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I'm winding down on a big refactoring project and have had some free time on my hands. The question was, how do I spend it? Well, glad you asked! I've heard a lot about 'fake news' these days and I started digging around. One thing led to another and before long I came across an article stating that Amazon has quietly shelved all books relating to the Holocaust that do not promote the traditional view I learned. Low and behold, it was true. To find out what the brouhaha was about I looked for one of the books that was dropped. It is titled "Debating the Holocaust - a new look at both sides" by Thomas Dalton. To see what all the fuss was about, I found an online copy and started reading it. Well now, I've only just gotten through the first chapter, I must say it makes a number of very intriguing points, raises some very interesting questions but, from what I've read so far, does not offer anything that resembles 'hate literature'. I'll keep reading and see what else it offers. The question is, did Amazon cave in to 'special interest groups' and this is another example of how our civil rights and liberties are slowing being distorted and curtailed? Stay tuned, I'll let you know once I've finished the book.
Perhaps you don't comprehend that hate literature is, as often as not, wrapped up in honey. Essentially, build a large background of subtle denials. Then use them to reference one another to prove their point.
That, however, now leads right back to your post - perhaps the concept of fake news is. in actuality, your posting this as though said books were suppressed. That, alone, goes a long way to qualify as hate speech of its own. Just say "they" are suppressing some secret truth or taking away some right. "Special Interest Groups" - who are you bullshitting with that line? Who could you possibly mean? Nod. Wink. Wink. Perhaps your jackboots need some polish?
Your post, in it's special way, isn't up to the standards of the Soapbox. There, at least, we stand up and scream aloud!
Lighten up and stop taking yourself so seriously. My original comment was intended as a light hearted banter on finally having some free time, the evils of fake news, Amazon and what certainly is my very first conspiracy book - without having your heated breath on my neck. Looks like RyanDev was bang on the money when he said this can easily get inappropriate. Now is a good time to bow out. Enjoy your day.
To answer the question : no. Amazon is a private entity and as such can choose what they want to sell. We do not have the right to tell them what they can and can not sell. This means our rights and liberties have not been distorted or curtailed in the slightest in this case.
Yesterday, I spent the morning looking for the book. When I tried Amazon.com (and Amazon.ca - for us Canadians, eh?) I received a notice that "the URL was not available" and to go to the main page. I could order the book from Barnes and Noble as well as European web sites but then found an online copy at archive.org. Anyways, I'll give it a read - if only to tick off Balbos.
The question is, did Amazon cave in to 'special interest groups' and this is another example of how our civil rights and liberties are slowing being distorted and curtailed?
No, but it could be coming.
It's a dangerous line we are on right now (well many lines as we are approaching the singularity of humanity and its definition but that is a different topic).
On one hand we have a flood of disinformation intended to confuse and distort actual truth. In the middle we have bias true information that is riddled with opinion to lead the readers perception in one direction. On the other extreme we have white papers that have no opinion are fact based but criticized by the earlier (disinformation flood) for not promoting their political or religious agenda.
Science is under attack and so is truth. If we come out of this mess with an overseer allowing one to bubble up over the other we as a society will be OK, but only for now. The fact is society changes. Only a few generations back we have to go to find slavery (actually it still is in effect around the world, but society shuns it) as excepted by society. This means even if we created the ultimate AI or watch dog agency that could with 100% provide truth vs. fallacy we would have set ourselves up for failure. Why?
Back to the middle. Those media pieces that use fact to state their opinion are a sign of society. In general, they come about because society is lashing back against something (be it state, corporation, a person, any entity really) about following a path that the writer, the writers sponsors, and often the readers want changed. If something contains this they how do we as a society improve or evolve?
My thoughts on this are we need society itself to wise up. Most people on this forum (yes most, not all) are quite smart and can read between the lines of bias articles and still take out the content. Most people on this forum can see a BS article for what it is, and most can read through a white paper without falling asleep. This is simply NOT true for "Most" people in general though.
Take the 2004 election for example. In that election you had a guy that could barely form a complete and accurate sentence against a guy that would ramble on about facts and data and can come off as condescending when not easily understood by the listener. Well in case you are not sure the guy that could not manage putting sentences together won. Someone once pointed out to me that not everyone wants to be told why and how, they just what to here what is going to be done. That's it. Keep it simple and to the point. Intellectual's do not work that way. If you tell them what is going to happen the first thing they will like ask is "Why" followed by "How". They want to know and if you can't explain it, they do not trust you.
How does this relate to fake news?
Both types of politicians use it but in a differing way. This time around we hit an extreme on one side in that not only are the sentences incomplete and the grammar makes no sense but the person also references content from terribly unreliable sources as truth. This is done of course with his own affirmation bias, but the repetition and frequency of it is so high that actual truth is now under attack.
Those that claim a news org like CNN is fake are his flock. While CNN may be bias they source their material properly and by no means is fake. In comparison, the National Enquirer (which has been known to be Satire all my life) was used by him as a reference to black on white crime and is now repeated over and over by his followers. When asked for references they pivot the argument and claim the numbers documented are lies and not all criminals are caught so there is even more. This is not an argument. This is straw man.
This is not to say things are not opinionated in the mainstream media, but to claim fake is a fallacy and ignorant to actual data.
Computers have been intelligent for a long time now. It just so happens that the program writers are about as effective as a room full of monkeys trying to crank out a copy of Hamlet.
The interesting thing about software is it can not reproduce, until it can.
I did not intend my OP to be taken so seriously. But I do appreciate the time, thought and consideration you put into your comment. Nevertheless, we should refrain from further commentary as it will entice the 'jackboots' (e.g. Balbos) to come out of hiding - my bad!
"the debugger doesn't tell me anything because this code compiles just fine" - random QA comment "Facebook is where you tell lies to your friends. Twitter is where you tell the truth to strangers." - chriselst "I don't drink any more... then again, I don't drink any less." - Mike Mullikins uncle
Could you be right? Sure. Are you likely right? I doubt it.
As you pointed out, there are two sides to every story (at a minimum!) So Amazon's side of the story is probably something along these lines:
People (generally) don't know how to think critically anymore. A person can still be smart, but people (especially those in Amazon's first and presumably still primary market, the US,) are a rather ignorant and easily cowed lot anymore. If we (Amazon) offer to sell books that hold an unpopular opinion, we (Amazon) will most likely be seen to support that point of view. This will lead to loss of customer base, and lost revenue, which is obviously a bad thing.
Any special interest group can go to Amazon and ask them to stop selling X or Y product for A or B reason. But being a business, they aren't going to do anything that negatively affects profits. Could they be bribed enough money to more than compensate for lost sales? Maybe. But could you imagine the even bigger hit to sales if that bribery ever came to light? I doubt there's enough money available in circulation to compensate for the precipitous fall Amazon could be subjected to for a misstep.
Now, as to the Holocaust issue (I promise to keep this lounge worthy,) I am not a Holocaust denier. I'm only 31, so obviously I have no first hand proof one way or the other. I've also never met a survivor to hear their story, so no second hand knowledge either. However, it seems silly to deny that the Holocaust ever happened, given that it would require millions of people to have lied about what happened during that period (which borders on conspiracy levels of paranoia to think that everyone would cover it up...)
I also believe that the motivations leading to the atrocities of the Holocaust are many and varied. I won't go as far as to say they were justified (because seriously, any grown person should understand that what happened was objectively wrong,) but sometimes situations get so far out of hand that it is beyond one person to correct. I'm glad that someone took the time to explore the issue from both sides and get it published. At the very least, understanding the reasons and motivations of the Nazi party will help prevent something similar from ever happening again.
Chuckle, let me take a quick crack at this. You are from the country where the current administration denies human contribution is a major factor in global warming. You are also from the country which is inundated in an avalanche of fake news each and every day. Your country fomented conflict and strife in Ukraine and then claimed the Russians were the aggressors, your country imposes regime change on sovereign countries under patently false pretenses and historically falsifies information in its' support of dictators, theocracies and governments that impose harsh and oppressive measures on it's own people plus oppression and suffering to hundreds of millions of people. Your civil rights and privacy are being whittled away on an ongoing basis, your government's surveillance policy largely targets it's citizens .... and then you have the audacity to tell me what is fake and what is not fake? Surely even you can see the raw irony in your response.
I've never had any interest in the topic until now so I'll read the book and see what the fuss is all about. If what you say is true that your country has passed legislation to ban discussion of an idea then that is truly a very sad reflection on the one country that proclaims itself to be the beacon of democracy and free thought.
Sudden Sun Death Syndrome (SSDS) is a very real concern which we should be raising awareness of. 156 billion suns die every year before they're just 1 billion years old.
While the military are doing their part, it simply isn't enough to make the amount of nukes needed to save those poor stars. - TWI2T3D (Reddit)
I've been banging on the keyboard, night and day, for the past three weeks and really need an interesting diversion. I think I've found one.
As for this particular topic, I've never paid it any real attention until I read that Amazon banned these books. So I picked one that had previously been given high ratings on Amazon and decided the only way to come to an informed opinion was to check it out for myself. Cheers,
P.S. The first chapter addresses introduces the very points you raise. This is going to be an interesting read.
So, in our careers, I'm sure we've all learned there are really smart people and there are those that aren't. Maybe they pretend to be smart when not, maybe they embrace being not so smart and just laugh at it. Maybe they're not book smart, but street smart. And sometimes we think someone is less intelligent, when they're in fact super smart. And vice versa. Either way, you get the drift. However, despite appearances, there are those that seem to figure things out and those that don't.
And by the nature of even suggesting you're more intelligent than another, also lends itself to arrogance. Which everyone knows arrogance and intelligence conflict and cannot be considered smart. And yet, even Einstein thought the world stupid. And of course, it doesn't mean to say that less intelligent people cannot teach more intelligent people things and vice versa.
But, what do you guys do, when faced with a situation where you feel it's impossible to grow intellectually because of the environment? In situations where you clearly know you're the smartest in the room, save a few gems you meet on occasion? And I don't mean smart as in knowing more about computers. I mean smart as in being more aware and conscious, less in your head and more observant, picking up on things quicker, remembering more, etc... cognition and perception prowess as it were. Everyone else seems dazed and confused, and you get bored.
I know for me, I've been annoyed and frustrated with this practically my whole life, to the point it can create undue stress. Which is counter intuitive and destructive actually, because increased "knowing" should make people happy. And frustration is bad juju that's contagious. And yet, I'm still undecided if this is mainly due to me looking for the worst in people and trying to feel smarter due to inherent insecurities, or in fact I just am. Or both.
Surely, someone on CP has faced this too? What do you guys do when you clearly know you see things clearer but you're alone in that regards?
And that's a wise stance on it. But, what happens when you feel even that's been exhausted from those in your daily life? Not everyone chooses to continue growth. People peak, get intellectually comfortable, and then coast it out until they die. I'm sure you can always use a constant reminder of what other people's perspectives are like and learn from that continuously, but what about when you even feel like that's been exhausted?
Seems to be the only answer to is to move on. And I'm probably overthinking this.
Yeah I know what you mean and it's frustrating but there's nothing you can do about it. A lot of people are content to not progress further and you just have to accept it. Fortunately I can chose who I hang with!
But, what happens when you feel even that's been exhausted from those in your daily life?
I come to the lounge
If something has a solution... Why do we have to worry about?. If it has no solution... For what reason do we have to worry about? Help me to understand what I'm saying, and I'll explain it better to you Rating helpful answers is nice, but saying thanks can be even nicer.
In situations where you clearly know you're the smartest in the room,
No you are not, your boss is smarter than you.
A story I heard: A person [who also assumed he was the smartest person in the room] walks up to (Trump? Buffet? - can't remeber which) and says to him, "I've got an MBA so I'm smarter than you, you should work for me and we will be even more successful." X (who btw himself didn't have an MBA) replies, "I own a building with a whole floor full of people with MBA's, and they all work for me."
As long as you are an employee: sorry but you are not the smartest guy in the room, and it's that simple.
Goes beyond business, for instance even domestic cats are smarter then their human owners, all the cat needs to do is hang around and act friendly, the owner has to go out and earn money, buy the food, carry it home, open the tin, and put it on the plate. Sure if the owner dies the cat is SOL, but in normal day-to-day life the cat's way ahead.
'smartest' is relative and fluid. It's not about being best, it's about getting what you want. All the cat really wants is food with the least effort.
And finally yes: if you're stuck working with or/and for idiots you will be dragged down, the opposite will never happen. Only way to improve that situation is to leave - but first [to show you're smarter] have a plan on what's next. (Even the cat might leave if the neighbours food is better or less work - but it'll most likely take both if it's not too hard.)
Create a facebook account under a nom de plum and make fun of the idiots there. At least you have an outlet that doesn't include, "And then reload", in the instruction set.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 - You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 - When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
(Please note that the above answer was required to be posted. Don't take it personally, unless you want to. It may make you feel better. It may not. Does it matter? Should it matter? Is this all too matter-of-fact?)
Well that's all fine and dandy, but by virtue of quickly dismissing it and condemning it like that, it would put you in the same category that I mentioned myself may be in towards the bottom of it where I simply just may or may not look down on people. Which is to say, if it's really to be considered stupid, then so are you for acting the same way.
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