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Old 08-18-2017, 04:25 PM   #181
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Nothing up with you saying what you want, I thought you said you wanted to stop some books being published or stop people from reading them.
I've certainly not said that.
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Old 08-18-2017, 04:44 PM   #182
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Fair enough What's your stance on, say, people physically protesting outside a theatre to get a show shut down. Freedom of Speech or Attempt at Censorship?

The main problem is that the lines can get hazy, my main take on this is that you can do what you want, right up to the point where you try to stop me doing something.
Such demonstrations are fine, as long as they don't interfere with the ability of the theatre to do business, or its patrons to see the show. It is both freedom of expression and attempted censorship.

I've just read a good post by Technolama where he paraphrases your sentiment (a popular one) like this: freedom of speech stops where the rights of others begin. One of the themes of the post is how purveyors of hatred and intimidation hide behind their right to free expression.

To return to the original question: would it be okay to condemn a book published by known hate-mongers without reading it? Particularly if other readers have confirmed that it's the same old story?
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Old 08-18-2017, 05:55 PM   #183
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I rarely participate, I just lurk around, but this got me aggravated. Would it be OK for me to condemn a car I never drove? I never drove a Subaru, but I have friends who own it that said it's a put-put car. Is it OK to go and express their opinion as my own? Are ideas different?

I would NEVER, and I mean NEVER condemn a book I did not read. I would never express an opinion on a book I did not read. How could I? Why would I? Why would anyone? In order to have an opinion, I need to familiarize myself with whatever it is I want to have an opinion on. If my friends have opinions, I am happy for them. But no matter how well informed they are, it is their opinion, not mine. It is their condemnation, not mine. I think you have to have a pretty low self-esteem to be a follower like that, without even attempting to be your own person, with your own point of view.

If the book content is repulsive to you, don't read it. But don't review something you have not experienced first hand. That's just dishonest. And if you do make it clear that you are reviewing/condemning something you did not read - think first. How much weight does you review carry? "I did not read that book, but I think it's repulsive"? Why even bother?

As to the people the ideas might (or might not, really) hurt, who's to say. I am hurt and offended by people who drive 40 inn 50 mph zone. Others are not. Some people take fiction personally, others don't. I guess Darwin in his time hurt a lot of feelings. As a matter of fact unfortunately he still does. Different sensibilities. Different strokes. Why make a world a smaller and poorer place, depriving us of ideas? Why not let us browse and graze? I don't want to be saved from myself.

Anyhow, my 2 cents. Maybe I just do not understand the need to be a part of a movement no matter what. Maybe I just don't feel the need to save the world against the wishes of all concerned.

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Old 08-18-2017, 06:25 PM   #184
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Originally Posted by arjaybe View Post
To return to the original question: would it be okay to condemn a book published by known hate-mongers without reading it? Particularly if other readers have confirmed that it's the same old story?
No. It wouldn't. Firstly, known hatemongers in one person's eyes are reasonable people in the eyes of others. Instead of "other" readers you probably should have said "people who have read it". And if you trust those people it is reasonable for you to choose not to read it yourself. It is not reasonable for you to simply jump on the bandwagon and condemn it unread.
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Old 08-18-2017, 06:30 PM   #185
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Heh, that depends on how we define "PC", of course It's not a phrase I like to use, because it often seems to mean "doubleplusungood in some way that's typical of those who are to the left of me politically".
Actually it's not easy to find people left of me politically. I'm pretty far left. And I support PC in real life wholeheartedly. But sometimes I like different stories and ideas in my fiction. Stories and ideas that have nothing to do with how I think and act in real life. Ideas that would be condemned in real life, that I myself would condemn in real life. Like abusive romances, slave-master relationships shown in positive light, all-male protagonists, submissive female characters etc. Why I enjoy such things in fiction, who knows. I didn't grow up with those ideas and they have never been part of my life in the real world. Possibly that's the reason I like to read about them. They're alien for me and therefore interesting. Strictly in fiction, of course.
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:02 PM   #186
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I'll clear something up. I wouldn't condemn a book without having read it. That would be silly.

This has been fun but it's past the point of diminishing returns for me. I'll keep my eye on this thread for a while in case something interesting happens, but I think everything has been said several times already.
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Old 08-29-2017, 01:24 AM   #187
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And a question to those of you who don't see a problem with these books: Can you really say, with a straight face, that stories which romanticise nazis, trivialise the horror of slavery in the US, and make light of racism and antisemitism, don't hurt people? Truly?
Do they hurt people more than, or less than somebody who utilizes Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook in overthrowing a government.
(For the purposes of this discussion, ignore Lutwick's comments on the people that did utilize this book, for that specific purpose.)

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Old 08-29-2017, 12:59 PM   #188
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Do they hurt people more than, or less than somebody who utilizes Coup d'État: A Practical Handbook in overthrowing a government.
It depends. If the book aids a coup against an extremely brutal dictatorship like North Korea it helps. If it's against a peaceful democracy it hurts, a lot more than the books I described. If it's against a moderately brutal dictatorship, and results in short term bloodshed, and maybe something better, maybe something worse long term, we can't tell until several years after the coop. If it aids coups in some countries, and helps preventing coups in other countries, it becomes extremely difficult to judge.

But I'm sure you can come up with examples of books which hurt a lot more than my examples. I'm not claiming these kinds of books hurt more than any other possible kind of books.
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:06 PM   #189
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This is precisely my view. Your right to "freedom of speech" stops at the point at which your "freedom" removes my right to see or read what I choose to.
That is the core of LIBERTARIAN philosophy: your rights end where mine begin.
You can do whatever you like until infringes upon me.

Unfortunately, too many people are unwilling to allow others the same rights they enjoy.
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Old 09-01-2017, 02:45 AM   #190
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It depends. If the book aids a coup against an extremely brutal dictatorship like North Korea it helps. If it's against a peaceful democracy it hurts, a lot more than the books I described.
The book describes how to carry out a successful coup d'etat.
I don't have a list of coup d'etats whose success is due to implementing the principles outlined in that book.

The book avoids discussion about economic systems, except to underscore Sun Tzu --- in hostile territory, pay for supplies.

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Old 09-15-2017, 08:45 AM   #191
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Most reviews can't be trusted, and I for one wish that readers would figure that out.
It's a better idea to just read the first couple of chapters.
If the book grabs you, and isn't full of spelling and formatting errors, you have a winner.
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Old 09-15-2017, 09:28 AM   #192
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Originally Posted by evanhson357 View Post
Most reviews can't be trusted, and I for one wish that readers would figure that out.
It's a better idea to just read the first couple of chapters.
If the book grabs you, and isn't full of spelling and formatting errors, you have a winner.
It's easy enough to focus on those reviews that discuss issues of relevance to me and it's far more efficient than reading a few chapters. "Most" is a pretty squishy term; how did you come to that conclusion?
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:09 AM   #193
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It's easy enough to focus on those reviews that discuss issues of relevance to me and it's far more efficient than reading a few chapters. "Most" is a pretty squishy term; how did you come to that conclusion?
I think I know what Evan is basing his comment on. I would say in the cooking field at least 25% of the reviews are worthless. Those do get easy to spot. I think readers are smart enough to figure out the review system quick enough.
Off to check on something.

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Old 09-15-2017, 10:31 AM   #194
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Most reviews can't be trusted, and I for one wish that readers would figure that out.
It's a better idea to just read the first couple of chapters.
If the book grabs you, and isn't full of spelling and formatting errors, you have a winner.
I hate to disappoint you but sampling doesn't always help. Oh and the book doesn't have to be full of errors to not be a winner. Some authors need to quit babbling about every little trait the main character has and get on with the story.
Sorry but a good book holds the reader's attention.
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Old 09-15-2017, 10:32 AM   #195
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It's easy enough to focus on those reviews that discuss issues of relevance to me and it's far more efficient than reading a few chapters.
Agreed.

I understand that some have no use for user reviews (or don't wish to--or can't--navigate them), but wishing all readers would learn to forego them seems pointless and a bit selfish. Why would I care if others found books through means I don't want to utilize myself? There's no "correct" way to find books you enjoy, after all.
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