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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

TsuruchiBrian Re:So? (342 comments)

For the same reason it is useful to point out that Christian charity workers are better than Muslim suicide bombers.

yesterday
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NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

TsuruchiBrian Re:Dear Liza! (342 comments)

Sadly most Americans are not proficient in differential equations.

yesterday
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An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man

TsuruchiBrian Threading (288 comments)

Given that you are trying to upgrade the problem from a single threaded sequential algorithm to a multi-threaded algorithm, I feel there should be a semaphore in there somewhere.

yesterday
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

If something can be objectively measured it becomes black and white. As I said, libel/slander is not black and white which is why we rely on judges, juries and precedents.

Once again I think you are missing what it is I am actually asking.

I am not asking for an objective metric for how to determine whether something constitutes libel/slander. I am asking you how you decide whether something *should be* illegal. It is not the job of a judge nor a jury to decide what *should* be illegal. Obviously you have decided that slander and libel *should be* illegal. What I am asking is, how you arrived at that conclusion. You've said it is because it causes harm, and I gave an example of other things that cause harm, and you've said that's "significantly different". So how do you decide?

No I would not make that assumption.

Well you seemed to be making the argument that the existence of a libel/slander laws implies the need for them.

The fact that there is significant harm caused by an action is a good argument that a law should exist.

There are some occasions where slander and libel do not cause significant harm. Should those specific instances still be illegal? There are instances when people are significantly harmed by being dumped. Should those specific instances of being dumped be illegal? Or should we just treat all dumping as a black and white thing (i.e. never illegal to dump someone no matter how much harm there is)?

They are black and white as libel is published and slander is spoken

I was not asking for the difference between libel and slander. I was asking for the difference between treating libel/slander in a black and white fashion vs. free speech in a black and white fashion.

For example, in the case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell [wikipedia.org] it was found that the lies were so outlandish that a reasonable person would not believe them. Libel/slander is a very grey area.

Well I said I would not protect throwing burning flags at people under freedom of speech, so there is grey area for what I advocate as well.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

Almost every law can be easily abused.

This is an oversimplification. One of the reasons freedom of speech is important is because it makes breaking other laws much more difficult. It makes abuse of power more obvious when people are being imprisoned for "lying" when lying is not even illegal.

If the lair has enough money and can plaster the lies in enough places the lie will drown out the truth.

If a plaintiff has enough money to hire better lawyers and convince enough jurors, he can get anyone convicted for libel and slander.

Did you think that verdict was unfair? Maybe you're a liar too. You'd better keep your mouth shut if you know whats good for you.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

1. Measure: The statement is a lie. Rationale; Lies about a person are the killer of truth and knowledge and should be quashed everywhere. 2. Measure: The intent was to harm the target. Rationale; Intentionally harming someone else should be discourages. Please take both together.

Thanks for that, but it is actually not what I asked at all. I was asking for a metric of how you would determine whether something (i.e. like lying, hurting people's feelings, etc) could be objectively measured for whether they reach the level of requiring legal rectification. You seem very selective of which kinds of harm are worthy of this and which are not and I was hoping to find out if you had a rationale for deciding.

There might be but there has not been enough incidents in the past where it has caused a significant enough problem to make laws against it. On the other hand libel/slander has cause quite a lot of damage and therefore laws were written.

Someone decided to make voter ID laws. Using your logic one might assume voter fraud was a big enough problem that laws were required to fix them. This assumption would be false. It turns out laws are made for a variety of reasons, some are well intentioned, some are not. Many, even well intentioned ones, actually turn out to have negative consequences.

The fact that a law exists is not a good argument that it *should* or *shouldn't* exist.

Where I see you black and white issue is that you see free speech as absolute or nothing. Sorry but that is not the case.

You seem to think libel and slander are black and white, whats the difference? Let me guess, it's a "significant difference".

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

Considering that most countries have a law against libel/slander that is an opinion not widely held at all.

Existence is not evidence of necessity. Most countries have flags. That doesn't mean flags are essential for a functioning society.

I think the idea that anyone can say anything they want anywhere they want regardless of the truth, harm or motivation behind the speech is an extreme idea. Yet another point we disagree on.

I guess it was extreme in the 18th century.

What harm is caused by restricting the spread of lies?

I think restricting the spread of lies would be a good thing if we could do it without any negative unintended consequences. But I am not opposed to restricting the spread of lies. What I am opposed to is laws that restrict freedom of speech, because I know these sorts of laws have unintended negative consequences.

Look at the journalists in imprisoned in Egypt for "spreading lies". These sorts of laws are easily abused. And if you compare all the harm caused by libel and slander, and all the harm caused by abuse of laws restricting the spread of lies, I don;t think there would be any contest.

The real question is "what is the remedy for lies?". Your answer seems to be litigation and punishment. My answer is that the remedy is the truth. If somebody is spreading lies, then the remedy is shining light on the lies and calling people out for the liars they are.

It's too easy to conceal the truth really is when people can be turned into criminals for "lying".

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

It is similar but not similar enough to be treated in the same way.

I didn't say "different" I said "significantly different". Dropping qualifiers does not help your cause.

So the goal is not to simply claim 2 things are "not similar enough", or "different" or "significantly different". You are supposed to present a way to objectively measure whether something is "similar enough" or "significantly different", and a rationale for that using that metric.

Because the harm on those two situations is significantly different. Just like being accidentally pushed is treated differently than being deliberately punched in the face.

Now you are making 2 specific distinctions of level of intent (intentional vs. accidental) and severity of consequences (i.e. being pushed vs. being punched in the face).

The former is considered an accident and legal while the latter could be battery and illegal. Both time the person was physically contacted but he harm is significantly different and therefore the law is significantly different.

So in the case of slander and libel, usually no one is physically hurt. They are hurt in a non-physical ways.

What if the hurt caused during a break up was severe and intentional. Let's say someone intentionally waited until their partner's parent died to break up with them in a very cruel way, and this emotional damage was far greater than someone slandering them.

Again, the world is not black and white.

I never claimed the world is black and white. But you seem to want to treat all cases of hurt feelings during a breakup as not worthy of rectification. If the world is not black and white, shouldn't some cases be considered?

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

Yes, up to the point that they incite violence, hate and/or discrimination based on protected attributes such as race, religion, sexual preference, etc.

So if some KKK person writes a book saying "We should start a race war", you think this book should be banned and/or the person who wrote it should be punished for a crime?

What about people who try to incite violence, hate, and/or discrimination based on non-protected attributes like height and socio-economic status?

Yes as it does not cause significant harm to others.

What if someone was very very very hurt emotionally by seeing the flag of the country they love burning? Is it that flag burning *does* not cause significant harm or that it *shouldn't* cause significant harm to a reasonable person?

freedom of speech that does not cause significant harm to others

So lets say you uncover that a "family values" politician has an extra-marital affair. Exposing that affair (i.e. using speech) would certainly cause this politician significant harm. We will likely lose his job.

I suspect that causing significant harm is not exactly what you are going for, and what is missing from this equation is the idea of causing unjust harm. Exposing a hypocritical politician certainly causes harm, but the harm caused is just.

Also you cannot necessarily predict nor control how much harm speech will cause to every person that may hear it. A person burning a flag has no control over whether this merely irritates some republicans, or causes a 95 year old war WW2 veteran to cry himself to sleep for the next week.

You don't and seeing you presenting only two option is getting tiresome. To you "completely free speech" is the only definition for "free speech".

Why does it matter to you what it is called? So let's say we call what we have "partial freedom of speech" or "limited freedom of speech". Even if you convinced me that unfettered freedom of speech was a bad thing, I don't think we should call what we have freedom of speech, given that there really is some speech that is not free.

I disagree.

clearly

Again you are hung up on a principle rather than reality.

The reality is that we could get rid of slander and libel laws, and this would not be catastrophic at all. They are not essential to a functioning society. My argument is that they do more harm than good. Maybe I'm wrong, but this is not a revolutionary or extreme idea.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

There is no significant similarity between breaking up and libel/slander.

The similarity is that it is harmful to people.

Since there is nothing significantly similar using breaking up as an argument in a free speech discussion is not valid.

In the sense that some speech is harmful to people and currently the court system is used to rectify those situations, it is conceivable that a court system could be used to also rectify instances where people were harmed in other situations (like relationships).

You simply saying "they're different" is not enough. You need to explain what the rationale is for rectifying some harm and not others.

Why is the harm caused by slander and libel worth allowing litigation, and not the harm created by a hurtful breakup?

3 days ago
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Favorite clickbait hook?

TsuruchiBrian Re:Click Here (190 comments)

I CAN'T because my arrow doesn't turn into a hand when I go over it!!!

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why is the school involved? (319 comments)

I agree that we do in fact have cyber bullying laws. That is a descriptive claim that I agree is true. Whether we *should* have cyber bullying laws is a normative claim.

BTW, when you talk about Jon Stewart, his audience is adults. Far less vulnerable than a 13-year-old. If there were no qualitative difference, we'd be giving 13-year-olds the vote.

When speech is public you don't have any control over who decides to listen. It is a bit impractical to hold people responsible for who listens to their speech and/or determine who ones intended audience is, because this involves assessing intentions (mental states), which for now, are only accessible to the person who has them.

The problem with making laws that are open to interpretation, is that the more you do it, the more likely these laws are to be abused. We have a long history of trying and often failing to ensure that people have equality under the law (now codified in the 14th amendment).

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

So when I say not having true freedom of speech is much worse, that is a value judgement that I am making about the value of freedom in general and the freedom of speech specifically.

So for me to be able to apply my reasoning to you, I would have to have some idea of whether we share any of the same values for freedom. Maybe we do, maybe we don't.

If for example, you did not value freedom (I'm not saying you don't), then my reasoning would not apply to you at all, because you do not share the same values.

So to help me cut right to the chase, if you do value freedom of speech, what is the benefit that you see in it? For example, do you see a benefit in allowing the KKK to have freedom of speech? Do you see a benefit to allowing flag burning? Do you you think the only benefit to freedom of speech is in a political context?, etc.

The only one I can seem to see is that the principle of free speech is more important than the real harm done by people who spread lies about other people.

So given that you have said this, do you think that the KKK should be stripped of their freedom of speech given that their speech is hateful and harms others? Should whether speech harms others be the benchmark of whether it is permissible? (i.e. should we have the "freedom of harmless speech" instead?)

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

You have already contradicted yourself by saying that throwing a burning flag at someone is speech that should not be protected. Your "always" does not fly even with you.

Actually I said the opposite of that

I said throwing a burning flag at someone crosses the line of being *just* speech.

In the case of libel/slander a person's right not to be publicly maligned overrides the lair's right to freedom of speech.

I agree that slander and libel laws *do* in fact do that. I am arguing that they *shouldn't* do that.

Sorry, you are correct it is not a straw man but a false equivelance [wikipedia.org] as there is no equivalence between libel/slander and dumping someone.

I am not equating them. They are definitely not equal. It was an analogy. If I say "running a corporation is like running a lemonade stand", it's just an analogy, it is not equating those 2 things in every respect. It only draws a similarity in one respect.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

Yet you think throwing a burning flag at someone should not be allowed under freedom of speech.

I am saying that throwing a burning flag at someone is not *just* speech. It is also assaulting someone.

If you slander or libel someone, it is *just* speech. If you slander someone while firing a gun at them, it is more than just speech.

By you own admission there are more than 2 categories of free speech.

Yes there are 2 categories of policies on freedom of speech. IF you are assaulting someone as part of your freedom of expression, it has just crossed a line of being limited to speech. Now it is speech *and* assault.

You have stated your opinion quite clearly but you have not stated why. Calling it "much worse" is not a reason; it is another opinion.

It is a reason (albeit an unsubstantiated one according to you) *and* an opinion. Preventing something because not preventing it will be "much worse" is a reason. Making a value judgement that something is indeed "much worse" is an opinion that is contingent upon ones values. For someone who does not value freedom, losing it would not be worse at all.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

Libel/slander laws are the means to rectify the situation. Having a court rule that a defendant lied is very powerful in clearing a plaintiff's name.

descriptive vs. normative

That would be nice but that is not what laws are meant for. There will always be people who do not follow acceptable behaviour and there needs to be legal consequences.

What I am saying is that *speech* should always be legal (i.e. it should be acceptable according to the law). Whether it should be acceptable in a social sense is another issue.

We disagree as hurt feelings when people are dumped are very different than libel/slander. It is similar to the difference between someone shoving someone causing no physical harm and murder.

The reason you are free to dump people is because we believe in the right to free association. If someone doesn't want to be your girlfriend anymore that is her right. It doesn't matter from a legal sense that your feelings were hurt because the right of free association is a higher priority.

It's not an issue of severity. Some people are so hurt by being dumped that they may commit suicide. This is a very severe outcome. Even in severe outcomes like suicide, dumping someone is not a crime. The issue is that protecting rights should be a higher priority than mitigating harm. Preserving the right to freedom of association should be a higher priority than mitigating the harm of dumping someone even if they are so hurt that they commit suicide.

It does not illustrate your point as it is completely different than the situation we are talking about and therefore a straw man

A straw man is a misrepresentation of an opponents argument. At no point did I make a claim of what your argument is. I think you really need to learn more about logical fallacies if you are going to invoke them so frivolously.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why is the school involved? (319 comments)

While I sympathize with your sentiment, wouldn't that mean that free speech societies exist nowhere on earth? I would imagine every jurisdiction at least has a "fire in a crowded theater" clause. In which case, arguing one toe over the line disqualifies it as free speech means that free speech itself doesn't exist as a concept.

Here is the difference with yelling fire in a crowded movie theater. While yelling involves speech, it is also more than just speech. I have *said* fire in a crowded movie theater plenty of times. Penn and Teller actually *yell* "FIRE FIRE FIRE" in a crowded movie theater as part of their vegas act. The context matters in terms of actually presenting a credible claim that people's lives are in danger.

I think it is reasonable to criminalize endangering people's lives. I can't start shooting randomly into a crowd while reciting the Gettysburg address and expect the first amendment to protect me. In the same way that firing into a crowd while reciting a speech is not *just* speech, I think it can be argued that yelling fire in a crowded movie theater in a way that endangers people can be punishable.

That said, I think libel and slander clearly qualify as *just* speech in the sense that lying in general is speech. People who are victims of slander and libel are not in immediate danger. They have 1st amendment protections to combat libel and slander with speech of their own, or they can decide to slander or libel their accusers back.

It's the same problem as "no true communism has ever existed." Maybe technically true, but just makes conversation more difficult.

I think in many cases the claim "no true communism ever existed" helps conversations, and in many cases it hurts.

But I think the spirit of "communism" or "democracy" or "freedom of speech" is what is important. My argument is that "freedom of speech" means you cannot never be turned into a criminal for merely something you "said". But this does not for example include military selling secrets to Russia because in addition to "saying something" you may have also violated a sworn oath to not violate secrets you were entrusted with by the government (assuming you had legal access to those secrets).

I don;t think a good case exists for making an exception for slander and libel without making an exception for lying in general, and I don;t think we want to go down that road. I think it is good to have lying as protected speech for various reasons I won't go into if no one wants to hear it.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

No I have never been a victim of libel. I suspect if I was, I would probably be more biased on the subject.

Should we let the families of victims of murder get a free pass to revenge kill whoever they suspect was responsible (i.e. outside the justice system) ?

Do you say no? Clearly you have never had a family member murdered. If you did, you would understand. You would also be biased to the point of not caring about the damage to society caused by allowing this degradation of the justice system.

without libel laws the damage done to people and businesses would explode, as it is if you are a person with not much to lose you can get away with doing a lot of damage for very little consequences.

It sounds like you are also arguing that even with libel laws a person can get away with doing a lot of damage for very little consequences.

What I am arguing is that libel laws inherently legitimize the claims the libelous people. We are more likely to believe the random claims of people when there is an expectation that libel is being stopped. The worst scenario is when people think it is being prevented and in reality it isn't. What I am saying is that if people have the proper expectations (that there is lots of lies out there), then people will not use unsubstantiated claims to stop using a business.

As an example. If lots of businesses on yelp have 5 stars, you can reasonably use the "I only use 5 star businesses". If we changed yelp so that a single negative review meant you got 0 stars, you would not be able to use this criteria anymore, because every business would have 0 stars.

I'm not advocating that we try to give every business 0 stars. But what I think *would* be a good thing is if peoples' expectations were adjusted such that unsubstantiated libelous claims were simply ignored rather than litigated.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

What about losing a job or an election?

If maintaining a particular job or winning an election were a right, I would say this is a pretty good reason to try to rectify a situation that lead to someone losing that right.

What about creating a target for ridicule by other children at school?

I think part of the job of raising children to be adults is to make them mature enough not to ridicule others simply based on a suggestion.

Some harm does not merit compensation. Some does.

I agree

The difference is determined by legal precident and the courts.

This seems to be an argument that "This is the right way to do things because it is the way it is currently done". I am arguing what we *should* be doing which is independent of precedent.

We have also decided collectivly through Common Law precidents, that we are not better off with anarchy on the areas of libel and slander.

Yes we have. My claim is a normative one. I am saying we *should* treat slander and libel the same as we treat hurt feelings when people are dumped (i.e. with anarchy).

By the way your "create a society where every time you dumped someone" argument is a straw man [wikipedia.org] as I never said all harm needs to be compensated.

It is not a straw man. It is just an example I was suing to illustrate my point. I was not suggesting that your argument is reduced to the "dumping example".

I think you need to chillax on the logical fallacy accusations a little bit.

3 days ago
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Court Rules Parents May Be Liable For What Their Kids Post On Facebook

TsuruchiBrian Re:Why not? When you have kids.. (319 comments)

Whether your third option falls into the category of "so much worse" is the crux of what we are debating.

So no it is not a false dilemma. Your 3rd option was acknowledged, and my argument is that it actually belongs in one of the other 2 categories I presented.

My argument is essentially that freedom of speech should not be considered freedom of speech if it has exceptions for slander and libel which are clearly speech.

This is not a false dilemma regardless of whether I am right or wrong.

3 days ago

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