After 33 years teaching English and writing, I think I can say with authority that you're a talented writer: snappy prose style, clear structure of argumentation, writing on subjects worth analyzing with passion and precision. I enjoyed your posts, and look forward to more fine work in the future. Keep us posted!
If you make your figures with Python or R, most people will be too insecure to criticize them.
You killed it Marc. I enjoyed your writing and wish you success and fulfillment.
I'm pretty sympathetic with Marc's free speech stance, but there's something that I think isn't common knowledge outside of tech- even the very free speech places back when they did much less moderation did a *ton* of moderation to keep out spam and CSAM, which is extremely illegal to host. It is not possible to maintain a popular online space without that moderation work, which is a pretty fundamental problem with the common carrier model.
Speaking of common carriers, I do not wish to purchase a warranty and I am uninterested in staying at a Marriott hotel at this time. Please stop calling.
Three cheers for Marc!
Hi Marc! Thanks for your work here, I've enjoyed your posts.
I'd like you to consider that the reason you "don’t think [pre-speech-restrictions Reddit] was that bad" is that you're not a member of a marginalized group. Women, particularly Black women, fat women, and politically feminist women, found their subreddits brigaded by members of now-banned subreddits on a regular basis, making their own subreddits functionally unusable and/or creating a ton of work for volunteer moderators. My Reddit account is 15 years old and I can tell you things are much much better now than they were 6 years ago.
I side with Marc vs Matt on both positions.
People on Twitter or generally Douche bags. I like your chart.
It would be great if you hung around the comments.
Where and what you are you going to school for?
Hi Marc. I enjoyed this final post. Smart to lay out two positions where you disagree with Matt. It makes for an interesting comments section. Plus, crypto gets all the clicks these days. Well done and good luck in the future.
Crypto isn’t a useful currency until I can buy groceries with it and not worry about it’s value spiking the next week. Until then, it’s just a weird and environmentally iffy investment vehicle.
Does this mean there is an open internship position with Slow Boring
I think the evasion of weed and gambling laws is pretty sympathetic (prostitution more of a gray area—just because it’s difficult to distinguish between voluntary sex work and trafficking, exploitation, etc doesn’t mean we should err on the side of decriminalization, given the human stakes involved). However, crypto isn’t just being used to pay for criminal activity, but to extort for it, as we just saw with the Colonial Pipeline thing. That seems like an issue the government has a clear interest in cracking down on.
Regarding moderation, as someone who was involved on the margins of blogging in the 2000s, I think forbidding platforms from moderating posts would be an infringement of its own. It takes only a small number of committed trolls or misanthropes to ruin an online space, even aside from issues of incitement and harassment.
Those disagreements aside, thanks for your work for SB! And on a personal note, I am also a poker player in LA, so if you’d ever want to make a trip to Commerce or the Bike or something, reply to this with some way I could reach out.
As someone who has been reading MY's writing for several decades, I want to thank you for the many thousands of typos that I did not read in his Slow Boring columns. The general level of clarity was higher, too, so you were doing more than mere spell-checking.
"Some people think Matt is racist (I think that’s unlikely..."
Did you mean to sound that agnostic about whether Matt's a racist? By unlikely you mean e.g., "I put the odds of Matt's being a racist no higher than 20%"? 'Cause, that's not really a ringing endorsement. Reminds me of Matt's own hilarious Vox piece on Ted Cruz, which could be summarized as:
"Some people think that Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer (I think that's unlikely...."
So I'm guessing that you meant to express skepticism about something else, e.g. whether he'd be censored under a more restrictive regime?
Anyhow -- thanks for all of the graphs, as well as all of the much-improved 'graphs, and best of luck with your next endeavors.
Marc, best of luck in your next endeavor!
I want to nitpick one detail of your hot takes:
"Some people use crypto for cybercrime, but I’d just fund the cybercrime police rather than eliminate people’s investments and ability to send each other money easily without government control."
I think the cybercrime situation is much worse than this sentence implies and probably much worse than most people are aware of. I would describe the current state of cybercrime as _complete and total lawlessness_. The problem isn't that we're not funding "cyber police", it's that we have no idea what any kind of proper defense against criminal assaults on normal people would look like.
My company was attacked by a Vietnamese software piracy gang. We were _lucky_ in that this is some of the least sophisticated cybercrime you'll run into. My boss spoke to the FBI - not because he could get them on the phone but because they had contacted him for unrelated reasons. He was told that if the value of the loss was less than $10M and it didn't touch one of their agenda items (basically: terrorism) they weren't going to touch it.
Imagine living in a world where a brick and mortar family owned business can be robbed, lose $9M of inventory, and the police go "we're not going to even open a case, this is too small for us."
So...maybe the cyberpolice are under-funded. But what would they have done? The attack originated in Viet Nam (where we think the perps were), but they fenced the goods to a very sketchy company based in Hong Kong that's incorporated under Polish law. (Polish law provides them some odd protections that make going after them even more annoying than you'd normally expect.)
We did what everyone has to do in the current situation: we defended our selves (basically, wasted our internal resources on putting up a bunch of anti-crime defensive stuff, taking away from making our product better) and kept our mouth shut because everyone's nervous to spook customers (who might already have low trust in e-commerce).
Had we not defended our selves, our credit card processors would have cut us off from the finance system like a gangrene-infected leg and we'd have taken an even bigger financial hit. Imagine a grocery where, because someone held it up and robbed the register, Visa pulls their terminals.
My point is not to play the world's tiniest violin for the company I work for - it's just to point out that (1) cybercrime is going on all the time and (2) is massively under the radar and thus hasnt' gotten the kind of "tough on crime" political response that physical crime would get and (3) is hugely helped by crypto-currencies that allow international cybercriminals to avoid state power.
It was hard enough to fight them because the tech flows over international borders, but now that they have a payment system that functions, it's really open season.
The classic progressive complaint about crypto is the environmental footprint, which is arguably down-stream of our inability to price pollution, but is still a fact on the ground in 2021. I'd argue that cybercrime should also be a big complaint, is arguably down-stream from our inability to crack down on illegal online behavior across national borders, but is also a fact on the ground in 2021.
Great work, Marc. Your takes are hot, they're quick, and most importantly they display an openness to human variety that is ever-more-lacking in left-leaning spaces. (Used to be that's basically what defined left-leaning spaces...) Just because something is gross - or dangerous, or unhealthy - doesn't mean it should be illegal. And just because something crosses the line into actually damaging society, doesn't mean that banning it is the most effective or moral response. Don't lose that openness to variety, that instinct to allow room for things you find distasteful. The world needs it more than ever.
Thank you for all your work here Marc, I fleshing this excellent post! Wishing you all the best in your future endeavors.
And thank you Marc!