The argument that we need to go back to a past time in which ideas flowed freely, when people didn't impose social sanctions in response to speech they found offensive or immoral, back before liberalism was succeeded by an illiberal ideology, is ahistorical nonsense.
Yes, but "I read about some people getting fired for really silly reasons, it looks like there's a pattern, that's bad" is quite different from claiming that Enlightenment liberalism was the dominant ideology in the West for centuries until about 2018.
Social media is new, and it's affected society in all sorts of ways. One is by facilitating deliberate, and sometimes inadvertent, pressure campaigns.
A specific claim like that I wouldn't challenge. It's the much larger, more sweeping claim I find absurd.

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More from @NGrossman81

6 Jul
“Academia needs more Republicans,” you say? OK, but which ones?
Supply-siders, religious traditionalists, NatSec hawks, Burkeans, and more sounds good.
But Trumpists? How?
Academia is in the truth business. Not sure how to accommodate a political movement committed to post-truth.
I tell students North Korea still has nukes threatening the US and allies. Do we need to hire someone who teaches that they don’t?
Or one who says Russia didn’t conduct an intel op targeting the 2016 US election?
Do med schools need to teach that hydroxychloroquine cures COVID?
I strive to make classes welcoming to students of a great variety of backgrounds and worldviews. I think all professors should.
“All arguments are welcome as long as you back them up with evidence,” I say.
To the extent Trumpism is a philosophy and pedagogy, it says the opposite.
Read 5 tweets
1 Jul
The Constitution does not say "when in doubt, making it harder to donate to political campaigns is wrong but making it harder to vote is okay."
That principle derives from ideology-filtered interpretation, not a common sense reading of the text of the law.
FTR, gutting campaign finance restrictions was Constitutionally correct—if Congress can't make law restricting political speech, Congress can't restrict dissemination of political speech—and gutting voting rights protections was Constitutionally wrong (power is in Art 1, Sec 4).
Voting Rights provisions weren’t struck down as unconstitutional; they were struck down by SCOTUS majority deciding the measures aren’t needed anymore, even though Congress renewed the VRA in 2006.
“Is this Constitutional law still needed?” is a question for Congress, not courts.
Read 4 tweets
1 Jul
One of the biggest misconceptions i see today is the idea that tech companies are more powerful than government.
They’re powerful, but it’s not close. Not letting you use a website or sending you targeted ads falls far short of not letting you walk around free or killing you.
If you think tech companies are more powerful than states, go to Hong Kong and tell people watching newspapers forcibly shut down and democracy activists arrested that YouTube demonitizing a channel you like is more repressive.
Actually don’t. That could put your freedom at risk.
Did you see what the US did to Baghdad? Or what Russia did with Crimea?
Yeah… Facebook or Google can’t pull off anything else to that.

Want an objective metric?
The US federal govt’s annual budget is bigger than Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft’s combined market cap.
Read 4 tweets
28 Jun
I'm skeptical you all have watched these movies at least 10 times. 3 or 4, maybe, plus catching parts on cable.
Anyway, the only one I'm certain I've seen at least 10 times (though admittedly without my full attention every time) is Raya and the Last Dragon. And maybe Shawshank.
If we relax it from 10 times, my list of many viewings:
LA Confidential, Wag the Dog, Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, Lion King, original Star Wars trilogy, Raiders and Last Crusade, the Matrix, Clue, Donnie Darko, Holy Grail, Naked Gun, and Supertroopers.
And Rounders. Can't believe I forgot Rounders.
Writing this list, I realize the many viewings thing happened for me mostly:
-kid watching VHS over and over
-high school, during my film nerd peak
-college late night rewatch or me wanting to show a new movie I liked to everyone
Read 6 tweets
23 Jun
Jared Kushner got the US to give advanced weaponry to Middle Eastern autocrats, including some he was trying to get to give him money for his private business, and got something Team Trump could falsely claim constituted Middle East peace. So they accomplished their main goals.
The Abraham Accords aren't bad, they just did little. Took de facto Sunni-Israeli anti-Iran coalition public, greased by US weapons transfers.
But Trumpists had to declare it a Nobel-worthy transformative achievement, and anti-anti-Trump had to denounce anyone who said it wasn't.
This highlights a discourse problem: proponents of something exaggerate the achievement, their opponents exaggerate the downsides, and both insist there are only two possible positions, such that "actually, it's X, which is neither great nor awful" is seen as an enemy by both.
Read 4 tweets
22 Jun
Kyrsten Sinema says Dems should let a GOP minority block popular legislation because if it passes, and the American people don't like it, they'll vote GOP, who will be able to reverse it, and stopping them from hypothetically reversing a policy that never passes takes priority.
On voting rights, Sinema says a majority in Congress must allow simple majorities in red states—in some cases, not real majorities but gerrymandered legislatures—to manipulate elections because otherwise a future Congressional majority might do what those states are already doing
Sinema's claim that the "filibuster compels moderation" is empirically false.
And her examples of bipartisan legislation—e.g. trying to reduce military suicides, boosting manufacturing—are uncontentious, not difficult compromises compelled by the filibuster.
Read 5 tweets

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