Aristotle: Politics | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

and enforcement with respect to the issues surrounding illegal P2P file sharing.

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They are all different, Raven, Sweetleaf, Jeremy, Doug and the others, but they share a rebellious nature, a comination of innocence and weary cynicism, and a tendency to get into trouble with the law (often not their fault) since citations for trespassing usually means they've found a place to sleep that wasn't legal.

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Megan McArdle: And again, I think people are basically nice, decent people who want the world to be a better place. And they have all sorts of other, human, less lovely attributes. They can be callous. They can--I can, I admit, this in myself include this in myself--I have all the same flaws as everyone else, right? We can be callous towards others, who would use others can differ. But it was the Adam Smith line that an earthquake in China interests us less than like a cut we got on our little finger. That, we can be unkind. We get angry. We say things we don't mean. We don't want to hurt people. Those are all normal human things. We enjoy watching other people get hurt--other people, if those other people we perceive as our enemies. Whether those people are opposing football teams or whether those people are on Twitter who are getting dressed down by someone on your side. Those are normal human things. But the fact is, a better life--an actual better life--a better life for comes from embracing the positive side and not the dark side. And, in fact, also, a better society comes out of that--is that we get a lot farther, yes. The debate should be rigorous. I'm not against the sly joke and all the rest of it. Debate should be absolutely rigorous and vigorous--which was the word I had meant to use; again I plead middle age. But in the end--I wrote a column about the fact that America is like a marriage. It's like a marriage in a country with no divorce. You cannot win a marriage. You can only win something that ends before you do. And so, you can't just beat the other 50% of the population. They are here. You've got to figure out a way to live with them. If we want, we can have a bad marriage. There were lots of them around before divorce was legal. There are still some around now. We can have a terrible marriage where we scream at each other and we are bitter; we say nasty things to each other all the time. But you don't win that. You lose that. You lose that. Because, now you are in a miserable marriage. And the other person has just as much power to hurt you as you have to hurt them. And that is, I think, in a lot of ways the lesson of Trump--is that people--and you know, you can also say the lesson of gay marriage, where social conservatives turned around and said, 'Why is everyone beating me up?' and, like, 'Well, these people felt like you were beating up for a long time, that's why.'

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Russ Roberts: And I follow you. So, one could argue: The way to deal with this is the way I deal with it occasionally--I've mentioned--I took Twitter off my phone. Doesn't always last, but I took it off my phone. That's really more for mindless, just sort of scrolling instead of thinking about something more seriously or engaging with human beings. But, some of it is also--I think of it as the corrosive aspect on my soul--or my person, however you want to think about it. Some of the attitudes aren't so good for us. Or, I don't like what they do to me or the way they make me feel. And, you've really got--speaking as the economist of the conversation, you said, 'Outrage is really cheap.' Or you said something like that. I think that's the right way to think about it. But it raises a question--before we get into your essay--it raises the question: 'Why cheaply-expressed outrage has such power?' I hadn't really thought about this. Certainly many of the people we are talking about--there are so many examples, I almost feel like we shouldn't mention them exactly, because they don't need any more publicity than they already have. But, like, EconTalk is going to push the numbers over the top, right? Really make it bad for these people. But, some of these people, they had a hard time. The question one could ask is: Why? Maybe the problem is not so much the Internet as it is that a company would for making a bad joke. A company would fire someone for a memo that--when I read it, I was shocked at how thoughtful it was. It's not what I expected to be the kind of memo at Google that would get somebody fired. I've talked to some friends of mine at Google. And, they actually described--and I want to bring this up; maybe we'll get back; I think we get back to this later. But, James Damore has appeared often, sometimes--I don't know how often--but he wears a shirt that says 'Goolag' on the front--G-o-o-l-a-g [evident pun on Gulag--Econlib Ed.] in Google's font and colors. And, in a way there's something obscene about that. To compare Google to a Soviet labor camp where people died regularly just from not having good enough clothing for the weather they were in, or enough food to keep them alive; plus, there was actual murder. So, something obscene about that. And at the same time--and I've never spoken to him directly. But, other Google people have told me that it's like a Soviet re-education system. That there's an intolerance and an authoritarianism, a--and, of course, they won't say this publicly, because they don't want to have the shaming and they don't want to be fired. But, it's an incredible thing, that that's the case. And it raised the question: How did that happen? How is it that--I think of it as just a variation on political correctness--how is it that the that something that has been said or written that's lead to being ? As opposed to real malfeasance? Right? Harming other people? Destroying company property? Letting secrets out into the world--being careless with confidential information? Those are the things that used to get you fired. Right? Not doing your job well. Now, expressing an opinion gets you fired? And of course I think that's also a part of the [?] for the Internet. So, why don't you react to that.

Social & Political Issues in America: Resources in the Media Resources Center, UC Berkeley


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Russ Roberts: I want to talk for a minute, though, about how you and I, who write publicly, or talk publicly, as we're doing now, might respond to this. So, one of the things I already learned from our conversation today is the number--it may be right--we realize how many times I say to someone, 'You're the only person I can say this to.' It's--I mean, usually, other than my life. What I mean is, 'in public.' Right? I have a couple of friends who I know will vilify me, if I concede, I believe, x, y, or z. But, it's weird that I have to that. And I mean it, too. There are a lot of things that can't be said. So, one reaction to this, which is not my first thought, but it's an interesting one, perhaps, is to say, 'I'm not going to let the Internet shaming mob cow me. I am not going to be--I'm going to bear the price. I'm going to face the consequences'--knowing that they're there, of saying things that are politically incorrect or socially unacceptable if indeed I think they might be true. And I might qualify them. Knowing that of course qualification doesn't help. You know, saying, 'I'm not sure, but,' doesn't really help. You are still going to get attacked. So, that's one response. You recently wrote, for example--I don't know where you wrote it; I saw this on Twitter. You had the temerity and the gall and the courage to say that there might be benefits from climate change, even though it's maybe the case that the costs will massively outweigh and overwhelm the benefits. But, that there could be benefits. Talk about the reaction to that and what you think of this idea of just sort of speaking truth as you see it, even though you are going to bear a cost. Because, you bore a cost for that.

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“In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations.” Neil Gross, 1999

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According to a veteran researcher, (Director of Stanford’s Precourt Center for Energy) – The Internet of Things can help decarbonize our energy system, provide modern energy systems to every human being, manage our infrastructure, and allow us to adapt to and address climate change in its best fashion.