Blog: Pinball Tilts

Pinball Tilts
Pinball Tilts
Date: 2018-Mar-07 18:25:26 EST

After the recent spat between Amazon and Google got worse and Amazon decided to pull more Google products from their store because they want to compete, I decided to end my Amazon Prime membership. Longer-term I'll probably try to avoid buying from Amazon. This isn't because I like Google (I no longer do), but rather that I think there's a duty when a marketplace or forum or other actor becomes dominant in their field to begin to act in a neutral way. Deciding not to list products on Amazon can make or break many companies. I feel the same way about Youtube; it's very irksome that such a central video site is deviating so far from maximising expressibility and finding ways to deal with matching advertisers to videos. At sufficient scale, private censorship resembles government censorship.

I recently took some anti-harassment training at work. I don't expect to step on any of those policies (I'm shy and was raised to act a certain way), except possibly saying things that might make some people uncomfortable. But the policies are in my view bad, and apparently they're mandated by law, and they have the smell of enforced progressive behaviour in the workplace. I'm not happy about that; it's not that I want the laws removed, just restructured so there'd never be a situation where "progressive brings up a topic and talks freely on it, people who disagree are not allowed to comment on it because somebody might be offended". The way political tension works in our society means that right now that's very plausible even though it's written in a way not to mention ideology; there are countermeasures like others insisting that some topics be buried because they claim they'd be offended by their inability to participate in the discussion. But those feel like weird hacks.