25 votes

What's something that you feel is unfairly criticized?

What's something that you feel is unfairly criticized?
What are the common criticisms against it?
Why do you feel that those are unfair?

Also, given the nature of the question, it's likely that some people will surface opinions you might disagree with. Please remember the principle of charity when responding!

84 comments

  1. [8]
    lou
    Link
    Some people are highly critical of the democracies they live in. Sometimes this criticism is so strong and bitter that they begin doubting the virtues of democracy itself. In doing so, they ignore...

    Some people are highly critical of the democracies they live in. Sometimes this criticism is so strong and bitter that they begin doubting the virtues of democracy itself. In doing so, they ignore that you should not compare democracy with some utopian unattainable form of government, but rather with the dreadful wickedness that came before it.

    23 votes
    1. [7]
      adi
      Link Parent
      Democracy is not a bad system, to me it seems that most of the "implementations" are dictatorships of the majority.

      Democracy is not a bad system, to me it seems that most of the "implementations" are dictatorships of the majority.

      1. [3]
        Weldawadyathink
        Link Parent
        Democracy is by definition a dictatorship by the majority. Modern democratic systems prevent this by straying away from a true democracy.

        Democracy is by definition a dictatorship by the majority. Modern democratic systems prevent this by straying away from a true democracy.

        8 votes
        1. [2]
          adi
          Link Parent
          Didn't study much history, but what definition? If you're talking Ancient Greece as far as I remember being told or read, indeed, we're talking about a dictatorship of the majority in Ancient Greece.

          Didn't study much history, but what definition? If you're talking Ancient Greece as far as I remember being told or read, indeed, we're talking about a dictatorship of the majority in Ancient Greece.

          1 vote
          1. Weldawadyathink
            Link Parent
            In political philosophy, democracy is based on this ideal: people, on average, make the best decision possible when deciding matters of government. If this statement is true, then democracy...

            In political philosophy, democracy is based on this ideal: people, on average, make the best decision possible when deciding matters of government. If this statement is true, then democracy functions as a dictatorship of the majority on purpose. Giving ultimate power to the majority will always lead to right and just decisions. A democracy based on this ideal functions because it is a dictatorship by the majority.

            Now you may disagree with that ideal. I certainly do. Different democratic systems are unique because of how much respect they give to that ideal, and how they address the reality of that ideal being false. In short, they are different because of the non-democratic parts.

            For example, California’s democracy is arguably more democratic than the USA in this way: we have a system for voters to petition to get new laws on the ballot, which can be enacted by a majority of the vote, without any influence or oversight by the legislature. This brings us closer to democracy than republic whereas the USA leans closer to republic. Interpreting this through the lens of pure democracy, this is a huge win. However, this process has been poor in many ways. Removing it would take California away from the democratic tyrant of the majority, and further away from democratic ideals. That being said, I would love to see that process removed or amended.

            9 votes
      2. Kuromantis
        Link Parent
        I find a more accurate description to be a dictatorship (well, usually just the rule of) of whoever sits at the middle of the legislative offices and their electors (assuming they care). It's...

        I find a more accurate description to be a dictatorship (well, usually just the rule of) of whoever sits at the middle of the legislative offices and their electors (assuming they care). It's pretty apparent in the US for example, where the current administration is more accurately described as a Manchin (& some other 'moderate democrats')-McConnell administration than the Biden-Harris administration because basically most of the legislation being passed is being passed with his blessings and no one else. Politics used to be known for the watering down of bills and inertness before people had enough. It seems the only way to get more meaningful change is to change who is at the middle of the legislative offices (usually by changing the median political opinion) or to try to not have a center at all like in the US. (Relatively speaking.)

        2 votes
      3. [2]
        lou
        Link Parent
        From Wikipedia:

        From Wikipedia:

        dictatorship is a form of government characterized by a single leader (dictator) or group of leaders that hold government power promised to the people and little or no toleration for political pluralism or independent media.[2] In most dictatorships, the country's constitution promise citizens rights and the freedom to free and democratic elections; sometimes, it also mentions that all these aforementioned rights will be granted to the people, but this is not always the case. As democracy is a form of government in which "those who govern are selected through periodically contested elections (in years)", dictatorships are not democracies.[2]

        1 vote
  2. [10]
    joplin
    Link
    Criticism for the sake of criticism. People often respond to criticism with, “If you can’t do better, then you have no right to criticize someone else who tried something.” But that’s nonsense. If...

    Criticism for the sake of criticism. People often respond to criticism with, “If you can’t do better, then you have no right to criticize someone else who tried something.” But that’s nonsense. If I see a singer perform and they sing off-key, even though I am also a terrible singer, I have every right to point out that the singer was off-key. They put themselves out there as a performer, and I took the time to hear them out. If I don’t think they did a good job, there’s nothing wrong with saying that.

    Likewise with pointing out a problem that exists. People will often criticize you for pointing out a problem without offering a solution. But sometimes a problem needs to be pointed out because nobody is pointing it out and it needs to be discussed before a solution can be thought of.

    19 votes
    1. [9]
      TheRtRevKaiser
      Link Parent
      I've been wanting to respond to this comment and struggling with how to do so for a while. This comment, in my opinion, is emblematic of some of my biggest gripes with online interactions. Now,...
      • Exemplary

      I've been wanting to respond to this comment and struggling with how to do so for a while. This comment, in my opinion, is emblematic of some of my biggest gripes with online interactions. Now, it's very possible I'm just reading my frustrations with internet culture and the culture of this site into this comment. If that's the case then I apologize.

      I'm also making a lot of assumptions about the circumstances here. I'm assuming that the criticism in question is public, either posted online or directed at the person being criticized in some way. If you're just complaining about your hypothetical off-key singer to your friends later, then I don't really see that as criticism so that's not what I'm talking about. I'm also assuming that this isn't some kind of concert that you paid a lot of money to go to. Once money has exchanged hands that changes the calculus a bit. I think it's fair to say, "Hey, I paid money for this concert and I didn't think it was very good" and let people know it may not be a good value for their money as well, although I do also think that this kind of criticism is often done in a way that treats a performer almost as a product rather than as a human being.

      Criticism for it's own sake isn't constructive, and it doesn't consider the human. Lets say you watch a youtube video of this off key singer and write your criticism in the comments. Or you comment on their Reddit post. Or you blog about their live concert. If you don't have any ability to explain why they performed poorly or how they can improve then what are you accomplishing? The only good that can come of criticism for it's own sake is to satisfy the critic. You've exercised your right to say that you didn't like someone's performance, that it was bad. Congratulations. On the other hand, you've now added to the endless torrent of pointless, non-constructive negativity that this performer doubtlessly has to face if they are putting themselves online, to no good end. If you did have some experience or expertise in singing then maybe you could at least be useful to our hypothetical singer by helping them understand how to improve, but as it is the only good you accomplish with your criticism is to satisfy yourself that you have exercised your right to express your dislike of something.

      I think what I'm trying to say with all of this rambling is that we need to be more thoughtful about what we put out into the world. Is what I want to say going to help someone? Is it going to improve somebody's life? Will it make somebody smile, or chuckle, or just give some good vibes? Or is it just going to add to the constant drumbeat of negativity. The constant argumentative, complaining, pointlessly critical nature of online discourse is, I think, emotionally draining for a lot of people who don't even see the effect it has on them. I just think we need to stop and consider whether we are going to add to that, or push back against it. Maybe you can do some good with your piece of criticism. Maybe you'll help somebody be better than they were before, or prevent somebody for spending money on something that won't be worth it. But probably you're just going to make a lot of people feel a tiny bit more shitty, or one person feel a lot more shitty.

      15 votes
      1. FlippantGod
        Link Parent
        I think this is partially a scale problem. If a youtuber with a hundred subscribers gets criticism in the comments, even if it isn't instructive, it can probably be tolerated and may still help...

        I think this is partially a scale problem.

        If a youtuber with a hundred subscribers gets criticism in the comments, even if it isn't instructive, it can probably be tolerated and may still help the youtuber see where they can improve.

        If they have 10k subscribers and the same ratio of posters giving the same criticism, this seems like way too much mental pressure.

        At some point, people giving direct criticism need to become aware of the volume of comments, and/or improve the quality of their criticisms/feedback.

        This doesn't necessitate a monetary transaction, but then the creator might not even be wanting criticism or feedback. At that point, it seems polite to take it elsewhere. Otherwise, giving criticisms and opinions privately should actually be private, and not just on some other public forum. This is difficult on the internet where comments are stored forever, and risks turning into (cyber) bullying anyway.

        Everyone has a different tolerance for criticism, and I think in an ideal world:

        • someone's limit is respected
        • a good faith effort to improve the quality of criticism is made
        • criticisms are public in a space where bad actors can be distinguished
        • a good faith effort not to duplicate common/generic criticisms is made
        • personal conversations are private but not unnecessarily cruel or mean
        • personal opinions are distinct from academic/technical criticisms, but like common criticisms, don't need to be repeatedly rehashed in public

        Basically, I think it is fine to share your criticisms/opinions, but you should read the room, and you don't always need to make your voice heard. Someone probably already said what you wanted to share, and that's enough.

        Edit: a simple way to improve criticism, is to also point out the good things, and potentially what made them good.

        8 votes
      2. [4]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Most criticism never reaches the artist. Criticism is not in the business of educating authors. We share negative impressions to prevent others from seeing something we consider of lower quality,...

        Most criticism never reaches the artist. Criticism is not in the business of educating authors. We share negative impressions to prevent others from seeing something we consider of lower quality, and positive impressions to stimulate others to do so. Ultimately, this creates a sense of community centered on the things we love and hate. We would have very little to say about art if every musical critic had to learn about chords and scales, or if I had to know how to make an action science fiction movie to say I hated Batman vs Superman.

        That said, gratuitous negativism is toxic and unpleasant, I have no disagreements in that regard.

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          TheRtRevKaiser
          Link Parent
          Hey, thanks for replying. First of all, I don't at all mean to imply that someone has to have expertise in something to have an opinion of it, or even to express that opinion. If that's how my...

          Hey, thanks for replying.

          First of all, I don't at all mean to imply that someone has to have expertise in something to have an opinion of it, or even to express that opinion. If that's how my comment read it's probably my fault at not explaining my thoughts clearly. I do think that having expertise or at least broad experience with something makes a person's criticism of it potentially more valuable, though. Someone who has spent a lot of time watching action sci-fi and has spent a lot of time thinking about what makes an action sci-fi movie good will probably have more ability to express a critique of Batman vs Superman than someone who does not and has not.

          Another part of what I am trying to express is that the constant deluge of pointless, low effort negativity online is discouraging not just to creators but to others. Say you happen to like, gasp, Nickeback. Maybe you're not a superfan or anything, but you just kinda enjoy their stuff. You're going to constantly encounter horde of people who probably haven't taken the time to think about why they dislike your favorite band, or whether they actually do, who are just going to constantly shit on the thing you enjoy. Now you might say that you shouldn't have such a thin skin, it shouldn't matter what people say about Nickleback. But why is it the responsibility of a person who likes something to justify it's existence more than it's the responsibility of someone who hates it to justify their dislike?

          Also, I would take issue with your statement that most criticism never reaches the artist, at least for artists who primarily create on digital platforms or who have a significant online presence. I've seen enough interviews and comments from creators who primarily make their content online that they are constantly exposed to negativity, and the weird parasocial relationships that a lot of fandoms create around creators can get really toxic and very discouraging for those creators. To take the OPs example of an off-key singer. If that criticism is posted on twitter or reddit, there's a decent chance that singer is on one of those platforms and a non-zero chance they encounter it. On reddit in particular, if the artist posted the content themselves then they're probably going to see all of the comments. On a platform like Youtube I suspect it's just as bad or worse.

          A couple of examples that I can think of off the top of my head about some of what I'm talking about, particularly with what @FlippantGod expressed as the "scale problem" of criticism online:
          I play D&D on a semi-regular basis. I learned to play on the 1st edition of the game, AD&D, but before very long I took over as DM for my group, and after a while we transitioned to what was at the time the current edition of the game, 4th edition. Now any of you folks that were into Tabletop RPGs at the time probably know how absolutely toxic the hate for 4e D&D was. But my group absolutely loved it. It provided exactly what we wanted for the parts of the game we needed rules for, and got out of the way for the rest. We felt that it was clear, concise, and had enough diverse content that we didn't feel that our roleplay was restricted. But god forbid you ever post on a general forum or subreddit asking a question about 4th edition. You would immediately get inundated with tons of the same tired arguments about how 4th editions wasn't really D&D, how it sucked for a myriad of reasons, how it wasn't really roleplaying at all. It was exhausting and pointless. These people thought they were educating us on how we should be playing a real RPG but we didn't want or need that. We were already well aware of all of the criticisms of the system. But it worked for us, we liked it, and we weren't interested in hearing about how those other folks felt about it.
          Another example is the rampant, seething hatred for The Last Jedi online. I happened to enjoy that movie, I agree with a lot of what @babypuncher said elsewhere in this thread about it. But if anything remotely positive come up about that movie for years after it came out the thread would immediately be dogpiled with people trying to explain to you ALL of their millions of reasons that they thought it sucked.

          7 votes
          1. [2]
            lou
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            You wrote a lot. I'll do the opposite, hope that's okay. Anyone can like or dislike whatever they want, just don't be an asshole about it. I think we can agree on that. At the same time, when...

            You wrote a lot. I'll do the opposite, hope that's okay. Anyone can like or dislike whatever they want, just don't be an asshole about it. I think we can agree on that. At the same time, when someone chooses to be a professional artist or very public persona, certain things come with the territory. Of course everyone should be as nice as possible even when drawing negative criticism, but that's just not gonna happen. If you really wanna be off the spotlight, maybe don't be a highly successful stand-up comic with a love for risqué jokes, that's what I am saying. There's a place in our culture for harsh criticism.

            Finally, I like all Star Wars movies. Including the prequels. So I know one thing or two about being at the opposite side of a torrent of negativity!

            2 votes
            1. TheRtRevKaiser
              Link Parent
              Yeah sorry, it's part of some things that have been rolling around in my brain for a while. Thanks for being patient. I certainly think we can agree on that. It's the last part that seems to...

              You wrote a lot.

              Yeah sorry, it's part of some things that have been rolling around in my brain for a while. Thanks for being patient.

              Anyone can like or dislike whatever they want, just don't be an asshole about it.

              I certainly think we can agree on that. It's the last part that seems to escape people.

              3 votes
      3. [3]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        I think you are arguing against a point I didn't intend to make. So to clarify: I agree that much criticism is a net negative for the world. Nonetheless, it is valid to criticize something even if...

        I think you are arguing against a point I didn't intend to make. So to clarify:

        • I agree that much criticism is a net negative for the world. Nonetheless, it is valid to criticize something even if you cannot do said thing. That is to say, just being critical of something is not in-and-of-itself a bad thing, though there are people who believe that. (For example, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," is terrible advice. It's what leads to harassers thinking, "Nobody complains when I do this, so I'm not hurting anything by continuing to do it!")
        • I agree that it's best to give constructive criticism and that is often not done. That is unfortunate, but does not change my point.
        • Any time you take in something someone else has done, you are paying for it. You may be paying with money or information, or even just time. But time spent taking in their work is time not spent on something else.

        My main point was that the retort of "If you can't do <thing you're criticizing> yourself, then you have no right to criticize it," is a fallacious argument. Roger Ebert wrote 1 movie that I'm aware of. It was not a very good movie by all accounts. (I haven't seen it myself, just going by what I've read about it.) But his criticism of other people's movies is quite good and informative, and often fun. It is entirely valid and worthwhile even though he has never written a good movie.

        I also feel that things rarely improve without pointing out what's wrong with them. If we followed the advice to not criticize things we can't do ourselves, we'd live in a worse world. I can't fix systemic racism, but I can criticize systems that perpetuate it so that maybe we can all start recognizing it and working on a fix.

        4 votes
        1. TheRtRevKaiser
          Link Parent
          It looks like we're probably mostly in agreement. I think the thing that tripped me up was the phrase "Criticism for the sake of criticism". In my mind, your examples just now of pointing out...

          It looks like we're probably mostly in agreement. I think the thing that tripped me up was the phrase "Criticism for the sake of criticism". In my mind, your examples just now of pointing out problematic or abusive behavior, constructive criticism, pointing out systemic racism, etc., are criticism for the sake of someone or something else. Those are all great example of criticism that can add value to the world and can be very valuable if done well. I wouldn't have considered those to be "criticism for the sake of criticism".

          I have encountered many people, and been one myself many times, who were critical merely because it felt good to tear something down or roast someone. That's the thing that I most take issue with: negativity for it's own sake, or for the momentary pleasure of being negative, when it accomplishes nothing and doesn't leave anyone any better off.

          As for your issue with the idea of "If you can't do <thing you're criticizing> yourself, then you have no right to criticize it," I think I mostly agree. I do think that good, useful criticism of a thing requires at least an understanding of it, but understanding something and being able to do it yourself aren't necessarily the same thing. To take your example of Roger Ebert, he may not have been any good at making movies but he was intimately familiar with film and had a wealth of experience and knowledge of it. That makes for good, deep criticism instead of shallow criticism purely for the sake of being critical. I think the same goes for a lot of professional critics. They may not be able to do or make the thing that they criticize, but they do have more than a surface level understanding of what makes it good or bad.

          I'm sorry that we seem to have been talking past each other. I find that to be a common problem online, where you can't get immediate feedback on statements and ideas.

          7 votes
        2. FlippantGod
          Link Parent
          I am not sure what you mean with regards to "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything" and harassment. While it might be true that one must "pay" with time if not money, most criticism...

          I am not sure what you mean with regards to "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything" and harassment.

          While it might be true that one must "pay" with time if not money, most criticism stemming from opportunity cost seems better off as a standalone review.

          Following the original logic, the time taken to post criticism is at further expense, both personally and for anyone who reads it. If they skip the original content it can save the difference. But in a number of cases, this criticism will probably be consumed unwittingly by those who have already consumed the original content...

          The time you choose freely to spend on something is not a transaction. Criticism driven by one's personal opportunity cost is probably a net loss for everyone involved, unless turned into its own creative endeavor; the audience may be better served finding a dedicated reviewer or critic with a similar opportunity cost.

          Meanwhile, I agree with the general sentiment that criticism has an important role. And even that opportunity cost is a valuable metric by which to judge something! Just not a very efficient one for most forms of criticism.

          This here is a perfect example of a big waste of time. Sorry, whoever reads this :P

          1 vote
  3. [14]
    Octofox
    Link
    I think artificial sweeteners cop a lot of heat and distrust which seems unbalanced with other substances. Chemicals like aspartame have been researched endlessly for ages and yet there is still...

    I think artificial sweeteners cop a lot of heat and distrust which seems unbalanced with other substances. Chemicals like aspartame have been researched endlessly for ages and yet there is still not really much info that they are an issue at all.

    People will be quick to jump on these potential but yet unproven issues but then not think twice before doing things like eating seafood which we know for sure contain heavy metals or drinking alcohol which we know causes cancer.

    Seems almost like artificial sweeteners seem too good to be true and people can't accept that something can be just like sugar but without the downsides.

    14 votes
    1. [3]
      lou
      Link Parent
      It is easily forgotten that artificial sweeteners don't need to be totally healthy and without any downsides whatsoever. They just need to be healthier than sugar. And sugar is really bad for you.

      It is easily forgotten that artificial sweeteners don't need to be totally healthy and without any downsides whatsoever. They just need to be healthier than sugar. And sugar is really bad for you.

      16 votes
      1. [2]
        johnaj
        Link Parent
        My problem with articificial sweetener, at least for soda, is that it gives me the sensation of sugar without the corresponding energy. When I drink it, I feel great at first, as though my body...

        My problem with articificial sweetener, at least for soda, is that it gives me the sensation of sugar without the corresponding energy. When I drink it, I feel great at first, as though my body thinks it's received energy from the sweetener, but after half an hour I feel weak and exhausted. So to me it seems like a case of you can't have your cake and eat it too.

        3 votes
        1. lou
          Link Parent
          You might drink caffeine or guarana for a similar effect.

          You might drink caffeine or guarana for a similar effect.

    2. [2]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      By this point, aspartame and MSG have been studied so much they are arguably the safest substances we eat.

      By this point, aspartame and MSG have been studied so much they are arguably the safest substances we eat.

      6 votes
      1. streblo
        Link Parent
        There is a This American Life episode where they dig into the history of the MSG scare. It's very interesting, although I've heard mixed reports on how true it is....

        There is a This American Life episode where they dig into the history of the MSG scare. It's very interesting, although I've heard mixed reports on how true it is.

        https://www.thisamericanlife.org/668/transcript

        4 votes
    3. [2]
      LukeZaz
      Link Parent
      Relatedly, people often complain or worry about chemicals that sound spooky primarily because they don't know a lot about them, or have associated them with harmful things. I remember mentioning...

      Chemicals like aspartame have been researched endlessly for ages

      Relatedly, people often complain or worry about chemicals that sound spooky primarily because they don't know a lot about them, or have associated them with harmful things. I remember mentioning fears of aspartame to a friend of mine once and getting the response of "actually, it turns into formaldehyde in your body," with them treating it as though the mere existence of any formaldehyde was a serious problem. In reality, yes, aspartame turns into formaldehyde, but the amount of such created is too small to matter, and it goes away quickly at that.

      5 votes
      1. mifuyne
        Link Parent
        Like dihydrogen monoxide. Admittedly, you bringing up the formaldehyde scare had me look deeper into it for myself. Turns out it's a cancer risk if it's inhaled, but it's part of the metabolic...

        people often complain or worry about chemicals that sound spooky primarily because they don't know a lot about them

        Like dihydrogen monoxide.

        Admittedly, you bringing up the formaldehyde scare had me look deeper into it for myself. Turns out it's a cancer risk if it's inhaled, but it's part of the metabolic process in mammals, including human. If nothing else, this just makes me think of the aforementioned parody even more.

        8 votes
    4. elcuello
      Link Parent
      I have a relative that worked for the sugar industry in the 90s who told me how they deliberately shifted the public discourse and stigma surrounding sugar into fat scare. This also played...

      I have a relative that worked for the sugar industry in the 90s who told me how they deliberately shifted the public discourse and stigma surrounding sugar into fat scare. This also played perfectly into the aspartame scare when sugar free sodas where on the rise. It's downright scary because I myself was afflicted with this mindset and would rather drink regular coke because at least it was "natural" and not contaminated with that untested cancer substance. This way of corporate thinking so fucking evil and makes me boil inside because it touches one of the most fundamental things in our society to make it work. Trust.

      5 votes
    5. [4]
      Thra11
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      My main reason for avoiding sweeteners is that some of them taste horrible, especially if too much is used. The main one I'm aware of / have issues with is sucralose. It's ok in very, very small...

      My main reason for avoiding sweeteners is that some of them taste horrible, especially if too much is used. The main one I'm aware of / have issues with is sucralose. It's ok in very, very small quantities, but any more than that and I get a horrible aftertaste / mouthfeel that makes me want to scrape the flesh off my palate with my fingernails. You can make a bad product with too much sugar in, but it'll just taste too sweet and be a little more unhealthy. Add too much sucralose and it tastes disgusting (to me at least), so as a general rule, I avoid products with sucralose in because I don't fancy gambling on whether the manufacturer got the quantity right.

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        lou
        Link Parent
        Funny, I don't get any aftertaste from sucralose. It's the only artificial sweetener I tolerate.

        Funny, I don't get any aftertaste from sucralose. It's the only artificial sweetener I tolerate.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          Thra11
          Link Parent
          From searching the internet, it appears that it might be one of those things which some people can taste and others can't. If that weren't the case, then I don't know how any products with...

          From searching the internet, it appears that it might be one of those things which some people can taste and others can't. If that weren't the case, then I don't know how any products with sucralose in would get past basic taste testing and into mass production.

          The product which really brought sucralose to my attention was Heinz "No Added Sugar & Salt" Tomato Ketchup. I only read the front of the bottle in the supermarket, and thought it was just a less sweetened ketchup. After all, tomatoes are pretty sweet on their own, so while tomato ketchup usually has sugar in, I'm sure you could make a nice ketchup-y sauce without added sugar. Once I tasted it, I discovered that that's not what this product is. The actual ingredient list is this:

          Tomatoes (200g per 100g Tomato Ketchup), spirit vinegar, lemon juice from concentrate, potassium, chloride, acid (malid acid), citrus fibre, spice and herb extracts (contain CELERY), Sweetener (sucralose)

          Now, I'm wondering how this quote from Heinz' website can be considered anything other than an outright lie:

          No artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or thickeners

          As far as I'm concerned, sweetness is a flavour, sucralose is artificial and is added to impart a sweet flavouring, ergo it does contain artificial flavours. I assume either the legal definition of a flavour doesn't align with common usage, or the sentence as a whole is legally meaningless. At best, it's lying by omission.

          2 votes
          1. Weldawadyathink
            Link Parent
            Just so you know, it is possible to find truly unsweetened ketchup. When you do find it, it is amazing! I am so used to it now that normal ketchup just tastes like red sugar juice. About the...

            Just so you know, it is possible to find truly unsweetened ketchup. When you do find it, it is amazing! I am so used to it now that normal ketchup just tastes like red sugar juice.

            About the artificial sweeteners debate: I just avoid sweetened things. Once you get into that habit, it is pretty easy to find things that don’t have any sweetener. Most of the time, these things taste better because they can’t use crappy ingredients and hide it under mountains of sugar.

            3 votes
    6. monarda
      Link Parent
      I just hate sweetness in general, and I hate artificial sweetness because my looking for sugar free things stems from not wanting to taste sweet. They don't taste like sugar, they taste sweeter....

      I just hate sweetness in general, and I hate artificial sweetness because my looking for sugar free things stems from not wanting to taste sweet. They don't taste like sugar, they taste sweeter. It's like there's this expectation that someone looking for sugar free must want sweet. It's totally possible to change our palette, but in the case of sugar, we're not given that chance - must still be sweet, but without sugar. I freaking hate artificial sweeteners.

      And I hate that both yogurt and cottage cheese went through this "OMG people eating these are on a diet, therefor they don't want fat," thing that happened. I want my freaking fat.

      Sorry for the rant, I know it has nothing to do whatsoever with why you made the comment, it just hit a nerve :)

      4 votes
  4. [3]
    lou
    Link
    "'It's just semantics". Yeah, maybe it is. Semantics is, like, super important. And maybe I do wanna discuss semantics. It is a valid topic for discussion.

    "'It's just semantics". Yeah, maybe it is. Semantics is, like, super important. And maybe I do wanna discuss semantics. It is a valid topic for discussion.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      Moonchild
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Maybe you do. But I think that phrase is generally used in the context of an argument whose participants do not realise they are arguing about semantics and may not want to be. Most such arguments...

      maybe I do wanna discuss semantics. It is a valid topic for discussion

      Maybe you do. But I think that phrase is generally used in the context of an argument whose participants do not realise they are arguing about semantics and may not want to be.

      Most such arguments are not productive. A productive argument about semantics would justify the assignment of some meaning to some string (as being more interesting or useful than some other meaning); but, in my experience, people rarely go further than fiat. ('It is so' - 'it is not!')

      I think most people would be well-served by cultivating an awareness of what is semantics and what is not.

      12 votes
      1. lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        There are situations like the ones you describe. However, there are also situations in which the phrase "it's just semantics" is used to dismiss valid discussion. Your idea of what semantic...

        There are situations like the ones you describe. However, there are also situations in which the phrase "it's just semantics" is used to dismiss valid discussion.

        Your idea of what semantic discussions are or could be is unlike my personal experience, I must say. I've had many valuable semantic discussions. The fact that something is somewhat subjective does not make it unworthy of discussion.

        edit: the comment I answered to was substantially altered. This response is to its first version.

        5 votes
  5. [7]
    babypuncher
    Link
    I am continually perplexed that film Star Wars fans hate most is the one movie in the sequel trilogy that is actually worth watching. The Force Awakens feels like a lazy rehash of the 1977...

    I am continually perplexed that film Star Wars fans hate most is the one movie in the sequel trilogy that is actually worth watching.

    The Force Awakens feels like a lazy rehash of the 1977 original that hits a giant reset button on its returning characters. Han is a smuggler again, Leia is the leader of a scrappy resistance movement. And let's not forget the Super Mega Ultra Deathstar 3.0

    Rise of Skywalker is an all around mess.

    But The Last Jedi actually does new interesting things with its characters and seems to have something to say about the Star Wars universe.

    13 votes
    1. Akir
      Link Parent
      IMHO the Star Wars Sequel trilogy is the ultimate example of why artists should not listen to their audience. It’s what happens when you lost interest in the art and your product is just pandering...

      IMHO the Star Wars Sequel trilogy is the ultimate example of why artists should not listen to their audience. It’s what happens when you lost interest in the art and your product is just pandering to what you think the audience wants to see.

      4 votes
    2. [4]
      hamstergeddon
      Link Parent
      I really liked TLJ. It's not even my favorite of the Disney era movies (Rogue One is), but it's a high mark in an otherwise disappointing trilogy. TFA was good, but definitely a lazy rehash like...

      I really liked TLJ. It's not even my favorite of the Disney era movies (Rogue One is), but it's a high mark in an otherwise disappointing trilogy. TFA was good, but definitely a lazy rehash like you said. RoS just felt so fucking rushed. Like they realized the previous two movies hadn't set anything interesting up to be resolved by a third, so they tried to cram as much as possible into it to make up for it. But the result was a disjointed, rushed mess.

      RoS is 150% worthy of the hate TLJ unfairly gets, imo.

      4 votes
      1. [3]
        spctrvl
        Link Parent
        I don't really interact much with the Star Wars fandom, is RoS really not hated much more than TLJ even among people who hated TLJ? That was more or less the consensus among people I know.

        I don't really interact much with the Star Wars fandom, is RoS really not hated much more than TLJ even among people who hated TLJ? That was more or less the consensus among people I know.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          hamstergeddon
          Link Parent
          My experience has been that people hate TLJ more than RoS, because TLJ is "woke" or something dumb like that. That's mostly through reddit and twitter, which are both awful places (that I continue...

          My experience has been that people hate TLJ more than RoS, because TLJ is "woke" or something dumb like that. That's mostly through reddit and twitter, which are both awful places (that I continue to frequent for some reason).

          There just didn't seem to be as much hate and pushback against RoS as there was for TLJ when it came out. And I really don't get it because TLJ is at the very least decent and watchable whereas RoS is just a 2.5 hr clusterfuck.

          3 votes
          1. LegoMyGrego
            Link Parent
            The reason that there wasn't much hate or pushback against RoS is because TLJ basically killed off people's interest in the trilogy. Most people who hated TLJ didn't go see RoS. I myself already...

            The reason that there wasn't much hate or pushback against RoS is because TLJ basically killed off people's interest in the trilogy.

            Most people who hated TLJ didn't go see RoS. I myself already disliked TFA, but I hoped TLJ could course correct the trilogy into something better. Instead, I lost all interest and care and only saw RoS on DVD to laugh at it.

            I am not saying TLJ killed the franchise, I still have my Legacy universe I love and adore. But it definitely killed the new trilogy for a lot of people.

            2 votes
    3. LegoMyGrego
      Link Parent
      Sorry dude, but The Last Jedi is easily the worst film of all three crappy films. It had a chance to do something different but did nothing, and to many is what makes the film the most...

      Sorry dude, but The Last Jedi is easily the worst film of all three crappy films. It had a chance to do something different but did nothing, and to many is what makes the film the most frustrating. The Last Jedi does no new things. It teases new things and possibilities, then does nothing different. Worse then that, it does literally nothing to progress the plot.

      If the film actually had Ray taking Ren's hand, that would have been something brave and different. Instead, the 2nd act is killed by the pointless casino plot and the 3rd act destroys all interesting plot paths to leave us with big evil empire and small rebel force.....again.

      The film got hate not because it did everything different, its because it did it poorly.

      1 vote
  6. [4]
    RNG
    Link
    TikTok. Sure, it suffers from a lot of the pitfalls of all social media, but there are certainly some upsides. One, the algorithm is really good. After a few weeks, it shows me all of the obscure...

    TikTok.

    Sure, it suffers from a lot of the pitfalls of all social media, but there are certainly some upsides. One, the algorithm is really good. After a few weeks, it shows me all of the obscure content that delights me. It's also overwhelmingly (though not universally) positive in tone. When I spend time on Reddit, I often feel miserable and have a dimmer view of humanity (though harsh curation of my subscribed-to subreddits has helped.) For me, my time on TikTok is lighthearted and filled with the unique creativity and quirkiness of humans; it genuinely makes me love humanity more.

    It's not all great. When I first signed up, I was served some COVID conspiracy videos that I promptly reported. After the first day, I saw maybe a single anti-vaxx/anti-mask video. I'd normally be concerned about being in an echo chamber, but I just don't see much political content either way now. Nothing especially charged or polemic, just obscure board games, houseplants, neat hardware projects, and dad jokes.

    This is just my experience with the platform. Your mileage may vary.

    12 votes
    1. elcuello
      Link Parent
      This may be all and well but the ONE thing that worries me about tiktok is the uncontrollable doom scrolling which is on another level. We are talking about mere seconds before the next clip...

      This may be all and well but the ONE thing that worries me about tiktok is the uncontrollable doom scrolling which is on another level. We are talking about mere seconds before the next clip starts and you NEVER get the opportunity to stop and think. This might be a general problem (reels on insta/fb etc.) but since tiktok perfected it I blame them for now.

      9 votes
    2. adi
      Link Parent
      Installing Tik Tok for the first time in my life.

      Installing Tik Tok for the first time in my life.

      3 votes
    3. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I wanted to like TikTok, be one of the cool kids. I couldn't deal with the visual pollution. There's too much information on the screen at all times. It felt like a seizure. It was not obvious how...

      I wanted to like TikTok, be one of the cool kids. I couldn't deal with the visual pollution. There's too much information on the screen at all times. It felt like a seizure. It was not obvious how I was supposed to share that content with my friends. I grew afraid of getting addicted. Lots of funny stuff though.

      3 votes
  7. [3]
    EgoEimi
    Link
    Hostile or defensive architecture in public facilities and spaces, namely public transit and parks, to curb antisocial behavior like homeless squatting, fare evasion, skating, and so on. I'm a...

    Hostile or defensive architecture in public facilities and spaces, namely public transit and parks, to curb antisocial behavior like homeless squatting, fare evasion, skating, and so on.

    I'm a designer with an architecture background and have a lot of friends in architecture, landscape, and public works. I've been around the SF Bay Area area recently, and have seen the sad state of public transit and parks. And I am very disappointed in disrespect that people have shown them.

    Common criticisms of hostile / defensive architecture:

    • They stigmatize and punish the homeless.
    • They punish the poor.
    • It tries to hide poverty.
    • Kids skating are harmless.
    • It's Orwellian.
    • Money spent on defensive architecture should be spent on housing.

    What I think is fair

    • They're not real solutions. But I think they're unideal measures for an unideal world.
    • They foster a hostile ambiance. Our urban landscapes ought to be soft and inviting, not hard and cynical.

    Why I think they're unfair:

    • If you take the argument to its logical extreme, then we can't enjoy safe, clean public amenities, if any at all, until all social issues are solved. (I think it's not either-or.)
    • The money spent on defensive architecture is negligible and wouldn't make a dent on housing. And the housing shortage in California is a policy issue (largely stemming from Proposition 13 and zoning), not a money issue.
    • Public transit and parks are public goods meant to be shared and enjoyed by everyone. It's an unfortunate reality that a significant number of homeless individuals are bad stewards of their environments.
    • People passed out in stations or in trains, feces and urine and needles on floors and walls, litter everywhere — these don't garner public sympathy but antipathy.
    • Fare evasion revenue loss is minimal, but it's disrespectful to paying commuters. And fare evaders tend to stir up trouble.
    • Unlawful and antisocial behavior makes public spaces unpleasant to use. It drives away people who can afford better options, leaving behind people who can't afford other options and the true believers in public transit and goods. Those can afford it will drive their own cars to go to the hills or Lake Tahoe when they want to enjoy nature.
    • Deterring and catching vandalism is way cheaper than endlessly replacing destroyed things.

    I have a friend who was a parks director for a Californian city. They spent $20m+ a year just replacing things damaged or destroyed by homeless people or vandals. Someone lights a playground on fire? That's a million dollars. Someone blows up a trash can? That's thousands of dollars. Something keeps getting destroyed? It won't get replaced. That's money that doesn't go into more amenities or park programs for children. It's no wonder that so many urban Californian parks are just sad chainlink-fenced, empty grass lot affairs.

    I travel in liberal circles and often hear "lives over property" and "property can be replaced". It's not either-or. Public property embody our efforts and endeavors and enrich community life. Defensive architecture is just a practical way of protecting and keeping public property for everyone to enjoy and not get taken over and abused by a few.

    Egh, I'm feeling old and crotchety even though I'm actually young (and a skater myself). But I've spent enough time living in Europe and East Asia to know that we do get nice things when we don't break or destroy nice things.

    8 votes
    1. AugustusFerdinand
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The argument against hostile/defensive architecture isn't one of money, but of visibility. For many, perhaps most, perhaps even the vast majority, out-of-sight = out-of-mind. If people aren't...

      The argument against hostile/defensive architecture isn't one of money, but of visibility.
      For many, perhaps most, perhaps even the vast majority, out-of-sight = out-of-mind. If people aren't faced with a problem they largely don't care about solving it. The squeaky wheel get the grease, hostile architecture is sound deadening so you can't hear the wheel. Making the problem visible increases the incentives, those same incentives you've given in favor of hostile architecture, to solve the homelessness problem.

      Most of your reasons in favor of hostile architecture boil down to the "homeless are bad stewards of their environments", this isn't a homeless trait, it's a poverty trait.
      When you have nothing but your life then your life is all you are concerned with. Restrooms being customers only means you urinate/defecate in public. Slums and shantytowns in other countries have the same issue; there will be a communal "toilet" that is little more than a hole in a floor where effluence gathers beneath the residents.
      Being met with constant aggressiveness and insult just because you're poor makes you antisocial.

      Hostile architecture allows those that can afford to leave to Lake Tahoe, et al, those that have the greatest means to address the homelessness problem, to ignore it completely.

      You're right that property vs lives isn't an either-or situation, but it is another weapon the haves use against the have-nots in order to be able to use the age old moral handwashing excuse of "I didn't know" when the real reason is "I don't care about what doesn't affect me."

      6 votes
    2. lou
      Link Parent
      I get your point, I really do. However, that for me is the kind of discussion that can only happen for something specific I know and live with. Very hard to have a meaningful conversation in the...

      I get your point, I really do. However, that for me is the kind of discussion that can only happen for something specific I know and live with. Very hard to have a meaningful conversation in the abstract.

  8. [12]
    suspended
    Link
    That there could be something that is considered outside of our cosmological view. For example, it is possible that there are intelligent beings (e.g. non-physical) that either most of us haven't...
    1. That there could be something that is considered outside of our cosmological view. For example, it is possible that there are intelligent beings (e.g. non-physical) that either most of us haven't had any contact with or some of us have and are unable to explain it to ourselves.

    2. A common criticism is physicalism.

    3. I feel that they are unfair because I've had several experiences, throughout my life, that can not be explained any other way that I know of. Before you retort with interpersonal psychological phenomena, I spent decades with psychologists/psychiatrists and have been 'cleared' from any of that.

    7 votes
    1. [11]
      Staross
      Link Parent
      The issue is, that's a fallacious argument (argument from ignorance). It's quite evident if you put it in an general way : I don't have an explanation for fact F. Therefor F is explained by E. You...

      that can not be explained any other way that I know of.

      The issue is, that's a fallacious argument (argument from ignorance). It's quite evident if you put it in an general way :

      1. I don't have an explanation for fact F.
      2. Therefor F is explained by E.

      You can see that 2. doesn't follow from 1. The correct conclusion is simply to say you don't know what's the explanation for F.

      12 votes
      1. [10]
        suspended
        Link Parent
        That wasn't my intention.

        fallacious argument

        That wasn't my intention.

        4 votes
        1. [9]
          k463b_92p
          Link Parent
          I'm interested in your response here because exemplifies what material is likely to be criticized on a site like Tildes. I can't argue with @Staross either, because they're correctly and...

          I'm interested in your response here because exemplifies what material is likely to be criticized on a site like Tildes. I can't argue with @Staross either, because they're correctly and appropriately explaining a simple logical principle. I think the term "fallacious" has a bit of a negative aura, and I wouldn't focus on it here except as an allusion toward the broader logic-narrative that we generally espouse in the 21st century.

          It's predictable and perhaps ironic that this is the immediate response to your comment is not, "What were those experiences like?" or even, "I have a similar opinion, though I struggle to justify it," but in fact the type of criticism this thread is predicated on. There's nothing wrong with anything @Staross said, but I still find it amusing what always gets posted and upvoted here. Tildes really is like clockwork.

          I would posit that the primary ideological context of this response is a subliminal opposition to any religious or non-physicalist implication in your comment more than a defense of the logical, material world as such. I am speaking more broadly than solely the above comment, to which this may or may not apply. This pattern is among the reasons I take caution in discussing my own cosmological or religious beliefs with others. When a community is collectively more likely to dismiss this type of questioning than embrace or at least humor it, I have trouble spending any time on the matter.

          10 votes
          1. [4]
            Staross
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I don't find your interpretation very charitable ; explaining out a flaw in someone's reasoning is helping them to fix or refine it and ultimately get closer to truth, and in my opinion "humoring...

            I don't find your interpretation very charitable ; explaining out a flaw in someone's reasoning is helping them to fix or refine it and ultimately get closer to truth, and in my opinion "humoring it" means taking the argument seriously. When you encounter someone making an obvious mistake you say nothing and let them be wrong ? that's not very nice.

            Note as well that what I pointed out doesn't imply that 1) @suspended experiences are not legitimate or 2) that their conclusion is wrong. It only shows that the reasoning used to come to that conclusion is problematic.

            9 votes
            1. [3]
              TheRtRevKaiser
              Link Parent
              Somewhat ironically, I don't find your initial reply to @Suspended to be very charitable either. It is, I think, pretty clear that they are not trying to make a formal argument in the OP....

              Somewhat ironically, I don't find your initial reply to @Suspended to be very charitable either. It is, I think, pretty clear that they are not trying to make a formal argument in the OP.

              Essentially they state:

              1. It is possible that something exists that we aren't aware of.
              2. The philosophical concept of "physicalism" is often used as a criticism of belief in the non-physical.
              3. They have personally had experiences that they feel can't be explained by any other way they know of.

              Nowhere in the OP does Suspended make any assertion of fact, or any formal logical argument for the existence of anything in particular. There are strong implications that they do have a belief in some sort of non-physical something, but that is really all that can be concluded from their post. So in your response, you accused them of using a logical fallacy in an argument that they had not yet made, and that you just assumed that they would make.

              Also, we're not in a debate here. Nobody is scoring you for pointing out "flaws" in the "reasoning" in other peoples posts. You're not helping anyone by pointing out the flaw in their reasoning, because they haven't expressed their reasoning to you. You just assumed that you understood their reasoning, interpreted in the least charitable way to be illogical, and then corrected the perceived flaw in their imagined argument.

              7 votes
              1. [2]
                Staross
                Link Parent
                No, point 3. explicitly states that criticism of 1. is unfair because [argument from ignorance]. I don't really see any other way to read it. Thanks but, that's not up to you to decide.

                No, point 3. explicitly states that criticism of 1. is unfair because [argument from ignorance]. I don't really see any other way to read it.

                You're not helping anyone by pointing out the flaw in their reasoning

                Thanks but, that's not up to you to decide.

                4 votes
                1. suspended
                  Link Parent
                  I wasn't here to argue anything. Obviously, you are. This is ~talk and not ~debate. Did you read the OP? Anything in there that is asking for arguments and/or debate? Answer: no. So, why are you...

                  I wasn't here to argue anything. Obviously, you are. This is ~talk and not ~debate.

                  Did you read the OP?

                  What's something that you feel is unfairly criticized?
                  What are the common criticisms against it?
                  Why do you feel that those are unfair?

                  Anything in there that is asking for arguments and/or debate? Answer: no.

                  So, why are you grasping at straws or splitting hairs?

                  3 votes
          2. suspended
            Link Parent
            I couldn't have put this more eloquently as you have. Thank you. And if anyone is wondering what I'm talking about you can read more here. FAQ: Are you a Christian? -No Are you religious in any...

            I couldn't have put this more eloquently as you have. Thank you. And if anyone is wondering what I'm talking about you can read more here.

            FAQ:

            1. Are you a Christian?

            -No

            1. Are you religious in any way?

            -No

            1. When 'God' is referenced in your story, what do you believe it is?

            -Unknown

            1. What are some takeaways that you feel are important?

            -Science does not have the answers to everything. People need people (e.g. professional therapists are, for the most part, a good thing). Having a sense of awe and/or wonder is actively stripped from us every day (I could say more about this but I'll leave it there). Being a part of a loving family, if at all possible, is a pinnacle of human experience.

            4 votes
          3. [3]
            streblo
            Link Parent
            I think the problem stems from the fact that the non-physical world is by definition unknowable. It's something fun to discuss over some beers with friends but also not something I would label...

            It's predictable and perhaps ironic that this is the immediate response to your comment is not, "What were those experiences like?" or even, "I have a similar opinion, though I struggle to justify it,"

            I think the problem stems from the fact that the non-physical world is by definition unknowable. It's something fun to discuss over some beers with friends but also not something I would label criticism of as "unfair."

            4 votes
            1. [2]
              k463b_92p
              Link Parent
              You make a good point. If you're working within a framework whose goal is logical Truth, then it makes sense to criticize any unprovable statements and unsupported conclusions. However, I'm...

              You make a good point. If you're working within a framework whose goal is logical Truth, then it makes sense to criticize any unprovable statements and unsupported conclusions.

              However, I'm inclined to remark that the non-physical is "by definition unknowable" only if one already accepts physicalism as the "Truth" of the universe (implicitly or otherwise). This happens to dominate our present cultural discourse, despite the existence of religion. Within a physicalist epistemology, your primary method of determining the Truth about the obviously physical world is likely to be some sort of sensory empiricism, and that empiricism naturally relies on physical observations. In other words, the world becomes axiomatically physical. Therefore it is easy to "prove" it to be physical, or to suggest that the opposite is unprovable, because you are implicitly assuming that very conclusion. The ideology feeds upon and into itself.

              Consider an alternative. Within, say, an idealist epistemology, the Truth of what constitutes reality is fundamentally different than the above. You could easily take some form of esoteric metaphysical solipsism to mean that the physical world is an illusion formed by the axiomatically existent mind. If you are defining your epistemology this way, then the nature of the physical world is "by definition unknowable," because it does not exist in the first place, or cannot be proven to exist.

              However obvious metaphysical theories of knowledge XYZ may appear, they are still our interpretations of the universe and not exactly provably True. At some level, we have decided arbitrarily that we like fundamental ideology X more than fundamental ideology Y. A rationalist might attribute that decision to our innate rationalism (from wheresoever that derives). A physicalist might attribute it to our biology. A theist might attribute it to God's will or presence within us. However, this decision is still "actually" arbitrary because it exists prior to all other decisions and is therefore not informed by any other ideologies. The various attributions of the aforementioned -ists circumvent this issue by ignoring the unknowability of anything sans ideology and deciding upon inherent ideological axioms so that they can actually do something useful. That's fair enough.

              You can poke holes in what I said here. I am clearly working within a subjective and vaguely irreligious epistemology already, as I suspect most people on Tildes implicitly are too (though they claim otherwise). Personally, I don't think that we can "prove" the existence of an objective reality given that we perceive the world subjectively as individuals. But of course, few of us are inclined toward an epistemology that does not at least sort of rely on physicalism, empiricism, and logic. Consequently, the non-physical is indeed statically "unknowable." To this extent, my comment appears merely academic. Maybe it is.

              I maintain that to learn anything useful about the world, you have to forgo absolute certainty. All knowledge is predicated on the unknowable, unprovable process of faith.

              3 votes
              1. streblo
                Link Parent
                I understand the point you're making -- but I do think its largely academic. Even a solipsist has to acknowledge that within their 'physical' world there are seemingly never-ending threads of...

                However, I'm inclined to remark that the non-physical is "by definition unknowable" only if one already accepts physicalism as the "Truth" of the universe (implicitly or otherwise).

                You could easily take some form of esoteric metaphysical solipsism to mean that the physical world is an illusion formed by the axiomatically existent mind.

                If you are defining your epistemology this way, then the nature of the physical world is "by definition unknowable," because it does not exist in the first place, or cannot be proven to exist.

                I understand the point you're making -- but I do think its largely academic. Even a solipsist has to acknowledge that within their 'physical' world there are seemingly never-ending threads of knowledge that can be tugged on endlessly -- even if they believe them to be irrelevant structures of their own mind. In my opinion whether or not physical observations have meaning matters not -- they are the only buttons we can push in our existence so we of course push them. Starting from a solipsism framework does little more to describe or understand anything 'behind the curtain' either, so you're left twiddling your thumbs and resting behind your static assertion.

                I maintain that to learn anything useful about the world, you have to forgo absolute certainty. All knowledge is predicated on the unknowable, unprovable process of faith.

                Agreed. At some point we eventually dropped the "Given that I exist, and given that you exist" from our conversation preamble in the interest of time. It's much the same for scientific papers. ;)

                2 votes
  9. [3]
    adi
    Link
    shell scripting

    shell scripting

    7 votes
    1. vord
      Link Parent
      I get it. A lot of expensive monitoring and analytic solutions are easily replaced with a handful of shell scripts.

      I get it. A lot of expensive monitoring and analytic solutions are easily replaced with a handful of shell scripts.

      2 votes
    2. petrichor
      Link Parent
      It's clunky, but nothing's better.

      It's clunky, but nothing's better.

      1 vote
  10. [4]
    HotPants
    Link
    Science. Science is not a religion. Fuck your criticisms of science you fucking morons. Unless you are Amish. I respect the Amish's integrity on this issue. They don't pick and choose what is...

    Science.

    Science is not a religion.

    Fuck your criticisms of science you fucking morons.

    Unless you are Amish. I respect the Amish's integrity on this issue. They don't pick and choose what is convenient.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      MimicSquid
      Link Parent
      They literally do pick and choose technology. They work on the assumption that technological advancement is not inherently good and should be adopted as it will truly improve people's lives....

      They literally do pick and choose technology. They work on the assumption that technological advancement is not inherently good and should be adopted as it will truly improve people's lives. https://amishamerica.com/do-amish-use-technology/

      14 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        I agree with that general principle of 'not all technological advancement is good'. However, the Amish have some serious internal governance issues surrounding abuse and control, and I do avoid...

        I agree with that general principle of 'not all technological advancement is good'. However, the Amish have some serious internal governance issues surrounding abuse and control, and I do avoid promoting them for that reason.

        1 vote
    2. lou
      Link Parent
      There are valid criticisms to science that are worth considering. Maybe you're referring to antiscience behaviors and irationalism. Those are different things.

      There are valid criticisms to science that are worth considering. Maybe you're referring to antiscience behaviors and irationalism. Those are different things.

      7 votes
  11. [7]
    NoblePath
    Link
    Conspiracy research. These days, stuff like pizzagate, q, and covid have really soaked up the spotlight, and as a result sane people dismiss any and all counter narratives as insanity or usesless...

    Conspiracy research.

    These days, stuff like pizzagate, q, and covid have really soaked up the spotlight, and as a result sane people dismiss any and all counter narratives as insanity or usesless contrarianism.

    But there are many serious points of attack for mainstream explanations of weird events, coupled with many now well documented examples of secret, controlling, and harmful to the public actions taken by the well enfranchised. Tukaseegee experiments, iran-contra, delmonte and el salvadore (I think i have the company and country right) to name three.

    And when a huge majority of material was removed from twin towers wreckage and destroyed without analysis, eyebrows should be alternately raised and furrowed. I can guarantee even an alcoholic criminal defender could have raised reasonable doubt on the Warren report in a court.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      Macil
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Did research into these true conspiracies ever look anything like what gets called conspiracy theories today? It's my understanding that concrete evidence existed from the start of the attention...

      Tuskegee experiments, iran-contra

      Did research into these true conspiracies ever look anything like what gets called conspiracy theories today? It's my understanding that concrete evidence existed from the start of the attention on these. They weren't revealed through long journeys of regular people without connections re-studying things and focusing on minor ambiguities.

      And when a huge majority of material was removed from twin towers wreckage and destroyed without analysis, eyebrows should be alternately raised and furrowed.

      Literally two of the largest buildings in the world fell down in one of the busiest cities in the world. There was a ton of rubble, of course it's not all going to be studied. There's more than enough evidence that it was planes that downed the towers, and not bombs, and not bombs and planes at the same time. (If it wasn't just planes, why would it be necessary for anyone to hide that fact? If terrorists used bombs, they would want it to be obvious to cause more terror. If false-flaggers calculated that planes wouldn't be enough to take down the buildings, then they would both realize that other people could calculate that too and also just decide on a different kind of attack. It's a huge multiplier on the amount of effort and risk to make the plan any more complicated than it needs to be.)

      There are real conspiracies in modern times, but they're stuff like the GOP making up narratives about WMDs in Iraq to support the war and downplaying Saudi Arabia's 9/11 connections, or oil companies funding misinformation about climate change. Real conspiracies aren't optimized as stories to be endlessly dissectable while still staying on the edge of mysteriousness, so conspiracy researchers end up spending all their time on more interesting nonsense instead of them. The motives of the actors involved aren't that subtle or mysterious. The real conspiracies end up seeming so utterly boring to the general public that the conspiracy theorists start theorizing that there's a nefarious conspiracy causing the media to cover such a boring story for so long.

      11 votes
      1. [2]
        vektor
        Link Parent
        The conspiracy theory here being that Iraq has WMDs or had anything to do with 9/11. Advanced by the bush administration.

        There are real conspiracies in modern times, but they're stuff like the GOP playing up narratives about WMDs in Iraq to support the war and downplaying Saudi Arabia's 9/11 connections, or oil companies funding misinformation about climate change.

        The conspiracy theory here being that Iraq has WMDs or had anything to do with 9/11. Advanced by the bush administration.

        4 votes
        1. Macil
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Right. I've tweaked the wording to be a little more clear. The true conspiracy is that misinformation is invented, and ironically that misinformation looks like a modern conspiracy theory. In...

          Right. I've tweaked the wording to be a little more clear. The true conspiracy is that misinformation is invented, and ironically that misinformation looks like a modern conspiracy theory. In general it seems like conspiracy theories themselves are more likely to be the result of a conspiracy to invent misinformation.

          4 votes
      2. NoblePath
        Link Parent
        Part of my complaint is that in a culture that casually dismisses counter-narrative as the domain of whackos, it’s impossible for professionals to go after the tr ue conspiracies. Sure, maybe 9/11...

        Part of my complaint is that in a culture that casually dismisses counter-narrative as the domain of whackos, it’s impossible for professionals to go after the tr ue conspiracies. Sure, maybe 9/11 happened the way they say it did, but how many other, truer conspiracies avoid scrutiny because everyone is so quick to dismiss ugly truths about governments and corporations?

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The problem with "conspiracy research" is that, until you have at least some shred of credible evidence, you have nothing to work with. All you have is a "theory", and, as such, it should be...

      The problem with "conspiracy research" is that, until you have at least some shred of credible evidence, you have nothing to work with. All you have is a "theory", and, as such, it should be treated as nothing more than brainstorming, a pet idea that you find entertaining one way or the other. Something that might be true, but shouldn't be taken too seriously. At the most, conspiracy theory (sorry, I use the word...) is something journalists and investigators should be doing to some extent, but not publishing just yet.

      Actual "conspiracy research" can only be done for conspiracies that are not secret anymore.

      8 votes
      1. NoblePath
        Link Parent
        I disagree that serious research cannot be done without lots of access. Court cases can turn on very small, previously overlooked details. This is probably not the place to argue about 9/11. But...

        I disagree that serious research cannot be done without lots of access. Court cases can turn on very small, previously overlooked details.

        This is probably not the place to argue about 9/11. But think about the meticulous imvestigation that goes into a plane crash. Less went into the wtc debacle. Even if there wasn’t a bomb or other coverup, more attention should have been given, especially since design specs and certs on the building were that it would be able to withstand aircraft collision.

        Smart and thoughtful
        Investigation, at all levels, can and should be be applied still.

        The broader point, however, is that most people dismiss even the idea of counter narrative or skepticism of official accounts, and too quickly criticize as fantasy (or worse) anything outside the consensus tale.

        1 vote
  12. ClearlyAlive
    Link
    French spelling. It's not as phonetic as other languages, but it's a godsend compared to English. It's true that in French we don't always pronounce every letter, but unlike English, French has...

    French spelling. It's not as phonetic as other languages, but it's a godsend compared to English. It's true that in French we don't always pronounce every letter, but unlike English, French has some generally clear rules and conventions on how we pronounce words. French dictionaries tend not to feature IPA guides for words, unlike in English because of this.

    5 votes
  13. an_angry_tiger
    Link
    "Misinformation" Not to call it a positive thing or anything, or to deny that it has negative effects, but I feel like it gets to be a good boogeyman that people can focus all their energy on...

    "Misinformation"

    Not to call it a positive thing or anything, or to deny that it has negative effects, but I feel like it gets to be a good boogeyman that people can focus all their energy on trying to wholesale eradicate.
    On the one hand you have the extremely dubious stuff like QAnon that is wholesale not based in reality, but there's a hazy middle where clearly pinning things down as "true" or "false" gets more complicated. If you're trying to codify placing things in to that binary you're entering a dangerously nuanced game with lots of false positives and the consensus of what's "true" changing over time.

    2 votes
  14. [5]
    lou
    Link
    The Star Wars prequels. They're profoundly imperfect but there are lots of very cool things in them. That is true about all Star Wars movies. Don't believe the nostalgia.

    The Star Wars prequels. They're profoundly imperfect but there are lots of very cool things in them. That is true about all Star Wars movies. Don't believe the nostalgia.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I have soooooo many unfairly judged films. I'll just pick two for now. The Wiz: so many people complain about things like the cinematography or the casting choice for Dorothy, or how Michael...

      I have soooooo many unfairly judged films. I'll just pick two for now.

      The Wiz: so many people complain about things like the cinematography or the casting choice for Dorothy, or how Michael Jackson is somehow "wasted" on his role, but those are such skin-deep complaints. You've got this magical Sidney Lumet directed film with interesting characters. It's an all-black film that talks about what the black experience was like, made during the 70s and isn't blaxploitation. It's got a killer soundtrack produced by Quincy Jones with a musical climax written by none other that Luther Vandross. And the cinematography is actually amazing if you managed to see it on the big screen, with giant sets filled to the brim with dancers, and it makes you feel like you're there dancing with them.

      Cloud Atlas: The biggest problem with this film is not the negative oppinions, but the fact that more people haven't seen it. Most people have issue with the ensemble cast (and to be fair, I can more than understand why people would be upset with the yellowface), but I feel that everyone who hated it didn't get the point. Time magazine listed it as the worst movie of 2012! But this film is one of the most beautiful and complex films to be made in the past century; there is so much love put into this film by it's creators (in fact, the Wachowskis sunk $7 million of their own money on the project!). This isn't the first time the Wachowskis had this kind of reaction: most people didn't get what they were trying to do with Speed Racer either; it's only now that we've had time to settle down that critics are beginning to understand how brilliant it was.

      1 vote
      1. [2]
        lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I really like Speed Racer. It was a thrilling psychodelic 1960s live-action anime aventure. Was there ever a movie with those qualifiers? Full of personality! I did not watch Cloud Atlas, I...

        I really like Speed Racer. It was a thrilling psychodelic 1960s live-action anime aventure. Was there ever a movie with those qualifiers? Full of personality! I did not watch Cloud Atlas, I usually stay away from seriousness + complexity + symbolism. I don't think I ever heard about The Wiz, I thought it was that movie where the kid from Wonder Years plays Super Mario. I'll look it up.

        1. Akir
          Link Parent
          I think you're referring to The Wizard. But honestly, I don't mind if people don't like Cloud Atlas; it's really not a movie for everyone.

          don't think I ever heard about The Wiz, I thought it was that movie where the kid from The Wonder Years played the Super Mario

          I think you're referring to The Wizard.

          But honestly, I don't mind if people don't like Cloud Atlas; it's really not a movie for everyone.

          2 votes
    2. tomf
      Link Parent
      if you haven’t already, check out Hal9000s edits of the prequels. i love the prequels and am pretty deep into star wars in general (legends only) — and those fan edits take something good and...

      if you haven’t already, check out Hal9000s edits of the prequels. i love the prequels and am pretty deep into star wars in general (legends only) — and those fan edits take something good and truly make a it great.

      if you can’t find them with a quick search, let me know and i’ll link you up.

  15. [2]
    Kuromantis
    (edited )
    Link
    I may change my opinion, but I honestly find machine soldiers, more specifically machine infantry ala a militarized ATLAS to be preferable to militaries with people on them. The criticisms are:...

    I may change my opinion, but I honestly find machine soldiers, more specifically machine infantry ala a militarized ATLAS to be preferable to militaries with people on them. The criticisms are:

    • Robots will always follow orders, unlike humans

    • Robots might be fighting against people

    • Even if robots went to war against robots, they would still probably target and kill people anyway

    • Robots could probably be programmed to do war crimes, and all of the worst aspects of war

    • War still has economic costs that will still be carried by humans

    • Reducing the human cost on the front makes the cost of declaring war smaller

    While I honestly don't think these criticisms are unfair or inaccurate, I don't think automated infantry would be good because they would make war more ethical, the core benefit I see in automated infantry is that people wouldn't be sent out to fight on the frontlines unless it was decided the situation was drastic enough again.

    1 vote
    1. lou
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Fighting robots will be inherently efficient in commiting all the atrocities humans are also capable of, without any of the ethical conundrums that lead soldiers to develop PTSD or purposefuly...

      Fighting robots will be inherently efficient in commiting all the atrocities humans are also capable of, without any of the ethical conundrums that lead soldiers to develop PTSD or purposefuly miss most of their shots. War often requires the cripling of infrastructure and demoralization of the enemy. A scenario in which robots fight each other while we wait for the result is not just unlikely, it negates all we know about the human race. Soon someone will program robots to go over the front, sack villages, burn crops, sabotage factories, torture, assassinate politicians, killing civilians, segregating minorities, exploding hospitais, and more. Much more. Humans do that, fightbots would do all that more eficiently. Inefficient evil is generally preferable to highly efficient evil.

      You're missing the fact that in a war every combatent will be employed to aid the war effort, under a war-like mentality. Whatever that entails. Innovation in the business of killing rarely entails humanitarian breakthroughs. It is not in their nature.

      2 votes