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The problem is idiots who don't realize the internet is not a toy. Trolls do it for the lulz and don't realize that no, they're actually creating a very permanent record of their activities.
Troll all you want, but realize that your five minutes of fun is recorded and you may find yourself as the top news story worldwide. If you want to offend, go for it knowing it WILL haunt you forever. This isn't a bathroom wall in some gas station - it's a gigantic unforgetting bathroom wall that the world sees.
It's not always so black and white though. See, for example, the Justine Sacco case. She made a satirical joke and it was misinterpreted. Then there's this story on This American Life: act one specifically. It highlights how the ire of a community can be directed unjustly.
Then the assholes shouldn't have said anything in the first place. We're not talking about a couple of screwed up kids thinking that they're funny. The people doing this were adults. There is no fucking excuse for this.
Like many others in this discussion you've reduced it to a black and white situation: they did something wrong, therefore they deserve everything that might possibly come in terms of consequences. That's an extraordinarily harsh attitude to take to mistakes made by teenagers.
If someone came onto your lawn and started yelling about how they were going to rape your daughter, they're not going to get a little slap on the wrist. They'd get arrested, thrown in jail, and possibly be put on a sex offender list.
This example supports my point: the justice system deals with this sort of thing in right way, with a measured, proportionate, just response. Sex offender lists do amount to public shaming (and they are somewhat controversial for that reason) but even you are not sure that would be appropriate in the above scenario. Yet that's exactly what you're advocating in online cases. Also note that if they are on your lawn the threat is rather more immediate and credible than bullying online. That makes a difference. Finally, I suspect you've overestimated what the justice system's response to a single incident of that nature would be.
In the general case, the problem with your position is that it assumes that this sort of response is always justified and correct. But at best this is mob justice and the mob will get it wrong at times. The Justine Sacco case is a good example. She made a joke that was misinterpreted. The consequences far outweighed the "crime".
So the harm done is directly proportional ONLY to the persons own actions.
The problem is that the response is not proportional because everyone who hears about this and is offended on behalf of the victim can take their little piece of revenge. There is nothing to keep this public shaming reasonable or just.
So since that might happen one in 500 million times of ACTUAL trolling - so we should do nothing at all about real trolls that we can actually combat. Even though it can be disproved...
The good of the many and all that. We should not back down from preventing common crime because of a hypothetical.
Are you really claiming that the only options are "do nothing" and "destroy the perpetrators lives"? That's ridiculous. We have created a justice system in our society to punish wrongdoers in a measured, proportionate way, and also to give the accused the opportunity to defend themselves. We abandoned public shaming decades ago because it is not measured, proportionate punishment. So why are you so keen to go back to public shaming? Why don't you think the justice system can work in these cases?
Titanic and Avatar had better visuals than Serenity, to be sure, and Titanic had some good performances. I thought Avatar was a bucket of problems and flaws with some pretty colors, but really there's few of it's many, mnay flaws that I'm blame on a director.
That's hardly surprising. Titanic had 5 times the budget of Serenity and Avatar's was even larger. I was at least as impressed with the visuals in The Avengers as I was with Titanic and Firefly was extremely impressive visually for a TV show of that period.
It's quite hard to separate Cameron's direction of Avatar from his other roles of writer, editor, and producer. When a scene didn't work was it badly directed? Or badly edited? Or just poorly written? It's hard to tell. A perfectly well written scene can be ruined with poor direction and even if well written and directed it can be butchered by poor editing. In the end it doesn't actually matter because ultimately the bad result was the product of the same man's creative failure. As you say Cameron wouldn't simply direct a Star Wars movie. Whedon would probably not stick to directing either but I have rather more confidence in his ability to produce something good.
Although 1984 shows up on the list of challenged classics, there is only one challenge listed -- someone in Jackson County, Florida in 1981 thought that it was "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter".
Fahrenheit 451 isn't even on that list, though it has been banned from specific schools in the past.
I assume you've ruled out academia?
Chess is the only game (possibly the only game ever invented) that has no element of chance whatsoever. You win or lose purely by the decisions you make and the power of your own intellect. Even though I'm not very good, I do find it a stimulating and very satisfying game.
Possibly the only game event invented that has no element of chance? You need to try more games, it's not even the only one in that list. Anyway, a lack of chance doesn't by itself make chess better or worse than anything else.
Commercial airliners have no business overflying warzones
"Warzones" as defined by who? The FAA didn't include this area in the area they warned US carriers to avoid in April. Should the airlines monitor the media for reports of SAM installation sightings?
Too much of a coincidence for a plane to crash in a war zone where a fighter was shot down just the other day and a transport aircraft An-26 was shot down by a missile at 25,000ft couple of days ago. And by the way, why would a commercial airliner fly through such an airspace anyway?
No U.S. carrier has been allowed to fly over certain parts of Ukraine since the end of April, due to an FAA order.