Ministry of Truth at the TLF

At the Technology Liberation Front, where I sometimes comment, rude behavior has become the norm for two posters. Adam Thierer descends into silly name calling, which is fine (to a point) but Jerry Brito really takes the cake in that he has decided to (generally) delete my comments. I would draw the distinction between Adam and Jerry and others such as Tim Lee, who has been overwhelmingly well-behaved and thoughtful in his posts and follow-ups to my comments. Jerry, or someone managing his posts, had been deleting my comments to his posts in the past, as I have noted here.

Deletions of my comments are not happening on a global basis at TLF (my comments to Tim Lee or most of the others don’t get deleted) and my comments to Jerry’s posts don’t always go into the moderated queue, they actually show up on the website but get deleted later. Why would this happen unless my comments are being deleted by someone managing Jerry Brito’s posts? I had sent an email to Jerry at his George Mason University email address, to give him an opportunity to respond, and if he does I’ll certainly post it here.

The interesting question for me is: why do my comments aggravate Jerry so much that they he feels he has to delete them? If he disagrees with my comments, wouldn’t it be more in keeping with the TLF’s professed goals of a high quality debate to respond to them? The answer, I believe, is that they show the internal contradictions in “libertarian” philosophy, and thus can’t be responded to, and therefore get sent to the ‘memory hole’ as George Orwell called it.

It is especially ironic that there is a post at TLF complaining about the uses of “Big Brother” metaphor when describing non-governmental spying or censorship, and here they are exercising the ‘memory hole’ that would do the Ministry of Truth proud. Let’s see if my comments to that post stay or if they get deleted.

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Ministry of Truth at the TLF

Where’s the dilemma..?

A book about the broader effects of piracy that is next on my reading list gets a write up over at Ars. I have made many posts at TLF and IP Central weblog about the informational value of black markets and grey markets, a very interesting subject. It seems that there is much of interest for those looking at the intersection of web 2.0 and the production of cultural goods in this work:

Hat tip: Tim Lee

Ars Book Review: “The Pirate’s Dilemma”
By Nate+Anderson
Published: May 14, 2008 – 11:48PM CT

The strength of street knowledge
The Pirate’s Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism (buy)
Matt Mason (blog)

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Where’s the dilemma..?

Drawing Boundaries Around Democracy (Tax Free Internet Edition)

Corporations have a long history of drawing lines around democracy, so they can escape the effects of the popular mandate. One of the most egregious examples of this was the creation of a town near East Saint Louis [present day Sauget] which was created by just one vote (the night watchman of the factory) in order to prevent the town of East Saint Louis from annexing and then taxing that same factory. The factory was thus enclosed by a boundary around democracy. That particular example is behind us, and I rather doubt that would happen today. It just wouldn’t fly.

That past event sheds light on a pattern of behavior, and it’s important to reverse that trend, to prevent future enclosures that steal from the larger society, without giving back. Today, there are plenty of ways that corporations use the internet to enclose their company, and seal it off from democratic institutions which might tax them. Of course, the anti-democratic reality of this enclosure is obscured by the language of freedom that is used to make the case for a “tax free” internet.

But there is one simple question that we can ask the libertarians that exposes the bankruptcy and anti-freedom agenda of the tax free world that they are trying to create. It is a question that libertarians cannot acknowledge, let alone answer.

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Drawing Boundaries Around Democracy (Tax Free Internet Edition)

Jerry Brito, censoring e_f comments

Well, at least I know I hit a raw nerve over at TLF, since Jerry Brito has been deleting my comments which are responding to his post. My post gets through initially, but then gets deleted a little while later, which would, I believe, mean that it’s not something innocuous like a spam filter.

Here are my comments. What do you suppose he disagrees with so much that he finds it necessary to delete my comment? Does TLF have a policy about deleting comments they disagree with?

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Jerry Brito, censoring e_f comments