I'm definitely feeling the "vague clouds of ideas" thing I quoted previously ( qoto.org/@collectedoverspread/ ). In a recent discussion thread elsewhere I played a little game of how many issues the discussion touched on; I think I spotted half a dozen before I left.

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I've been meaning to write a grand "All My Views on Transgender Issues" thing for some time now but only now have I realized just how many different issues are packed inside and how conflating them leads to muddied discussions that go nowhere fast.

"But what speech Twitter *should* allow on its platform — versus what it must allow — is where most of the messiness comes in. Because that’s not a debate about First Amendment law. That’s a debate about free speech culture." [emphasis in original]

"Free speech culture, Elon Musk, and Twitter" by Nico Perrino at FIRE thefire.org/news/free-speech-c

This feels appropriate for the second thing I've ever posted to mastodon.

curiosity: What are some strategies for viewing the local timeline of another instance on a mobile device?

So far I've just been pulling it up in the browser, which isn't great, especially if I want to boost something from there. I suppose I could create an account but that seems to go against the idea of federation (and also I'd need to take care to post on only one account). I could also theoretically create my own instance and curate my follows so that the federated timeline reflects the instances I want but that seems like overkill.

One thing that bugs me about Tusky though is its hardcoded block of certain instances (Gab and Spinster currently). (Although I think Gab has migrated to a different incompatible system anyway.) I don't think a client app is the right place to implement such a block but I'm not going to complain too much since I'm pretty sure it doesn't prevent me from viewing posts on said instances, just logging into them.

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I've switched from to as my mobile client for . A long time ago I tried using Twidere for Twitter but it wasn't great, and I just kept it for Mastodon. But I notice that it doesn't properly handle the extended character limit on QOTO and it also doesn't show the extra links on profiles.

"To be clear: there is nothing magical about federated worlds. If a federated social media is better than the centralized incumbents, it will be because people made a conscious choice to make it better - not because of any technological determinism. Open, decentralized systems offer new choices towards a better online world, but it’s up to us to make those choices."

"The Fediverse Could Be Awesome (if we don’t screw it up" by Cindy Cohn and Rory Mir from the Electronic Frontier Foundation eff.org/deeplinks/2022/11/fedi

@freeschool Hmm... I don't think it really covers that (either the essay as a whole or one sentence I picked out), if I understand you correctly.

@amerika I suppose "politics" is itself a bit fuzzy, so here are the specifics I had in mind:

Sociopolitical groups: Left and right wings (US politics), feminism, men's rights movement, Black Lives Matter

Non-political groups: Fan communities, gender identity (broadly, such as male/female), sexual orientation (again, broadly, such as straight/gay/bi)

At the same time though I do identify
with non-political groups with fuzzy boundaries, so why not political groups as well?

One obvious difference is that identifying with non-political groups invites far less controversy. But I think the more fundamental difference is the presence/lack of "central"/"typical" instances/characteristics. At least for the sociopolitical groups I can think of, it's hard for me to pick these out because the groups are so broad with many factions.

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"All in All, Another Brick in the Motte"


"[The motte-and-bailey fallacy] draws its strength from people's usual failure to debate specific propositions rather than vague clouds of ideas."

This isn't even the main point of the essay but it succinctly captures something I've noticed for a long time, and it's basically why I can't really align myself with any broad sociopolitical (?) movement.

"I don’t like Kiwi Farms at all... But as loath as I may be to say it, Kiwi Farms is far more harmless than their enemies on Twitter and in the media would have you believe. They are the simple side of this battle. Keffals, on the other hand…"

"Suicide-by-Kiwi-Farms." by Taylor Stuckey in Default Wisdom defaultfriend.substack.com/p/s

"The core message I'm going for is that 'universal' debt forgiveness is not universal. It benefits people who took out student loans at the expense of everyone who didn't take out student loans, privileging a class who are disproportionately likely to be privileged and telling the rest to suck it up and be happy for them."

"Anger At Student Loan Cancellation Is Justified" by TracingWoodgrains tracingwoodgrains.substack.com

It's days like these I'm actually glad I don't actively check my Twitter feed.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that I'm definitely not ardently progressive or leftist. And sometimes I wonder how my my moderate positions would be taken in some circles. (I can honestly imagine people picking apart my post about the SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs because I said was only "cautiously" pessimistic about its ramifications.)

"Clear communication is difficult... I am only sometimes good at it, but a major piece of what makes me sometimes good at it is described below in concrete and straightforward terms."

"Ruling Out Everything Else" by Duncan_Sabien on Less Wrong lesswrong.com/posts/57sq9qA3wu

I've been trying to write something with my thoughts about COVID-19 safety policies (mainly inspired by the the debates I witnessed around the policies for fan conventions I'm attending this year, but applicable more broadly) but it always just feels like a disjointed collection of thoughts on disparate issues.

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QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves
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