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GreenInferno
 
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GreenInferno
Total Posts:  120
Joined  20-09-2012
 
 
 
16 December 2018 23:44
 

Sam has dumped Patreon, and I think he’s made a very ethical decision. It is also consistent with his speech on freedom of expression and that Free Speech truly is the “master value”, as he called it once.

Why hasn’t Jordan Peterson made the same decision?

He said the issue was “complicated”, but if that’s true, then what ethical complaint could he possibly make about Sam’s decision, then?

Further more, his fight against Bill C16 now looks less than pure, as he always maintained that this was purely a free speech matter (or compelled speech).

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  5443
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16 December 2018 23:57
 

I respect Sam’s decision and I hope that I would have put principle above profit as I think he did but I also see several sides to this issue.

Patreon is under no specific obligation to do business with anyone and may very well have had solid ethical grounds to decline certain individuals.

Any specific individual could use Patreon or decline to use it on either pragmatic or moral grounds and I’d probably not have a problem with it.

I think it’s frequently the case that different parties have different objectives by virtue of circumstance and must part ways. I think this often happens without any kind of necessary dichotomy. Partings ought to be amicable when possible.

 
GreenInferno
 
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GreenInferno
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17 December 2018 00:39
 

Nobody claimed Patreon owed anybody anything beyond its agreements with clients.

But why do you actually respect Sam’s decision?

 
 
RedSeed
 
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RedSeed
Total Posts:  48
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17 December 2018 07:27
 

Good for Sam, principles are important and it’s nice that he strives to honour his. I guess some people at Patreon have their principles too. Hopefully the app is selling like hotcakes and keeping him in BJJ lessons!

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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17 December 2018 11:49
 
GreenInferno - 17 December 2018 12:39 AM

Nobody claimed Patreon owed anybody anything beyond its agreements with clients.

But why do you actually respect Sam’s decision?

I think it represents an effort to remain un entangled in the political commitments of other parties. I think Sam likely has the same criticisms of the alt right that Patreon does but the point is to express them as a discrete and sovereign individual rather than as a matter of association. Its the same reason that progressive candidates (often) refuse corporate donations even from entities that represent similar values. There is an implicit conflict of interest when a public servant is in the pay of a private institution. Sam has explained this idea at length when he talks about declining to put ads on his site even for products he actually likes. It’s better to be un beholden. Better to be objective.

 
TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
 
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TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher
Total Posts:  1262
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17 December 2018 13:52
 

Harris has come forth multiple times on the free speech issue when it comes to funding his podcast.  He says he wants to be beholden to no one, and as far is this rationale goes, it strikes me as commendable.  But I wish he would flesh out in more concrete terms what the free speech issue in this Patreon case means.  That is, I wish he would see the free speech issue in its broader moral ramifications.

Patreon is well within its rights as a private company to sever business ties with any party it finds morally objectionable, but one should consider this severance in terms of what the act really means.  In effect Patreon is patronizing consumers.  They are saying in effect that people who hear these severed parties probably cannot decide for themselves that the speech is—if in fact it is—morally toxic.  Patreon thinks it is protecting us, we poor listeners who have to hear Milo and his “alt-right” ilk, as though simply allowing their speech in the market place of ideas causes people to think like these ideologues; as though the environmental stimulus is enough to have harmful effects.  But it’s only speech.  These right wing nut jobs (of which Benjamin most emphatically is not one); these trolls and conspiracy mongers—they are, beyond their ideas, harmless, and to an audience that thinks for itself, harmless even as ideas.  Yet Patreon thinks people need protecting from them, that they are dangerous; so they’re de-platformed.  Again, it’s well within its well within its rights to do this, but it’s also well within the typical liberal nannyism that tries to protect people from themselves, as though exposure to bad ideas is enough to insure bad outcomes in we poor chumps who are so exposed, being too helpless to think these ramifications out on our own.  For failure to think out the implications of bad ideas is the only harm bad ideas ever cause.

If I were Harris, I’d be saying fuck Patreon for its patronizing nannyism.  I wouldn’t want to associate with an organization that decides how people ought not to think for their own good, as though the effort on their own is too great a responsibility.  Let’s hope people catch on quick enough to weed Patreon and its nannyism out of the market place so that the market place of ideas can be what it needs to be—free from external interference so that the self-selecting and self-correcting mechanism essential to democratic governance can thrive.  Cures like Patreon’s have proven time and time again worse than the disease, and there is no need to have that lesson learned all over.

[ Edited: 17 December 2018 14:44 by TheAnal_lyticPhilosopher]
 
Igawa
 
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Igawa
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17 December 2018 15:08
 

Jordan Peterson is working with Dave Rubin on an alternative platform to Patreon. He is aware and has spoken out at length against Patreon and I’d be shocked if he hasn’t already spoken to Sam directly about this at some point. Source

I can’t comment as to why they haven’t deleted their Patreon accounts yet, but I suspect it has more to do with transition logistics than some compromise of principle. Patreon isn’t only an income source, it is also a way to communicate with all those people giving money. Shutting the account I assume also shuts off that line of communication. It’s worth noting that Sam Harris already had robust alternative funding sources setup, while I believe Peterson and Rubin did not have such robust alternatives.

 
Quadrewple
 
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Quadrewple
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17 December 2018 16:19
 

Good for Sam.  The information age has accelerated the knowledge gap between the knows and the know-nots and this has unfortunately been a pattern with tech companies recently.

The alternative to not taking things like this seriously with online companies (Youtube, Patreon, Facebook, Twitter, and all future tech companies etc) is to accept that the future Overton Window and potentially even the ability to use financial institutions is being determined by groups of people who have pooled their knowledge and have group interests while the rest of people operating as merely individual agents.

In other words, we shouldn’t allow convenience to make the internet lose what made it so revolutionary in the first place…..Sam’s sending a market signal to Patreon, which is in total alignment with everything he has talked about throughout his career.

[ Edited: 17 December 2018 16:24 by Quadrewple]
 
 
GAD
 
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GAD
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17 December 2018 18:13
 

I think he just wanted to save the fees which puts more money is his pocket.

 
 
SkepticX
 
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SkepticX
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05 January 2019 10:13
 
GAD - 17 December 2018 06:13 PM

I think he just wanted to save the fees which puts more money is his pocket.


Projection often functions as inadvertent confession.

 
 
mapadofu
 
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mapadofu
Total Posts:  906
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05 January 2019 14:17
 

Here’s another point: Sam’s site is now another attack surface for hackers to try to get my (and yours, if you’re a supporter) financial information.  We have to trust that the “Sam Harris organization” is up to snuff on all aspects of internet security.