Post by Madhu
I have no problem with his decision to post gender-bias sigs, no
matter who they offend, because I consider the taking of offence to be
the taker's problem, not the giver's: "In order to be able to think,
you have to risk being offensive", as Jordan Peterson put it in his
iconic Channel 4 interview with Cathy Newman.
One can be offensive without any involvement of profound thought.
Is it not up to each individual reader, though, to decide whether a
supposedly offensive statement does, or does not, constitute a thought
that (even if not profound) is at least worth considering?
In my view, we are increasingly seeing instances of "offensiveness"
being used as a justification for censorship. Andy Ngo has just received
a Twitter suspension for tweeting factual information about crime
figures because it was "hateful" - another word we see a lot of
nowadays. It's as if "offensiveness" and "hate" are being used in an
attempt to shut people down if the message they bring is
counter-narrative, no matter how polite and civil and factual their
presentation of that message.
This trend is a dangerous one, and it is because I see its danger that I
try to err very much on the side of freedom to speak one's mind, even
though it means putting up with boneheads who spout all kinds of crap.
If Quinn wants to post stuff that some people find offensive, I think he
should be allowed to do that. (Fortunately, on Usenet, nobody can stop
you - at least, not yet - unless you are in amazingly serious violation
of your service provider's T&Cs.)
That doesn't mean we have to put up with reams of nonsense pouring
through our feed. This is precisely what killfiles are for.
Post by Madhu
People who don't want to read Quinn's stuff (e.g. me) can simply
killfile him. End of problem.
Heh. Is that a version of the solipsist argument.
The point to consider is would you have a problem if you did not avoid
it (for whatever reason)
Strange question, but okay: if I didn't avoid the problem, it would be
my fault, not Quinn's. He should have the freedom to say whatever he
wants to say. Any solution I might concoct for ridding myself of this
turbulent Quinn should *not* involve limiting *his* freedom in any way.
If he wants to be an ass, that's his business, and it's not my business
to stop him. He gets to say what he likes, and I get to decide whether I
want to read it or not.
Post by Madhu
Of course it would be different if one were forced to read Quinn's stuff
for extended periods of time while firmly secured to a chair with eyes
dilated, eyelids kept pried open, while Quinn's stuff is projected
repeatedly on a huge screen. I think the subject in trainspotting was
able to develop empathy after this sort of treatment.
As Captain Mainwaring was fond of saying: I think you're entering into
the realms of fantasy.
Email: rjh at cpax dot org dot uk
"Usenet is a strange place" - dmr 29 July 1999
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