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Mammon Cultist

Sissyl's page

5,792 posts (6,417 including aliases). No reviews. No lists. No wishlists. 6 aliases.


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sooo... free speech is only a valuable concept if it doesn't bring any trouble?


And the French constitutional court decided that laws forbidding denying of genocide (specifically Armenians 1915), are too dangerousfor the state to have. So, I guess they are just wrong then? Stupid libertarian lizard- believing flat earthers who should bow down to your superior legal understanding?


Excuse me? Libertarians and Holocaust deniers in cahoots? Where? You're not actually saying that since libertarians tend to be critical of laws forbidding various types of speech, they are Holocaust deniers since the Holocaust deniers also want to get rid of one type of law preventing their nazi b!@~*@+@ speech, are you?


Yoda 6 :)


True action


Nuku wrote:
Isn't the key word 'floating'? Birds don't float.

Ducks do...


I dunno... Seems like they should also be slowed, so, you know... Ummm... So you won't miss the details... Of their... Struggle...


The idea of mechs is ludicrous, to be honest. Even today, they compare the size and speed of the very biggest tanks (which seem to be on the way out because they are too large and not fast enough), limited firepower due to limited space and the terrain mobility of infantry (but infantry unable to find cover due to size).


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Good story, believable characters, an interesting conflict, good language, a bit of mystery, some emotional punch, appropriate length, unexpected plot twists, decent dialogue... oh, and one or more ideas, well executed.

SF books are still books.


Orfamay Quest wrote:

I should also add that I disagree with Aly's interpretation, although I'm hardly an expert on his theories. I think the evidence from Göbbel's diaries and from works like Mein Kampf is pretty compelling that Hitler had been planning the Holocaust for a long time, probably since the 20s. Lots of other historians, in and out of Germany, disagree with Aly as well.

But no one's suggested criminal prosecution for Holocaust denial. He's a scholar, not a Nazi apologist. And the government can tell the difference.

I have great respect for Germany and its people. I approve of much of their legal structure. It is quite possible that they, of all people, can handle this responsibility. At least, right now and as they are. Now, would it be a good thing in Italy as well? Bulgaria? Seems to me that that would be a bit different. As has been mentioned, there are other laws like this, including a french one about Armenian genocide. It is not guaranteed to be a good idea, is it?

Edit: They had one until... what do you know? It was struck down in 2012 for being a threat to free speech by the Constitutional Court... How odd. Here is arguably the most reason-heavy legal entity in France, saying that the state CAN NOT handle this responsibility. How odd, if such laws are not a problem...


Orfamay: I said it was difficult at times. I did not say I wouldn't. See, the price of such laws is that other opinions do not get voiced. Say that a new batch of documentation was found about the Holocaust. Something that seriously put in question the official narrative in a big way. How would you deal with that, if you were the one to find it, given that criticism of the official narrative is illegal? If you DID publish it, what would the state do? If you do publish it, what do you say to people the next time an Irving or a Williamson starts bleating? It is a dangerous game to play. We can't ever be sure that everything we claim IS true, and the price of it being false is very high.


MrTsFloatinghead: Don't tell me what I think, please. I have nothing against experts telling people whatever is true. It's their job, and lots of things would be better if we listened to them. However: Money talks to experts as well as others. History is full of malfeasance in this area, so we have to work at it. So far, so good.

But there is a more serious issue. Not every subject IS a good one for experts to decide on. It's not going to be difficult to find an expert that can tell people that crime statistics will fall if we put in cameras in every room in everyone's house, but that still doesn't make it a good enough idea to enforce such a law. There is no shortage of experts who would tell us that everything would be far better if we embraced a centrally planned economy either, or a thousand different things. Many of them would quite clearly say the opposite of one another.

With a background in natural science, it's easy for me to see the allure of that way to approach questions of society. However, political science is a science in name only. Various differing ideologies all have it as their stomping ground. There are no clear results, only theories and conjecture. Same with most other social sciences. The idea that those experts would get to shape society to their hearts' content is, frankly, a nightmare. Through history, it has been at various times.


Hitdice wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Hitdice wrote:

If we can take a step back, I'd like to ask a question raised by the thread title: Does anyone on either side of this discussion think that Bishop Richard Williamson is being punished for ignorance of accepted facts?

I really, really don't think that's what went on there.

Williamson is a disgusting creep. He knew what he was doing, and why. He deserved suffering for doing it... but he still shouldn't have been sentenced for it, ideally. As it is... a fine isn't going to change much.

This is a real question Sis, not snark. What sort of suffering do you find appropriate?

I'm speaking as WASP-ey as WASP can be US citizen who's needed a trip the hospital after getting in a fist fight with neo-nazis at a party in my own home. Make of that what you will.

Hmmm... if we're meting out fantasy punishments, quite immune to silly rules about cruelty and unusualness, I figure something like a Clockwork Orange Eye-opening Rig (tm), some rope, a chair, a TV, a DVD player, some Teletubbies discs, and a month or two.

Seriously, people like him are a large part of why it can be difficult to speak out for freedom of speech. Well educated ultraconservative fanatics really do say the darndest things. Moreover, people LISTEN to them. I guess what I would really want him to go through is understanding how vile his beliefs are. Sadly, he's a fanatic, and one of the perks of that is not having to doubt yourself.

I am sorry I don't have a better answer. Fining him will probably make him proud.


Ummmm... why? Is there any particular reason they WOULD get the hint? Seriously, these people are the ones who spend their lives complaining about vaccines. Some work full time on it. You'd have to throw quite a number of them in prison to even dent their zeal... and by then, your law would be the target of more and more questioning.


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It IS functionally equivalent to all the other suggestions here. =)


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
He also claimed that it was okay to ban criticism of vaccines, because it is childishly simple to distinguish to these people which vaccine you're talking about.
I actually claimed it was okay to ban false criticisms of specific vaccines, because intentionally conflating all vaccines with one another is in itself a lie and can be proven incorrect and so "a different one might be harmful" is in no way evidence that the one under discussion is.

But we both know the anti-vacc crowd isn't going to see it that way. Ban or no ban, if evidence of flu vaccine side effects is published, they ARE going to recruit people and smear all vaccines. That's their modus operandi, that's what they do in EVERY situation.


Orfamay: And if you had actually READ what I wrote, you would have understood that I never claimed any of that. Kirth told me:

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Unfortunately, research shows that, paradoxically, efforts to debunk myths only strengthens belief in them, because people's brains don't logically process information the way we think they do.

If I spend $10M on an ad campaign about the Earth being flat, and the meme catches on, after that, everything NASA does to prove me wrong does nothing but strengthen my ad campaign. That's one reason "money = speech" is so pernicious a concept.

I.e. as soon as money and PR becomes involved, people can't learn anything. He also claimed that it was okay to ban criticism of vaccines, because it is childishly simple to distinguish to these people which vaccine you're talking about. Allow me to doubt that.


Hitdice wrote:

If we can take a step back, I'd like to ask a question raised by the thread title: Does anyone on either side of this discussion think that Bishop Richard Williamson is being punished for ignorance of accepted facts?

I really, really don't think that's what went on there.

Williamson is a disgusting creep. He knew what he was doing, and why. He deserved suffering for doing it... but he still shouldn't have been sentenced for it, ideally. As it is... a fine isn't going to change much.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
And in the case of the anti-vacc spouters? Is that a PR campaign/meme or not?

Think about it a bit, but lkeep in mind: (1) many of their claims has been disproven by evidence, and yet (2) they continue to gain support. Is that a good way of running things? Claiming that their "free speech" to outright lie outweighs the actual evidence runs 180 degrees contrary to what I'm arguing.

I assume you're not actually of the opinion that the truth of their claims is irrelevant, and that it's better for the legal system as a whole if PR decides everything?

Try again, Kirth. You claim that in a PR situation, people can't discern truth from falsehood, EVEN IF PRESENTED WITH A CLEAR CASE. You also claim that my example about the flu vaccines is irrelevant, because it is "childishly simple" to distinguish between two different vaccines. Do you honestly think the vacc haters are going to say "Oh, right, that was just the seasonal flu vaccines that were bad, that has nothing to do with the traditional vaccines that we hate"? Or, do you think they are going to see any evidence of ANY vaccine being dangerous as proof that ALL vaccines are bad? I mean, these are the cream of the crop regarding rationality, aren't they?


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
You're raving again Sissyl. It isn't helping you convince anyone.
And neither is your comment.
I'm just reading the thread. I thought I might warn you how you're coming off.

Warn away, but you could have saved yourself the trouble.

There is a deplorable idea on this board that the government can safely tell us how we should live our lives, and that freedom of speech is of secondary importance to how society works. I don't buy that, and I'd say I have been quite civil in this discussion. That I am making a case of things you don't care for is typically what gets me called a lunatic, raving or the like, and honestly, I don't care anymore.


And in the case of the anti-vacc spouters? Is that a PR campaign/meme or not?


TriOmegaZero wrote:
You're raving again Sissyl. It isn't helping you convince anyone.

And neither is your comment.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Soooo... first you think that we need someone to tell us what is true and what is false, because we can't decide that for ourselves...
Except I didn't say that; you did. I said that, if a thing can be proven to to be false, then thereafter we can legally call it false (unless new evidence somehow comes to light that would overturn it). Which is more or less how the court system already functions, with notable bizarre exceptions.

You didn't?

Kirth Gersen wrote:

Unfortunately, research shows that, paradoxically, efforts to debunk myths only strengthens belief in them, because people's brains don't logically process information the way we think they do.

If I spend $10M on an ad campaign about the Earth being flat, and the meme catches on, after that, everything NASA does to prove me wrong does nothing but strengthen my ad campaign. That's one reason "money = speech" is so pernicious a concept.


MrTsFloatinghead: So... everyone has a capacity to reason which we should trust completely, but we can't teach anyone anything.

Sounds brilliant.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Nevertheless, a law saying you're not allowed to criticize the use of vaccines will mean that we aren't going to learn anything about the side effects of each new vaccine
I don't see how that follows, given that it's childishly easy to demonstrate that Vaccine A =/= Vaccine B.

Soooo... first you think that we need someone to tell us what is true and what is false, because we can't decide that for ourselves... then you say that it's childishly easy to demonstrate, apparently so people do understand, which vaccines are safe and which are not? I must confess you have me confused here.


So, again, where would you draw the line? Who gets to judge the evidence?

After the swine flu furor in Sweden, we discovered that there was a large number of cases of narcolepsia among children. Sure enough, going through the records showed that all of these children had gotten flu vaccine shots. Narcolepsia is a very rare condition, so it wasn't just statistical noise, but was eventually judged to be a very real side effect, probably permanent, of the vaccine as it was distributed.

Would you consider this too to be anti-vacc screed, fit to bury under a law on what's okay to talk about and not?

Traditional vaccines are well-known, unchanging entities. The new flu vaccines are new drugs for each specific epidemic, using various preservatives and boosters each time. This lies inherent in the method of production we need to use to get them out in time, and doesn't seem likely to change in the near future. Nevertheless, a law saying you're not allowed to criticize the use of vaccines will mean that we aren't going to learn anything about the side effects of each new vaccine - something I am sure Big Pharma would have a happygasm about.

Is that what you want?


Kirth: If... I claim that I'm you... and you're impersonating you... ummm...

My point, that seems to be whizzing by above YOUR head, is that you are trying to discuss lying in a debate about free speech. Certain specific forms of lies are illegal, certainly, but the truth of a statement has, up to now, not been a matter of free speech, as far as I know. The US has the exception to slander and libel laws that if you can prove what you said was actually true, then no crime has been committed, but that's not what we're discussing either.


So... if you can provide evidence that someone is going to say something that is untrue, you get to prevent them from saying it?


thejeff wrote:
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Andrew R wrote:


When tyrant rise to power, opposing them is breaching the peace. if tyrants rise as they have and will, you will be a slave. You give up liberty for an illusion of safety and thus deserve neither
Out of curiosity, do you have any thoughts in your head? Or did the slogans take up all the space?

I'm also amused by the idea that a tyrant, having risen to power, will just look at the existing laws and say "Oh, it's legal for them to criticize me and oppose me, so I guess I'll have to let them."

If he's a tyrant, he'll change the laws as he wants anyway.

Ummm... what if our laws as written allow someone more leeway than they should have in the tyrancy department? Exceedingly rare is the government that will NOT use whatever laws they have available to push its will, because of something as flimsy as principles.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Andrew R wrote:
Then educate on the truth rather than sacrifice freedom to speak.

Unfortunately, research shows that, paradoxically, efforts to debunk myths only strengthens belief in them, because people's brains don't logically process information the way we think they do.

If I spend $10M on an ad campaign about the Earth being flat, and the meme catches on, after that, everything NASA does to prove me wrong does nothing but strengthen my ad campaign. That's one reason "money = speech" is so pernicious a concept.

But the Earth being flat is not an opinion; it's an incorrect fact, and, ultimately, a lie. It can be proven wrong using evidence, even if 99% of the population biologically cannot get past the sound bytes to the contrary.

So tell us, Kirth: Should it be illegal to lie in all circumstances? Or just when you're committing OUTRIGHT lies? How should such a massive new legal principle be encoded for maximum utility?


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
That is not going to be a problem, Kirth.

Actually, it is and has been. That's why laws like the Pure Food and Drink Act (q.v.) exist, because people were deliberately mislabelling stuff. Still is, in fact. A lot of the various "naturalistic" products on the market are filled with God-knows-what, including off-license use of various regulated pharmaceuticals. Here's a relatively recent example. The product in question is marketed as "completely herbal" but contains up to four times the maximum regulated dose of various synthetic drugs.

And here's a similar example from the United States, dated only last month.

Nothing at all about Kirth's situation is a "straw man"; it is, in fact, an all-to-common business practice.

Quote:
And even outright lying is covered by freedom of speech. The exceptions to this are specific and few.
Yes, and Holocaust denial (in Germany) is one of those specific exceptions, along with slander, libel, fraudulent advertising, incitement to riot, conspiracy to commit a crime, and so on.

You know, way to try to understand someone's point. What I meant - while being respectful of your homecooked version of what I meant - was that fraudulent advertising by the company making a product is a simply delineated issue. It pertains only, specifically in the situation where someone is trying to sell something and lies about the product. Thus, it's not a matter that can conceivably be used to stifle debate through various precedents and other legal processes. That is where it differs from the argument that the state should be allowed to decide who gets to say what is holocaust denial - and put those on one side of that law in jail for it. Certainly, fraudulent advertising is a problem, but saying it's a free speech problem is missing the point completely.

As for the last passage, it's sad debating with someone who lacks reading comprehension. I said the exceptions to lying being illegal are specific and few. The problem with slander, libel, incitement to riot and conspiracy to commit a crime isn't that people are LYING per se, rather that they are breaking the limits for free speech. The instances where lying is illegal are things like committing perjury.


That is not going to be a problem, Kirth. Stop putting up straw men, please. And even outright lying is covered by freedom of speech. The exceptions to this are specific and few.


Drejk wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
Bah, beholders aren't dangerous. After all, if you are facing one, the only thing you need to do is show it a rock and throw the rock far away and it will pursue the rock.
Argh!

=)


Worth noting is that while in some places, they tried to destroy the documentation, such destruction was far from complete. It was captured in several places, both centrally and in the camps. Another factor of interest is that the nazis had plans and projections for how many they needed to kill to achieve their goals, which they followed up, and so on. All in all, claiming it never happened is ludicrous. Certainly, any total figure is suspect at best, that's difficult to argue about, but honestly, does it really matter if it's five or six millions dead for how we should handle it today?


Simply put, the nazis were pretty anal retentive about documenting it.


The Germans who were 16 in 1945 were born in 1929. They are 85 today.


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So... Mindless violent crowds tearing into round objects for people's entertainment... Or zombie games?


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At some point, we are and will remain humans. We function very much the same, and we need and value the same things. Different cultures are merely different answers to how to achieve these same things in different environments, and thus come with different problems attached. And there lies stories, every story we (again, as pretty similar humans) respond to and feel is authentic. It is all well and good to work toward civility to those different than ourselves, but it becomes a problem when you do not even tolerate balanced viewpoints on the grounds that such a viewpoint also includes negative issues.

So, we can at the very least relax about this in our home campaigns, I should say. Paizo has a more difficult situation, but are dealing with it admirably.


Ilja wrote:
Also, i find it kind of silly to equate "free speech" with "free society". I know from moy school years that i would have been a lot freer if my bullies werent allowed to speak freely.

Free speech is a requirement for a free society. Do yourself the favour to not imagining things with bullying wouldn't have been far, far worse in a society that did not even aspire to free speech. After all, a pupil complaining about bullying is a problem to the school. They would have used the laws against various types of speech against YOU, not the bullies.

Of course, after punishing you for complaining about it, and making sure nobody documented it, the bullying would continue but you would be smart enough not to talk about it. Thus, when the statistics about your school time were put together, the school could show data about no bullying occurring in their school, making it so much better than school in all those failed schools in free societies that have bullying problems.


Ilja: Polls showed that the RAF had the support of a significant part of the West German population under 40 years old. Breivik had and has the support of a tiny fringe. The scales are not even in the same world. As for his killing spree, they never managed to show anyone else actually involved to my knowledge. And no, there hasn't been Stalinist bombings or the like these last twenty years, what we do have is one failed islamist bombing, on the political front in Sweden. I am not knowledgeable enough on the rest of Scandinavian terrorist acts, but to put it simply: Our liberal democracy, such as it is, has worked to the point that there have been extremely few such events here in a long time. And hundreds of dead due to neonazi violence in the last twenty years? If true, that would be very surprising and I would like to see numbers on it. There have been violent deaths, certainly, but that's not quite the same thing as political assassinations and bombings, to my thinking. I would also like to know how many deaths have resulted from radical leftist violence during the same period of time. Do you have official numbers? Also, I should add that while things have gotten uglier since 2001 and the war on terror, even before that, various leftist organizations put thousands of radical people on the streets for rioting time and time again.

I understand the frustration people can feel about it. I understand that some people act to cause fear in others - and that fear demands a response somehow. I honestly think the police should be directing their resources far better than they are - why the everloving f~+@ do we allow football matches to sink our cities into riots? Why do we set the police to checking for drunk drivers outside of universities in broad daylight to meet the quota for checks made without the paperwork and hassle of filing reports when you actually find someone? And so on. Society does have resources, we're just misapplying them. There are laws we could use and we certainly don't need new ones to fight neonazis - wearing a paramilitary uniform would work wonders. It would also be pretty effective against radical leftist elements who participate in rioting.


thejeff wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

thejeff: Of course. At the point you describe, people are still using words to disagree with one another, which is far better than both a) the state throwing people in jail for saying things the state doesn't like to hear, and b) the same people beating each other up over their differences.

Being called a fascist isn't the worst thing that could happen to someone. A free society means you need a pretty thick skin.

Of course, but the argument is that such social ostracism measures are actually an infringement on free speech and close to fascism, and those arguments are being used by those in (or connected to) politics, that's a little different than being upset about being called a fascist.

Only if you consider that logic to actually be correct, thejeff. Free speech means you can say stupid things, ostracize people for saying them, and criticize the ostracizers for doing what they do, whoever you are. So long as the situation stays with these arguments, free speech is working as intended. If the people in power actually start throwing people in jail for saying stuff, whether for saying stupid things, for ostracising people, or for calling the ostracizers fascists, you no longer have free speech - and no longer a free society.


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Actually... while that's sort of true, this was tracked during the fall of the Soviet Union. Some were cast out... but at least after a while, it turned out that most of the people successful enough to be called the ruling class were the SAME people who were part of the ruling class before. Turns out valuing no principles more than your lust for power is a pretty good recipe for getting power. The people who are fanatics and ideologically bound are not the people who end up in power - in fact, most of them get shot when the totalitarian society has been set up.

Rabble-rousers and troublemakers are needed before and during a revolution, not after it.


Ilja: If you claim that principles do not have a place in which laws should be made, and that laws should be made just to deal with specific situations, I do not agree with you in the slightest. Society is based on certain principles, and the laws should be the expression of those principles. This goes far deeper, but I am not prepared to discuss that now.

We're still discussing the nazis, who stopped doing what they did in 1945, aren't we? I think time passed since the RAF disbanded is a pretty useless argument. And to be perfectly honest, Breivik was a man who planned a single event and managed to slip through the system, and killed a number of the people he saw as oppressors of humanity (social democrat-active youths). Such individuals have always been a difficult thing to stop, in every society. The RAF was a far, far larger group of people who performed dozens of strikes, with public support, with financing from the STASI. The scale is pretty different. And my point remains: any totalitarian ideology is dangerous and leads to that sort of s$!% when embraced to fanaticism. And while nationalists are on the rise, you don't see many bombings or assassinations beyond Breivik even today. When he killed people, he was an anomaly in the statistics to the security analysts.

How large would you say the ruling class of Sweden is, Ilja? In percents of total population?


thejeff: Of course. At the point you describe, people are still using words to disagree with one another, which is far better than both a) the state throwing people in jail for saying things the state doesn't like to hear, and b) the same people beating each other up over their differences.

Being called a fascist isn't the worst thing that could happen to someone. A free society means you need a pretty thick skin.


Magic missile is one of the few first-level spells that remains relevant through the levels. Sleep has HD limits, mage armor is replaced by magic items (bracers of armor, usually), and so on. Yes, it can get shut down by SR, but it does not allow saves, nor does it require rolling to hit. Except for SR, it is guaranteed damage. Shield is not that common, though that might be my experience with my DMs. Even as a high level wizard, there are reasons to use MM.


Sadly, that is a false equivalence, Ilja. Drunk driving is illegal because it increases the number of ACCIDENTS unacceptably. You are claiming the fascists are bad because they are violent, hardly a good comparison since that violence is anything but accidental.

If you want to discuss the dangers of political propaganda, then maybe Breivik should be discussed along with the RAF? It's odd how it seems that ANY ideology that is embraced to the level of fanaticism gives its proponents the subjective right to kill people they perceive as enemies, isn't it? And, of course, as you say, there is no study on it.

And if you seriously think a totalitarian regime is NOT bad news for people who do not belong to the working class... I am sorry, your social narrative is much too simplistic. I don't know how to help you.


In the hole


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Bah, beholders aren't dangerous. After all, if you are facing one, the only thing you need to do is show it a rock and throw the rock far away and it will pursue the rock.


Ilja: Doesn't that prove quite well that you don't actually need these laws for fascist crap to be illegal enough? Last I checked, stabbing people, torturing people to death, murdering and dismembering people, firebombing houses are ALL illegal acts. If these people are doing all these things, that some of them claim the Holocaust didn't happen is not going to change much in the legal situation, is it? It sounds like what is needed is more resources spent on investigating them and their actions and prosecuting them for it, not more laws for minor crimes that also carry big risks for misuse. And, of course, free speech only means that you are allowed to speak in relation to the state, not that you should not suffer ridicule, ostracism and similar punishments for what you said. And sometimes, that leads others to use violence against you. That should, of course, be similarly investigated and prosecuted.

I find it strange that you say that all the totalitarian systems are bad for the working class... I would far prefer to say that they are crap to our entire societies and more or less everyone in them. Isn't that a better reason to reject them than the plight of only the working class? Or is it that you consider yourself to be living in a totalitarian society because it's a capitalist one?

And whether Churchill said so or not, it still says what is important, that authoritarian and totalitarian political movements run off fear, and anything can be used as the target of that fear.


"Oh yeah? Well, your momma!"

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