Hate Speech

Some people think that smoking causes lung cancer, and some people don’t.

Some people think human CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic global warming, and some people don’t.

It’s a wonder that anyone has any opinion at all, given that we know little about either cancer or climate or anything else.

Except it  seems that the less we know about anything, the more certain we are about it: complete ignorance is a form of certainty.

And most of our opinions are secondhand: they’re what we’ve been taught by other people. Education is indoctrination. We’re all indoctrinated in one way or other, whether we know it or not. We attend one school, and read one newspaper, and watch one TV channel, and have one set of like-minded friends, and we keep each other in line, like soldiers on parade.

But these days the internet is a new source of multiple divergent opinions. The internet allows everyone to express their own opinions, And that results in a plurality of opinions rather than a singularity.There’s no longer one teacher, one school. one newspaper, one TV channel, one church. And increasingly everybody disagrees with everyone else.

Does that matter?

Can’t we agree to disagree?

But perhaps sometimes it does matter. Sometimes – as in a time of war – we need to all be of one opinion. And then an attempt is made to enforce a singularity of opinion. Dissenting voices are silenced.

And so the current pluralistic internet era will probably one day give way to a singular orthodoxy, from which all dissent is suppressed.

One day my blog will be closed down. And so will everybody else’s. They’ll be replaced by a singular orthodoxy. We’ll all say the same thing.

It could happen very suddenly.

It’s already happening. Dissent is becoming “hate speech“:

Facebook changing hate speech, voter suppression policies

Facebook will now take on an approach similar to that of Twitter, labelling posts that may violate its policies but are allowed to remain on the platform because they are deemed newsworthy.

About Frank Davis

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9 Responses to Hate Speech

  1. RdM says:

    Ain’t Nobody’s Business But My Own
    Billie Holiday ‎– At Monterey 1958

    Would that be very un-PC now?


    Ha! I have this recording, a live concert. Aeroplanes going overhead.

    Somebody has made a nice youtube transcription with still photos

    Lots of other singers have covered that song, originally from the 1920’s.

    Ain’t Nobody’s Business
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” (originally “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness if I Do”) is a 1920s blues song that became one of the first blues standards.[1] It was published in 1922″

    There ain’t nothin’ I can do nor nothin’ I can say, that folks don’t criticize me
    But I’m gonna do just as I want to anyway, I don’t care if they all despise me

    and further, later, sadly,

    I’d rather my man would hit me, than to jump right up and quit me …
    I swear I won’t call no copper, if I’m beat up by my papa
    Tain’t nobody’s business if I do

    Still, an expression of freedom?

    Divergent opinions … will still be celebrated, as well as noted by the state, one hopes.

    • RdM says:

      Not so great, according to the LA Times

      June 22, 1986
      12 AM

      “AT MONTEREY, 1958.” Billie Holiday. Blackhawk 50701. This was Monterey’s first festival and Lady Day’s last. Though her voice was shot and her grasp on the notes uncertain, some of the emotional impact survived. All 11 tunes in these 30 minutes of music had been done in numerous earlier and superior studio versions. Waldron’s piano is subpar; Gerry Mulligan is very helpful on several tunes; Buddy De Franco is heard from marginally. Benny Carter’s name should not have been used here, since he is virtually unheard. The plane flying over the fairgrounds during one song is so intrusive you feel like ducking. By the standards of an artist who at her peak 15 years earlier was the consummate jazz singer, this is 3 1/2-star material.

      Oh well, never mind …

  2. Clicky says:

  3. Clicky says:

  4. Rose says:

    Surely a more accurate word would be heresy, with the amount of unquestioning belief that has been engineered over time.

  5. Rose says:

    Non-tobacco plant identified in ancient pipe for first time
    Washington State University

    “People in what is now Washington State were smoking Rhus glabra, a plant commonly known as smooth sumac, more than 1,400 years ago.

    The discovery, made by a team of Washington State University researchers, marks the first-time scientists have identified residue from a non-tobacco plant in an archeological pipe.

    Unearthed in central Washington, the Native American pipe also contained residue from N. quadrivalvis, a species of tobacco not currently grown in the region but that is thought to have been widely cultivated in the past. Until now, the use of specific smoking plant mixtures by ancient people in the American Northwest had only been speculated about.”

    “Closer to home, the WSU team is also putting their work to use helping confirm connections between ancient plant management practices from before the arrival of Western settlers with cultural traditions of modern indigenous communities such as the Nez Perce.. The researchers shared their work with members of the tribe who also used some of the seeds from the study to grow some of the pre-contact tobacco. The smoking of tobacco is a sacred tradition for Native American groups including the Nez Perce, Colville and other northwest Tribes and before now it was impossible to tell which kind of tobacco their ancestors smoked.

    “We took over an entire greenhouse to grow these plants and collected millions of seeds so that the Nez Perce people could reintroduce these native plants back onto their land,”

    I wish them the very best of luck, with the power wielded by TC it may be that doing the science to find and grow the plants is not the greatest hurdle to their worthy project.

  6. sokalowski says:

    Hate to say it but,’ tests are faulty’.

  7. petesquiz says:

    I’ve always liked to disagree with people; where’s the fun in just saying, “Yes, you’re quite right” all the time. I also learn so much more by disagreeing with people’s views and opinions often resulting in me modifying (but not changing completely) my position if I’m convinced that I’m wrong. That’s good old fashioned debate and discussion which all too often appears to be lacking on the internet.

    Unfortunately, the internet (more specifically the main channels of Facebook, Twitter and Google) are heading to the same ‘singularity of opinion’ and shutting down dissenting voices (no matter how reasonable they are). Our news media seems to have gone down this route already!

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