Christchurch video...

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by Beer w/Straw, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    You already knew. People gunned down in mosques, mass casualties.

    What other information was there from the video that you felt would have provided you with answers to your "WTF was going on in the world"?

    When James Foley was decapitated and the US Government requested the footage be scrubbed from the net and essentially banned, did you feel you needed to watch the video to "know more exactly WTF was going on in the world" when you got out of bed?

    Or was the media's reporting that James Foley, had his head hacked off by a terrorist, and it was filmed, enough information for you?
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  3. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    It took me less than thirty seconds to locate it. Not having to submit to second hand information and the conspiracies already brewing about it.

    It's pretty much an ad hom by comparing the two.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2019
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    Also, when untold millions have already seen it, and you wonder how, if that number can multiply... Where would you look?

    And why would you want to be deliberately ignorant about what so many others knew about?
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Sure, you can selectively respond to some points while ignoring others. I merely highlighted the fact that you chose to avoid addressing the question of whether, as a matter of public policy, there is any positive that might come out of widely publicising this kind of material - a point you continue to refuse to address. Why is it that you refuse to address this? It is reasonable to assume it is because you can't come up with anything, as I suggested previously. So, instead you dig in your heels and whine about how you don't have to answer such questions. That's your choice, and you make it freely, but don't think I don't see what you're doing and that I won't point it out to other readers of the thread.

    I am a member of the public, as are you. What is good or bad as a matter of public interest is certainly my business. I have a vested interest as a member of a society. Your faux outrage that I dare to ask you the question is cover for the fact that you can't answer it.

    This is a new right, in my experience. Whence comes this right to view world events in all their grisly detail? Please enlighten me.

    I think you're coming on a bit strong there. I have nowhere implied that you're crazy or deluded. Nor have I questioned your motives or your character. I have merely stated a fact: you are unable or unwilling, in this thread, to point to any public good that would be served by widely publicising a killer's personal video of his crimes or his rambling attempts to excuse himself for his crimes.

    Previously, I asked if you could do better. Here's another opportunity. Take it or leave it. Your choice.

    I did not mention Beer w/ Straw. To be clear, I am not at all implying that she sought out this video because she wanted to get a thrill from watching innocent people being murdered. I don't know what her motives were. She can tell us if she wants to.

    On the other hand, I am certainly saying that there are people out there who might seek out the video for precisely that reason. Moreover, there are others who might seek it out as validation of their own white-supremacist and/or terrorist motives, or for other socially harmful reasons.

    But people searching for it deliberately is not explicitly what we're talking about here. We're discussing whether it should be widely publicised, such as on social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) and on mainstream news services (network news sites, etc.)

    Ooh. Bold type.

    Point to any place in this thread where I have questioned Beer w/Straw's motives or assigned my own motives to her, if you can.

    It might well be, if your false accusation applied to me. What will you do now, then?

    Once again, I see you chopped up my sentence to quote only one part of it. Again, you chopped it to avoid addressing an issue you want to continue to avoid. Here's the full sentence from which you extracted the last 7 words:
    "If you can't come up with a reason why the general public needs to see graphic footage of a mass shooting, taken by the killer himself, then my suggestion is that the public doesn't need to see it."

    As to your reply, it most certainly is my call to make, as a member of the public who is affected by the public policy issue we are discussing. You get your say too, of course, but you have no grounds on which to prevent me from voicing my suggestion. Shame on you!

    Pointing out that you have refused to answer a question I put to you is not manipulating your stance. It is merely stating a fact.

    My argument is of the form "Since there are indicators to suggest that the wide dissemination of such material demonstrably does not serve the public good - such as matters discussed by me in post #95 of this thread (above) - I am of the opinion that unless somebody can suggest something that might sway the public interest pendulum in the other direction, it is better that such material is not made widely available."

    In other words, my opinion is certainly my opinion, but it is based on evidence. In contrast, your position - so far - is based on "I don't have to answer your impertinent questions! You can't make me! I have an absolute right to view whatever I want whenever I want, and to hell with the greater good!" I invite readers to compare and contrast.

    It's hardly a surprise to hear that from you. Clearly, our respective values and priorities differ in this regard. I am a believer in the social contract. When human beings come together to form societies, they agree to give up certain individual freedoms to benefit the good of the collective. You perhaps would call this a socialist idea and, being a certain type of American (obviously, not all Americans think alike), you perhaps equate that idea with evil Communists who want to take your guns away, or similar. It would be a very long discussion to get into this difference of opinion, and one that is off-topic for this thread. Here, I merely point to the fact that your behaviour is following a script that I pointed out in my previous post.

    Here, I have not appealed to any hypothetical good. I have pointed to an evidence-backed public good, as rationale for limiting the wide dissemination of the kind of material we are discussing. If you think it's hypothetical, I invite you to investigate for yourself and get back to me with your findings.

    Animal Farm is about the corruption at the heart of Soviet Communism. My suggesting that perhaps you don't need to see a video of a mass shooting isn't quite the same as Stalin sending you to Siberia.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Just to repeat: I don't think I have anywhere accused you of being some kind of white supremacist weirdo. From my point of view, this discussion isn't about you.
  9. geordief Registered Senior Member

    I think it is reasonable to feel morally and aesthetically superior to someone who would go through such a video as this one without a good reason (morally because ,I feel we owe the victims and their relatives some kind of a token of solidarity even if only by voluntary abstention)

    However the case has to be made (on the communal level) that these private actions (voluntary abstention where repulsion is inadequate**) should be made compulsory.

    Their are plenty of circumstances where information is kept private under compulsion and I don't doubt that a good case can be made in this instance.

    The practicalities are another matter of course and it is sickening to realize that these groups and individuals are now live streaming their actions.

    Time will tell how societies learn to deal with this new phenomenon (it may even be that it suits these groups' interests to provoke laws that are unenforceable)

    **I should declare an interest in that I feel less and less inclined to watch fictional graphic violence of any kind on the screen
  10. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    And the universe is filled with things both wondrous and grotesque, but it's not for the faint of heart to be explorers.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    It is a question of the form 'Have you stopped beating your wife yet, yes or no?'
    Saying "there is no valid answer to such a question" is the answer.

    I'm not obliged to provide an answer that is framed in a way that's acceptable to you. And that is not license for you to claim I did not provide an answer - any more than you refusing to answer the question of whether or not you're stopped beating your wife.

    I was under the impression that I was behaving in an adult fashion and I was arguing in good faith. But if what you're hearing is whining, then I have utterly failed you.
  12. Bells Staff Member


    Maybe stop frequenting white supremacist, right wing conspiracy sites?

    How so? And to whom?

    You do not see a comparison in a terrorist murdering innocent people, and governments essentially banning the footage of said murders?

    White supremacist and right wing websites probably have it on file.

    Have you tried googling?

    Why would I want to sit there and watch 50 men, women and children be gunned down in cold blooded murder under the guise of "I need more information"? I mean, what information am I going to glean from the video itself?

    His grip on his guns? His aim?
  13. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    I do not regard ThePirateBay as a white supremacist website.

    I am a white woman, who was apt to deny racism existed, but that it is of only in the past, and then Trump was elected. Why should I deny myself knowing a hatred that may be possibly in myself or others. That, if repressed, may control us to unthinkable actions. This racism, this discontent, is a symptom of the psyche of humanity and should not be ignored or else it may way well be repeated.


    Or, he really just was screwed in the head and well, this will happen again in the future anyway. But I really am unsure of whether this is about ThePirateBay, or whether I just got a video from there?
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  14. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I don't understand. In essence, I asked the question "As a matter of public policy, is it good to widely disseminate this killer's video?" You're now saying that to answer either "yes" or "no" to this question is to be sucked into a trap where either answer makes you look bad, as in the case of the loaded "Have you stopped beating your wife?" question.

    My answer to the question I asked is a clear and confident "No", and I've given my reasons. Your answer, I take it, is "Yes", but then you refuse to try to express any reason for your position. I don't believe that by answering "No" to this question I have fallen into some trap where I come out looking bad. But you're telling me you feel trapped by the question.

    Here's what I think: there is a valid answer to that question, and it's my answer, and you know it. But you're invested in the debate now and you don't want to back down, so rather than manning up and saying "Okay, I was wrong", you're digging your heels in and saying "It's like asking me whether I stopped beating my wife".

    Incidentally, if somebody were to put to me the wife beating question, my answer would be "Your question assumes I started beating my wife, which I never did, so you're starting with a false premise. To the question 'Did you beat your wife?' my answer is a clear 'No.'" There's no need to take the bait when a question is loaded. But the one I asked you isn't loaded like that.

    Fine, and you've given your answer, which, if I understand it correctly, amounts to this: you want to watch what you want when you want, never mind if it hurts other people. I guess we can leave it there, then, if you have nothing else to add.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  15. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    OK. No. It is not good to widely distribute it.

    I'm struggling with balancing that with a concern for unilateral censorship - which in the long run, may well damage our society more than the videos.

    Case-in-point: I think Trump's base is comprised of just the sort of people who would happily enact all sorts of controls on what other people are allowed to do - say, women, or visible minorities or non-Christians. Don't want to make this into a political discussion, but I do think that is by far the biggest threat of this generation - far bigger than public access to videos that themselves are not much worse worse than today's popular video games.
  16. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    I'm glad we agree on that.

    In matters of public policy, there are often competing interests in play, so I appreciate that there isn't a simple black-and-white answer to this. There is certainly value in free speech. The question is how far we should tolerate free speech that demonstrably leads to people being hurt in one way or another. Yelling "fire!" in a crowded theatre when there is no fire is a usual example.

    I think there's danger on both sides of the political spectrum. Authoritarians of one type or another want to control information so as to promote their self-interest. But "liberals" also often want to control information so as to protect people from harms that may or may not be real, which can amount to treating certain segments of the population with condescension (we know what's best for you).

    Regarding video violence, I see a risk in losing sight of the difference between fantasy violence and real violence. It's interesting that you say a video of a real killing is not much worse that a popular video game. But it is much worse. In one case, we're watching a real human being die, while in the other we're watching a manufactured representation of such a death. What does it say about society if we lose sight of the distinction?

    There's a discussion to be had about the violence that is taken for granted in fantasy depictions in popular culture. Popular movie blockbusters are full of representations of extreme violence. Video games arguably go a step further in requiring players to participate actively in acts of extreme violence, albeit simulated ones. It seems to me that the only result can be desensitisation to some extent. That means that when we see news footage of a terrorist incident or a massacre it doesn't look a lot different to the movies and games we're familiar with, so it somehow doesn't seem real.

    I've played my fair share of violent video games, and have enjoyed doing it. But much as I might enjoy playing Call of Duty, I would never want to have to fire a gun at a real person in a real battle. Nor would I ever want to witness the violent death of anybody.

    One thing that has struck me in particular is having to make decisions about what my children should be allowed to watch, in terms of movies and TV and video games. My kids, on occasion, have had quite visceral reactions on being (sometimes accidentally) exposed to what I would consider to be "obvious" fantasy violence, often at the lower end of the scale. It has made me think about the extent to which our culture teaches us to be blase about this kind of thing. No doubt I have seen literally thousands of acts of simulated violence during my lifetime, and the result is that I'm used to it in a way that my children are not. I think that their reaction to violence is the more appropriate one.

    I haven't watched the Christchurch video, and I have no desire to do so. I'm not scared of watching it. I expect that, in some ways, it would come across as less violent than some of the fantasy violence I've seen on screen. It's not that I'm squeamish about it. One reason I don't want to watch it is that I know that the people killed were real human beings with real lives and real people who loved them and depended on them. Their murder is bad enough for those they left behind without it being put out as some kind of entertainment or spectacle for the uninvolved to take in like the latest Rambo movie.
  17. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    A quick point, because I anticipated such a response:
    We're not watching a death in a video game; we're actively, personally committing it.

    That's got to count for something on the ... heineity scale.

    I agree; I wouldn't watch it either. My concern is the concept of 'what's good for me oughtta be good enough for you', which results in the kind of attack n Bw/S we've been seeing - going so far as to imaginatively posit what sick thrills she might get. That's kind of mob-mentalityish - kind of witch-hunty.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
  18. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Murdering somebody in a video game is not as bad as watching a real murder. Ought to go without saying.
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Not so sure about that. Which one is more likely to ultimately result in action for the good?
    I don't see murdering someone in a video game as likely to result in deciding they need to help fix the problem.
  20. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    "State (Sri Lanka) Defense Minister: Bombings were retaliation for Christchurch killings"

    "The government block of social media is seen as some kind of positive response to curb Zuckerberg's empire, instead of what it actually is — an undemocratic knee-jerk reaction that helps spread fear, uncertainty and doubt."

    I'm unsure say banning Facebook in Sri Lanka, even if it is not a long time is the best solution. The government seems to have some control more standard media outlets. However, I also read that they're coming out of a civil war from only a decade ago.
  21. geordief Registered Senior Member

    With such horrific events it is only natural to cast around for measures to prevent follow ups of all kinds.

    It does seem likely that the Christchurch attack may have given some kind of a fig leaf for these actors (they may even have been genuinely affronted and felt the need for retribution)

    The retaliatory cycle needs to be broken.

    Yes they are all terrorists but there is also this dreadful internal and reciprocal dynamic.
  22. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Hatfields & McCoys.

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