January 30th, 2021

(no subject)

I am perplexed every time the society voices its demands upon an individual.

Imagine how much more perplexing it is to see a global organisation express its demands upon a country:

It doesn't fit into my head how a larger collective in such arguments even has a leg to stand on. My primitive mind has not progressed much past Aesop / La Fontaine / Krylov, with their moral of an ant vs a grasshopper / dragonfly.

It's even more surprising to me, because I thought, back in college, that I agreed with the utilitatians.

P.S.: what makes this even more ridiculous is that back in spring or early summer the UK drooled over the low infection rates reported by the EU countries, especially Germany. The journalists and the opposition took every opportunity to humiliate the government by telling everyone who would listen that it was incapable of setting up proper public health policies. Even as recently as half a week ago, the main story was how the UK became the first European country to pass the 100,000 deaths mark, and how outrageous this must be. Then, suddenly, it surfaced that the UK was, ostensibly, doing something right and that its vaccination program putting its EU neighbors to shame, and the tables turned. Suddenly it was other governments who had to face uncomfortable questions from their enraged and jealous citizens.

(no subject)

Today's shocking story, discussed on Hacker News, is how Google removed Matrix (an open-sourced, self-hosted, and thus decentralized analog of Slack or Discord) from its app store. Because, Google says, someone somewhere on Matrix posted some abusive content.

Although I have full confidence that Google will reinstate Matrix (would be too crazy not to), this is very depressing. Someone in the thread piped up about PWAs, to which someone more sober replied:

Don't count on PWAs. Once these free speech platforms start embracing PWAs and they become super popular, Chrome and Safari will simply censor them directly. When you will try to visit these PWAs, you will get a message that says "this website contains hate speech and has been blacklisted as it doesn't respect our terms of services for a safe and friendly browsing experience we thrive to offer our users".

Any browser that allows accessing these PWAs will be banned from the app/play store. Let's not kid ourselves this isn't what's coming next.

I don't know what the future holds for tools guaranteeing unregulated free speech. I've heard some people say that completely unmoderated spaces die out on their own, because they get hijacked by trolls and all conversations become unmanageable; but companies and governments sure don't allow such spaces to run their natural course and reach their natural death.