Of fascism and functional programming

There’s been a fuss in some circles about the fact that Curtis Yarvin was uninvited from a tech conference after the organizers learned of his political views, which he publishes under the pen name “Mencius Moldbug”. I don’t particularly want to discuss his political views or whether he should be invited to speak at conferences; rather, I want to point out something I haven’t seen anyone else point out. But before I get to that, I feel like I should provide a little background for those who have been lucky enough not to encounter the “Moldbug” oeuvre.

Unsure about net neutrality?

Apparently there are still a few people unclear on whether net neutrality is a good thing for innovation and freedom of speech. Let me clear that up by looking at who’s on each side, excluding political mouthpieces. Netflix, Google, Microsoft, Kickstarter, Reddit, Vonage, Amazon, Yahoo, eBay, Dish Network, Etsy, Facebook, Tumblr, Dropbox, Automattic (of WordPress fame), BitTorrent, Mozilla, and Level 3 (probably the biggest Internet backbone interconnect company) were all in favor of net neutrality.

Reflections on Everybody Draw Mohammed Day

It’s Everybody Draw Mohammed Day, and as the festivities continue, predictably there are lots of well-meaning people saying that we should all put our pens and pencils down and not offend all those awfully nice Muslim folks. An article at Huffington Post suggests that Muslims are being singled out, and that black religious extremists would never be ridiculed. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen the Black Panthers parodied in numerous movies. Maybe Everybody Draw Mohammed Day makes peaceful Muslims angry, but we wouldn’t have the day if it wasn’t for the non-peaceful Muslims, so maybe it would be more productive to focus anger on the cause of the issue, rather than the reaction to it.

Horses and stable doors

I hear that Eli Lilly are attempting to censor the Internet. Their target is an archive called “ZyprexaKills”, a tar file compressed with gzip containing leaked internal Eli Lilly documents relating to their antipsychotic drug Zyprexa. As well as going after people who provide the file for download, Eli Lilly have been filing DMCA complaints against people who link to sites that have the file for download, or merely provide instructions on how to find it.

See ’em while you can

Want to see the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed that are causing controversy? They’re on the web. Also here. Personally, I don’t think they’re very good, except the second one, but that’s not really the point.

Political correctness strikes again

CBS are refusing to run the winning ad from MoveOn.org, supposedly on the grounds that they don’t allow political advertising regarding controversial issues during the Superbowl. However, a look at the list of advertisers confirms that one ad will be from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. So, no controversial political issues there. Remember this next time someone posts bullshit about the “liberal media”.

Censorship roundup

#1: The SF Chronicle has suspended Henry Norr because he was arrested at a peace protest. He told them beforehand that he would likely be arrested and consequently would need to take a day off, as a personal day or sick day or vacation day. (Note that Henry Norr is a technology columnist, and his weekly column, delivered ahead of deadline, did not mention the war in any way.) #2: The Yellow Times web site has been shut down by its ISP for publishing photos of Iraqi war casualties.