One of those recaptcha things asked me to identify parking meters. So I did. But it said I was wrong.

But then I clicked on the mailbox and it approved it as 'correct'.

Tons of peaceful protestors at the state capital today.

Another rude comic where SMBC comics endorses nihilism.

smbc-comics.com/comic/metaphys

Sometimes it's values nihilism. Here, it's a lazy kind that says our indirect sensory access of reality means nothing is real.

And as always, it's always half-jokey. Flirting with a position but not really going all the way to approving it.

ughghghgh why

When people agree for the wrong reasons 

It's kind of like that thing about Schrodinger's Douchebag: an incredibly offensive statement was either sincerely intended or 'obviously' a joke, depending on how people react to it.

And that's the value of a joke that entertains a version of reality favored by the person who tells the joke. They get to put forward an image of a world they want to bring into existence, make the impression more familiar. But it's just a joke, so criticism misses the point

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When people agree for the wrong reasons 

(2/2) AND that Lakers fans clearly WILL be there and boos should be expected, because the parade will be marching right through the center of Lakers fan territory.

I'd be interested in some of the theory of misinformation/online communication that makes sense of this idea that comments that rise to the top are ones that are capable of sustaining incompatible meetings. They are full of hedged bets, and multiple meanings.

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When people agree for the wrong reasons 

The two ways this thread could be interpreted are (1) Lakers fans are obviously going to be out and booing a Clippers championship parade and (2) they obviously aren't.

And amazingly, there are comments in reply that justify both perceptions, by pointing out that the site of the parade would be Lakers ground zero, which could both imply that Lakers fans would not be going out of their way to be present at the parade, AND (1/2)

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When people agree for the wrong reasons 

And adjacent to this is the fact that people are intensely aware of the phenomenon of mass shared agreement, and any individual would confidently explain what the thread was 'really' about if you asked.

But if you aggregated all those individual explanations together they would all be incompatible with each other, save for the quality of being expressed in a super confident way.

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When people agree for the wrong reasons 

I think the role that ambiguity plays in Reddit comment sections has been underexamined.

I think huge masses of people upvote vague comments because they strike a venn diagram of a different possible meanings, all of which are incompatible with each other, but which collectively, are salient to a large group of people.

I've attached this Reddit thread as an example. It's either super obvious or not obvious that Lakers fans would come out to boo Clippers

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On piracy and the "You can't stop the spread of software!" argument (5/5) 

And after decades of interminable debates, these rationalizations and many others are baked into internet culture as settled inviolable truths.

And now, in a completely different context, of regulating the spread of AI, people are using the same rationalization: "it's gonna get out inevitabley" to give up and do nothing.

It's much easier to do than to map out & think about the tediously vast logistical landscape.

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On piracy and the "You can't stop the spread of software!" argument (4/5) 

Similarly there was the self serving argument that the spread of information was inevitable anyway.

Which may or may not be true depending on a billion practical considerations, some of which favored that view decades ago but don't now & could easily change at any given moment.

(Not that I've *ever* watched porn video ever, but I have heard from those who do that information definitely doesn't stay on the net forever)

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On piracy and the "You can't stop the spread of software!" argument (3/4) 

And again, on the whole, I think piracy was a net positive. I just happen to think that, of the whole range of justifications offered, that one was one of several that were disengenuous.

And what happens to quickly is that if you point out it's disingenuous, people feel the need to defend disingenuous reasons as if it's the same as defending piracy itself.

Really the best reason is that it made the world a better place.

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On piracy and the "You can't stop the spread of software!" argument (2/3) 

For example, people would say I just pirate music so that I can sample before I buy. Which was a delusional rationalization, even then. The number of ways to preview tracks was widespread even then. If anyone wants to dispute that, I could list at least a dozen non-piracy ways to sample music online. If anyone wants to dispute those examples it would be over how this or that service doesn't perfectly fit idiosyncratic needs

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On piracy and the "You can't stop the spread of software!" arguy 

The early internet culture of piracy had any number of rationalizations and justifications.

I thought that age was magical and fun, and the benefits that went to young people vastly outweighed the harm, which I think was largely trumped up by industry lawyers and the like.

So on the whole, I think it was good for the world. But that said, I feel that a lot of the rationalizations were totally disingenuous. For example... (1/3)

hackernews (-) 

hn on every free speech thread:

"racism, nazism, homophobia shouldn't be suppressed. They should be defeated in the marketplace of ideas."

hn on gun research:

"the results of gun research could be misrepresented. therefore it should be suppressed and not funded!"

latest hackernews complaint (-) 

I was looking at an old submission of mine, on research showing that stretching before exercise doesn't reduce injuries.

The responses broke down into three major camps:

- the title is highly misleading for (reasons)
- this is obvious, old news
- this is obviously wrong and stupid

Everyone agreed it was bad, but no one reason was consistent with anyone else's reason.

US Politics Conspiracy Theory 

The bi-partisan consensus to Break Up Big Tech, but not any other monopoly of any kind at all, is because Big Tech is loaded with money and tilts Democratic.

So it's the one set of monopolies that R's are okay with breaking up.

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