Freeze Peach 🍑 (USA)

DuckDuckGo gives me plenty of results for articles, but if I switch to an image search I get “Sorry, no results here.”

Firefox on Windows 10, Spectrum Broadband.


I did the same search; same results. My next search term was “assholes!”


I did the search you suggested, neglected to turn safe search back on. I have regrets.


Same for me on Firefox for desktop. Very funky.

ETA: Putting in ‘tank man china’ shows the image though.


Your timezone places you in Europe somewhere?


Not this week. Opposite side of the world.

1 Like

I never turned off safe search just in case “tank man” itself returned regrettable results. :neutral_face:


Found him on Bing, but it took a few tries:

Man in Tiananmen Square China

pulled him up for me.


just in case “tank man” itself returned regrettable results.

tank man married tub girl.

1 Like

I think I’ll watch Tank Girl tonight.


Not only do I get the tank man picture when I search Tank Man, when I search “Tiananmen Square” the first hit is the wikipedia article on the protests with Tank Man being a subheader. Not sure what’s going on with others.


For me, at least, the context in which the expression is used is relevant.

If on one hand the user is specifically referencing the fact that the Supreme Court (Justice Holme’s in particular) used the phrase to excuse unjust punishment of an anti-war protestor to claim that the US government recognizes limits on protected speech, then that decision by the White court matters, as does the later narrowing of the precedent by the Warren court to incitement of imminent lawless action. Misunderstanding the law helps no one, and this is what former federal prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney Ken White (AKA Popehat) pushes back against. For me that doesn’t make him a First Amendment fanatic, but YMMV.

If on the other hand the user is simply using the expression as a shorthand for Karl Popper’s quite reasonable Paradox of Tolerance, then bringing up the historical context of the SCOTUS decisions is irrelevant, because the expression has evolved to mean something else in that context.

People use it both ways, and often conflate the two, especially on Twitter where nuance goes to die. In this instance I disagree with Ken White because in my estimation President Biden was using it in the Popperian sense. But the President hasn’t been very clear on that and I would love to see him use the bully pulpit to make that distinction, because it would be more useful than anything else so far in conveying the contextual distinction to those who aren’t aware of it and rebuking bad faith bears who are but deliberately conflate the issue.


Ask them if they would yell “Bomb!” whilst on an airplane, and maybe that analogy will resonate better…


There is an idea that mobs and crowds cause otherwise rational individuals to lose their minds, and become part of something savage, and vicious, and dangerous.

There is also the idea that free speech’s role in a free society is about letting people have access to evidence and new ideas that can be mulled over, examined critically, and either discarded or integrated into one’s consciences according to their merit.

When the expression “FIRE”, is shouted in a crowded theater, people can panic, and act on instinct, rather than critically examining the available evidence and choosing the most rationale course of action.

so a great many free speech claims were examined on whether they are designed to appeal to logic and reason or whether they appealed to baser, perhaps even prurient interests. I think that this was what Holmes was attempting to setup-- is it persuasive speech or an emotional, appeal to the “mob’s” rumored propensity for violence.

Or it could be that Holmes was completely on the wrong track, even considering later decisions like Whitney Abrams and Gitlow.

As for Popper, he may have clarified things in later pieces, but perhaps it is wiser to start with disarming right wing paramilitaries and using the principles of piecemeal social engineering, find an acceptable compromise more firmly delineating “free speech” and “speech brigaded with action.”


That’s a great idea. I’m going to start using that analogy.


There is an idea, but like many social theories, it’s a model that often gets proffered as natural law whereby it becomes a version of the sheeple fallacy ignoring the agency and complex dynamics of those with whom those proffering it disagree. In other words, in practice it’s routinely used by supercilious bad faith bears to imply that “those liberals” are too dumb to be trusted to think for themselves.

If anyone thinks I’m exaggerating, google the fascistic Newspeak jackasses who bloviate under the bullshit banner of the “Dark Enlightenment”. I won’t link to them however because frankly I’ve scrapped better things off the sole of my shoe.


i took a couple of ed. psych. courses on my way to becoming a teacher. one of my profs said the best way to understand mob psychology was to take the average i.q. of the crowd and then divide that by the number in the crowd. i’m not sure whether she was far off the mark. certainly being part of a group can provide reinforcements which normalize transgressive behaviors which makes it easier for someone to do things as part of a group that they might not have done had they been in an individualized setting. nevertheless, i still find it unlikely that, even with the encouragement and reinforcement of a crowd, someone is going to do something in opposition to their internal beliefs.


The thing that I don’t like about all these references to the Holmes case is that I just don’t really believe that the phrase has some important, lasting tie to that case. It’s weird to me that people attribute those words to that particular judge. I realize that judge wrote those words down in a decision, but why would we be confident it wasn’t a phrase that was around before that?

I don’t live in America. I’m not “protected” by the first Amendment. If you yelled “fire!” in a crowded theater in Canada and there was a panic and someone died, you may well be charged with manslaughter. That’s true regardless of what some judge wrote in said in America in 1919.

I don’t think that “fire in a crowded theater” has some special connection to bad slippery slope arguments either. People make bad slippery slope arguments about everything.

I feel like I’m saying, “Strike while the iron is hot!” and someone else is saying, “Hey, over 100 years ago, in a ruling that was basically overturned more than 50 years ago, a judge in America used that phrase as part of a fallacious argument to justify something bad, so you really shouldn’t say that.” My reaction is to screw up my face at them and wonder what the hell they are on about.


I think because sometimes - maybe not most of the time, but not a trivial fraction either - folks in the US in particular are using the expression as an illustration of the SCOTUS putting an explicit limit on protected speech which implies Holme’s usage, which creates either inadvertent or deliberate confusion about where the SCOTUS actually stands. And again, other times they’re often just using it as generic expression, which is why for me the context of usage matters. But I can absolutely see that this would be odd and even bizarre to those outside the US. For that matter, it’s odd and bizarre to many of us in the US.

I agree entirely. The vast majority of slippery slope arguments are complete bullshit and this case is no exception.


Statistically speaking, this feels off the mark. Prone to being skewed by outliers. Also, IQ is already relative (a quotient, and a moving average as such).

Psychologically speaking, this also feels off the mark. IQ tests are quite specific to measuring cognitive abilities, i.e. testing problem solving skills in a very narrow field of cognition.
Aggressive behaviour, sometimes arises in otherwise rational individuals. What @jerwin said above was pointing to groups, but even a group of very rational and intelligent individuals can do terrible things. My take would be: IQ has nothing to do with this.

1 Like