[nSLUG] On Linux & digital rights & freedoms advocacy (avoiding us/them mentality)

Tony Rowe ay986 at chebucto.ns.ca
Sat Apr 6 17:55:20 ADT 2019


On Sat, Apr 06, 2019 at 12:21:30PM -0300, Oliver Doepner wrote:
> Tony mentions
> 1) staying in touch with Facebook friends in a mindful manner
> 2) civil service [..] military [..] and common citizens [..]
> commit[ed] horrible deeds.
> and lumps together both 1) and 2) as outcomes of "bandwagon fallacy".
> 
> I (Oliver) find this comparison grotesque, especially since I know
> that Ben on FB mainly posts  about nature walks and other peaceful /
> mindful things, and does not engage in toxic hate-mongering or shallow
> meme-posting, etc.

Oliver, 

I was exaggerating to make a point.  I didn't set out to make a "toxic" 
post but I see now that I did.

I should have spoken more plainly and said that Ben and me go along 
with some of the software we use when it might be better not to, and 
posit that Donald is taking a better tack by making a strong "us/them" 
distinction.

I guess I could have just said that without dragging in all the 
melodrama though.  Sorry I offended you.

Tony
> 
> On 4/5/19, Tony Rowe <ay986 at chebucto.ns.ca> wrote:
> > Hi Ben!
> >
> > On Fri, Apr 05, 2019 at 07:49:10AM -0300, Ben Armstrong wrote:
> >> I didn't mean to come down heavily on Donald in particular,
> > …
> >
> >> But it does point to a thing that we, as a group operating within a
> >> community
> >> with a broad range of opinions & feelings on these issues, should probably
> >> avoid: adopting an "us/them" mentality about our assumptions & values,
> >> consciously or unconsciously, is not pro-social behaviour.
> >
> > Pro-social behaviour does not equate with goodness or best behaviour
> > necessarily, does it?
> >
> >> If we want to advocate within the broader communities we are in for
> >> more careful attention to and protection of digital rights and
> >> freedoms, it would be helpful not betray such attitudes, even when
> >> "privately"* discussing it amongst ourselves. I speak as one who
> >> struggles with this with regards to all my own assumptions & values,
> >> too, across the spectrum of my life experiences, and don't want to
> >> come off as "having arrived" or being a perfect example to the group.
> >
> > No.  I believe the realists have a point here: that there comes a time
> > when one needs to speak to a policy, to defend it, and be vocal in
> > one's disdain (in this case for individuals who choose to use software
> > which stands against digital freedoms); who are exercising the freedom
> > not to be free at their peril.
> >
> >> The increasing polarization of views in the world is being
> >> exacerbated by the toxic culture that Facebook and other social media
> >> giants promote. Rather than entirely withdraw from that world, I have
> >> opted to continue to work within it, but work harder at promoting a
> >> different kind of culture in my interactions that does not "feed the
> >> beast".
> >
> > I agree about Facebook and toxic culture.
> >
> > To return to Donald's point, I allow a software suite written by L.
> > Poettering and cohorts to be installed (by fiat essentially).  It
> > resides on my machine like an alien, almost as an operating system
> > within an operating system, which sits devil-like between my userspace
> > and the kernel.  I do this because it works quite well and because I am
> > too lazy to fix something that isn't broken.  But I still think the PR
> > (propaganda) of its implementation was awful and I don't mind saying
> > so?
> >
> >> Whether this is worth it or not remains to be seen, but I care too
> >> much about some of the people with whom social media is my sole point
> >> of contact to just drop off of it entirely.
> >
> > Your transgressions look better than mine do.  You tolerate non-free
> > media because you want to remain in touch with people you care about.
> > But if I am lazy (and that would be a kind way to say it), are you not
> > committing a bandwagon fallacy (succumbing to peer pressure
> > essentially) with your, "Rather than entirely withdraw from that world,
> > I have opted to work within it… "?
> >
> > Seriously derailed and insanely morbid governments have relied on this
> > sort of behaviour from their civil service and from their military and
> > indeed from common citizens as well, to commit horrible deeds.
> >
> > Certainly I see your reasoning and it may be mostly harmless in this
> > context to do as you say, but I think your position has more potential
> > to do harm than Donald's alleged elitism does.
> >
> > Tony
> >
> >> Ben
> >>
> >> * Note: we have a public web archive of our mailing list, so
> >> nothing said here "in private" really is. The whole world is
> >> watching!
> >>


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