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New Yorker Whiffs on Free Speech
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  • Blackbeard

    It’s touching but naive that you still take these arguments from the Left as though they were actually made in good faith. The point here is to silence their political opposition, 1st Amendment be damned. And they are only one Supreme Court justice away from winning.

    • Andrew Allison

      “Cobb’s words are eloquent, but his argument is nonsensical.” suggests that TAI sees what’s going on. We are, I fear, faced with an existential threat to the principles upon which this great country was founded, something which I think, even if it hasn’t got around to stating it unequivocally, TAI recognizes.

    • gabrielsyme

      Liberalism, as it exists in the United States, has evolved into an authoritarian ideology. To a certain extent, just as it was the case with Communism, it proposes a zero-sum game for civil liberties: your liberties or theirs. When they are granted access to political power, they create a quandary – you can allow them such participation and lose your freedoms, or you can curtail their political freedom and preserve the freedoms of the rest of society. Perhaps we are not yet at that decision point, but it is rapidly approaching – the question is whether, once we arrive at it, will there still be the choice?

      • JR

        Which is why the Left is obsessed with collecting guns.They know that at some point armed population will simply stop tolerating their nonsense.

  • jeburke

    Stop assuming they mean what they say. These are fascistic leftist radicals who would happily ban TAI from the internet.

  • Anthony

    TAI inclines… “Our minds are funny, feeble things full of cognitive biases that have been shaped by experiences, events, and memories. Over time these beliefs cause our brains to draw incorrect or false conclusions that ultimately affect the way we think, what we believe, and the decisions we make.” Post above reflects both the predilection and presentation no less self-interested than the one critiqued (the more so, the more absolute the position).

    • Andrew Allison

      “This sentiment—that parts of society that progressives consider to be non-privileged should not face criticism or ridicule from groups progressives consider to be privileged—is widely held on some quarters of the left, and it has emerged again in the wake of the free speech controversies at Yale and the University of Missouri.” is indisputable. As is “The “First Amendment fundamentalists” he derides earlier in the piece would readily acknowledge that criminal harassment, threats, and intimidation do not constitute protected expression. But the attacks on free speech that have generated so much national media attention have nothing to do with this kind of conduct.” Your attempt to impute self-interest is intellectually dishonest.

      • Fred

        I don’t think it’s intellectual dishonesty as much as intellectual self-delusion. Anthony actually believes he is above all bias but that the only reason anyone would disagree with him is some sort of self-interested bias. Bullshit? Yes. Insincere? Sadly, no. I would also add intellectual laziness. Dismissing opposing points of view as “bias” or his other favorite straw man “pathologies” prevents him from having to make an argument and support it with anything more complex than ad hominems.

      • Anthony

        When you position yourself ideologically all you see is ideology. The self-interest is obvious but I write not to defend any particular media presentation.

        • Jim__L

          Typically, conservatives can accurately describe progressive ideology. The same cannot be said the other way around.

          This is what causes progressives not to be able to see beyond their ideology. That is not a universal problem.

          • Anthony

            Among the characteristics of language that contribute to its power as an instrument of communication is its representational quality, its use of words to stand for something beyond themselves (progressives/conservatives – the conscious product of human thought not natural “signs”). The world has more than 7,000, 000, 000 humans.

          • qet

            Anthony, since you are so freely meting out criticism of others, perhaps you will be so kind as to tell us what beliefs/ideas you yourself, in fact, hold, if you hold any at all. I, for one, have never been able to detect any. Your posts here are uniformly non-committal and critical of anyone who does commit to a position. Your replies tend to be of the “well, some people see it differently.” Or, “remember that you could be motivated by bias or self-interest.” In other words, platitudes. Do you refuse, on principle, to make any judgments? It seems that you have almost an allergic reaction to anyone who has conviction on a point. What are your convictions, aside from the conviction that convictions are suspect because others have different convictions?

          • Anthony

            You and I have tread this road before. Look elsewhere as criticism reflects its kind – presumption may say more about the accuser than…. We’re done (my 1st reply to you concerned Congressman Charles Rangel) here. Thanks.

          • qet

            Incoherent and timorous, just as I expected.

          • Anthony

            Got it! Just remember you replied to something that was none of your business – so when all else fails label (deride).

          • Jim__L

            It’s always a bit strange to me that people call upon the right to privacy (“none of your business”) over a public act, for example an internet comment.

            It seems like it is not the *right* to privacy lacking here, but the *capacity*.

          • Anthony

            Nothing strange as you are unaware of both context and history given your absence. But find somewhere else to pettifog.

          • Boritz

            Language has a linguistic character that is part of its nature.

          • Anthony

            As you know, lately we are in agreement!

          • Fred

            Hopeless as it probably is Anthony, in the spirit of charity I’ll try to help you out here. When my comments to or about you get upvoted or others chime in, it is not because we are “biased” or “pathological” or “ganging up” on you. It’s not even because we disagree with you. It is because your comments nearly always take one of four forms: 1) brief quotes from, then links to, sources of wildly varying quality, reliability, and relevance 2) paraphrases of the OP in obscurantist “Anthony-ese” 3) contrarian praise for anyone who disagrees with the majority here however stupid, crazy or trollish he or she happens to be or 4) Olympian condescension, ad hominem accusations of “bias,” and ridiculous allusions to cognitive science or evolution when someone says something you disagree with or disagrees with something you say. Now you can allude to that nut Dan Greene or whatever nonsense you spouted on October whatever all you like. Until you have original thoughts and express them clearly, learn to refute an argument rather than dismiss it, learn to recognize a troll, and get an inkling of what an ad hominem is, you’re not going to get a whole lot of respect here. Hope that helps.

          • Anthony

            Five (5) years and counting! Obviously last response (Oct. 23, 2014 and Oct 23, 2015) can’t penetrate obstinacy. Here’s suggestion: focus on what’s presently going on in Paris France and get out of your personal obsession. We have “nothing” to discuss. I see your name and go straight to see….. Stop wasting words. I don’t read anything you write.

          • Jim__L

            Are you generalizing that engaging with people who view the world differently is a waste of time? It seems like you could use some challenging by other ideas — in particular, the sweeping generalizations you like to post could usefully be challenged in terms of applicability to any given case. Simply because you can see some commonalities between, say, the fact that this article has a point of view just as the article it criticizes does, does not preclude useful distinctions between the two.

            In fact, this article is extremely useful in clearly specifying what the differences are, and why they are important. It would be useful for you to follow this example.

          • Anthony

            This is your third (3) attempt but there’s no there “there” and being away one year makes no difference. Find another public respondent (though I’m sure mistaken hubris will win out).

          • Jim__L

            Another note — please forgive me if I continue to respond to your public posts; puzzling out their near-Kantian turgid obfuscation can be highly amusing, if not particularly useful.

          • Anthony

            No need to excuse but turgid ought to be self imposed (self revelation is beginning); but do us both a favor and go public elsewhere.

          • Jim__L

            You’ve piqued my curiosity.

            What is your own end, for posting? (It bears repeating, if clear communication of your point of view is one goal, it is not being met.)

            Are your posts in response to TAI staff articles in some sense invalid because those authors are not inclined to engage with you directly? By your own reasoning, wouldn’t it be better if you found somewhere else to post, where those authors engaged with you regularly?

            I can see from your posts that you at least have a very good memory, and you seem to be making some kind of attempt to step back from the world as you see it (and the posts as you see them) and come up with explanatory generalities. That isn’t bad thing for, say, a precocious 16-year-old, but in an adult it typically worries me — reality is far more turbulent than that, and a certain amount if digging into nuance is necessary to come to good decisions. I assume that an attempt to arrive at those good decisions is part of what motivates TAI to share its thoughts with the world. (I doubt they’re getting rich.) Same with commenters here, with varying degrees of success (and politeness).

            Which generalities and which nuances are emphasized in any given case can explain a great deal of disagreement between intelligent people. This is a good reason to continue to engage, to argue for revisions in priorities that can lead to better decisions.

  • Mike_Hohmann
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