September 22, 2023
Philosophy for the People: A Principled Approach to Free Speech with Doug Lain

Ben’s on a flight right now so in a special episode of Philosophy for the People Stefan joined by Doug Lain to discuss what principles of speech, communication, safety and other related issues that the left should take up


7 thoughts on “Philosophy for the People: A Principled Approach to Free Speech with Doug Lain

  1. I blame Microsoft for starting an important pillar of this phenomenon. Developing a platform which becomes necessary for a huge swath of economic and public life and using that leverage to dominate activity on that platform.

  2. 37:54 I'll share more of my highly valued opinions 😉 when I finish watching, but what I find odd/disconcerting is that free speech seems to be on the defensive. Stefan (or those in chat), are throwing out justifications for limiting speech (it's not fee anyway 'cause capitalism, the constitution doesn't cover private entities etc.) and Doug is put in the position of pushing back. I would expect, on the left, that the starting point would be a shared commitment to almost pure free speech, and that the limitations would be framed as rare exceptions, and Doug- would be in the position of defending the limitations. So this all seems a bit ass-backward.

  3. First things first here…press pause…what happened to the best piece of intro music on the internet?
    That hot big band jazz piece is/was absolutely killer…from its speed walking bass line intro through its punchy tension-building horn riffs to its car crash ending.
    Wow! (What is this mystery masterpiece anyway?)
    Hopefully our temporary host here is just giving us a temporary palate-cleansing respite with this saccharine emo stuff.
    OK…press play…on with the show.

  4. This is a more nuanced discussion on free speech than most, but it still leans towards the philosophical rather than the practical implications of how free speech should be viewed in modern capitalist societies. While there were some mentions of the influence of corporate capitalism on public narratives, the importance to this issue of the almost complete corporate media domination that has existed for the last century was not sufficiently covered.

  5. Ok. My original comment was off, in that I don't know how to read Stefan's mannerism's so I thought he was coming from a anti- or at best "free speech meh", place, which wasn't the case. I find Varn difficult for the same reason. He kept pushing the legal stuff, and while that matters, it came across as a way to shut down the conversation. I'll have to watch more of these fellas to get a better sense of how they communicate. Doug had a very good point about public/private in civil rights law. Ideally (IMO), private businesses should be able to discriminate (select/choose) their customers. The issue is that with so much in the hands of private owners, only outlawing discrimination for public entities would leave segregation intact. This is why the whole "why can't a family business refuse to back a cake" question from the right, is a good question. It's an odd law! If we had guaranteed housing protection from private property owners wouldn’t matter. So our laws have to cover the private sector. This comes up with bathrooms too. All of these arguments about who should use which bathroom (and yes, I do believe women should have the option of sex-segregated bathrooms, don't faint!)- is all based on who can access PRIVATE bathrooms. We don't have public facilities. Ones sex, or gender identity only matter if you're a paying customer. So the idea that there is a public/private distinction in media/internet doesn't hold water. We need to demand (not that it will make an impact), either that these platforms be taken over by the state (an odd demand when the state is our current enemy), or that law be passed that expand free-speech beyond its limited constitutional application. Next time I'll try to catch the live chat. It almost killed me to not give a piece of my mind about the ridiculous "Chomsky is pro-Russian" crap and support for Zelensky. I consider Z a war criminal.

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