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So @sama has articulated the way many guys in Silicon Valley feel about "free speech". It's not a very sophisticated or informed view, but it's pretty common and he's influential, so it's worth identifying why it's dangerous and wrong.
E Pur Si Muove
Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me.  I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco.  I didn’t feel...
blog.samaltman.com
438 replies and sub-replies as of Dec 15 2017

First, the rhetoric of some of the most wealthy & powerful people in the history of the world being "unable to say" things is ridiculous. What they mean is, "when I say these things that others find dangerous or harmful, I get mean responses". Which is... actual free speech.
Then let's take Sam's most awful example: "it’s possible we have to allow people to say disparaging things about gay people if we want them to be able to say novel things about physics". Well, guess what? The lives of gay people matter more than novel physics. More than money.
Now here's the critical logical failure: @sama frames the risk of hate speech as whether it will "convince any reasonable people that such a statement is true". This is where things become actually dangerous, in ways he is unwilling or unable to understand.
The _true_ danger when powerful people cut checks to those who will openly malign gay people (or women/PoC/the disabled/other underrepresented groups) is this: Will it embolden those who will commit violence against these groups?
It's not a thought exercise about what *reasonable* people will do. It's about whether providing resources, support & institutional backing to hatred increases the likelihood of marginalized people being victims of violence. (Answer: it does.)
This is a concern because _this has actually happened_. Mainstream, big-name VCs have cut checks or provided resources to white supremacists. To bigots of all stripes including, of course, men who commit sexual harassment. Concerned about free speech? Stop funding violent men.
But ultimately, even accepting this framing of the argument is obviously conceding an intellectually dishonest assertion. Compare to the death threats & rape threats that women/PoC in Silicon Valley face when they speak up about abuses. This is the "free speech" problem to solve.
Peter Thiel is one of the most visible assholes
Yep, it's key to understand the way that "i support your bad free speech!" is a security vulnerability.
But for physics all is forgiven (contra almost all historical evidence).
I've said it before, you can have a perfectly functional democracy and treat Nazis and people who advocate genocide for what they are (criminals). In fact it kind of goes hand in hand
(it's easy to forget, in the name of free speech, how the US dealt with Nazis at the end of WWII - it was swift, throrough and brutal and it would shock, shock Mr. Altman's conscience).
a point he misses is that free speech that victimizes marginalized people (like his "gay people are evil" example) causes us to miss the innovation ("novel things in physics" in his analogy) that those marginalized people would contribute if they weren't targeted/victimized
even if our ultimate goal is innovation over acceptance of the marginalized – which is really shouldn't be – there's still a loss of potential innovation if we're letting the potential next Einstein be made too uncomfortable with the physics community to participate
Yes, this. A thousand times this. Women are half the world. "Minorities" half the world. Gays/LBGT... spectrum a good chunk. Letting asshat white male haters run rampant is *at least* suppressing 80% of the brilliant ideas out there. At least.
And by "the world" I should have said US. Because if you look beyond the US, 95% of the world isn't the US. 3 brilliant Chinese kids, 3 brilliant Indian kids, 13 *other* brilliant kids born outside US for each brilliant US kid, BEFORE deducting 80% for straight white male. STUPID
I'm a white male privileged in many ways by genetics lottery, upbringing, and education. I know there are ~100 equals born the same day, with every bit of smarts I was born with who are out in other places and situations and never get the chances. Many w better work ethic.
[CN: violent anti-semitism] If you don't understand the way Altman's naivety is dangerous, read about how today's Nazis want to exploit exactly this naivety to gain recruits & push for genocide. huffingtonpost.com/entry/daily-st…
I trust most silicon valley bros about as far as I can throw 'em. And I have a really fucked up shoulder and can barely lift my arm. so there's that.
Have you had a chance to read nplusonemag.com/issue-30/the-i… ? It seems directly pertinent too:
This was also a strategy outlined by Moldbug, who’s identifiable within or adjacent to their social circles. He called it a flaw in liberal democracy.
"neither here nor there" Lord help us.
Altman and his ilk refuse to accept that hate speech drowns out legitimate speech. The two cannot coexist. Nor do they take responsibility for how they allow themselves to be manipulated by fascists, bigots, and bullies. They are either naive or complicit.
"Nor do they take responsibility for how they allow themselves to be manipulated by fascists, bigots, and bullies." I like to dig out this in support... #HN & the ^no politics day^ the day #Thiel with the rest of #SV meet at the oval office. cf <reuters.com/article/us-usa…>
Wow. That’s connecting two dots across diffferent universes. Both positions are fraught with issues and are wrong, but connected? C’mon man.
I would argue any marginalized person knows those two universes quite well. 👩🏻‍🚀👨🏾‍🚀👩🏽‍🚀👨🏻‍🚀
Jesus. Did you really just call Sam Altman a Nazi for saying that SF doesn't respond well to differences of opinion? I think you need to take a break from the internet.
Nope. He said he was supporting Nazis for suggesting that their recruiting needs to be protected as a non-objected-to opinion.
Or more specifically, I think probably we shouldn’t cut checks to Nazis & hope they’re just kidding.
It's a little like how he's supporting Trump by supporting Thiel.
I’m sorry you aren’t able to read English very well. I hope it’s because it’s a language you don’t know well and not because you’re being deliberately dishonest.
I understand, thank you for apologizing for making it sound like you were characterizing Sam Altman as a Nazi. No harm done.
But... you literally just didn’t respond well to Anil’s opinion. And then told him he needed to not partake in the internet. Like... this response is precisely the problem, no?
I didn't say his ideas should be suppressed, I said that he needs to take a break because he's showing signs of serious psychological confusion and distress.
Though he's corrected the issue, apparently he wasn't characterizing Sam as Nazi-like in any way, so it was just a bit of confusion on both our parts.
Right on. I'm glad we're discussing. In that case I show signs of serious psychological confusion and distress frequently. But hey what's new. 😄
Gotta tell you, based on my twitter feed you're far from alone. If I didn't know better, I'd think twitter itself was a leading cause of anxiety.
why that might actually be one of their success metrics. <kidding not really>
calling it naivete plays into his hands. it’s more likely he’s another cryptofascist.
et al are wrong in their critiques but I think what they are asking for is to be treated kindly. Where were they when [insert group] asked them for kindness? Nowhere. Your response feels accurate but vindictive. Is that fair? It's beyond me.
these cats are soft as tissue paper.
There is not only one free speech problem to solve.
Thank you for this thread, it puts in words the gut feeling I had reading that. Also, it's easy to feel like China has more free speech when you aren't actually subject to living under their government controls. I suspect many locals would disagree.
And let's not look past the fact that some of the VCs are white supremacists.
isn’t part of any marginalised group right? That would explain the flawed logic. If a person can’t put themselves in our shoes then they should listen to us rather talk so much
yes not even a question
So folks shouldn’t have supported MLK for his great ideas, even though his treatment of women was very flawed? 🤔 🤔
also - the problem isn't whether this person who hates [fill in the blank] will convince other people. The problem is that this person hates [fill in the blank]. Don't diminish the danger of individuals and small hate groups. One guy shot 500.
This argument also ignores the fact that other countries that do have laws against hate speech are no less free than the US.
You can have physics geniuses that don’t say mean things; this isn’t a zoidberg. It doesn’t incite violence, it is violence. Ez pz.
This is Damore-lite. Or Damore-like. Reasonable sounding but utterly dangerous
Also, it's bollocks.
Also: there is no unique genius or ideas. Techies like to pretend they are irreplacable because its a natural human impluse, but there are dozens if not hundreds of qualified people who can replace the homophobe whose good at physics.
Apologies for the wild typos, turned off predictive text due to bug issues, now realize I'm terrible at the tiny keyboard.
Also, it presumes that the novel thing in physics will be stated by a straight person.
Yep. I was going to explicitly call that out but was already going too long.
Also: what's destructive is that the ideas of marginalized people get ignored because we tolerate those in power who are intolerant. I would guess that there are more brilliant people in the world than the very few who get the chance to pursue their passions.
We know there are.
Understating for emphasis. We have failures at every level, starting w/a one size fits all educational system. Oh & just because it's that kind of day, today's Net Neutrality bs will make it harder for marginalized people to get access to education. Too early to start drinking?
Physics matters more.
A THOUSAND TIMES THIS. But sadly most Valley techbros (and many others) would argue that no, our lives don’t matter as much as physics.
The sheer hypocrisy as he defends the right to make disparaging comments about gay people while equating disparaging comments about his own shit ideas as oppression. The fuck?!
The thing that is bothersome, is that it’s being established as if you have to choose between social progress and economic/scientific/$other progress. I don’t think that’s frequently the case, and when it is, why is social progress never the option chosen?
The part about misunderstanding the reality is "we have to allow people to say"—it's not only that nobody has any power or right to allow or not allow others to say anything, it's unwillingness to understand that a person has only one power—control own reactions, not other people
It also supposes a one genius fallacy, that the bigot is the only person destined to solve the problem when in fact the gay people they disparage may offer even more valuable improvements to our lives.
the idea that you could fund a non-homophobic/racist physicist and get probably the same results as funding a homophobic/racist physicist is totally alien to people who have an unwavering faith in their own unique genius. sam altman has no idea how pedestrian he really is
The rest of this thread is good, but this is the part that always fascinates me--so often the people crying loudest about "Free Speech" are in effect trying to stifle it.
The folks upset about protests over Milo and Ann Coulter wanted the police to deter protesters--ie, shutting down free speech.
When I point this out, people almost invariably refer to the "Heckler's Veto," which they think means "raising your voice to drown out another," but that is not, and has never been, what that term means.
From being at many such events in the Bay Area, it’s worth keeping in mind that hardline no platforming (the hecklers veto) is rare. This handwringing from the press is disingenuous.
Also I have friends at Berkeley who have had violent right-wing groups target them, blocking exits from evening meetings in classrooms.
Free speech for anyone who believes like me that the marketplace of ideas is more important than the safety of those they affect
While he’s in China, Altman should also try loudly and publicly talking about some controversial ideas about the Party being corrupt and a change in government being necessary and see how long he feels comfortable discussing those ideas there.
They would do nothing to a rich Westerner saying anything he likes.
Ironically, many of the Eastern cultures tend to value courtesy a lot more than being upfront, so who knows if the people around him were actually so cool with what he was saying. They may not want to tell him to his face what they really think.
He should do a meetup about VPNs and Tor and bypassing censorship and using crypto currencies in violation of local laws and report back. I am genuinely curious.
It's also frustrating because in China, he's The Money. Of course it's safe for him to talk about stuff in China because literally everybody is doing their level best to accommodate him, make him feel good and get him to invest his money. Even that would only go so far, though.
The responses are made with the assumption that speech is violence and in some cases, the response is actual violence for whatever ‘inflammatory’ speech the response was for. There is no reason, for example, for Ben Shapiro to need $600k of security.
I thought he was complaining about not being able to hear things. If you can't hear, you won't get any warning that a conman is about to be elected President or a pervert about to be nominated as Senator.
One person’s legitimate criticism is another person’s hate speech.
Only rarely; most people understand power dynamics and that it’s not actually a meaningful critique to say “Let’s exterminate group X”, etc.
my fav BS response to the backlash is: "the backlash proves he's right!" it's so Trumpy.
which of course is also wrong: he doesn't have to delete his post and won't get fired from his job (which is more than you can say for marginalized people speaking up)
What is with the nostalgic obsession of historical figures like they are demigods without human flaw? “oooOo can you imagine if this scientist that’s dead couldn’t denounce the gays in the comfort of his home?! No gravity!”
Yes! In a culture built on iteration, you have leaders begging us to keep zero day vulnerabilities and bugs in the source code every new release. I want to have less bigot geniuses, please. Let's try that! this is connected to the broader conversation of encouraging bad behavior.
"see, this is why we have trump" is seems to me to be a cousin of whataboutism. Trumpy is a great descriptor.
None of the engagement seems thoughtful to me. I don't see a serious attempt to consider his perspective. It all seems pretty reactive. For people who claim to be concerned with ethics, your ethical views strike me as shallow/unsophisticated and lacking any kind of nuance.
Just once I want some Silicon Valley bro complaining about being oppressed to NOT just be whining that despite their riches & privilege they aren’t allowed to be openly racist/sexist/homophobic without consequences. Just once.
this is probably the best, most concise take on the issue I've ever seen. Nailed it.
I think what he was trying to say was that we are losing out on brilliant people because we are pillorying them for their odious views. To which I say:
Groundbreaking empirical research shows where innovation really comes from
Breaking down barriers for underrepresented kids could quadruple America’s pool of inventors.
vox.com
+1. Attributing our past progress to tolerance of all ideas ignores the highly likely alternate world of even more progress where brilliant minds weren't stifled bc of race or sex or preference. Lots of brilliance the world never got to see bc of thinking like this (e.g. Turing)
👋was just doing some bedtime Twitter thread reading, fancy meeting you here lol. Also, 👌Turing is a perfect example.
Holy crap hi @Miss_Hanie !!! How's life?! And thanks ☺️
this sounds like a real strong argument for san francisco, IMO
I expected San Francisco to be more close-minded, and aggressive about propping up "limousine liberal" ideals. I found the reality to be quite different, that people are more open and inclusive of people and ideas in general, even if they don't fit the mold.
Thanks for doing this, Anil. I can't believe he spent his day whining about this while the FCC was trying to take away the Internet for millions of people.
An honest and sincere question: is there anyone you know with a different opinion on any social issue that you do not believe absolutely to be a vicious and evil bigot, or an enabler thereof?
LOL the sheer fucking condescension. Do you know anybody who cares enough about you to tell you what kind of an asshole you have to be to ask a question like that?
gotta weigh in with Anil here. that was pretty dickish.
I can't imagine being enough of a sanctimonious a-hole to respond to Ben's tweet in this way.
His question implicitly accused me of never having served in my community or engaged honestly in helping people in my neighborhood. That makes him an asshole; that's not complicated.
It was an honest and respectfully worded question that you decided to not reply to constructively. I actually read it curious about your reply as I thought it might actually be thoughtful.
you're easily fooled by flowery language if you sincerely believe this
starting a question with "sincerely and honestly" doesn't negate the condescension of the actual question
I don't know, as a follower of both I was genuinely curious. Anil comes off that way online. I don't know him well enough to judge. He could have constructively made it clear instead of confirming the implied assertion.
Yep. That tweet explicitly accused Anil of not being able to engage with people who disagree with him unless it's to call them evil. It does not deserve anything more than snark.
And the preamble of an honest and sincere question? That means he *honestly* and *sincerely* believes his accusation toward Anil. Flowery language got you, though.
Lol yep. We definitely shouldn't be polite in our online discourse.
Apparently we shouldn't because people like you get fooled by polite speech.
dude, you're seriously missing the point here. despite starting with "an honest and sincere question," the question was NOT "polite"
Remember that scene in The Office where Gareth says Tom can't chat up Rachel because *motions with two fingers from eyes to Rachel* and Tim said "That's it! You've won the argument with that." It's a mood.
Two snarky tweets, but only one gets criticised by this guy. Hm.
Yeah, it was a perfect demonstration of the point of my thread: these people value politeness in form over whether someone is actually being awful. They'd rather hear from "nice" nazis than uppity people of color, and I think that's horseshit.
Starting with “honest and sincere” is like starting with “I have a lot of X friends but”
"My lawyer is Jewish"
Not even close to an accurate comparison. Particularly on an online medium where indicating sarcasm or not is valuable.
That question can be rewritten without the preamble and it means exactly the same thing.
The preamble means you aren't being rhetorical and expect a reply.
John, you just don't get it, sit down and do something else now.
It means you are emphasizing being an asshole not just being one.
The reason why this went to holy shit/hold my beer is because he used China as his counter example
cf: "sealion" the verb
You’re a demagogue on a crusade. How many bodies will be burnt at the stake before you’re satisfied that no one else is consorting with the devil?
I think this is a rephrasing if your “some people are more afraid of being called racist than actually being racist”. Yours is a better sound bite, but this hits the point a little more for me.
It was not honest in any way.
It was a question that was *inherently* disrespectful. For example: “Honest and respectful question: is there any white supremacist position you won't defend?” Do you feel that this is *actually* an honest and respectful question that will lead to meaningful dialogue?
Implying one agrees with all white supremacist is different than simply implying that you may not engage with people that differ with you on a subject as broad as "social issues"
Let me rephrase the question, then, into less weaselly language: “You think that anyone who disagrees with you in any way on any social issue is evil, right?” That's a disrespectful question. It *exactly* mirrors the “you defend white supremacy” question.
The gravity and magnitude of white supremacist ideology is wholly different. The connotation of that is implicitly accusatory. It's a specific and ugly accusation.
Is it not a specific and ugly accusation that you believe anyone who disagrees with you is evil?
My god anil you are really an asshole. You can't listen to one opposite viewpoint.
‘Implicitly accused‘ = ‘did not say that at all but I decided to imagine it did’. Come on.
No, it's pretty clear. Could any person function as a meaningful contributor in their community without meeting those requirements? What you were asking is whether I'm a completely reprehensible human or not. Just the question is a rank insult.
Fwiw: - I strongly agree with @anildash’s critique of @sama - I think Anil misinterpreted @BenedictEvans tweet
Okay, sincere question: if somebody accused you of basically being a dysfunctional sociopath, but framed it in faux-politeness, would you respond in a friendly way?
I agree the question was mean & condescending but I don’t think he was implicitly accusing you of never having served in your community or engaging honestly in helping people in your neighborhood. I think he’s accusing you of not dealing w people who disagree with you reasonably.
And the people involved matter. Anil and Ben are fairly public figures. Neither attack people or are rude online.
And it's trivial to find countless examples of me doing so. Which means either he doesn't know how to use Twitter or Google, or he's actually passive-aggressively trying to present me as a sociopath.
I hear ya. Anyway, I really liked this thread - thanks for writing it.
Anil, like Mark,I am surprised at the violence of your response to Benedict’s tweet (though looking at it now, seems to indicate some kind of history?) which I read differently than you at first. I admire both of you very much, like many others am sure! I hope peace ensues 🙂
Wow, I thought your tweets to Sam's post were really good, but I'm shocked of your aggression towards Benedict's q. Also your justification for it is shocking. "His question insulted me so I HAD to be aggressive to him"= "My wife said something insulting so I head to beat her up"
Please keep your projections about domestic violence to yourself.
Much as I gained immensely by Ben's insights on tech, I must say that in more than one instance I have found his condescension repulsive. And there is a pattern to whom he behaves that way to. It's sad.
Sorry dude, it's your own words. Real free speech is if people can speak up to aggressive and abusive behaviour whether the aggressor likes it or not. As I said, your tweets were great, but doesn't give you the right to act abusive to others who ask something politely.
No, you’re the one who tried to paint me as equivalent to a domestic abuser & is pretending that’s polite. It’s actually pretty fucking rude.
I didn't paint you as anything, because you already painted yourself there. Aggression is never a solution, and since you think there's cases where aggressive behaviour is acceptable I wanted to demonstrate you where this thinking will lead you...
“Aggression is never a solution” from the person who tried to describe me as being like a domestic abuser. Uh huh.
Equating angry tweets with violence is ridiculous. Anger is sometimes warranted and sometimes constructive.
There was nothing polite in what Ben asked. The question was intended to suggest that Anil considered folks who disagreed with him to be a viscous and evil bigot... which we all have enormous evidence to the contrary.
TBH I've never heard of Ben/Anil before 1h ago when I saw Sam's tweet. I thought Anil's tweets were brilliant and then I was shocked when he started swearing in response to a simple q. That's all I know. To an outsider like me it seems v. out of proportion. MB I'm missing history
I don’t know that there is any need for history. If you don’t read Ben’s question and recognize its dishonesty I don’t know what to say.
Notice the use of words to illicit response “viscous and evil bigot”. The attempt here is to use a false equivalence. “People who disagree with you” -> “You think they are bigots”. It’s dishonest because the question assumes no response.
Do you think it’s more rude to swear or to assert that I’m a sociopath incapable of interacting with people in the real world? (Think carefully.)
In all honesty, I don't really want to engage in this any longer. We are all different and feel differently and personally the tone of swearing hit probably a nerve with me which made me believe it was unnecessary, but... 1/2
I don't want to accuse you of anything either. I liked your initial tweets and I'd be happy to leave it at this. I can see how we both probably read things very differently and therefore argue past each other whilst we probably have the same intention from the same good place.
I’m glad you’re engaging in this with an open mind and heart. But what Ben is doing here is using the most basic of rhetorical weapons to discredit Anil in the minds of folks we most need to sway. To ignore that is to lose the power of voice in this arena.
I have just ... a huge amount of respect for what you’re doing here, and I know you’ve got this, hope you don’t mind me hopping in, let me know if that’s not something you want.
The original question was passive-aggressive BS, and the asker got called on it. No one who isn’t an asshole asks “Are you really capable of engaging in respectful dialogue with anyone who disagrees on social issues?” That is equivalent to asking “Are you a sociopath?”
There was nothing polite about that persons question as much as they wanted to frame it as such. Your passive aggression is open hostility, and you need to own that @dustinmoris .
I hope everyone else at @a16z isn’t as condescending and frankly timid as @BenedictEvans. If you want to attack someone come out and do it, but don’t frame it as “reasonable discourse”.
Benedict Evans is a shithead who loves giving cover to fascists. Anil treated him with exactly the courtesty he deserves.
Then I'll look into those examples myself. No need to worry about you and Ben.
I would be upset, no matter how it was phrased. But if phrased respectfully, I'd certainly engage to see why they think that way.
For me, I don’t go out to give a sh*t about how folk see me tbh. Especially where robust bodies of knowledge exist. Because whether we like it or not, nobody has a right to an opinion in the presence of fact. If they do, they’re idiots. The irony of this thread isn’t lost on me
I think @BenedictEvans misinterpreted his own tweet. He may not have meant insult but there is no other way to read it. Asking someone if they are capable of disagreeing with someone civilly is either a leading question or an accusation.
You're completely wrong about @BenedictEvans question.
Clearly you didn’t understand the question *at all*. I was afraid of that, which I why I emphasized my sincerity (which you ignored). So: you very often talk as though everyone you disagree with is a bigot. That might not be your intention but it is the impression you create.
Anil pls take full responsibility for how this person misunderstands you. etc.
A good place would be starting with the Chinese Communist Party and acknowledging that on the evil totem pole they're about a small step below North Korea
no, he doesn't talks like that, do you really read or hear him?
Literally half a dozen people have just told you that they themselves don't have that experience when disagreeing with me, both publicly and privately. There's only one logical reason you'd ignore them and pursue this framing, and I have no patience for it.
I'm just a fly on the wall, but I have to agree with Benedict Evans. Your tone in this entire thread is 10x more aggressive than his. From my perspective, you come off as irritatingly sanctimonious and holier-than-thou when dealing with someone who disagrees with you in earnest.
If I can't sincerely question your ideas without being called an "asshole" and being accused of "sheer condescension", what interest do I have in ever constructively engaging with you? This was my takeaway from @sama's post.
Not great examples but I see your point.
Consider improving your writing, then.
Often the most self righteous are compensating for some overwhelming guilt. Which is different from being guilty.
What? No it didn't.
Benedict tweets like he’s gonna be in history books or some shit
It was an honest and sincere question- thank you for an honest and sincere answer, and one that confirms my impression so strongly.
Thank you both for the self-important journo versus journo slag! I love that stuff! Keep up the pretension!
you asked a shitty, leading question, tried to couch it in language that would make it seem less overtly awful, and got called on it. stop pretending you were after any sort of good faith dialogue here.
Honesty and sincerity isn't much of a defense in any context. One can honestly, and with sincerity, do all kinds of awful things.
You’re an honest and sincere dumbfuck. I hear I have an obligation to tell you that or we will miss out on some physics breakthrough.
Anil with the heat...
Do you not remember how good ole Benedict mansplained to me? He’s a ridiculous twat and defender of the indefensible.
Whenever someone says, "an honest and sincere question" you know you're in for some bullshit.
Then, he blocked me because I disagreed with him. He’s as thin skinned as Tom “krystallnacht” peters. Wtf is it with the snowflake rich white dudes?
They are so busy navel gazing in their secure little White Male bubble that they will not get it - not even if it walked up and kissed them.
now here's a man who truly values free speech
I am blocked from viewing this conversation apparently but I can only imagine.
I agree that @BenedictEvans’ tweet was condescending & dimissive. BTW Benedict, how’s Andreesen Horowitz coping with #metoo?
Anil, my dude, you’re trying to argue with a guy who thinks racial epithets like “the Hindu rate of growth” are totally okay
I mean honestly, nobody could possibly volunteer to help in a community or neighborhood if they weren't open to honestly engaging with people. How would you talk to people in a shelter, or on the street if you can't do this? It's so goddamn insulting to ask that.
Or really even, take the damn subway and not be deservedly elbowed
Also honest and sincere question: have you read @anildash's thread in detail and sincerely tried to understand where he's coming from? Like putting yourself in his shoes and letting the arguments in? Even if you end up still not agreeing, that's very much worth doing.
Did you know that it's possible for a question to be honest and sincere yet still terrible?
Yes. This is not that, and you know it,
It's not what? Honest, sincere, or terrible? :)
He’s essentially gaslighting Anil, who is making a valid point. Note POC & their allies are supporting Anil, and it’s essentially very privileged VC’s and trade journalist supporting @sama. Like how Variety supported Weinstein for decades
The reason Im so focused on SV is its reliance on predictive data. These people dont know what they dont know. Instead of allowing for difference, they think, say and do in 1 Size Fits All. 180 from American ethos. And theyre insanely rich kids.
Please, consider the possibility that @anildash knows something you don't know, and that that might account for this thing you don't understand.
I could throw some hate speech in at the beginning, so they can tell I'm an underappreciated genius?
to provide a specific case, @anildash has disagreed with me about stuff (“free speech” especially!) but civilly for *years*
Yeah, I mean, you are wrong about everything.
It's true @tolles. And yet I adore you! 😂
I could probably finally break 4k followers if I just quoted this in my twitter bio.
Just someone whitewashing an authoritarian regime with numerous crimes against their own people and showing their extreme ignorance
Your disingenuous intellectual dishonesty game is weak, bro.
com on, this is slippery slope. The two choices aren't "agreement" and "vicious and evil bigot". There are plenty of people who are benignly wrong.
ugh, sorry, it's a false dichotomy, not a slippery slope.
Ah the arbiter of all that is correct has spoken!
Huh. This is intense. So Anil & I wildly disagree on many political issues. Yet we remain friends, support each other and have never once called the other evil. Civil discourse and respect go a long way
Yeah, and it'd be trivial to find countless public examples of this sort of thing. Which is why there's no logical way to interpret the question as being in good faith; it's a pure example of contempt framed as politeness. My response was that free speech they hate so much. :)
Sorry Benedict but this is a bad look. Real talk this is an easy example of why I rage at my husband for doing anything a16z related because the partner base enables so much behavior that’s just plain cruddy for anyone that isn’t a young white dude.
I find that both saddening and baffling, given the enormous effort the firm puts into exactly the opposite direction.
If you want to chat about it I’m always available for a friendly coffee or phone calll. I come bearing hugs, smiles and makeup.
Probably worth thinking about why with enormous effort the perception persists. Product market fit discussion if I ever saw one.
I’m sure we both agree on the following gif
Was going to slide into your DMs with said offer of chat but seems yours are closed. Seriously though here if you ever want a different viewpoint I’m here
(Be sure to charge fair market value for the consultation.)
Well last time I tried my consulting rate line it didn’t go over well. 😜💯👌🏻. I do this pro bono work. You’d be surprised how much time goes into it but I hope it’s worth it.
Thanks @AlmostMedia I worry about how hard @anildash on this platform that ruins chance for discourse. Tagging him so he sees and think @BenedictEvans has great insights is opened On @sama consistently disappointed
Also should’ve just watched by you were right on so many points
Benedict is great & I learn from him here. Anil too. But it strikes me as ironic that in a debate about free speech you’d like Anil to watch his tone
which is decidedly racial/ race-related.
Define "a different opinion." Because opinions HAVE CONTENT. If the difference of opinion is on things like "gay people don't deserve civil rights" or "women are incubators" or "it's ok to let children die of preventable illness if their parents are poor" then yeah that's evil.
buddy... this says way more about you than it does about anil, wow
He writes innovation makes it okay for gay people to be ridiculed or "treating others well" is something we should be "willing to" accomodate. If it were different social issues you might have a point but sometimes what looks, sounds, eats and shits like a duck is just a duck.
This is garbage. Know so many people with different opinions who are such good people.
Consider your own filter bubble to elaborate such question, frame it like you did. I've had heated political, social issues discussion with allies people who are dearest to me. I also believe most people do. Maybe not on Twitter, or Facebook?
this is a disgusting way to frame a question. If this is you being sincere, fix yourself.
Your white male privilege is showing, Benedict. Check yourself.
I just want the truth, Benedict: when will you stop beating your wife?
Ben, listen to yourself. This is “when did you stop beating your wife?” Given that a16z fund urbit, you are objectively an enabler of vicious bigot Curtis Yarvin, so I can see why you're nervous.
An honest and sincere question: can you look at the grand total replies to this tweet and not question yourself at all?
the way your question begins very openly (“anyone you know”, “any social issue”) and then clamps down to absolutes (“believe absolutely”, “vicious and evil bigot”) is extremely misleading. here is an example that follows your format:
“A polite and honest question: Is there any food that you didn’t enjoy that you didn’t think was sickening and poisonous, or at least vomit-inducing?”
Do you see how that isn’t a fair way to engage on a topic? How it is loaded, leading, and doesn’t invite sincere engagement?
Benedict. If Anil had said "sure, obviously, all the time"... What kind of point were you trying to make?
Your "honest and sincere" preamble had me prepped for some hilariously entitled San Frannery and my dude you did not disappoint.
This is quite illuminating. Not so much the tweet, as the responses.
This is me and my best friend, Rose. Rose votes Labour. I vote Conservative. However, we have not let our political differences get in the way of our 16 years (and counting) of friendship. Be more like me and Rose.
The sealioning is strong on this one.
I kind of enjoy our #brexit sparring. Is that what you think of people with different view than you?
I know people like that. They're the kind of people don't immediately presume that I believe them to be a fuckstick in order to invalidate my points and debate in bad faith. Kinda like someone here right now...
Benedict, next time just post the "Everyone who disagrees with me is literally Hitler" image macro and make it both quicker and easier for your camp to identify the flag you're flying. Thanks.
It helps the rest of us out, as well, so we don't spend resources decoding what is - in essence - an intellectually bankrupt "Have you stopped beating your wife" cheapshot rhetorical fallacy that belongs on 4chan, not in the public communications of supposedly-responsible adults.
There are right answers in ethics as there are right answers in physics, math and history. Saying “PC” is flat-earthing.
I assume that @BenedictEvans did not mean this question to sound so profoundly rude, but I can’t see a kind way to read this. I am somewhat shocked to read something like this.
It’s just calling me a sociopath without having the courage to actually say it, so it gets masked as acceptable “politeness”.
The ones who don't entertain the idea that women, gay people or minorities are inferior to white men? The, uh, definition of bigotry.
This is a ridiculously stupid thing to ask. Boy you really got him with that one.
Very disappointed in @BenedictEvans. Your blog posts are insightful, but this is you just trying to stir up trouble like a child. Shameful.
If someone does not believe in the humanity of others, they are by definition a vicious and evil bigot or enabler thereof.
Ideas like “gay people shouldn’t have rights” or “black people aren’t fully human” are not something where someone can “agree to disagree.” That’s for sports, not others’ essential humanity.
This is neither honest nor sincere, and unfortunately Benedict's takeaway from being called on it is likely to be "WELL, that just proves my point!" But if you'd like more detail, Ben, interrogate your dismissive use of the phrase "social issue."
Yes - have you ever had someone call you a faggot and punch you in the face? SIT DOWN
But if people feel free to express disapproval of ideas they think are bad, we might never have gotten... :checks notes: ...Bitcoin.
you are making his point
Wow, you hate my free speech a lot. Guess you owe me funding!
I am unaware that I expressed hatred, and it was not my intention to do so. I just think, very respectfully, that you are making his point.
His point is that it’s better to fund people who overtly hate gay people, and my point is it’s better to have fewer gay teens kill themselves.
Where did he say it's better to fund people like that?
The disagreement is more fundamental. @sama is not in support of homophobia, he argues that progress in fundamental physics might prevent more suffering than banishing everyone with political opinions he opposes from doing physics. @anildash takes the opposite view.
That’s insufficient; you’re ignoring that he’s setting the bar at him being able to fund the homophobes. If we insist that only evil people have such key insights, why not just steal their work instead? Happens all the time, and is safer for the world that way.
I think he uses the homophobes as an example for an opinion that he clearly does not share. You can also insert your least favorite take on the Middle East conflict. Most political ideas result from biographical factors, not malicious intent.
The bigger dishonesty here is conflating speech that we tolerate with hatred that we fund. It’s a cynical and inexcusable tactic.
Well, you can't actually steal their work before you've funded them to produce the work.
The idea here is that history is made by large groups of good people fighting large groups of bad people. Once you figured out who the good guys are (by God's good graces it usually happens to be you and the people you admire), anything you do to bad people is justifiable.
You’re gonna be very upset when you find out what we *used* to go to nazis.
I can’t believe I have to tell a VC this, but the playbook is to have a meeting with them, hear the business plan, then mysteriously have your EIR create an identical business, then tie them up in court for years. n.b. It’s only okay to do to nazis, tho.
I thought we were talking about physics research! (But I'm also sympathetic to the idea that women/POC will do just as good/innovative work if people would just fund them at equal levels.)
I mean, if it’s physics research, where is this happening that it’s not published? The whole thing is absurd. They’ll invent imaginary stealthy homophobe physicists to fund before just writing checks to, say, black women.
I don't know. I agree with your first point that they're just being sensitive sausages. Who really cares if some people wrongly call you racist? You'd let it drive you away from doing your work?
I've been attacked by vicious Internet mobs this year for (1) supporting supply and demand; (2) apologizing using the wrong words; (3) liking Peter Thiel; and (4) saying people criticize mothers too much. It's not that big of deal. I can still speak.
To be fair, two of those things are really vile!
Sorry you find them vile: I will resign as a VC promptly and never speak again.
My comments in this thread have just landed me in a list of "mansplainers" of an account that maintains registers of "mysoginists, rape apologists, content thieves and random horrible people". I will retreat from this discussion.
Well, if it’s any consolation, I’ve liked your comments on this thread!
In fairness, liking Peter Thiel is pretty fucking horrible.
I suspect to be really good at physics, you need be able to form your opinions independently from the people around you. This means you are often weird and may sometimes have opinions far outside the current political mainstream.
Got any peer-reviewed research on that? Because all the evidence I saw when working for the publisher of the most respected scientific journal in existence showed that those who collaborated best consistently produced the greatest breakthroughs, across every research discipline.
The people who want to create safe public spaces to re-litigate tribal morality & classical cosmopolity are projecting their superficial understanding of everything outside their narrow field onto social institutions that have been digesting these ideas for thousands of years.
If some adult grown bored with their worship of capitalism wants to explore the contents of the liberal arts courses they slept through, let them by all means, but the rest of us are not going to burn our maps and knock down our fence posts because they want to play frontiersman.
Actually @sama is saying we should be complicit in giving homophobes a platform. Isn’t that what Fox News & Brietbart are for? Also, trying explaining this to the gay teen that is trying find his/her place in the world.
You & @sama seem so concerned about giving homophobes a place to express themselves? What about the LGTBQ individuals? What does it do to your recruitment efforts when you advance a bigot’s POV due to your version of “free speech”? Privilege bubble much?
this is all very far fetched and I believe, but to be honest I'm in a romantique phase, that the run for "more" even benevolant one won't fix anything
And what about the gay people that are banished, or never even join, because of the toxic environment?
Do you really think that it is an accurate summary of the argument that @sama expressed the wish to allocate funding so that more gay teens kill themselves?
I think that’s the outcome of giving countless dollars in funding & invaluable social capital to homophobes. I think enough of @sama to assume that’s not his intent, thus me pointing out the issue. If I thought he meant to cause that, I wouldn’t bother.
If that means you think he isn’t writing in bad faith —but that he is merely misguided— the vitriol of your response is completely asymmetric.
Perhaps you don’t know what vitriol is; fortunately there are the words of a nazi linked in the thread so you can contrast.
Maybe. I’ve carefully read the detail expand and have failed to identify an obvious nazi. Maybe it’s like Clue; the nazi could be me. Nevertheless if your goal is to rail, well done. But if it’s to persuade opponents, consider a different tack.
As someone who only knows @sama from his and his org's very public words and actions, making that assumption of his/their intent seems unwarranted ᖍ(ツ)ᖌ
He just said he didn’t think it was the intent. But it IS the outcome. Enabling hate by funding haters, regardless of their other talents, creates more victims. As @nberlat just wrote, “Free speech has long been used to protect the speech of people who were already free.”
The confusion is in part thinking that controversial speech is the main target of restrictions. The main target of restrictions is marginalized people. Restrictions work to make certain people shut up, not to shut up certain ideas.
So, "we need to protect homophobes to protect us all," as if homophobes are the most in need of protection, is a basic misperception. The people who are silenced most are not homophobes, but gay people. (There's even a name for it; it's called 'the closet.')
A lot of just seems to come back to equality feeling like “persecution” and “discrimination” for the people who historically benefited from the inequality.
that's a pithier way of putting it!
That’s high praise coming from you. I’ll groove on that for a bit.
It can be either or both. I think the more interesting assumption is that distribution of ideas must be approx. symmetric. The usual mechanism for preventing bad ideas is then assumed to be capping variance, but skewing the distribution would seem to be a better approach.
I don’t think a normal distribution is necessarily likely, a) because ideas are dynamic and viral and b) because people are tribal. I would expect it to be multi-modal.
I can't fault anyone for trying to be generous in interpreting something, or giving the benefit of doubt, least of all @anil. Just not the only reasonable posture anymore IMO is all.
Oh. You actually think Altman HAS ill intent? Interesting. I’m inclined to think he’s just another utopian but misguided libertarian-leaning tech bro, but I really don’t know.
Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny
Is the head of Y Combinator fixing the world, or trying to take over Silicon Valley?
newyorker.com
Is there any difference between someone with bad intent, and someone that actually doesn't, but who acts and speaks as if he does, over and over?
If he can be shown he’s doing so and how to amend it? Then yes.
how much hand-holding do the multi-{million,billion}aires really need? 🙃
Wealth is part of the problem. It creates an illusion of infallibility in all areas, especially when earned(lucked into) young before you’ve even developed your own theory of mind. Also the number of successful businesspeople who exhibit sociopathy or narcissism?
In don't think that Anil Dash is a narcissistic sociopath, he genuinely tries to make the world a better place. As do many others.
Almost all people try to serve good, and most people even agree what they think is good (reducing suffering, increasing flourishing etc.). But people strongly disagree on the best strategy to increase goodness, and think those advocating other strategies must be motivated by evil
I don't think that's true. I think some people are malicious, and many people are motivated by personal greed to the exclusion of all else, with similar results, and I think that power and wealth, and maybe moreso the promise of them, corrupt and blind people to good.
Do you think it remotely plausible that @sama is maliciously serving personal greed by harming gay teenagers via pointing out that public discourse in the US has possibly become too totalitarian? I worry that this country is falling apart.
The conceit that this is just about speech is part of what’s absurd here. It’s about who they’ll write multi-million-dollar checks to. That’s the actual objection, “why can’t I write huge checks to unabashed homophobes?”
More pointedly, he can, he likely has, and likely will. He just doesn't want to suffer any reputational consequences of doing so.
btw, re: "too totalitarian": you can say exactly *everything* one might have said in 1950. You just might not be able to get/keep jobs, partners, friends, etc. Speech is freer than ever, there just happen to be material *private* consequences
In Eastern Germany, the consequence for saying things you were not supposed to say was usually not prison (because few things were explicitly illegal to say), but loss of university placing, career, etc., and you were shunned by colleagues and sometimes even friends and partners.
To revise what I said previously: you would face exactly those consequences in 1950 too, but *only* if you said or did things that contravened the powerful mainstream demanded the subjugation of women, brown people, queer folk, etcetc.
I did grow up in communist Eastern Germany, which restricted freedom of speech in the name of the very best intentions. Any dissenting argument was silenced or punished with the response that it would reenable Hitler fascism again. Especially the argument that maybe it would not.
I don’t really think DDR leadership had “the very best intentions.” The BRD managed to ban Nazi symbols and speech with no obvious loss of civil liberty, economic freedom, or civic engagement, and the fascists seem to be centered among the Ossis.
Unlike the DDR, the BRD integrated former fascists and high ranking nazi officials into government, police and secret service (even though the results where arguably better in the long run). I knew a number of DDR officials, they really had good intentions.
Quite sure the State isn't restricting anything here. The post is making a cultural argument, trying to cultivate cultural permission to fund and collaborate with (just as an example) ethnic nationalists if doing so will be profitable.
True, I think he was responding to Noah’s argument, which he made regarding the wedding cake case, that state support free speech should be reframed in terms of whose speech needs protection. Hate speech erodes the speech of the marginalized, and the state can help redress that.
I will fail to match a pattern and become unfundable by retweeting this, but 💯
You know, he didn’t say it’s better to fund people who overtly hate gay people. It’s not even implied. Can’t you see any difference btwn “say disparaging things about gay people” and that?
In the opening he says he wishes to be in China. Given the social context and Sam's excess of wealth and privilege how do you interpret Sam's essay charitably?
The claim is not that he prefers living in China over living in the US, but that based on his experiences in both countries, he worries that public discourse in the US (which prides itself for being liberal) may have become in parts less pluralist than in China.
Is that your interpretation. If so how did you disentangle the context. China is by almost all measure less free than the U.S. How did you work around that context and take Sam's claim at face value?
I couldn't get past his comparison to China. A place where you can be arrested, beaten and inprisoned for saying the wrong things.
I can't wait to see @sama toiling in a salt mine re-education camp, you know like they have in China, where he feels more comfortable.
That was the entire point of the anecdote.
Yea, I kinda got that. It's ridiculous.
Then the point is so wrong it never started being coherent. The Chinese cultural training is to be agreeable and non-confrontational to those with connections and power. That @sama equivocates deference with free speech is the very symbol of his obliviousness.
Needing to be “agreeable and non confrontational to those with connections and power”, of course, being the very exact parallel of the exact problem @anildash is pointing out
His entire piece falls apart right there
I’m noticing a clear pattern on who’s questioning you on this, so far...
I don’t think I grasped just how completely dead a liberal arts education was in the Valley until this post.
And they don’t take you up on the Cliff notes when you offer it up either
Yeah, I mean, when I say it politely, it just gets ignored.
And then they get mad when we scream to get their attention because oh no loud angry ladies and or brown men
It takes five minutes of stepping out of your skin and saying “what if they have a point.” It’s not rocket science. The hubris is boundless.
It’s so funny — they think they’re so smart but actually in their self perception as such, they’re so dumb. What fascinating and troubling irony.
Not just dead, disdained.
and @BenedictEvans are particularly harmful in their calm “rationality” of terrible ideas. But nobody’s immune to motivated reasoning. VC motivations are particularly selfish and blind to privilege but we all have them.
LOL don’t @ them to our nice thread
Oops! 🙊 But I’m sure they’d understand what it’s like to speak up about unpopular ideas. > “It seems easier to accidentally speak heresies in San Francisco every year. Debating a controversial idea, even if you 95% agree with the consensus side, seems ill-advised.”
yes!!! "calm rationality" is seriously a thing a specific set of people have. !!!
Also it makes me wonder what he felt comfortable saying in China. I suspect it wasn’t “there should be freedom of speech, we should be able to criticize the government and there should be proportional representation.” Intolerant societies shockingly let you say intolerant things.
THAT should be pretty easy to determine. IF Mr. Sam I AM doesn't take this convo as an invitation to outline his ramblings in Beijing, you might be onto something.
Can’t imagine why underrepresented groups don’t feel comfortable in tech with blog posts like these from our “leaders”
Why is it somehow a philosophical exercise to determine what it means to be a 💩 person, anyway? Does immorality exist anymore?
The TV show the good place illustrates this point so well....If you don't know, you should know.
The China angle is just utterly idiotic.
"This is uncomfortable, but it’s possible we have to allow people to say disparaging things about gay people if we want them to be able to say novel things about physics." I fail to see how these are related.
Same here - maybe he thinks that only bigots can be innovative?
This is uncomfortable, but it’s possible that is one of the worst arguments I’ve ever seen, period.
It's so obvious. If we want people to have really good ideas, then we can't rationally critique their bad ideas. I'm also really sick of the tech world in general and VCs in particular pretending that their primary motivation isn't money.
Anil, you do realize you are behaving exactly as Sam wrote?
Yes, I am offering a thoughtful, well-reasoned critique, and it’s being treated as some great affront.
No Anil is pointing out how ridiculous it is & that only a rich over privilege led bro can come up with this
This thread is very, very important. Thank you, @anildash for writing it.
So @sama has articulated the way many guys in Silicon Valley feel about "free speech". It's not a very sophisticated or informed view, but it's pretty common and he's influential, so it's worth identifying why it's dangerous and wrong.
E Pur Si Muove
Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me.  I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco.  I didn’t feel...
blog.samaltman.com
I think this is more about people in SV shouting down alternative thinking to protect their position. It’s an insular culture and anyone working there (in tech) has it pretty good and doesn’t want to see it change. People like @sama have it so good they’re not threatened.
I thought that was excellent. Thanks for sharing. I've no idea what's dangerous or wrong about free speech.
So you’d write a check to a nazi like this. Got it.
[CN: violent anti-semitism] If you don't understand the way Altman's naivety is dangerous, read about how today's Nazis want to exploit exactly this naivety to gain recruits & push for genocide. huffingtonpost.com/entry/daily-st…
No I wouldn't write a check to a Nazi. What a bizarre thing to say. Have a nice weekend.
it depends on whether it's "free speech" or "free speech". Latter is the imagined concept in which one can say anything WITHOUT any consequences, without getting criticized and everyone having to listen to you. Former simply means govt can not prevent you from talking.
and in this case article claims lack of free speech where one does not exist -- but is implicitly demanding that resulting free speech (critique) should be suppressed, otherwise important inventions by imaginary Genius Gay Haters is also suppressed
Man it was fun in like high school when I was still figuring this stuff out, but these days the debate around the conflation of legal free speech vs socially acceptable speech is SO BORING 😴
Like @sama you don't think it'll hinder coming up with novel scientific concepts if we have to relitigate whether being gay is "unnatural" every few years?
Guess there are no gay physicists? 🙃
Gay mathematician here. Also we’re more sophisticated than physicists tho I find old school electrical engineers profoundly inspiring. Not sure I’ve met a gay one yet.
'Not very sophisticated' is an understatement. This guy’s worried that calling people to account for saying racist and homophobic things might make it hard to disagree about physics?!? This guy needs to come spend some time out here in the real world. Seriously. Come visit.
Young privileged people used to take a wanderjahr, spending time touring the continent. The globe is open to them now. They really should just get out a bit. Not as tourists—as travelers.
That's a good point. I often wish for politicians to do the same. (Use public services rather than private entitilements.) There is an accountability and simple humanity to this.
(ie. the willingness to be wrong and actually partake in communities.)
Primary school level essay about free speech
I can’t decide what’s sadder: That this thread even has to be written in 2017 or that someone considers Sam influential.
I think if you don’t feel that your views are going to be well received by the broader professional/social circles you run in that means you should consider both your circles AND your opinions. It’s possible @sama is just an ass with asshole opinions...
What’s particularly ironic is that if you anti-free-speech people are ever successful in dismantling the concept, you’ll end up being the ones silenced within a few years and the “fascist” viewpoints will be the only ones left
Oh ffs. He's not anti free speech. He's saying free speech does not mean freedom from criticism. The government isn't arresting people for expressing their veiws, silicon vally bros just think they're being "oppressed" by people's (often valid) criticism.
This guy’s mindset is how you start with fun Twitter in 2006 and have it overrun with abusers and nazis and presidents threatening nuclear war in 2017.
thanks for this response. Surely we are beyond "debating" who is human and should be treated as equal. If gay rights still feels like a good debate topic to you, no, I don't think you should be trusted to lead a company or anything else.
And hell, even if somebody wants to engage with a virulent homophobe, that still doesn’t justify cutting them a check.
That’s correct. And stop calling me Shirley.
Oh and the aside about the criticisms about only making things for the 1%: that’s the fundamental problem with SV at the moment. It’s rapidly widening inequality. @sama invest in solving real problems in the world! Stop whining!
Calling BS on that article. I recently mentioned to some Chinese people in US temporarily that many US politicians are corrupt. I asked them if it was the same in China. They remained silent, didn't even acknowledge the question.
Free speech isn’t really free when people in power use their voice to oppress the rights of others. If gays lose their marriage rights... that’s not free. It’s not hard to understand that @sama take on free speech is completely wrong. Like 💯 wrong
Hate speech is a crime in Canada. Does @sama mean to say that as a country we're stifled from innovation? That Canadians don't have a successful society?
Canada the country that millions of dollars to a terrorist? not a impresive country by the way.
I'm assuming you mean Canada that settles a multi-million dollar court battle for a fraction of what was already spent to a Canadian citizen who was abondoned for years in torcher? Who also stood up for the citizens of Venezuela? Yeah that one.
I am talking about the criminal that killed soldiers fighting beside terrorists, in Venezuela just the left wing dictatorship and their followers support terrorist groups, if a venezuelan supports terrorist i don´t give a dolar for him.
you have borscht on your collar, miss
I´m talking about Omar Khadr who killed a soldier with a grenade
Well, Silicon Valley is in the US, not Canada.
This op-ed or whatever is frankly embarrassing. If I were @sama I would take it down ASAP. He’s basically saying innovation requires human sacrifice. It’s the pro-slavery argument. Men need ways to sacrifice others for the eventual embetterment of everyone else. So wrong
Mmm, seems a little hyperbolic.
As a Chinese-American women who grew up in the Silcion Valley & whose family had to flee a totalitarian Chinese regime and then a totalitarian Vietnamese one, I find @sama rant to be ridiculous garbage
This is the typical rankings of an overly privileged Silicon Valley Bro who has totally tunnel vision. Does he know what real censorship is? People disagreeing with you or shaming you for discriminatory ideas is NOT censorship
That @sama is the power of the marketplace of ideas. If you bothered to read Jefferson, Adams or Hamilton’s writing you would understand it
The basics rights, dignity and freedom of women, POC & LGTBQ people are infinitely more valuable than any start up or your inane musings about how people don’t like your biased views. Go join James Damore
So in the name of free speech and toward great though probably not novel ideas, let me just say @sama is a fucking moron with no even deep insight for anything of which he speaks except one time early on being good at the internet (that times over buddy)
There’s a reason women in the valley call his firm Y Chromosome. He probably doesn’t like the #metoo movement
BTW, my great grand was executed be the PRC in China for “treason” because he dared to promote direct democracy. So yeah, I get to call @sama out on his BS
I wonder if @sama has nearly been raped by his boss?? And then have it swept under the run when you report it to HR because you were just a receptionist at the time. That’s what women is the real Silicon Valley have to deal with. Privileged prick
I wonder if @sama got screwed on his annual bonus, was denied a promotion or even a cost living raise when he took maternity leave?
- Why frame this as a "free speech" issue? Freedom of speech specifically makes it unlawful for the gov't to enact laws that limit it's citizenry's right to "speech." Both you and @sama are talking about the right to talk openly about ideas (hurtful or otherwise)
People are permitted to talk openly about ideas in the US, hurtful or otherwise. What many bigots want is the right to be openly hateful without any consequences. That's bullshit.
There’s vernacular and legal use if the phrase free speech; I used quotes around it to reflect that we were speaking casually, not technically.
Isn't Sam's argument basically rallying behind the "brilliant jerks" that Arianna was saying we have to stop protecting and glorifying? Shorter Sam: "The Google manifestbro shouldn't have been fired for being a dick because he can code ok"
Sorry the rant folks, but I am sick of bros like @Dana and James Damore dominating the conversation in a place & industry that is very much my home. These guys moved here for jobs, we grew up here. Most of my family is in the industry...
Well I’ve never heard of him.
& James Damore, stop speaking for us
I'm fascinated to know what these 'controversial ideas' are.
I think we already know, and they suck.
You forgot to tell us it's "problematic," too.
As always, @anildash is more eloquent and clear than I could ever be. Please read this thread.
So @sama has articulated the way many guys in Silicon Valley feel about "free speech". It's not a very sophisticated or informed view, but it's pretty common and he's influential, so it's worth identifying why it's dangerous and wrong.
E Pur Si Muove
Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me.  I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco.  I didn’t feel...
blog.samaltman.com
I read it. Perhaps I don't have the whole context, but I agree with @sama. I don't understand what's wrong with what he said. Even if there's something wrong… it's just his opinion.
Have to say I completely disagree with your analysis of Sam's post.
excellent apologetics for cultural totalitarianism here. great work
I'm struggling with 2 questions: 1- can we/shoudl we separate people's jobs from their political/religious/ethical... positions 2- if not, compliance is to be enforced on what topics ? sexual preferences ? religion ? skin color ? animal rights ? climate change ? ... ?
Also, private or public positions. Is a bigot OK as long as he stays mum about it, or shoudl we investigate everyone ?
and... @infinite_scream shows up right on cue
The issue isn’t free speech, it’s Nazi motherf******s recruiting and people dying. I’d say ask Heather Heyer about this idiotic absolutism.... but she’s dead.