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> some minimum level of education

What a bunch of horse crap. Being told what to think, what to buy, who to vote for, how to feel.

If you claim to believe in a liberal democracy but want "education" or limited-speech then you don't have must faith in the system.

Democracy has been broken since the rise of technology and mass media. If you control the narrative, you control the people, and the power. The outrage over a shooting and some mean speech is ridiculous compared to the big corporation killing people with opiates or junk food. People have gone soft. It why Aristotle thought democracy was a bad system of government.

I don't agree with most hate speech you would see on these forums, but I enjoy seeing it because its an indicator that we haven't become completely neutered by large corporation yet, which is happening.




I respectfully and vehemently disagree. Hate speech has been proven to be able to convince people by virtue of appealing to their emotions rather than their intellect. It does not make sense to have a society based around human rights, with a point of view where stealing, murdering or otherwise deceiving people is wrong, while at the same time allowing speech which can subvert that same democracy. It's simply not smart. Just like your body has antibodies to prevent outside threats from outright destroying you from the inside (or outside), democracy too requires its defenses in order for it to work. The advent of fake news and social media manipulation should be enough to realize this: the US has a president that questions that validity of its own institutions right now, so does Brazil. Two democracies which have proven deceiving or hateful speech can mean trouble even for citizens who do not have anything to do with such rhetoric. Simply no, full-on free speech does not work and never will. The (anecdotal) fact Europe has some restraints on free speech while sporting arguably more freedoms, as in, freedom to live your life with a lot less chance of some random person killing you because they hide behind some crazy above-anything notion of freedom, should be enough to illustrate what I mean. Speech needs restraint or we need to stop pretending we care about human rights, simple as that.


>Hate speech has been proven to be able to convince people by virtue of appealing to their emotions rather than their intellect.

Replace hate speech with advertising and it reads the same.


Yes, but where's the connection between advertisement and a school shooting for example?


I would imagine some of the dissatisfaction with life that some of the school shooters feel is at least, in part, fueled by constantly being bombarded by advertisement that is trying to make a sale by convincing them that their life is terrible as it is without whatever they're selling.


I agree with you: the real issue we're talking about is putting a restraint on capitalism, because it is the notion that "development" means profit that's causing these issues. Those same advertisements make poor people in my country join the narcos, because while the government doesn't care about inequalities and unemployment, since it does not have social welfare as goal, those people are easily lured to work in drug trafficking, which pays.

Notice the ones defending crazy "free" speech are the same who defend crazy capitalism? Yeah, that's the issue: by defending what I call "responsible speech", which is free but not ultimate, we are defending social welfare and human rights AGAINST the former, because the former has no interest in defending the latter. We see it even here in Hacker News, when a corporation does something unethical or morally wrong, there will be someone to say "but hey, the corps are right they exist just give shareholder profit and that's what they're doing". It's a serious debate about sustainable development, which has the very survival of our species at stake.


So here in Europe we have stricter hate speech laws as well as stricter gun laws. Which one do you think is contributing more to the lack of school shootings?


What I think? I don't know, a lot of things goes against your intuition. I would think the combination of the two does a lot either way.


> What a bunch of horse crap. Being told what to think, what to buy, who to vote for, how to feel.

While much education in the US may have been reduced to this, your quote does not represent a proper education in theory or practice. A proper education teaches you how to think rather than what to think. Note that critical thinking is typically a key component in such education programs.

And yes, I think critical thinking, general literacy, and media literacy are critical for a healthy functioning democracy. The fact that many/most denizens of the US do not have access to this type of education is an incredible weak link in our democracy.


> A proper education teaches you how to think rather than what to think

No true education...


    What a bunch of horse crap. Being told what to think, 
    what to buy, who to vote for, how to feel.
We don't do anything else this way.

When an airplane has a problem in midair, we don't let the passengers each have one equal vote on what ought to be done, regardless of how much they know about flying.

A doctor doesn't crowdsource ideas in the middle of surgery. She certainly could, and it might work, but only if the crowd consisted of qualified doctors.

I'm not advocating to anything other than "one person, one vote" democracy, but surely the success of such a government depends almost exclusively on the quality of minds found in the electorate -- and I'm sorry, but "quality of mind" correlates pretty strongly with education.

You may fancy yourself some sort of exceptional autodidact who needs no education. Perhaps you are right! This is not the case for the vast majority of humans. The vast majority of humans are (by definition) not of exceptional intelligence and drive.


This is why the US is a constitutional republic designed with a lower house that was elected by and represented the interests of the people of the several states and a senate that was appointed by the legislatures of the several states and represented their interests.

The drafters of the constitution did not want the citizens of the country to have up and down votes about specific policy. Add to that the limited spread of information due to lacking infrastructure (and, well, a man on a horse on a several day's ride being the fastest way to carry news), and the populace would be too ill informed to be able to make a decision based on current facts. This is also why the US does not elect presidents based on popular vote and uses electors are representatives for the local voters.


> Democracy has been broken since the rise of technology and mass media.

I'm sorry, when was everyone equally franchised? Between Jim Crow, Women's Sufferage, and Civil Rights you've got what? The mid 60s to mid 80s as the heyday of American Democracy? Having Nixon smack in the middle of that doesn't really help the arguement.

If we define democracy as universal suffrage and equal vote weight, democracy has been more of an aspiration and less of a reality since the beginning of time. If you don't define democracy that way, then we're talking past eachother.


If deomcracy been broken since the rise of technology and mass media, then I assume we're talking about Hearst and his stoking of propaganda during the Spanish-US war of 1898?

Or perhaps you're referring to British propaganda during the Boer War?

Thinking that the advent of Facebook has radically changed the use of media for propaganda purposes is misguided. It may allow for more direct propaganda and greater ability to select and target a particular audience, but it is no different to the psyops and propaganda techniques that have been prevalent during the entire 20th century.


You don't need a radical change. A lot of small, incremental changes can throw a system out of balance. Take fishing as example. Mankind is doing it since pretty much forever and made many small improvements on the way. Now in hindsight we might have the necessary knowledge, models and simulations to determine what precisely what made us exceed replenishment rates. But that doesn't really matter in retrospect and now we have regulation trying to prevent overfishing.

So yeah, if you are trying to argue nothing changed in our media usage and systems interact just like they did 50 years ago, then that is most certainly a loosing battle.


If 1898 Democracy is functioning Democracy to you, we're taking past each other.


> Democracy has been broken since the rise of technology and mass media.

That seems to me like it might be the whole problem right there: Is there any reason to expect human institutions to survive the digital age?

I see "fake news", the problem of message authentication (not even encryption— keeping secrets —just authentication), and "deep fakes" as aspects of the same issue. Epistemology, "How do you know?"

We may have to extract the core values and value of Democracy and create some sort of new system that sustains or improves on them.

A kind of catch-phrase just occurred to me, "Computer-aided Integrity".


I believe you can oppose large corporations without helping terrorism. You can have an opposition without hate speech and bullying.


Why should it be a choice between education and speech? Why don't we strive to educate everyone? You have a false dichotomy here.

You're also conflating education with indoctrination. The two definitely are not the same. If you're trying to make a point that too often schools do too much of the latter and too little of the former, please make that point before relying upon it to support further claims.




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