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      Be happy and be well. Please be careful about Covid. Viral load matters for infection, spending hours in a house with people is a great way to get infected. Feel free to use comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. I’m doing my annual fundraiser. If you like my writing and can afford to, […]
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Ezra Klein “gets” Mark Zuckerberg

Whoa! I am in awe. Ezra Klein scores the “get” of the year by interviewing Mark Zuckerberg ahead of his testimony to Congress about privacy, Cambridge Analytica and the future of Facebook.

For those of you new to his podcast, the Ezra Klein show has been consistently interesting, topical and in-depth. His interviews are more like conversations and his guests have studied the intersection of culture and policy. He hasn’t had a dud episode since he started. Put this podcast on your list of weekly must listens.

Go listen to this one with Ezra and Zuckerberg and meet me back here in the comments to tell me what you think.


On Laura Ingraham.

I’ve been through this shtick before where a troll cries that he’s being censored if I don’t let him run with scissors around my blog and let him take over the comments section.

This is because he doesn’t understand what true censorship is. If I had the only blog in the world, I would have an obligation to let him say whatever the hell he wants, insult as many people as he wants and bully whoever he found to be an easy target. The rest of us would condemn him but that’s free speech. He gets to act like an obnoxious dick, we get to tell him what an obnoxious dick he is.

But I do not have the only blog in the world. As it happens, I am only one of many thousands of blogs that WordPress hosts. It’s up to WordPress to give me a platform and I am grateful that it does. Nevertheless, WordPress is not the government. So even WordPress doesn’t have to tolerate me. I’m pretty mainstream. (Yeah, I am.) I don’t go out of my way to incite violence or defame people or anything.

My point is, any troll can get a blog. That’s what makes free speech so accessible. If WordPress won’t let you set up shop, there are plenty of other web hosting services that will. Or you can create your own service. Yeah, learn drupal, buy your own server, knock yourself out. There are many ways and means of getting your voice out.

None of us are obligated to read it.

And I think this is where Ingraham and other belligerent conservatives are making their logical errors.

We are not obligated to listen to them rant and bully. They are entitled to do that on any platform that will allow it and pay for them to do it. If advertisers do not want to be associated with bullies, they don’t have to pay for it. That isn’t stopping Ingraham or any other manipulative, mean, hostile or fundamentally undemocratic asshole in the forum of public discourse from finding a soapbox. If they REALLY REALLY must be heard because their opinions and cruelty and bad commentary is just that important to the fate of the nation, then they can do it for free.

Yep! Free!

When you do it for free, no one owns you. You can shoot off your mouth and say whatever stupid thing that comes to mind. Trump does it on Twitter all the time for free. Oh sure, he gets paid to be president and we think he’s doing a sh*tty job but his performance review is coming up in November and we can relieve him of the obligations of office, which are clearly over his head. But if twitter wants to give him a free platform to spout off his nonsense, no skin off my nose. They can even delete his account and he would have to find another place to post, like some out of the way dark and scary back alley subreddit. He and Laura can do that together. No doubt they will have a small, faithful following.

But their rights to free speech shall not be abridged if their advertisers decide that it’s not worth supporting, they don’t approve of personal attacks on survivors of a school shooting, and that paying Laura to have an audience on Fox News means they lose customers in the rational world.

Welcome to the free market, Laura!

8 Responses

  1. Well, that Zuckerberg interview was interesting in an unexpected way. He’s a crafty billionaire. He uses a Silicon Valley dialect of biz speak where everything is about “community”, “meaningful” and “content”. I honestly have no idea what he’s talking about in any specific way.
    So, this is a good point for congressmen who are going to put him on the rack in a hearing – ask him to define these vague terms. He’ll probably roll his eyes and stick his finger up his nose like they’re idiots. Ask him anyway. Again and again. Because if he continues to be this vague, he’s trying not to tell you what he’s really up to.

    • Hey RD, thanks for taking one for the team. Since you put up the post, I am fighting with myself because I don’t want to listen to that jerk. I already could guess (confirmed by you) what he was going to say. It is all about pretending to be philanthropic, idealistic, and yada, yada. His co-conspirator is Sheryl Sandberg of whom Hillary speaks so highly of, yet she betrayed the fuck out of Hillary.

      At this point, if he can’t pinpoint to the design flaws of his platform (which many of us can) and correct them of his own accord, there is no reason to acknowledge his other gobbledygook.

      • *so highly,

      • This is precisely why it’s important to listen to him, especially if you are in an IT related field. He and his cohort thing that congress persons don’t know anything about technology. And for some Luddite Republicans, this is probably true. But there has to be a few people and some clever aides, who will know how to nail him. And this vagueness is exactly where I’d do it. Make him Spell. It. Out. What exactly are you up to, Mark??

        • I think good people should leave and hollow out his platform. There is nothing to do at this point because he knows exactly what he did (and a hearing with these idiots will not fix it). He depends on users than the users on him — they need to realize that and abandon his platform. I am hoping other people with better social conscience and maturity will come up with a competing system and the mass exodus happens soon. Let the conspirators and their ghosts spread their venom on his platform.

  2. Brian Actor is the founder of Whatsapp (now owned by FB). Check Elon Musk’s reply and his interaction with other tweets and deleting his FB pages.

  3. The way trump is going after Amazon (because of WAPO), is this what he did with NYT and its owner? MAGA Maggie, what say you?

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