I don't get it. Free Speech Under Threat At University? (Added Extra)

Fallow

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Sorry for the late reply.

ThatOtherGirl said:
Ok, and what "badstuff" would that be? Please, tell me what I am attempting to institutionalize. That trans people are human?
You are trying to ban the other side of the argument with no-platforming, leading to the exact same situation (though you won't care since it's your view that will be the only one allowed expression). Also, there really is no need for the hyperbole unless you also post your Patreon account.


It is literally impossible. She does not provide arguments, she provides attractive lies.
I really don't know how to interpret 'literally impossible'. Is it different from just 'impossible'? It suggests that 'impossible' is in fact not 'impossible', which would make it contradictory.

You can be right all you want against her, but a lot of people are going to buy into her attractive lies no matter how irrational. You can point out the inconsistencies in her positions, and people will still listen to her. You can provide iron clad evidence to the contrary and these people will still insist that her position is correct.
The people that just want lies because they agree with their opinion already are lost from the very beginning, there was never any debate or argument or fact that could convince them. Only time and the resulting maturity will do that (hopefully).

The ones swayed by argument or debate are not the sycophants. You have to get to them before they become sycophants, which can be done by (as I previously explained) not no-platforming everyone and everything that disagrees with you.

Donald Trump is doing so well because he is by far the most effective orator of the republican party, probably of all the candidates. Donald Trump has been attacked and countered at every possible turn and he comes out on top every time because to a not insignificant amount of people reason matters less than charisma and the tone in which he speaks matters more to than what he says.
You mean, almost like his followers are sycophants after being told they're shit and do not deserve to have their grievances aired? Gee, that sounds familiar by now. Donald Trump is the result of telling a lot of americans that their concerns are irrelevant and should be no-platformed (not the university kind ofcourse, more metaphorical here). If there wasn't so much polarisation then Trump would never have become so popular.

The same is true of Julie Bindel. She has managed to hold onto and even develop political power over years and years of people countering her lies with reason at every turn because her supporters don't care. It is only recently in the last few years that people have finally managed to start making headway against people like her.
I'll just refer to previous arguments (both the 'some are sycophants' and 'don't tell them their concerns are shit and not worth explaining').


Ok, here is the fundamental problem with what you purpose. University administrators are not going to provide you with a fair and balanced schedule. University officials and staff are notorious for abusing their positions to push their political agendas on the student body.
Two things.
1. University administrators are not fair? But student activists are? What? Seriously, what? University administrators are accountable, activists are not. This is a ridiculous argument.
2. University and staff are notorious for their political agendas? Unlike student activists? What?

I would also like to get a source on this "notoriety" for pushing political agendas and abuse as I have never ever ever ever seen that, and I work at a university. I have never heard of it, from either student or faculty sources, and I have never seen it. For notoriety, it's very quiet.


If you take away no platforming you are not ensuring fair discourse.
That is correct, I'm only ensuring that there is discourse.

You are simply consolidating political power from the large and diverse group to the small and like minded group.
There are so many things wrong here.

Diverse? What in the what? Do you have any idea what a university employee composition looks like? It's the most international and diverse group in the world (excluding perhaps the UN)! Not only are these people actually diverse (from many different cultures and backgrounds) instead of that idiotic "diverse means non-white cis-male", but they are also highly competent in their fields. Hell, I just returned from the seminar of an invited speaker (selected by the university staff from the same field), and with 40 attendants we had representatives of around 20 countries, with differing ideologies and political views while the student activists spit and cry on anyone that has a different ideological or political stance. Which group is diverse again?


Second, there is no "large and diverse" group from the student side. There is a small and vocal group of mentally fragile activists that make a lot of noise. Furthermore, since they are all of the same ideological and political view, it seems that they aren't all that "diverse".

Third, ofcourse the power should be consolidated in the university staff. Students are young and incompetent, so why would you give them power? Should the babies in daycare steer the organisation? Should the prisoners determine the rules of the prison? There's a reason the university staff run the university and get paid for doing so.

You eliminate one of the major ways students can influence the selection of speaking candidates. When the university authorities are without oversight who do you think gets deemed "important enough" to speak on political topics? The speakers that agree with them.
The students shouldn't be influencing the selection of speaking candidates, since they aren't competent enough to make such decisions over the expertise of the staff.
The university staff are never without oversight from their colleagues. Why should the students provide this oversight? They have not the competence nor the insight nor the presence to do so, while the university staff does.
Also, why would you think that the university staff all have the same opinion? Unlike the no-platformers, university staff tolerate differing views (in most cases) as it's something required to create a solid education and a good university.

And they could even pretend to be creating a fair minded speaking schedule. Julie Bindel vs Milo Yiannopoulos was never meant to be a fair and rational debate. They were pairing off a woman who has dedicated her life to developing skills as an orator, who has managed to build world wide political influence purely on the back of her ability to deliver convincing rhetoric in the face of constant opposition, against a man that barely managed to save face in an internet slap fight. They were never interested in a rational debate on censorship as it pertains to feminism. Despite my previous comments about university authorities being dumb asses, they are actually pretty smart. They know what they are doing. They know that if you want a rational debate you don't bring Julie Bindel into the room.
And despite how that sucks for Milo (and for those that like him), it's his fight to lose. If the attendants are smart enough they will see that this was a setup from the beginning. There is no "always the perfect way" here, but allowing everyone is much better than allowing the pre-approved opinion only. What if Julie Bindel had been the punching bag and your alltime fav speaker was the ringer? Would it be an OK debate then?

Their goal was to have Milo be a political punching bag for one of the most successful orators in the world. It is one of the oldest tricks in the book, find someone you think is incompetent willing to argue a point you don't like and bring in a heavy hitter to destroy them, reason and logic be damned. That is not my idea of arranging fair political discourse.
No, and that could be combatted with a new debate with fair participants that could both represent mainstream views and discuss moderate ideas. That way students would have learned of Julie Bindel's lies, her demagogue talents, how easy it is to get caught up in attractive lies, the real issues as described by moderates, and how to perhaps diffuse/assuage them (and also something about how glorious Milo's hair looks). Now students have only learned that if you scream long enough you get what you want without thinking.

Hell, it could even be resolved by doing it the other way around (with someone like Julie as the punching bag) as it would show just how different the argument goes when the speaking skills weigh in the opposite direction.

If university authorities could be trusted to create a fair schedule full of rational and reasonable speakers then your idea would have merit. I do not believe for a single second that this is the case.
Not at all, you need only trust that over time it will even out and the attendants will be better people because they get to experience the whole spectrum of ideas and form their own, rigorously ironed, opinions in the end.
 

The Material Sheep

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People are still making the same argument over and over again about having to accommodate ideas they personally don't like in conversations they are personally holding. That is not what anyone is asking for, and is an absolute straw man.

The problem is when a group of citizens get together to put on an event, they should equal access to public venues for holding that event as any other group of citizens regardless of anything save for the stipulated requirements of funding, and conduct at said venue. Race, sex, sexuality, opinion, or politics have no sway over whether those resources should be available to citizens. Its a public venue, owned by a state institution, it has no right to withhold resources based on race, sex, sexuality, opinion or politics. To do so is state sponsored political discrimination and out right censorship.

That doesn't mean if a prominent evolutionary biologist comes in, that in order to be fair a creationist has to be brought in. That doesn't mean if an anti feminist comes to speak at a university, that everyone has to go listen to him or her. It does mean that if a university is allowing student groups to invite speakers to come speak at their campus, that they have to fairly allow all student groups to bring in speakers and not discriminate based on politics. You can still ignore someone speaking in a public place. No one can take that away from you. No one has to listen to your speech but if they are using state funding to allow others a platform, they cannot deny you that platform based on your politics.
 

Arctic Werewolf

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thaluikhain said:
Arctic Werewolf said:
Well there's Slice up there. Then there is Richard Gozin-Yu who I responded to. Im Lang who I also responded to thinks it should be democratically decided who will be permitted. I've seen several people in this thread who think free speech is subject to democratic review, which is simply a failure to understand the concept.
Yeah, I'm still going to wait to see if anyone puts their hands up.
If you can't explain the difference between what these posters support and "these people should not be able to speak because the majority of the people do not want them to speak" then I'm just going to say that there is no difference. The view that you insinuate no one supports is actually supported in this thread. I'm not waiting for hands, I'm just reading what people write. I don't see why you would deny what is right there on the page. Now, if I'm totally wrong, and I'm completely misunderstanding what is posted in this thread, then I encourage you to make that case. You won't because it's inescapably obvious that I'm right.

Richard Gozin-Yu said:
If you have a problem with the democratically elected system in place, do the work it takes to elect a new one. If you can't do that, then tough shit, you have a lot more work ahead to promulgate your viewpoints. There is no shortcut to representation in a a representative democracy.
OK but how are you relating this to free speech? Are you saying that speech should be moderated by a democratic process on campus?

Not what I believe,
What is the difference between what I thought you believed and what you actually believe?
and please try to keep the passive aggressive "misunderstandings" of what I said to a bare minimum.
If I misunderstood then please explain where I went wrong. I don't like being called a liar, especially by people who want to say that I'm not nice enough, or whatever you were trying to say. I'm not a liar, and if you feel moved of your own volition to offer an apology, I would probably accept it.
I understand that it's hard for you to have people consistently walk away from you rather than converse, but this won't change any of that.
I really don't have that problem, apparently. I was nicer to you then you were to others, so this is just complaining about getting a taste of your own medicine.

sheppie said:
You're not saying that either fringe nutjobs must be able to pull whatever they like, whenever they like, or there's no free speech at all. That's a false dilemma fallacy. Freedom of speech is not unlimited, it's never been, isn't and never will be.

It's subject to, as the law around here puts it 'everybody's responsibility towards the law' as well as some common sense restrictions. Freedom of speech is a principle, but it is not absolute and unlimited.
You are right. I did not mean to imply that entering someone's dorm room and screaming at them 24/7 is or should be protected on free speech grounds. However, I stand by my statement that democratic control of speech is not free speech. Being able to voice the unpopular view is what free speech is all about.

Good example: Some republican whiner recently lost a lawsuit against the police here. She thought she was illegally arrested and her freedom of speech had been violated. She's a great example of common sense restrictions on freedom of speech being at work, but not infringing on her freedom in any way.

...She was holding up signs accusing the king of corruption
...Without a demonstration permit
...At a memorial service for WW 2 victims
...On a cemetry
...With a few dozen people present who'd love to put her face in

For those not familiar with Dutch law and why insulting the king is a crime:
Our king is the only person in this country who hasn't got civil rights. He's not allowed to express opinions and not allowed to express any view without prior approval of the prime minister. The king hasn't got freedom of speech. The elected PM is fully responsible for the king.
In return for this, insulting the king is forbidden.

She could've protested 364 days a year, and that one day at any location other than where the king was, other than at a cemetry.
She could even have applied for a permit to organise such a grieving and offensive demonstration at a cemetry during a memorial.
She has extensive freedom of speech.

But when it came to the point of being a dick to others, common sense restrictions began to apply, she was arrested and released the same day.
This would probably be allowed in the United States. But I want to stay focused on college campuses. I did not know anything about free speech in The Netherlands, so that is a very interesting case. There are indeed limits, I concede that. All rights are subject to limitations.
So if I want to discuss how fluvial temperatures in the Netherlands changed in 1900-2000, I HAVE to invite a crazy climate denier from the US, otherwise I hate free speech?

If I want to discuss infection rates with the HPV virus in relation to cervical cancer, I MUST invite an insane anti-vaccer who think people dying for no reason is great, cuz, bible, otherwise I hate free speech?

Naah, it's clear it doesn't work like that. Like I said: not unlimited.
No, no, you don't have to invite anyone. Free speech doesn't really work that way. You are right, it isn't unlimited. What free speech means is that if "Students for Hillary" want to invite Hillary Clinton with their properly allotted funds, you cannot prevent them from doing so, no matter how unpopular that invitation is.
 

Arctic Werewolf

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Richard Gozin-Yu said:
So people can just endlessly invite, and then how do we decide who actually gets to speak in the limited time available?
That's up to the inviter.
You're just setting up a system in which you disrupt it through invitation. Think for a minute before you post, you know?
What, disrupt themselves? Do you think that will happen? Has it ever happened?
You haven't explained how I mis-characterized you argument. Is it fair to say I characterized it with perfect accuracy? If so, will you apologize for calling me a liar?
Don't complain about tone and then tell me to think before I post, please.
I am disappointed at how free speech is not supported and not understood. I wonder if more people would support free speech if they understood what it was. I think the education system has really failed us on this topic.
 

Yan007

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Richard Gozin-Yu said:
So people can just endlessly invite, and then how do we decide who actually gets to speak in the limited time available? You're just setting up a system in which you disrupt it through invitation. Think for a minute before you post, you know?
Not to be an ass, but has there ever been a single case where too many people have been invited to a university campus that made it absolutely impossible to manage? Universities usually don't have the one room, but many rooms, classrooms too. Not every speaker needs an auditorium.

Please understand, the current topic is about the concept of free speech, not how to manage rooms and invitations. Still, I will concede that it is , in theory, physically possible to fill every single rooms with speakers and an endless stream of invitations, but that I'd wait for this problem to show up before getting concerned about it.
 

Fallow

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Richard Gozin-Yu said:
Arctic Werewolf said:
Richard Gozin-Yu said:
So people can just endlessly invite, and then how do we decide who actually gets to speak in the limited time available?
That's up to the inviter.
You're just setting up a system in which you disrupt it through invitation. Think for a minute before you post, you know?
What, disrupt themselves? Do you think that will happen? Has it ever happened?
You haven't explained how I mis-characterized you argument. Is it fair to say I characterized it with perfect accuracy? If so, will you apologize for calling me a liar?
Don't complain about tone and then tell me to think before I post, please.
I am disappointed at how free speech is not supported and not understood. I wonder if more people would support free speech if they understood what it was. I think the education system has really failed us on this topic.
I think your disappointment stems from having a definition of free speech that is really just entitled and unrealistic. Thank god for the the internet and anonymity right? You'd be stuck putting fliers in books at the public library otherwise.
You can both look at an earlier post for the exact definition in this very thread.

Here it is:


https://www.aclu.org/what-censorship

An except right from the top:

Censorship, the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are "offensive," happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others. Censorship can be carried out by the government as well as private pressure groups. Censorship by the government is unconstitutional.
Further, the definition of censorship:

"The system or practice of censoring books, movies, letters, etc" [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censorship]

The system or practice of censoring, as enacted by a censor. So what a 'censor'?

"A person who examines books, movies, letters, etc., and removes things that are considered to be offensive, immoral, harmful to society, etc." [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/censoring]

So the actual definition is the practice of someone(or a large body) examining books, movies, letters and thus the expressions or actions or ideas of a peice of content and removing things - obviously up to, and including, the entirety of the work.

Some more examples just so we can affirm I'm not cherry picking:

http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/censorship
http://www.yourdictionary.com/censorship
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/censorship
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=censorship+definition
And for giggles:
 

Arctic Werewolf

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Richard Gozin-Yu said:
I think your disappointment stems from having a definition of free speech that is really just entitled and unrealistic.
My free speech is ordinary, vanilla. I think it's you who is wrong about what free speech is and how it works in a practical setting. How does free speech work as you understand it on college campuses?
Thank god for the the internet and anonymity right?
Mohammed's hairy asshole be praised (pbuh).
You'd be stuck putting fliers in books at the public library otherwise.
Well who are you exactly, Rachel Maddow? It's you Rachel, admit it.
Richard Gozin-Yu said:
Not to be an ass, but you understand that's why things like scheduling exist, right? To avoid people booking the same venue for more than one "act"? In any case, I was trying to illustrate a general point, which is that any system can be sabotaged by hostile people, and that this would be no different.
How will this sabotage play out? Can you give us a hypothetical situation that demonstrates this problem? The solution to an overbooked venue is to not overbook your venue. I honestly don't get what the problem you're identifying is. Just don't invite too many speakers. Problem solved.

The broader point is that while people online tend to enjoy a reductionist angle, reinventing the wheel and doing it very badly, some people prefer to skip that agonizing step. I was trying to skip ahead to the part when we all realize that the current system is less of a grand leftist conspiracy, and more of a "Best of what works" compromise.
You have to portray the current system accurately, and understand terms. I think you're projecting about "grand leftist conspiracies". I see people talking about free speech and censorship, not really railing against the left per se. Lefties have free speech in their heritage.
Richard Gozin-Yu said:
I'm not confused on the subject, I just recognize that "Censorship" and "Free Speech" are dog whistles in this case.
For? What is the underlying message?
 

Arctic Werewolf

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Richard Gozin-Yu said:
Arctic Werewolf said:
Richard Gozin-Yu said:
I think your disappointment stems from having a definition of free speech that is really just entitled and unrealistic.
My free speech is ordinary, vanilla. I think it's you who is wrong about what free speech is and how it works in a practical setting. How does free speech work as you understand it on college campuses?
The rest of your post is just more of this, "Nuh uh, well even if it is, tell me how.!"

Pass.
So free speech is a dog whistle but you can't tell me what for. You're telling us all about free speech but you can't give us any description whatever of how it works on real world campuses. Free speech is a self-defeating concept because, for reasons unknown, venue operators will overbook their own venues and somehow this destroys free speech. But you can't tell us why or how this will happen and you apparently failed to notice it hasn't happened already for some reason. You also said we were taking a "reductionist angle, reinventing the wheel and doing it very badly". May I assume you're not going to back that up either? And we just have to take your word for everything because you refuse to engage the topic or even defend your own arguments. It's just on us to accept whatever you say without scrutiny.

Seems legit.
 

Silvanus

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Arctic Werewolf said:
For? What is the underlying message?
In this case, there seems to be a belief that people are entitled to a platform, which is above and beyond free speech. So, the terms censorship and free speech are being used to make this into a far more simplistic binary choice.

I wouldn't use the term "dog whistle", but that's the closest description that fits. A "dog-whistle" to get people on side to protect free speech, when it isn't truly under threat.
 

Arctic Werewolf

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Silvanus said:
Arctic Werewolf said:
For? What is the underlying message?
In this case, there seems to be a belief that people are entitled to a platform, which is above and beyond free speech.
It is possible to violate free speech by taking someone's platform. It is also possible that taking someone's platform does not violate free speech. Access to platforms and free speech are related fields but not literally the same thing. Who is taking the platform and why? The fact that it is a platform and it has been taken is not the relevant bit from a free speech perspective.
So, the terms censorship and free speech are being used to make this into a far more simplistic binary choice.
No platform is pretty simple, too. Just shutting up whoever you want without restriction is simple. I'm fine with simple if people aren't agreeing on the fundamentals. If it's creating misunderstandings, that may be a problem, though.

I wouldn't use the term "dog whistle", but that's the closest description that fits. A "dog-whistle" to get people on side to protect free speech, when it isn't truly under threat.
I would have thought of "dog-whistle politics", as in coded language. But I get you. I think the threat is real and we just disagree about whether unlimited power of censorship of speakers and publications constitutes a state of free speech.

EDIT: I'm trying not to be so wordy.
 

Silvanus

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Arctic Werewolf said:
It is possible to violate free speech by taking someone's platform. It is also possible that taking someone's platform does not violate free speech. Access to platforms and free speech are related fields but not literally the same thing. Who is taking the platform and why? The fact that it is a platform and it has been taken is not the relevant bit from a free speech perspective.
What is?

Arctic Werewolf said:
No platform is pretty simple, too. Just shutting up whoever you want without restriction is simple. I'm fine with simple if people aren't agreeing on the fundamentals. If it's creating misunderstandings, that may be a problem, though.
I think there's general understanding between the two sides of this debate, and that the terms 'censorship' and 'free speech' are just being used to make one of them look bad.

Not quite so insidious, but still worth an eye-roll.
 

Arctic Werewolf

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Silvanus said:
Who took the platform and why. If The Committee to Pick a Commencement Speaker dis-invites someone under pressure from activists, I think I would have to admit no one's free speech is being violated. Even if I have a lot of strong words to say about it and oppose it on other grounds, like not wanting universities to become dogma factories. But suppose a student organization goes through the proper channels and invites a speaker with their properly allotted resources, or a properly established publication prints an unpopular argument. Then it would be censorship for a party acting on behalf of the university to take the platform away (barring usual exceptions, incitement etc.)

I think there's general understanding between the two sides of this debate, and that the terms 'censorship' and 'free speech' are just being used to make one of them look bad.

Not quite so insidious, but still worth an eye-roll.
Well the terms may be being used for that purpose, but they are being used accurately, no? I have people telling me either the university or a democratic body on campus should be at will to bar any speaker or publication whenever they want, either directly or indirectly through denial of funding (properly obtained meeting the usual qualifications etc.). I think we can call that censorship, don't you? The former, surely? If not then I don't think we have an understanding. Unless there is a third way and I am not seeing it.
Richard Gozin-Yu said:
So free speech is a dog whistle but you can't tell me what for. ...

Seems legit.
Not what I said, and you're not going to drag me into the mud by acting like it is.
Well you did say the part you quoted about dog whistles.
Richard Gozin-Yu said:
I'm not confused on the subject, I just recognize that "Censorship" and "Free Speech" are dog whistles in this case.
As to the rest of it, I wasn't quoting you, I was describing your style of conversation.

Imagine I told you the moon was made of cheese.
Me: The moon is made of cheese.
You: What? Why do you think that? I thought like... rocks?!
Me: Your post is just more of this, "Nuh uh, well even if it is, tell me how.!" Therefore, I win.

That's where we are right now. People can read the posts in chronological order and see who drug who into the mud. Not that I really care. Again, you reply but you don't engage. And the last time you accused me of lying it turned out you were bluffing.
 

RikuoAmero

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So I'm popping in here at the tail end of the conversation.
I just want to point out that I'm not so much concerned with the inviting of speakers to university campuses. That's a separate problem from when a speaker is invited, they're arranged to give a talk...and protesters physically try to prevent the speaker from speaking. Methods used include preventing those interested from entering the auditorium, to entering the talk and making lots of loud noise so as to drown out the invited speaker's speech.
Here's a few examples of what I'm talking about
Unfortunately, I can't find the videos so take it with a grain of salt if one wills, but I have seen videos of protestors preventing people from entering the room to listen to a talk. It's not that they just stand outside and protest the presence of the speaker...that's one thing. But they actively prevented others from hearing what the invited speaker had to say.