Friday, July 29, 2011

Add this to your favorite quotes

I'm currently reading "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson and came across this one:

"Arguing with anonymous strangers on the Internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be—or to be indistinguishable from—self-righteous sixteen-year-olds possessing infinite amounts of free time."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rap again

A year or two ago I posted an atheist rap by GreydonSquare. Guess who's back?

Most of my blogger friends are not fond of rap and were largely unimpressed. All I can say is, the guy is a lot more creative than I am. I like his songs.

How's THIS for lack of creativity?

I've been trying to change up, whip myself into shape mentally and physically, and do it whether I like it or not. Let me tell you... I don't like it. One of the tasks I've assigned myself is to put something up on my blog on a more regular basis than I have for the past couple of years.

If you're one of "The Half Dozen", as I like to call you, then you've noticed I've been tossing up videos by YouTubers who I enjoy. If I have to ride the coattails of those more intelligent and talented than myself, well, by bloody Jesus on a cross, that's better than staying in bed all day.

I'll tell you, I'm sick of hearing my opinions on things. Honestly, there's no reason on earth that you should listen to what I have say unless you are about as bored with everything as I am.

If you enjoy videos, perhaps you'll agree with my taste in them. If you do, I think I find some pretty fucking cool stuff - which would mean that you don't have to run all over looking for them. But, hey... that's just my stupid fucking opinion again.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Freedom of Speech vs. banning and blocking

One thing that is true enough about the words I write in this blog and the words I have spoken on YouTube videos - they are just another fucking opinion on the Internet. I’m not an expert in any field and I don’t have credentials to serve as a claim of authority through my deep knowledge of any subject. I suspect this is true for the majority of blogs, tweets, Facebook entries, YouTube videos and other ways we communicate with each other in the rapidly expanding, information-rich world in which we find ourselves. This is not to say there are no exceptions out there, and we should all be grateful for that fact. That we have many resources available, written by experts in every imaginable field, is enriching to all of us.

There was no real need for me to preface my coming remarks with that disclaimer. I was thinking about it earlier this evening, and it’s good to openly and honestly self-evaluate what one is doing, now and again. The fact that the above is absolutely true is not to say that my thoughts on the variety of subjects I touch upon are worthless. We all add to the discussion (or not) and thereby minutely tune the macro-society we live in. It helps clarify one’s own positions and maybe, on occasion, help others to do the same. And so, I blather on.

Recent events on blogs and channels I visit on a regular basis leads me to comment on the subject for which this post is titled. I won’t get into specific names of the players or the circumstances involved leading to the ideas expressed here. I don’t think it’s really necessary. If you have spent any amount of time in Internet discussions and disputes over such subjects as god, religion, Christianity, Islam, spirituality, superstition, atheism, science, politics and many more, you will have also had reason to give some thought to your position on (capitalized) Freedom of Speech, as it applies to these debates.

I have never blocked or banned anyone from posting their comments concerning what I write on this blog. Other than cases of clear and obvious spamming (usually to promote some product or other financial venture of the writer) I have never even deleted comments. Even in cases of a few commenters who, in my personal opinion, were nothing more than silly trolls attempting to get a reaction or just mindlessly venting against my point of view, I have left the commenter and their comments alone.

Despite this, I do not maintain that I am protecting them or the ideal of Freedom of Speech. Indeed, I don’t think this has any connection to the principle. I still reserve the right to block, ban and delete comments for any reason - should I decide to do so at some point. There is no connection between banning commenters and a violation of the human right to Freedom of Speech.

Hopefully you live in a country in which this human right is upheld. If you don’t, it’s unlikely that my words are even reaching you right now. If you do, then whether or not I ban you from this blog, your rights are still protected. You can post your thoughts on your own blog or other social networking site, or on the pages of other users where you are still welcome. Indeed, if you open your own blog, channel, etc. you can say whatever you want, as much as you want, whenever you choose to do so.

I can honestly report here that I have never, ever, invoked a protest of “Freedom of Speech”! when I have had a comment deleted or been blocked (usually, though not always, by a Christian channel or blog) and I never will. Do I find it telling when I come across a Christian blog that screens all comments before posting them and resolutely declines to do so whenever a non-believer makes a comment that is contrary to the point of view of the Christian blog owner? I surely do. But they haven’t violated my rights.

Imagine you are holding a dinner and discussion at your home. You have sent out dozens of invitations. It comes to your attention that one of the people you invited is a denier of the fact of the Nazi Holocaust and that this person is an advocate for Aryan supremacy. Further, this person very much intends to use your dinner party as a platform to push their agenda. You send them a note to withdraw the invitation and to tell them that people of their mindset are not welcome to come into your house and espouse those thoughts.

Have their human rights been violated? The answer should be obvious, and the analogy is a valid one.