China's social credit system is coming to the Netherlands, introduced by a government that has resigned in disgrace once already, but remains in office regardless.
I am proud to belong to the new Dutch underclass that rejects coercion and surveillance. #coronapas #NewNormal
I am Thierry, I live in the Netherlands. From the 25th of September, my family and I will be banned from restaurants, ceremonies, cultural …
A chart showing the signature count as a graph comparing the #rms open support letter vs the anti-stallman letter... yay the letter in support of stallman is not just winning, but it seems to be growing in support where the other letter has lost steam and stopped growing.
The link below includes the script used to generate the chart
In veel gevallen wel, ja. #vrijheid #ikbeneenwappie
Precies. #Vrijheid #ikbeneenwappie
xkcd 1357 presents a cogent, yet naively simplistic and ultimately one-sided view of free speech. Indeed, things go awry in the very first frame, in which it is claimed that free speech amounts to no more than one's ability to speak without fear of arrest by the government. However, many people, myself included, would contend that the right to free speech is a philosophical concept that far transcends this narrow American legal definition.
The waters suddenly become much murkier when one examines the fact that large corporations with (socio-)political agendas have, in recent years, become more powerful and influential than even national governments and heads of state. This is an alarming and undesirable development, since said corporations are not subject to any third-party oversight or regulation, and there is no independent process of appeal against their summary judgements or the imposition of punitive measures.
This grave situation has steadily worsened over the last decade as the reach of these companies has expanded and gone largely unchecked by governments who either cannot see the danger rising before them, or find themselves without any existing legal recourse to combat it. The unfettered growth of this influence has emboldened these corporations to reach increasingly harsh and arbitrary judgements against selected users, whilst making proportionately diminishing efforts to justify their actions.
In many cases, governments have been not merely ineffective at curtailing this rise in influence, but instrumental in it, by misguidedly conferring on these corporations an editorial responsibility for the utterings of their users that no mere carrier or publisher should either want or be forced to bear. Historically, we have not demanded of the postal service that it take responsibility for the missives it conveys, nor of telecommunications carriers that they intervene if controversial and challenging ideas are sent over their cables and airwaves. Corporations like #Facebook and #Twitter are essentially no different, and should enjoy and be bounded by the same status, because to confer more is to endow them with a power that they can abuse, have abused, and will continue to abuse.
The rise of these corporations' influence has seen the town square, where we are free to gather and engage in public debate, controversial or otherwise, slowly undergo a paradigm shift from the physical world to the virtual realm; the crucial and essential difference being that access to the virtual town square is not without encumberment. It is not a public forum, and access to it is granted, tolerated and revoked at the pleasure of said corporations.
This grim development has been further catalysed by the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, which, in many parts of the world, has resulted in the actual revocation of the right to public assembly in a physical space. In much of the world, including the so-called free world, the actual town square no longer exists as a hub for the free and unhampered exchange of ideas. The ability to express one's thoughts is now largely confined to the virtual realm, and the freedom to wield one's voice in that expression is now, in no small part, at the whim of corporations run by megalomaniacal billionaire ideologues.
When the arena in which public debate takes place shifts to new ground, discourse in that new territory needs to be afforded the same privileges and protections it enjoys elsewhere. This is not currently the case, and our right to free speech is under extreme duress as a result.
Never a day passes now without new cases documented of "hateful" people having the right to voice their "problematic" thoughts and opinions suppressed. And with "hateful" and "problematic" being such subjective concepts, this is an extremely slippery slope on which society now finds itself.
You may have cause to celebrate the downfall of your particular chosen foe today, but when the tables turn tomorrow and it is now you or those you advocate in the sights of these corporations' guns, who will you turn to then?
To those who write about #Stallman's alleged transphobia, I offer this response.
Stallman is demonstrably not transphobic. If you believe otherwise, I wonder whether you have actually read Stallman's own writings on his use of pronouns, or merely formed an opinion from what secondary sources have reported. Stallman's stance on the subject can be found at https://stallman.org/articles/genderless-pronouns.html
Regardless of Stallman's position on this issue, a transgender person's perceived right to be addressed using the pronouns of his or her choice does not compel another person to act in accordance with that perception. In most Western liberal democracies, most people enjoy a very real, i.e. legally protected, right to free speech; certainly to the extent that the speaker's choice of pronouns is concerned.
As such, rigid adherence to certain constructs of language can, at worst, be ascribed to self-interest, namely the assertion that the existent right to free speech trumps another's perceived right to be addressed in a particular way. That's a wholly reasonable attitude to take on principle alone, and garners more weight as one examines the pressure currently being placed on this central tenet of liberal society by regressive elements and their proclivity for cancel culture.
The suppression of free speech has far-reaching consequences for the whole of humanity; the inflexible use of pronouns affects a much smaller subset.
Richard #Stallman a.k.a. #RMS is the founder of the Free Software Foundation (#FSF), author of the original versions of gcc and Emacs, and perhaps best known for his creation of the GNU Public Licence a.k.a. #GPL.
Thanks to the pioneering work of Richard Stallman, Android has a freely available kernel that can boot it, and companies like Samsung are forced to release their augmented kernel source code to us every month, so that we can build — using Stallman’s compiler — a working custom recovery like TWRP.
Richard Stallman is currently under coordinated attack by the cancel culture mob. They have him firmly in their sights and have set their hearts on trying to get him removed from the board of the organisation he founded in 1985, and which has been his life’s work.
The reason for the attack is that Stallman is alleged to hold views that are “problematic” in the eyes of his detractors.
My own stance is that to even engage in debate of Stallman’s views would be to lend credence to the notion that they are somehow germane to the work that Stallman does in support of free software. I contend that they are not, which is not to imply that the accusations leveled at Stallman would otherwise require intellectual or moral contortion to refute. They would not. Stallman’s views, even if they were relevant, have been grossly misrepresented.
The attempted silencing of free speech is always painful to behold, but this ill-conceived attack on Stallman is particularly stomach-turning, given how much of his life he has devoted to the freedom of others, including those who accuse him now.
His contributions to free software and his consistent, uncompromising commitment to his beliefs regarding software freedom have made millionaires of others, including many among his accusers now, while Stallman himself continues to lead a life of subsistence.
#Android would not exist if it hadn’t been for Stallman.
Without Stallman, we would not have the assurance that important software like #Magisk will continue to exist long after the project’s creator has moved on.
Without Stallman, #TWRP would not now exist.
Were it not for Richard Stallman, most of the cheap electronic appliances and gadgets in your home would simply not exist.
Without Richard Stallman’s groundbreaking work, the world would be a different and much worse place.
Now you can do something in return. Richard Stallman needs your support.
Please consider signing the petition below:
If you need more background before signing, please take the time to do your own research and reach your own conclusions.
It is proven! I am ianmacd on Keybase: https://keybase.io/ianmacd/sigchain#5955b820f190adbe9d6984e3ce788fb37a8df39644fb0718d001807444ae20d70f
This is a long shot, but I want to put the power of social media and federation to the test.
My son wants to become a commercial airline pilot when he’s grown up. It would be awesome if we could find a commercial pilot in the fediverse that we can follow and ask questions of.
If everyone who reads this could boost it, it would be much appreciated and it would mean the world to my son if he could get in touch with a real-life commercial pilot! ✈️
Nice chatting with you.
I'll close by thanking you for providing this instance.
It's great that there's a place that a) allows unfettered access to the entire Fediverse; b) hasn't descended into complete chaos because of it; and c) most surprisingly of all, hasn't been widely blocked due to it.
It seems to me that by far the most important thing about Mastodon is now sadly overlooked in this age of censorship and general intolerance of open discussion; and that ironically even includes the network's creator.
Thanks for providing a safe haven for the open exchange of ideas. Only in such an environment can ideas flourish and the human race truly progress.
For that reason, I feel very strongly about free speech, and I consider the worst excesses of free speech a very small price to pay for its benefits. The alternative is unthinkable. This seems to be an unpopular opinion nowadays.
Have a good day and thanks for the crossposting tip.
Sceptic; atheist; secularist; autodidact; cunning linguist; polemicist; nationalist; conspiracy realist; programmer; globetrotter; Silicon Valley survivor.
QOTO: Question Others to Teach Ourselves. A STEM-oriented instance.
An inclusive free speech instance.
All cultures and opinions welcome.
Explicit hate speech and harassment strictly forbidden.
We federate with all servers: we don't block any servers.