Notes on communication


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I wholeheartedly agree with the very first commenter from the originating article: any context here? Or, in layman’s terms, wtf?

Point 6 is debatable.

Context would have been nice, but this is one that all Boingers could take to heart.

“I challenged their beliefs and they didn’t respond; that means I’m right!” Nope. It means the other party didn’t respond. “We have to turn this into a conversation about what I believe is important to discuss!” No, we don’t. “If you don’t want to discuss this it’s more evidence that there’s a problem!” No, it’s evidence that I don’t want to discuss it; maybe I just don’t want to participate in the poo-slinging fest.

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Lack of response is not agreement. It might be an attempt to avoid contributing to sub-pontian nutrition.

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Scalzi has taken a public stand recently saying he won’t speak at or attend conferences unless they have a published, enforced anti-harassment policy. So this might have something to do with that. He’s also tweeted quite a bit recently about people disgruntled about his Hugo win, so that’s another option.

But I’m guessing this is a bigger thing – he’s a public person, and I imagine he gets quite a bit of crap from random jerks because of that. So it might not be related to either of those things in particular, which would explain why he posted it without context.

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I didn’t see my favorite rule, which really needs to be drilled into people’s heads these days: Someone telling you that you are wrong (or even that you should just STFU because you’re being offensive or stupid) isn’t censorship. They are just using their right to free speech to point out you’re a wrong (or an idiot). Censorship involves using force to prevent you from expressing your views at all.


Well put. It appalls me how few people seem capable of understanding any of these concepts. How the hell were they raised? Where did they go to school?

Agreed. I suspect it’s another shot in the great “dudebro” (his word) war. Also, this seems to provide some context, at least in a general sense in regards to trolls on his site and how he responds to their cries when he deletes their comments:

some context:

That commenter was being a bit tongue-in-cheek. For additional context, see RSHD, Mallet of Loving Correction, and Kitten Setting.


Also: somebody disallowing you from commenting on their personal (or business!) website is not violating your right to free speech. Your right to free speech begins and ends with the government.


The context is “every internet forum and comment system ever.”

Yes, thank you- this is precisely the context for which I was searching.

It’s especially appropriate context if you happen to read through the (incredibly long) comment thread. A certain… vocal opponent… of Scalzi’s shows up and starts yammering about how horrible Scalzi is and tossing out “challenges”, while berating anyone who disagrees with him and running an “I’m obviously the smartest guy in this room” routine. It’s such a breathtaking display of how a comment thread can go downhill without appropriate moderation that I could almost believe it was satire meant to support Scalzi.

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You’re wrong. Last word. :wink:

@vengefultacos said:

Censorship involves using force to prevent you from expressing your views at all.

Exactly, and we’ve got much bigger, very real censorship problems when crap like this is going on in the USA:

Not that this will surprise anybody the ways things are going, but now the U.S. government is coming after journalists if they don’t keep a salary… obviously, to try and censor them with fear.

Of course they gotta go full orwellian and name it the “Free Flow of Information Act”. Kind of like how “No Child Left Behind” left children behind and our “Patriot Act” was anything but patriotic.

I guess next they’ll come up with the “No One Is Being Put Into Prison For Free Speech Act”.

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10. People will communicate as they will. Outside of your own spaces, you have no power to control or compel them. Attempts to dictate the terms of their communication may be ignored. Attempts to demand they comply to your terms for communication will make you look like a child, stamping a foot.


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