Ender's Game

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101 Replies - 6440 Views - Last Post: 22 May 2013 - 03:12 AM

#31 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:05 AM

Hmm... homoeroticism from Card?!? He's an extremely outspoken homophobe. There's almost a kind of karmic balance to the idea.

There's boycott and then there's awareness. I don't care if Card hates the fags. He's allowed. It's the price of free speech. He can even rant on about it ( and does ) to anyone willing to listen.

I do have a problem if he uses his resources to forward his beliefs to the detriment of others. There's speech and then there's action.

The only action I can take to express my displeasure with someone I'd potentially give money to is not to give them money.

There are a number of companies that don't get my money, for various reasons. Some are even companies I'd like to give money ( Chick-fil-a has the best damn nuggets ) but prefer not to in good conscience.

You have a responsibility to understand how your money impacts your world, both positively and negatively. Knowing Card is so flamingly anti gay is simply consumer awareness.


[quote name='jon.kiparsky' date='09 May 2013 - 11:50 PM' timestamp='1368157844' post='1849286']
if you've seen Lost in La Mancha...
[quote]

This was fascinating in it's own right, though.
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#32 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:14 AM

View Postdepricated, on 10 May 2013 - 11:44 AM, said:

One of the best ways I've heard it put is that "your rights end where mine begin." You cannot use your claim to rights as a means to strip someone else of theirs.


I agree that discriminatory laws are completely unjustifiable. Almost as unjustifiable as any attempt to destroy someone for thinking impure thoughts.

To urge a boycott of a writer or a business because you don't like the writer's politics, or the positions taken by the owner of the company is also your privilege, but it puts you, morally speaking, in the position of trying to change someone's views by force instead of by reason. This is vile, and you shouldn't do it. (But I'm not going to boycott you for wanting to do it.)

Notice that this is very different from trying to change someone's actions by economic force. This is perfectly legitimate. If you object to Jones Clothing Company's sourcing of clothes from dangerous sweatshops, and you don't want to support this action, you should not buy clothes from them, and you should tell them why you're not buying clothes from them, and if you feel inclined you should ask others to do the same. I hope you can see the differences - both ethical and practical - between these cases.
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#33 depricated  Icon User is online

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:43 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 10 May 2013 - 11:14 AM, said:

View Postdepricated, on 10 May 2013 - 11:44 AM, said:

One of the best ways I've heard it put is that "your rights end where mine begin." You cannot use your claim to rights as a means to strip someone else of theirs.


I agree that discriminatory laws are completely unjustifiable. Almost as unjustifiable as any attempt to destroy someone for thinking impure thoughts.

To urge a boycott of a writer or a business because you don't like the writer's politics, or the positions taken by the owner of the company is also your privilege, but it puts you, morally speaking, in the position of trying to change someone's views by force instead of by reason. This is vile, and you shouldn't do it. (But I'm not going to boycott you for wanting to do it.)

Notice that this is very different from trying to change someone's actions by economic force. This is perfectly legitimate. If you object to Jones Clothing Company's sourcing of clothes from dangerous sweatshops, and you don't want to support this action, you should not buy clothes from them, and you should tell them why you're not buying clothes from them, and if you feel inclined you should ask others to do the same. I hope you can see the differences - both ethical and practical - between these cases.
I don't see a difference, actually. That's exactly what a boycott is - an attempt to rally economic force to prevent the advancement of a business's impact. Orson Scott Card is a business, Chic-Fil-A is a business. You speak as if morality and politics are separate issues - they are entwined by necessity. It is morally abhorrent to restrict someone of their rights, yet through politics it has been done. Matters of morality are impacted by political matters. To quote RMS, "Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. 'Don't bother us with politics,' respond those who don't want to learn."

Whether the abuse is directed at children in Cambodia or homosexuals in America makes no difference in my mind - neither should be subject to it. Jones Clothing and OSC are both accountable. Economic force is the most appropriate method to fight against them. And make no mistake, OSC is a business - there are entire jobs that revolve around him in some fashion. If I'm selling something, I am conducting myself as a business. As he is, so is he.

Also worth noting, we're not trying to change their stance - we're trying to counter the damage they're doing to freedom.
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#34 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:06 AM

boycotting this conversation.
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#35 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:17 AM

Think about the difference for a while.

Let's play Card's game and turn up the knobs a little. You want people to stop thinking bad thoughts - they should only think the thoughts that you approve of, or you will come down on them like a bag of hammers. Okay, let's suppose you get your way. In fact, let's suppose that you somehow are in a position to not only encourage people to make life miserable for those you disagree with (your current position) but in fact now you can have people brought in to a special hospital, where their brains will be changed until they believe appropriately. So Card no longer believes the wrong things about homosexuality, in fact nobody in the world holds any belief that you think is immoral.

Also worth noting, we're not trying to change their stance - we're trying to counter the damage they're doing to freedom. 



No, by trying to punish someone for their beliefs, you're trying to change their beliefs. Saying you're trying to protect freedom is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
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#36 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 09 May 2013 - 10:50 PM, said:

Okay, yeah, Gilliam's brilliant. But he makes about a movie a decade. (if you've seen Lost in La Mancha, you get a sense of why...)

Quote

DYSON SPHERE!!! (well not quite, but close enough)


Niven and Benford have got a nice one-up on the Dyson Sphere in Bowl of Heaven. They sort of fall flat on the story, but the concept is awesome.


"Lost in La Mancha" was heart-breaking to watch. I so wanted that movie to happen.
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#37 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:42 AM

View Postlordofduct, on 10 May 2013 - 01:34 PM, said:

"Lost in La Mancha" was heart-breaking to watch. I so wanted that movie to happen.


Oh, man, tell me about it, that would have been awesome. But even without that part of it, just watching the gods smite this guy over and over, was purely cruel.
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#38 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 11:43 AM

Jon, I'm a little vague here. Actively choosing not to support is not punishment. Rather, its simply not encouragement. Conversely, those who have similar views to those I'm discouraging might offer them their encouragement. Chick-fil-a being a case in point.

This is the democratic of processes. You are completely transparent in your beliefs and people offer support, or lack of it, as they choose. The only really problem with the model is lack of transparency, when an entity says one thing and does another.

Hiding what you believe in and support to not negatively impact your bottom line is the true hypocrisy.
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#39 depricated  Icon User is online

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 12:33 PM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 10 May 2013 - 12:17 PM, said:

Think about the difference for a while.

Let's play Card's game and turn up the knobs a little. You want people to stop thinking bad thoughts - they should only think the thoughts that you approve of, or you will come down on them like a bag of hammers. Okay, let's suppose you get your way. In fact, let's suppose that you somehow are in a position to not only encourage people to make life miserable for those you disagree with (your current position) but in fact now you can have people brought in to a special hospital, where their brains will be changed until they believe appropriately. So Card no longer believes the wrong things about homosexuality, in fact nobody in the world holds any belief that you think is immoral.

Also worth noting, we're not trying to change their stance - we're trying to counter the damage they're doing to freedom. 



No, by trying to punish someone for their beliefs, you're trying to change their beliefs. Saying you're trying to protect freedom is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.

Not at all. First off, massive hyperbole. That's not something I or likely most people would ever consider. Refusing to give to someone who beats you is not punishing them, it is pure self-interest.

To quote Ayn Rand from The Voice of Reason, this is what she refers to as the "sanction of the victim"

Ayn Rand, The Voice of Reason, page 153 said:

Money is a great power—because, in a free or even a semi-free society, it is a frozen form of productive energy. And, therefore, the spending of money is a grave responsibility. Contrary to the altruists and the advocates of the so-called “academic freedom,” it is a moral crime to give money to support ideas with which you disagree; it means: ideas which you consider wrong, false, evil. It is a moral crime to give money to support your own destroyers. Yet that is what businessmen are doing with such reckless irresponsibility.


We are not obliged to give money to Orson Scott Card, or Chic-Fil-A, or Jones Clothing, when they support ideas with which we disagree. It would be a moral crime to do so.

Not supporting them, and even actively working to stop them from continuing in the pursuit of goals with which we disagree, is nothing like brainwashing or mindraping them as you suggest. I would not violate their rights - and nothing in boycotting them does.

Also, opinions are not sacrosanct - you do not have a right to an opinion, only a right to defend your position. To clarify, this doesn't mean I think people should be brainwashed - as you seem to clearly think that anyone who disagrees with anyone wants them to be brainwashed - only that the defense "I have a right to my opinion" is no defense at all, because I have the right to question you about your opinion and try to convince you otherwise. Logical and reasonable discourse is not brainwashing, and debate is not mindraping. The cognitive dissonance may get uncomfortable when logic is presented against an illogical position.

For example: your opinion is clearly that your friend's actions are discordant with his beliefs, while I clearly believe that his actions are aligned with them. I am trying to convince you through logical discourse that my position is the case, and I suspect you are trying to convince me that I am wrong. In doing so, neither of us is attempting to use force to change the other's view, to brainwash or mindrape the other, and I LIKE you despite disagreeing. There's no animosity. I would like you to see the point, but I'm not going to (and I wouldn't even if I could) whisk you off to some magical hospital where you can be lobotomized. I would never feed you soma.

Now, as I've pointed out, you're resting your position upon a whole plethora of logical fallacies.

This post has been edited by depricated: 10 May 2013 - 12:35 PM

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#40 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 01:26 PM

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I am trying to convince you through logical discourse that my position is the case, and I suspect you are trying to convince me that I am wrong. In doing so, neither of us is attempting to use force to change the other's view, to brainwash or mindrape the other, and I LIKE you despite disagreeing. There's no animosity. I would like you to see the point, but I'm not going to (and I wouldn't even if I could) whisk you off to some magical hospital where you can be lobotomized. I would never feed you soma.


The fact remains that, on some issues you're willing to apply force to change someone's beliefs. We've already established that. You've already established that - that's the position you're arguing. I'm just trying to establish where your limits are. ("We've already settled what you are, madam. Now I'm just enquiring about the price")
Economic force is still force - this is in fact the point of your Rand quote. If you advocate a boycott of a writer's work, you're trying to destroy that person's livelihood. What you advocate, if successful, ends Orson Scott Card's career as a writer. So we're talking about serious stuff. And how does he avoid this? By either changing his mind (so you've changed his beliefs by force) or by pretending to do so (so you're forcing him to be a hypocrite, as baavgai points out). Either way, it's reminiscent of Maoist China or Orwell's Room 101. The means are different, but the end and the justification is the same, and so is the evil.


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We are not obliged to give money to Orson Scott Card, or Chic-Fil-A, or Jones Clothing,

Of course not. Nobody says you are. The negation of "we should boycott people because they disagree with us" is not "we must buy from everyone, all the time".

If you have a bake sale to raise money for gay rights, and I oppose gay rights, I'm not going to buy a brownie from you. That's not a boycott, that's me not making a donation to a cause I don't believe in. If you have a bake sale to raise money for the local school, and I don't buy a brownie from you because we differ on gay rights, then that's a boycott, and that's a breakdown of civil society.

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... when they support ideas with which we disagree. It would be a moral crime to do so.


A moral crime? That's pretty serious stuff. So if I go into the local hardware store I have to get them to fill out a form stating all of their beliefs and make sure that we're in alignment before I buy a 15mm combo wrench? If I go to the health food store next door, and I happen to to know that the owner disagrees with me on abortion rights, should I not shop there?

The reductio of your position is that we should only do business with people when we've established that they are in agreement with us on everything that we care about, and that we should be prohibited from purchasing anything from someone unless we agree with them on everything that they care about. This is clearly absurd. Where do you dig in your heels on this slippery slope?


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I don't see a difference, actually.


You don't see the difference between holding an opinion and taking an action? Seriously?


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To quote RMS, "Value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history. 'Don't bother us with politics,' respond those who don't want to learn."


I haven't asked him about this, but I suspect that Richard Stallman, one of the most active and consistent living exponents of free speech, would vomit profusely if he knew you were twisting his words to support censorship and blackmail. Please show some respect for the man.
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#41 h4nnib4l  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:16 PM

View Postdepricated, on 10 May 2013 - 02:33 PM, said:

you do not have a right to an opinion


My opinion is that's a stupid statement.

This post has been edited by h4nnib4l: 10 May 2013 - 03:17 PM

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#42 Cheribasa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:49 PM

This book was very good. It's not the best book saga i've ever read, but it's up there. MEanwhile, I will be seeing this movie whenever it comes out.
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#43 depricated  Icon User is online

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:16 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 10 May 2013 - 02:26 PM, said:

The fact remains that, on some issues you're willing to apply force to change someone's beliefs.


Define Force for me. You're switching the definition around to mean what you want it to at the time. Yes, I am happy to use economic force, which I would say is non-lethal and non-violent. I would not, however, employ violence or lethal means. That's where you're equivocating. If Card's actions piss off enough people that they stop buying his books and it puts him out of a job - that's his fault, and he's still capable of maintaining his beliefs unchanged and providing for himself. Now keep in mind, I'm only playing devil's advocate here. I'm illustrating how (I suspect) your friend's views align with his4 actions, or at least how I see them to. It is not force at the point of a gun, or with a threat of death. There is no destruction of the person. It is force upon conviction and an entity's willingness to stand behind its beliefs.

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Economic force is still force - this is in fact the point of your Rand quote.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that you've never read Rand, then. We can talk more on this point once you've decided on a single definition you want to use for force.

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Either way, it's reminiscent of Maoist China or Orwell's Room 101. The means are different, but the end and the justification is the same, and so is the evil.
You don't see a difference between getting fired from a job and being murdered? Really? Are managers who fire employees that insult their customers also Orwellian and Maoist, for considering the health of their company over the health of an employee?


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If you have a bake sale to raise money for gay rights, and I oppose gay rights, I'm not going to buy a brownie from you. That's not a boycott, that's me not making a donation to a cause I don't believe in. If you have a bake sale to raise money for the local school, and I don't buy a brownie from you because we differ on gay rights, then that's a boycott, and that's a breakdown of civil society.
Your first example is a boycott. To just rip off the definition right off Wikipedia, it is "an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for social or political reasons. Sometimes, it can be a form of consumer activism."

Your second example doesn't fit - that's just petty and personal. If buying a brownie from me would support my school, and you're aware of this, then you would know it is unrelated to the gay rights issue. If a brownie from me would support gay rights, and you disagree with me, then by all means don't buy from me. And feel free to tell others not to buy from me, I won't take it personal. That's the risk you take when you start using your position (famous author, lowly brownie peddler) as a means to advocate your political views.

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A moral crime? That's pretty serious stuff. So if I go into the local hardware store I have to get them to fill out a form stating all of their beliefs and make sure that we're in alignment before I buy a 15mm combo wrench? If I go to the health food store next door, and I happen to to know that the owner disagrees with me on abortion rights, should I not shop there?
I would say, and this is how I operate - unless it becomes evident, it is a non-issue. However, when we know that our money would be used against us, it is a moral crime to hand it over. It is as short-sighted and ignorant as handing a gun to someone already in the act of mugging us.

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The reductio of your position is that we should only do business with people when we've established that they are in agreement with us on everything that we care about, and that we should be prohibited from purchasing anything from someone unless we agree with them on everything that they care about. This is clearly absurd. Where do you dig in your heels on this slippery slope?

False. The reductio is that when we are aware that our money will be used against us we should not give it to that cause. Disagreement is natural and frequent, and it would be a pipe dream to find even one person we agreed with on every topic every time. But when the disagreement has dire consequences and moral implication, such as the case of gay rights, it becomes a moral crime to support that cause, because it is diametrically opposed to your ethics.

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You don't see the difference between holding an opinion and taking an action? Seriously?
Your comparison was neither about opinions nor actions. I see no difference between boycotting a writer for using his business to oppress a class of people, and boycotting a corporate entity for using their business to oppress a class of people. You seem to be implying that because it's more commonly believed that sweatshops are evil, it's legitimate, whereas since there are laws in Murica that are made with the express purpose of oppressing gays, it's only a matter of opinion. Reality: both are political, both are matters of opinion. You may feel more strongly about one than the other, but you will find people who believe sweatshops are perfectly acceptable. Boycotting Jones Clothing for operating sweatshops is no different at all than boycotting Orson Scott Card for using his position to push to harm gays. Both are vile and should be opposed, imo.

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I haven't asked him about this, but I suspect that Richard Stallman, one of the most active and consistent living exponents of free speech, would vomit profusely if he knew you were twisting his words to support censorship and blackmail. Please show some respect for the man.

I'd be amazed if he saw it that way. He understands what boycotting is, for one. You seem to be the only one drawing a correlation between boycott and censorship. Again, the Chic-Fil-A Fallacy. Stallman doesn't censor ATI when he speaks out against them, he doesn't blackmail Coke, but he boycotts both.

His words are important. If you ignore what's going on around you, you'll lose everything you stand to gain.

edit: If you would, provide a rigorous definition for "censorship" and "free speech" since your views seem to deviate from the norm on what these constitute.

This post has been edited by depricated: 11 May 2013 - 11:34 AM

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#44 depricated  Icon User is online

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 11 May 2013 - 11:25 AM

View Posth4nnib4l, on 10 May 2013 - 04:16 PM, said:

View Postdepricated, on 10 May 2013 - 02:33 PM, said:

you do not have a right to an opinion


My opinion is that's a stupid statement.

I do so love a good contextomy
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#45 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Ender's Game

Posted 11 May 2013 - 02:22 PM

By force I mean, roughly speaking, compulsion through application of negative consequences or threat thereof.
"Give me your wallet or I'll shoot", "I'll stop hitting you if you give me your lunch money", "If you don't sleep with me, you'll be fired", "Give me $10,000 or I'll show these pictures to your wife", that sort of thing.

By boycott, I mean the normal sense of an organized campaign to withdraw from interaction unless a condition is met. The wikipedia definition is formally correct, I suppose, but of course you'll only hear of a one-person boycott in a sort of jocular sense. "I'm boycotting Levi's because of their labor practices" in normal use implies that there are other people doing the same, and you're acting in concert with them at least to some degree, or at least that you hope for such a society of people to act in concert with.
This is not a novel usage in this conversation, either: remember that the subject came up because my friend wanted to encourage a collective boycott of Card's work. If we were talking about someone saying "I choose not to buy Card's work because I personally find him repugnant", then that would be quite a different conversation, but we're not.

So, what we're actually talking about - and the thing which I insist that any free speech advocate, by definition of the term, finds repulsive - is an attempt to compel a writer to change his thoughts (not his actions) by application of economic sanctions.

I don't want you to get confused about this - I don't think for a minute that Card is in any danger here. This "boycott" is pretty weak stuff, and I don't see him suffering any from it. We're not talking about Salman Rushdie or Fazil Say or Orhan Pamuk. What I am saying is that the people who are advocating this, weak and ineffectual though they are, are taking the part of the Shah and the Turkish government, and that is shameful.
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