A collection of 190 posts
Building a Better Twitter
Twitter’s current policy on content isn’t one dimensional: It serves up both false positives and false negatives—wrongly banning certain accounts for thoughtcrimes while permitting others to continue on the platform despite engaging in grotesquely abusive behavior.
Problems with Mill’s Masterpiece
The condition of human life is such that we must of necessity be restrained and compelled by circumstances in nearly every action of our lives. Why, then, is liberty, defined as Mr. Mill defines it, to be regarded as so precious? ~James Fitzjames Stephen Of all the works written in
Stephen Kershnar and the Importance of Unaskable Questions
Unpopular, unorthodox and extreme opinions no less than any others need their spokesmen, in order that our chances of discovering truths and making wise decisions be increased. ~Joel Feinberg In January of this year, SUNY Fredonia ethicist Stephen Kershnar appeared on an episode [https://anchor.fm/braininavat/episodes/Sexual-Taboos--Stephen-Kershnar-e1dlqgp/a-a7ao457]
How Much Real-World Extremism Does Online Hate Actually Cause?
While calls to censor hate speech and violent extremist content on social media platforms are common [https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/30/mark-zuckerberg-calls-for-tighter-internet-regulations-we-need-a-more-active-role-for-governments.html] , there’s little evidence that online incitement [https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000260382] leads to real-world radicalization. Ironically, such calls may actually galvanize extremists,
How the Dutch Created Europe’s First Free-Speech Zone More than 400 years Ago
On a Continent embroiled in religious turmoil and persecution, tolerance and free speech found few patches of fertile soil in Western Europe at the dawn of the 17th century. The first such patch was the flat and windswept Low Countries on the North Sea coast. During the so-called Dutch Golden
Against Land Acknowledgements
Regular readers of Quillette may recall my 2018 article “Why Women Don’t Code [https://quillette.com/2018/06/19/why-women-dont-code/],” which led to another describing how I was “Demoted and Placed on Probation [https://quillette.com/2020/01/11/demoted-and-placed-on-probation/].” After a year of probation, I was reappointed for