes than Clinton.
Plus Putin’ s interference and the alt world waging a vicious and dishonest campaign against Clinton.
“In many of these mass shootings,” Jennifer Wright observed at Harper’s Bazaar, “the desire to kill seems to be driven by a catastrophic sense of male entitlement.” That sense of entitlement may well be the greatest threat to what remains of civil society.
It might be worth looking at some of this as the consequences of Man with Grudge.
The guy responsible for the Capital Gazette killings might not have been directly motivated by Trunp calling the media the enemy – the guys’s grudge appears to be long standing and specific to that media outlet.
But nothing Trump has done would in anyway give such males any cause to step back from violence. Rather, Trump role models acting out on your grudge irrespective of harm caused.
Trump’s life has been dominated by the slight he felt from being excluded from the Manhattan set and he destroyed a number of New York neighborhoods to prove he was more powerful than them. He’s continually trying to prove something and now he can do so on a bigger stage.
Similarly with Putin – he mourns the death of the Soviet Union, seeks revenge on the West and currently the people of Syria are paying the price for that grudge.