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12:06 AM
@MechMK1 I keep forgetting to log into stackoverflow on my work computer, so...
So my old job very promptly deactivated my account in our online system after I left
Which normally I'm all for
Except for a couple issues
1. I'm still providing support on a contract basis, so I'm not actually gone and need access to everything
2. I actually built everything myself and am the only one who has SSH and production DB access... so deactivating my account is literally the silliest thing ever...
Gotta give them props for sticking to the rules though?
It was also silly when the deactivated my email account. The last thing I told them was: "Whatever you do, don't deactivate my email account. All of our services are signed up through it so you may need it for password recovery later"
Of course I also handed over all passwords through a password manager, but still...
/not my problem (yeah!)
@MechMK1 I only chase balls into the street if they are shiny....
7 hours later…
7:10 AM
@ConorMancone That explains why it's so quiet :D
@ConorMancone Well, the "proper" way would be to make a service email account like "external@companyname.website"
@ConorMancone Ah yes, much better :D
7:53 AM
@paj28 I had a quick look but no, not in any groups I frequent
@MechMK1 I lurk in case folks need a mod - I am seeing positive intent from SE so think I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and come out of semi-retirement
@RoryAlsop To me, intent is not enough
Someone made the analogy "Imagine you walk into my house with your shoes on. I told you that that's rude. Right now, you're at the stage where you acknowledge that you are possibly wearing shoes inside my house"
8:14 AM
@RoryAlsop I am clueless as to the whole SE situation, but I can say you are very welcome back out of semi retirement if that is what you want to do. :-)
The whole TF2 situation has gone on too long
Time to write a big blog post so I can get it off my chest D:
8:46 AM
@MechMK1 I know - but I am an eternal optimist, and believe in the inherent good in most people...
@Anders thank you
9:03 AM
@RoryAlsop Well, there used to be a time where I was more optimistic towards SE, Inc.
To me, the single biggest factor is the fact against me trusting SE more is that they blatantly lie about giving "warnings" to people
I recall there being a thread where someone complained that the 2019 winterbash called 2019 "a great year" (or something to that effect) and asked if that part could be removed
And I assumed that this request was made in good faith. To many, the end of 2019 was not a very good year
The person responsible replied like "I just copied the 2018 template. I don't understand why this is a big deal"
And in times where people felt like they are being talked down to, like they are being ignored, such small things can come across very bad - even if the staff member meant no offense
I expressed my views with the usual amount of agitation, and quickly garnered a handful of upvotes, before my answer was deleted and I was banned for a week
And this is what really upset me. The fact that everywhere, they talk about warnings, like "Oh don't worry, you'll get a warning before we'll actually step in and do something more drastic". No, 1 week ban immediately
9:31 AM
@MechMK1 TF2?
@MechMK1 The libertarian in me always finds punishments as a response to open dialog to be a ridiculous response. I get that concepts like "freedom of speech" don't apply in places like this, but it's still silly to ban people for expressing opinions
10:07 AM
@ConorMancone Team Fortress 2
@ConorMancone I would agree if it was blatant abuse (e.g. "You fucking retard! I hope you kill yourself!"), but saying "The fact that you insist calling 2019 a great year is a big middle finger to the community" is in my opinion not "blatant abuse"
@ConorMancone Here is the full post:
2 hours later…
12:12 PM
@MechMK1 Technically since this is a hosted website they get to make the rules, and there can be no expectation of "freedom of speech" on our part. Legally, I believe they are allowed to do pretty much whatever they want, in all jurisdictions (although IANAL).
@ConorMancone Yeah, but do you really want to build a community around "Technically, it's not illegal for us to treat you like shit"?
However just because they can doesn't mean they should, and taking down dissenting opinions is just stupid, and earns them whatever scorn they get
I never understood this "Private companies can do whatever they want" argument
Because it's precisely the people who make this argument who then call private businesses and threaten to firebomb them if they don't bake a cake for a gay couple, or if they host a conservative speaker
"You can do whatever you want as a private business, as long as it aligns with my world view"
In a case like this I would liken it to someone's home. They own the website and spend their money maintaining it for their own reasons, and therefore should have the same ability to "disinvite" people just as you have the ability to ask someone to leave your home
@ConorMancone Yes, from a conceptual standpoint, I agree
12:16 PM
The flip side of it of course is that people are just as welcome to take umbridge with the way a company chooses to run their systems, just as you are welcome to be angry at a relative who kicks you out of their house for saying the word "gun"
However, I see a bit of a problem with this on a "realistic" standpoint. Some companies have achieved basically monopolies in their sector
The big tech companies own all the platforms out there that people are using to communicate on a global scale
But yeah, there is a difference between what a company can do and what they should do - SE obviously misses that distinction badly
Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Google, etc...
All of these companies have a left-wing agenda. Google demonstrably removes search results from things they dislike
For example, if you google for "Count Dankula", you will not find any trace of his YouTube account
Why? Because he's critical of SJW culture
If you google a lot of anti-"progressive left" people, you will only find content criticizing them
Is it within Google's legal right to do that? Probably. But I think it goes against the spirit of freedom of speech
Because Google implies through its design to give you relevant information. It never openly says "We will censor anything our company doesn't agree with"
The CEO of cloudflare had a lot to say about this topic when he effectively kicked a far right website off the internet. He was unhappy about the fact that he had the ability to make that call
I think the issue is that these companies are in this very fuzzy area
They are private companies, and so should be able to operate according to their own desires
However they are at risk of becoming, in essence, critical pieces of infrastructure. In that case some public oversight is necessary just like it was for phone companies back in the day, which were heavily regulated
I agree with that. I saw in the news that in the UK, hospitals can reject treating "racist" and "sexist" patients
12:29 PM
Unlike Google, Facebook et al. though, the construction of phone companies and other utilities was a slow process that had a good amount of government direction from early on. Google and the modern "utilities" arrived where they are much more organically, quickly, and without direction
@MechMK1 That is absolutely bonkers
@ConorMancone Agreed. Who makes that call? Who decides what is "racist" or "sexist"?
So these tech companies have, through their own success, put themselves in a very unique position, that probably will have to be "dealt" with in some way, but no one knows how, when, or why
Eventually the government will step in to "fix" things like they always do. I'm sure that will make it better
@ConorMancone Basically. Stonetoss has a good comic on that
@MechMK1 That's especially crazy because hospitals (certainly in the UK, and often here) aren't private companies. In the US you'll often see signs that say, "Management reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any point in time". And in such cases in the US, that always flies
You shouldn't be able to post that same sign in a hospital though...
@ConorMancone In all honesty, even the most vile and horrible people deserve medical service. And if a murderer who got shot by the police deserves medical care, then by god some guy who said the N word deserves it
12:33 PM
I had to google Hatreon (oh, I totally just got the name, I think)
I'm familiar with the dude and his background, but hadn't heard about that particular venture
I only heard about it through the comic as well, but then again I don't really fall into the white supremacist group of people
Although I have been labelled "Nazi" so often in my life, I don't even bother with it anymore
"So you think the interests of natives who spent decades paying taxes into a social system should benefit more from that social system than foreigners, who never paid a single cent into that system? Are you some kind of Nazi or what?"
@MechMK1 You mention guns a lot, so clearly a nazi
@ConorMancone Yeah, clearly. Firearms are by definition a National-Socialist invention. Nobody else had them, nobody else ever will.
Mikhail Kalashnikov was a die-hard Nazi, by the way.
So were Eugene Stoner, John Moses Browning and Jim Sullivan.
I'm actually tempted to photoshop the face of Kalash next to Hitler just for the joke
It took me a minute to figure out who those people were, lol!
Why, high-ranking members of the NSDAP of course!
You know what I will never understand? That freedom of speech is suddenly considered a "right-wing ideology".
Shouldn't every die-hard liberal fight day and night to preserve the right to speak for what one consider right and just?
And furthermore, if they are so convinced that any right-wing government is basically five minutes away from turning into the next Reich, why on earth do they insist so much on overturning the right to freedom of speech!?
12:46 PM
I hate to sound trite but, "Those who don't study history are doomed to repeat it"
I mean, if I was fearing that I was going to be trapped in a fascist government, asking that very same government to please restrict what I am allowed to say looks like...I don't know...really fucking retarded
Taking away basic freedoms - especially speech, assembly, and press - are the very first things an authoritarian government does
So yeah, you'd think those would be the absolute top priorities for everyone, but that's clearly not where we are
@ConorMancone I'd like to phrase it as "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it"
@MechMK1 Oh yeah, that's it. I knew I was just a little bit off...
@ConorMancone No, because standing up for freedom of speech means standing up for people who have some really shitty opinions.
And right at the top of my head, I could think of 100 absolutely disgusting opinions that people could have
And they should be allowed to have them, as much as I disagree with the opinion itself
Like, when someone says "You know when republicans die, it makes me really fucking happy", that's a fucked up thing to say. But they should still be allowed to say it
It doesn't mean I agree with it, or that I share the opinion, or that I will not think that that person is an absolute abomination, but they should still be free to say it
12:50 PM
@MechMK1 That distinction, while important, can apparently be a bit too subtle for many....
@ConorMancone I believe that this is done on purpose
Being pro-free speech means you have to defend the rights of some pretty vile people
So anti-free speech people like to say "Oh, pro-free speech people want to give racists the right to be racist! All pro-free speech people are racist!"
And while it is true that I think even racists should be able to freely speak their racist opinions, it does not mean in any way that I am racist
Rights apply to all people, even those you don't like.
And the idea that, if I dislike somebody's ideology, their rights should be taken away from them, is rotten to the core.
Especially if they step foot into a hospital... limiting health care access based on their opinions is literally the same thing as saying, "Your opinions are so terrible that you deserve to die"
@ConorMancone Yes, but that's not good optics. It sounds much better to say "Doctors are given the right to refuse giving medical care to patients who exhibit extremist views"
It's all about the marketing... step 1: make sure people with unpopular opinions aren't allowed to hire marketing agencies... step 2: replace government with facism.
1:06 PM
reminds me of this poem:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
1:17 PM
@MechMK1 "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" - Evelyn Beatrice Hall
2:05 PM
Damn, this meeting takes forever
In all honesty, I feel like we are really heading towards an extremist authoritarian regime, and I also feel like it's not coming from those people the media labels as "fascists"
6 hours later…
7:40 PM
@MechMK1 My wife and I were just having a conversation about that. I found an article (from a major media outlet) talking about how, in essence, America is just not "tough enough" to take the sort of steps that China took in order to deal with Covid-19. Of course reading the article those steps went as far as forcefully taking young children out of families and quarantining them if they showed even the smallest sign of the disease
But sure, let's totally do that - sounds like a great idea. America's biggest problem is clearly that we're not enough like China.
@ConorMancone Every disaster is a golden opportunity for somebody
8:22 PM
@ConorMancone Yeah, take any of the people who self-identify as "communist" and they'll all tell you about how great communism is
Also, this comic:

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