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Comment Re:Irreverent vs. Inappropriate (Score 1) 363

Do you like that taboo?

"Some things should be taboo" "All things should be taboo" nor "All taboos are good"

A taboo against posting signs that say "Death to all Jews", for example, can be a good thing. I shouldn't like legislation to that effect, but I am happy that such language is not acceptable in polite company.

also who guarantees that the taboo is " right"

No one. Taboos are a matter of social pressure and standards, not some centralized guarantor or body. The mental mechanism which causes taboos can certainly be put to bad ends. Such taboos should be challenged. But, again, there is a some/all distinction we have to make here. It does not follow that because some taboos should be challenged, on account of them being unjust, all taboos must always be opposed.

Even if such were the case, it'd be an endless task. Taboos naturally arise among humans. There isn't a human society lacking taboos. Now of course natural does not mean good, just, or even 'ought'. But it does mean that eliminating taboos entirely is likely an impossible goal without modifying human nature itself. Better, therefore, to focus one's efforts are unjust taboos than to waste effort supporting some idealist goal of eliminating all taboos. In short, I do not (and did not) say all taboos are good. I merely said some things should be taboo.

Comment Re:Irreverent vs. Inappropriate (Score 1) 363

At the same time, I can say quite honestly that if one of my staff made Youtube blatantly anti-Semitic Youtube videos, he'd be gone in a hurry.

Yep. Me too.

I believe in free speech, so I suppose to some extent that makes me a hypocrite [...]

Nope. I don't think you are. It's quite simple: "We've chosen to dissociate ourselves with Mr. Kjellberg because his actions do not reflect the values and attitudes of Disney." I'm not objecting to their dissociation, and I think what I just offered is at least passable corporatese. As I said before, I think taboos can be a good thing. My objection is to the implicit approval of praising 'irreverence'. I really don't think PewDiePie meant any harm. But its precisely a culture that praises irreverence as a good in itself which leads to irreverent and, sooner or later, 'inappropriate' speech. My objection is that the corporation was perfectly happy to associate itself with 'irreverence' as such.

The difficulty is that our culture lionizes irreverence for its own sake, but then is unwilling to accept the same when it is applied to very particular (i.e. profit threatening/socially objectionable) circumstances. This is where I find the hypocrisy.

Let me put it this way: I am an Eastern Orthodox Christian; I am also a supporter of free speech and liberal democracy. If I ran a media corporation and I spoke in glowing terms of 'irreverence', and then, upon discovering that my corporation was sponsoring Andrews Serrano (who did the (in?)famous 'Piss Christ'), distanced the company from the artist, I would be a hypocrite. For this reason I would not heedlessly lionize irreverence. I should sooner support mutual respect: "Our company would recognize your individual right under the law to do as you please artistically. But, if you're a Muslim, you'll not find my company doing cartoons of Muhammad and praising ourselves for being 'irreverent.' If you're a Buddhist, you won't find my company Photoshopping the Dalai Lama into compromising positions, even if we think it funny or artistic. If you're African-American, you won't find us making jokes about slavery. If you're Jewish, you should understand that we don't think the Holocaust is a laughing matter."

I'm all for a CEO saying something like this. I call him a hypocrite only when he treats 'irreverence' as something to be desired in itself (as is often the case in our culture). If one wishes to sell material which offend my religious sensibilities, very well then; I leave that to them. But if the same one objects when an employee draws a picture of Mohammed or makes an elephant dung virgin Mary, I think I'll be justified in calling them out for hypocrisy.

Comment Re:Irreverent vs. Inappropriate (Score 1) 363

Certainly. I agree with the thrust of what you say. PewDiePie was blockheaded for doing this. It was in poor taste and, frankly, some things should be taboo.

My objection is to the corporate speak and the hypocrisy it allows people to rationalize. One shouldn't praise 'irreverence' as something great and courageous, on the one hand, but reject the speech of others as 'inappropriate' once it's applied to one's own sacred cows.

Comment Irreverent vs. Inappropriate (Score 5, Interesting) 363

"Although Felix has created a following by being provocative and irreverent, he clearly went too far in this case and the resulting videos are inappropriate."

It's funny how one of these words has a positive connotation, and the other one a negative. This, despite the fact that opposing groups might apply each term to the same content. All inappropriate means in a context where one is praising someone for irreverence is that the irreverence was applied to a preferred group.

I am reminded of Isaac Hayes's objection to South Park's irreverence toward Scientology.

Comment Re:Loss of culture (Score 1) 490

The greek city states never had republics... You are mixing this up with Rome.

That's a matter of definition. The term republic as used by the Romans, res publica, merely refers to affairs handled publicly. In many ways, the Roman system was closely comparable the mixed constitutions present in most Greek city states. (Before the Delian League, at any rate, Athenian style democracy was far less common than mixed constitution systems.) Most of these were outgrowths of competition among elites. Early city states would be headed elders from wealthy landowning families. (Even the term senate, from senex or old man, reflects this--incidentally senile is from the same root as senate.) Popular assemblies would also be used for matters like war and use of public lands. In many cases, nouveau riche from the merchant classes would agitate for change and gradually expand the franchise to increase the number of loyal voting blocks to achieve their ends. The real anomaly is the Athenian system which, under the likes of Pisistratus and Cleisthenes, expanded the franchise to ever greater proportions--and in their own interests--until the people's assembly held most of the power.

The term republic has evolved since that time. If you look at the way it was used in the Renaissance/Early Modern period, it merely meant a constitutional arrangement without a monarch. This is rather closer to the Latin meaning of res publica than the way we use it today. (There's not really an ancient Greek equivalent, though the Greeks freely discussed mixed constitutions composed of democratic, oligarchic, and monarchic elements.) But under the influence first of Anglo-American and then of French systems of representative government, it has come to mean something very different. When we speak of republics these days, we often mean representative systems. But this is one of the (great) innovations that has occurred since parliamentary systems came about in the past millennium. Contrary to popular belief, the Roman Republic was not a representative system. See Polybius, Histories, Book VI if you'd like some details, but the quick and dirty version is this: Romans did elect magistrates for certain positions we would term 'executive.' But all legislative power was vested in an assortment of popular assemblies. The senate was an advisory body made up of former magistrates who'd attained a respectable rank, but it had no direct legislative powers.

In short, the meanings of these words have changed so much that saying the Greeks had no republics but the Romans did requires some parsing. If by republic we mean a representative system, then neither Greeks nor Romans had republics. But if we mean what the Romans meant, then many Greek poleis were republics.

Comment Specific Complains (Score 5, Informative) 2219

In honor of you posting recognition of today's complaints, I've posted this using the beta. Even if some consider it pro forma at this point, here are some specific complaints:
1) "Oops! You do not appear to have javascript enabled. We're making progress in getting things working without JavaScript." Glad to hear it. No one should be "migrated" so long as javascript is mandatory.
2) White space and wasted space. Enough have made detailed complaints about this, so I'll just register my chagrin. I will say this: the people who come to this site are used to, indeed prefer, a denser presentation of information. This includes the text editor, which is absurdly restrictive on the x-axis.
3) Font size. Perhaps this falls under wasted space, but it's atrocious enough to deserve its own comment.
4) Incomplete summaries. Waste less space and use as much of the old summary as "Classic". (I recognize the drop-down menu allows one to switch between "Standard", "Classic", and "Headlines", but this, again, requires javascript. What is more, Standard adds nothing. Changes shouldn't be made for the sake of changing something. A change should be an improvement.)
5) Absurd margins on the right.
6) Obnoxious or irrelevant photos. We're literate here. Many of us read books that go on for hundreds of pages without a picture. We don't need pictures added like some security blanked.
7) Load more? The old system gave preference to higher modded comments but did not require that you filter for higher comments to see them. Of course when there are a great many comments, a load more button is useful. But such a button should not be obscuring high ranked comments within moments of an article being posted.

8) I just found another as I went to "Preview Comment." Why does the p tag produce what looks like four lines of white space?
9) Above all, all changes should be subjected to this test: Do they get in the way of the conversation? Do they make it harder to scan through the conversation, looking for interesting comments. If so, they are not improvements. They detract from the reason people come to Slashdot.
The formatting matters are some of the most obvious and often discussed. They should also be the easiest to fix.

Comment The Last One (Today)? (Score 3, Informative) 135

If beta isn't stopped, it will be time to leave. Until that time, it's probably best to protest about it in shifts. Pick a time of the day to make your complaint known, then leave off visiting Slashdot for the day. Otherwise, today's protests will be just a flash in the pan. Constantly protesting is rather demoralizing, but it should continue until the beta is obligatory. Think of it, therefore, as a hike rather than a sprint.

Comment A redesign 16 years in the making... (Score 1) 221

Wow. One more thing. Clicking "Tour the New Slashdot", one is presented with the following claim:

A redesign 16 years in the making... you know it's going to be good.

Hey, I fell for that when I decided to play Duke Nukem Forever. I'll never get those 10 minutes of my life back. Fool me once...

Comment Re:Slashdot: Social Media for B2B Technology (Score 1) 221

That's funny. We used to have "user engagement." Now the engagement consists (rightly) in screaming about the beta. That gives an interesting spin on the stuff they're bragging about:

2.9 Million Monthly Unique Visitors [All of which will say WTF!?! when they make their monthly visit in February.]
4,653 Average Comments Per Day [Peaking well about this when it was announced that the beta was being phased in. 93% of the comments include the keywords "Fuck" and "Beta".]
93 Million Page Views Per Month [Past Performance Is Not an Indicator of Future Results.]

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