Wednesday, 27 June 2018

PayPal forbid anything they arbitrarily choose to dislike

PayPal recently changed their terms and conditions (explained here, though the link will go out of date), allowing them to forbid use of PayPal on any site that has "activities that relate to transactions involving ... the promotion of ... forms of intolerance that is (sic.) discriminatory".

That's all. No mention of what areas you can or can't discriminate (definition: apply a difference) in.

In other words, it's an ultimate "anything we dislike" clause. Some years ago I was reading an article on the absurd number of new laws passed in the UK in recent decades, and the surprisingly enormous number of things that are actually illegal. The article (in a secular newspaper) was about how the general principle that laws should have a reasonable correspondence to peoples' sense of right and wrong, or that the law should be easy to discover, had been broken. Tyrants everywhere love to make everything illegal... and then enforce that law arbitrarily to favour their friends and hurt their enemies.

Adam Ford has written here recently about the kind of power that Facebook and Google have (and use) to enforce their founders' Californian world-view, and suppress Christian or conservative ideas. Their algorithms and procedures are not neutral, but written in lines with their founders' ideas about what ideas should be promoted, and which should not be promoted. It seems that PayPal have decided to get in on the same game. They've introduced a catch-all clause that could be used to render just about any idea they choose to take exception to as out-of-court... but which is so broad that it couldn't possibly be used consistently. It rules out "discrimination", without limits. But all of life involves discriminating... hopefully, between things that are right or wise, and things that are wrong or foolish, and choosing the former. You can't live life well without discerning the difference and making a choice.

To take a real-world example.... if a pro-life group, campaigning to protect unborn lives, has complaints filed against it for being "anti-women" or "anti-freedom" (which is what the current lying propaganda says), and another pro-abortion group has a complaint filed against it for being discriminatory against unborn lives... then if PayPal follow the route of Facebook and Google, the outcome will be easy to predict. The current "progressive" ideology promoted in Silicon Valley says that to forbid the "right" to end an unborn life is discrimination against women..... but that Christian viewpoints that want to protect lives are discriminatory, even hate-filled (and yes, they also added a clause to forbid that in vague and general terms too). Christians are not tolerated; they are banned, for intolerance.

We now await to see what happens next, and if the outcome is any difference to how things have been with Google and Facebook.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Systematic ignorance - by design

Modern government-run education in the West or influenced by the West teaches people what to think, not how to think.

But as Patrick Deneen, via Justin Taylor, points out at the link below, it's worse than that. The selection of "what to think" deliberately overlooks the history of our civilisation. It is systematically absent.

That's very handy if you want people to uncritically believe a set of new ideas and prefer those new ideas not to receive much scrutiny and opposition.

That's not a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are plots carried out in secret that only those with privileged access to secret information can know about. The content of government-run education is a public fact, available to the observation of anyone who is concerned.

In other news, the UK government wants all home educators to register with them, so that it can check up on the standards involved in what they're doing.... ... it'd be funny if it weren't so serious.