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Academia, Democrats, and Thoughtcrime - Page 25

post #361 of 503
Originally Posted by Harold falcon View Post

Originally Posted by LA Guy View Post

That's a safe assumption.  

I was told by a wise man once "Everyone shits, but only an asshole will insist that you look".  I always found that specific wording to be super wierd, but I think that that holds here.

Retard, cunt, and midget are still ok, right?

I'd think so unless it's midget of color or with disabilities
post #362 of 503
Originally Posted by dopey View Post

I am pretty sure that Wojt self-identifies as a gay man who has sex with women, so he can use that term.

I thought he identified as an otherkin otter.
post #363 of 503
Milo was at UC Irvine yesterday which is 15 mins away from me and I only found out about it a few hrs after it ended. I would have shown up just to see the protestors.
post #364 of 503
Originally Posted by Harold falcon View Post

Retard, cunt, and midget are still ok, right?

Those terms are a little rough but hardly carry the social stigma of "alcoholic lawyer."
post #365 of 503
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

Those terms are a little rough but hardly carry the social stigma of "alcoholic lawyer."


Isn't alcoholic lawyer redundant?

post #366 of 503
post #367 of 503
^ LOL @ the casual shout-out to Milton's Areopagitica in the first article. Milton goes out of his way to an exception to his anti-pre-publication censorship: he thinks any pro-Roman Catholic writings should be censored. There is a certain logic to this in the mind of an ardent Protestant: Roman Catholicism for Milton is inimical to a free exchange of ideas, so in order to preserve freedom, you have to censor a supposed enemy of freedom.

This isn't a pedantic correction. It's to suggest that this casual citation gives away how these essays are glib about the Western-liberal orthodoxy of free speech. I don't necessarily believe Stanley Fish's argument that Areopagitica isn't really about freedom of the press at all. Maybe I'm a little more inclined to be swayed by Fish's claim (which is also the title of his book) that There's No Such Thing as Free Speech--And It's a Good Thing Too. (FYI: Fish is not a leftist. If he's known for certain left-sounding positions that he espoused in the 80s, he's since recanted those.) Fish is certainly right that supposedly free speech is always constrained by certain rules under which we have supposed freedoms.

At any rate, in the context of this thread, I think the most important sentence in the first vapid article is, "The threat to free speech on Western campuses is very different from that faced by atheists in Afghanistan or democrats in China." No shit. And yet that obvious statement of fact is followed by a ridiculous "but" statement: right-wing totalitarians get to complain that liberal academics "censor" unliberal ideas and so liberal academics are unwitting (or witting!) accomplices to right-wing totalitarians.

The implied logic: we need to have unfettered free speech (minus kiddie porn, which has become convenient shorthand for the exceptions that we need to make) so that right-wing totalitarians can't mewl about the West. This might not be an absurd claim *if* there were some powerful bloc in America (or anywhere, really) that was genuinely committed to truly unfettered free speech. But there isn't. There's only a soft left that claims we're all about unfettered free speech while making all sorts of basic qualifications. There's a right that wants to fetter all sorts of things. And there's a left that wants to tell other sorts of things to shut up.
post #368 of 503
Horseshit. Plenty of us are for unfettered free speech. Don't impart your personal experiences with statists and totalitarians on the rest of us.
post #369 of 503
Shut up, you drunken shitforbrains. Hardly anyone's actually for completely unfettered free speech--maybe a few extremists and pretend internet badasses like you. Here are the main points in easy-to-digest spoilered format.

1) When it comes to the actual legal category, "free speech" always has limits. Those limits work if they seem so obvious and natural that "free speech" still seems free.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
For someone like Milton in Areopagitica, it was completely rational that Roman Catholicism be excluded from free speech as a condition of free speech. This seems absurd to almost all of us now. But it didn't seem absurd to Milton at all. The first article that Kai links casually invokes kiddie porn as an example of a necessary limit to free speech. This seems obvious to us--disagreeing might get you labeled a monster (or worse, like an attorney). But as someone like birdman (with his ongoing professional engagement with pedos) knows well, this example isn't simple or straightforward. The logic is that representations of non-consensual harm shouldn't be protected by free speech. But this isn't true in all cases at all. All sorts of grey areas, like videos of animals being harmed. To explain kiddie porn an obvious limit to free speech, you have to very particular about what kinds of consent and non-consent (children involved, sexual, whatever) limit the free spread of depictions of an act. And, of course, the issue of free speech being possibly limited by the harm it causes (rather than by the harm that went into producing representations) is complex too.

The point isn't to be a pretend badass nihilist and say, no no no I'm for all free speech. The point is to recognize soberly that there are limits to free speech and what those limits should be are always cultrually & historically negotiated.

2) There's an obvious distinction between legally protected free speech vs. the bullshit made-up freedom to spout off whatever you want without consequences.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
When the right-wing moron brigade protests Starbucks for not saying Merry Christmas or whatever, they're not infringing on Starbucks's free speech. They're just being mouthbreathers with their own free speech and dollars. Or, more to the point, if I tell my students to stop saying stupid shit in their papers, I'm not infringing on their legal free speech.

3) There are plenty of cases in which there's a grey area between 1) and 2).
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Steve Salaita case at UIUC was (or might have been, at least) one of them because it involved hiring at a public university. Except, of course, right wingers don't want to talk about that example since the speech being protected was anti-Israel and pro-Palestine. I actually thought that Salaita was going to lose his case because it was just a hiring/contractual issue, but the judge in the case sided with him, at least via the details of the contract if not about free speech.

4) The Economist article above doesn't talk about 3) in any smart way. It resorts to a bullshit maneuver about how right-wing dictators get to complain about some perceived hypocrisy. But the claim that we need to give free rein to right-wing bullshit of all sorts--NOT just legally under the First Amendment, but also in social outlets like universities--so we can appease right-wing dictators is stupid. Especially if we consider point 1), whereby even legal free speech does have some limits in such a way that undercuts the weaselly accusation of hypocrisy.
post #370 of 503
So my take away is right wingers are mouth breathers and they suck?
post #371 of 503
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

You think I read what everyone posts? satisfied.gif
post #372 of 503
But you're not just anyone.
post #373 of 503
Synopsis of something that was already broken down into bullet points: "free speech" has never been and still isn't unfettered free speech. If right-wing dictators have a point that Western liberalism a) doesn't legally protect any and all free speech and b) doesn't promote in various social outlets any and all stupid ideas, that's not some profound exposure of hypocrisy. The right response isn't to allow--at the level of law--any and all speech to be legal so that we're not hypocrites in the eyes of right-wing dictators. The right response also isn't to allow stupid bullshit to have social legitimacy. (E.g., just because we generally believe in allowing competing ideas to be aired doesn't mean we should be teaching creationism in science classes lest some religious fundamentalist mouthbreathers accuse us of hypocrisy.)
post #374 of 503
Why is this all about right wingers? confused.gif
post #375 of 503
I mentioned American right-wing mouthbreathers in an example that also mentioned my own practices as a professor. I was being fair and balanced!

When it comes to my phrase "right-wing dictators," feel free to swap that with "oppressive dictators" and accept my apologies if that would be a salve for your egorectum.
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