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I used to be called a “know it all” but, by now I hope my readers know me better than that. I seek reality. I share my views because it’s the only way to test them. I invite constructive criticism, but not insult. I have equal tolerance of insulated ideologies as I do for insult, because such are insults to the human mind.
If an opinion is shared in public space, it is done so with the expectation that others will test the ideas proposed for their factual merit. If the author does not live up to this expectation, becoming unreasonably offended and/or resorting to insult, then the author is demanding nothing less than dark-age authority. That is to say, “my views ought to be held beyond reproach because I favour them”.
Excuse my language, but that is bullshit.
We get nowhere as an intelligent species by lusting over fantasy any more than we would wishfully thinking that some spell may cure our ailment. We need data, we need quality evidence, on which to base our statements and planning if we are to do better than simply gamble our way through life. I, for one, will not gamble the lives of my children on favourable ideas – my own or others. I seek reality because of this.
We are told never to debate religion and politics over the dinner table, but that is gutless. Surely the results of both mean as much to everyone present at the table and hopefully each wants the best for themselves, their family’s and for their friends. Why then cower away from such topics, when the results of such ideologies can negatively taint how an individual sees another, based purely on gender, race and sexual preference or when it could mean the difference between general prosperity and growing inequality?
I’m not weak nor am I under the impression that I am right. I’m entirely about testing ideas so that I can find an acceptable path forward so as I can watch my children grow into happy, confident and empowered adults. Without any fantasy of an awaiting “bonus level” beyond my mortality, my sole desire is to help to propagate a society that fulfils these objectives beyond my lifespan, to illustrate my love for my family. When I can no longer provide guidance, knowing that I helped build an easier environment for my family is, at least for me, the most rewarding and comforting outlook I can fathom.
And so I hold insulated ideologies the most insidious and inhumane affronts to our species. I will be damned if I stand by as such invasive mindlessness corrodes our societies. I thank anyone who critiques my thoughts, as you provide me the greatest gift in removing uncertainty from my life. Others that share this view are the few brave ones whom carry our species into a brighter future.
It takes a real fool – a Super Fool, if you will – to resort to censorship in lieu of facing well conceived criticism. You don’t win an argument by making contrary points simply disappear.
Of course, good scientists understand this and work their best to forgo clinging to personally held ideas to assist in the illumination of reality. No-one escapes such personal ideologies entirely, which is why science is not the result of one person. Newton was a genius, but also an alchemist. Fresh minds, ready to accept new ideas are needed to continue scientific investigation further.
However, there are many out there whom simply don’t like what this illumination has done to our former ignorance, as comfortable as it may have been for some. As Tim Minchin puts it, “Science adjust it’s views based on what’s observed. Faith is the denial of observation, so that belief can be preserved.”
Those whom indulge in a little denial of observation have found a wonderful loop-hole in YouTube and the DMCA.
In each case, the individuals involved are science communicators that go to great lengths to counter the fortifications being built up by people who are not only more comfortable with ignorance, but also yearn for others to be as much themselves. Potholer54, Thunderf00t and C0nc0rdance rely on the most up-to-date scientific literature and unlike many of those they respond to, openly provide links back to this literature so you, the viewer, can check the claims they make.
Each of them do so in their own free time for no other reason but because it’s the right thing to do! Children should not be exposed to mental and physical harm. World leaders should not be developing policies based around ancient fables. People should not live in fear of boogie-men. For these and many other reasons, each individual spends their free time researching and developing informative as well as interesting presentations.
Done to death on American screens, the near cliché, “a person is innocent until proven guilty” seems to hold no grounds in the cyber space of YouTube. Sure, they claim to review DMCA submissions, but from what I’ve seen on their site, it seems that the target is quickly proven guilty and must waste much of their time proving their innocence. The noted battle undertaken by Thunderf00t mentioned above illustrates that the producers of false DMCA’s largely avoid reprimand for their actions. In short, it’s an easy way to intimidate and humiliate the voice of reason which proves to be highly energetic to counter and without ill-consequence for the producer.
YouTube’s compliance with these producers of false DMCA’s loans its cyber space to an echo chamber of ignorance.
If YouTube truly wanted the site to be a highlighted space for entertainment and information, they would spend the energy properly reviewing the DMCA submissions and the material it relates to. Surely the team devoted to such action would be knowledgeable enough on the legalities so that counter claims that prove to be successful wouldn’t be so frequent; indeed the innocent shouldn’t so often be found guilty in the first place!
Clearly that would take more work on the part of YouTube. However, it’s their job to police their space properly. Maybe then there would be serious ramifications for those whom continually submit false DMCA’s as well!
Currently it seems YouTube is happy to leave censorship up to a few outspoken advocates for observation denial. It is a place where, if you don’t like what another has said, you can simply make life difficult for them through a DMCA.
Alternatively you could, if it were simply a personal problem, choose NOT to watch the material. However, that’s not the motivation of these Super Fools. They want to pull the wool over the eyes of the wider public. It’s made even more hypocritical due to the fact that many of these people are ultra-conservative and detest others governing any aspect of their lives!
Personally, I suggest letting YouTube know just whom they’ve decided to slip in bed with and make the point loud. If the space remains susceptible to becoming an echo chamber for such Super Fools, well maybe that opens the door to other similar sites willing to police their space better to offer a more reasonable harbour for reason.
I’m not interested in the crap sprouted in creationist, anti-vax or otherwise anti-reason videos and websites, hence why I don’t go to such places and don’t waste my time watching and reading their rubbish. I commend people such as Potholer54, Thunderf00t and C0nc0rdance, who do. I feel deniers of observation should be allowed to create their rubbish, just as should people like the three mentioned be allowed to counter it.
If their claims where strong, they wouldn’t need to resort to this behaviour, which suggests that they can’t pull the wool over their own eyes, as much as they try to do so for the rest of us. They know they’re wrong.
YouTube needs to recognise the parasite its immune system has allowed to fester within its space.