TPRJones' Last 100 Shared Items

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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Losing My Faith
Originally Published January 13th, 2017, 09:43 AM

Click here to go see the bonus panel!


Later, God becomes a Wiccan.

New comic!

Today's News:

Thanks for all the amazing BAHFest proposals, Londonites! We'll have our selections done shortly, and then tickets will be on sale!

Originally Published January 8th, 2017, 06:00 PM
Hey Rob, sorry it took me a while to get back to you! Sure, I'd love to see WALL-E opening weekend! Are you still doing that, or...?

I No Longer Live Life Ahead Of My Son; I Live Life With My Son
Originally Published January 6th, 2017, 05:00 AM

Six years. It’s been six years since I launched this blog. My gender nonconforming son was three at the time. He was newly potty trained, loved the Disney Princesses and had a limited vocabulary. Now, he’s a nine-year-old fourth grader … Continue reading

Team Chat
Originally Published January 5th, 2017, 06:00 PM
2078: He announces that he's finally making the jump from screen+irssi to tmux+weechat.

Comic: 2017-01-05
Originally Published January 5th, 2017, 02:00 AM

New Comic: 2017-01-05

Stay afraid. But do it anyway.
Originally Published December 27th, 2016, 02:33 PM

So…Carrie Fisher has gone to the great beyond.  And I’m sad.  But also happy. Let me explain. Carrie Fisher wrote honestly about her battles with mental illness and inspired me to do the same.  She was strange and funny and kookie and … Continue reading

Theodore Roosevelt vs Winston Churchill. Epic Rap Battles of History
Originally Published December 26th, 2016, 04:33 PM

Overpopulation – The Human Explosion Explained
Originally Published December 22nd, 2016, 07:38 AM

How to MINE OPAL gems in the OUTBACK - Smarter Every Day 164
Originally Published December 20th, 2016, 12:14 PM

Originally Published December 18th, 2016, 11:01 PM

it's the Mating Ritual

Free Will | Fun Science
Originally Published December 17th, 2016, 10:00 AM

Gavin or Google 12 - RT Podcast #406
Originally Published December 14th, 2016, 11:00 AM

UFC Vet Sean Gannon, is doing an AMA for the next 17 hours "because after turning in a dirty cop to the FBI, I've been ordered to turn in my badge and gun at 7:00pm, and I'll likely be ordered to not discuss my case further."
Originally Published December 10th, 2016, 05:51 AM

submitted by /u/absinthe-grey

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I read this passage several times a year. My best friend and fraternity brother committed suicide in 2011, when we were 19. What a redditor wrote has helped me cope with and understand my grief, maybe it can help you, too.
Originally Published December 7th, 2016, 06:45 PM

submitted by /u/TheyCallMeBrewKid

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Cracked Drunkenly Paws At Free Speech Theory Again
Originally Published December 5th, 2016, 10:04 AM

I feel both fondness and respect for Cracked. I remember reading the magazine as a kid — it was number two or three to Mad, but it tried harder. As a web site, it's done good work in the realms of satire, fatuity, and social and political commentary. But like any institution it has a culture, and that culture has its weak spots. One example: the urge to write meandering make-everyone-dumber think pieces about "free speech."

I put scare quotes around free speech because Cracked seems to require its writers to blur the lines between free speech law and social norms surrounding free expression, and to address them in a way that obscures both. This week's example: "What Free Speech Doesn't Give You The Right To Say."

We're in trouble right from the start:

Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of our society, and it is absolutely a principle worth defending to one's dying breath. Unfortunately, complete assholes are also a cornerstone of our society, and will definitely be here until our dying breaths. And when the latter gets ahold of the former, they invoke it improperly and indiscriminately, like a toddler with a new word or a monkey with a shotgun.

We're in trouble right from the first paragraph. Aaron Kheifets invokes rights in the piece's title, suggesting a discussion of legal norms, but immediately bogs down with terms like "improperly" and "indiscriminately." Indiscriminately according to whom? Improperly under what standard? You won't find out in this piece; those are emotive reactions to speech, not attempts at legal or philosophically principled distinctions.

Kheifets' first point is that people crying "censorship" at content regulation at Reddit, Facebook, or Google are wrong. Just wrong. Why?

Does that mean the internet is abandoning our much-beloved free speech? Fuck no! It just means that the standards for free speech people use on the internet are finally catching up to all other forms of human interaction.

That sounds nice, but it's uselessly vague. Maybe Kheifets means "online businesses are starting to throw drunks and assholes out, just like your neighborhood restaurant would if you started shouting about lizard people." Or maybe not. His elaborations are incoherent:

First, I'd like to point out that there are a ton of things you are legally not allowed to say. The example everyone is familiar with is that you can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater (everyone will kick your ass for talking during Rogue One). But there are many more examples of things you have no legal right to spout off. You can't incite people to violence, you can't slander (in speech) or libel (in writing) someone, and you can't say things that would make any reasonable person punch you in the face, because them's fightin' words (though telling someone you thought The Force Awakens was a good movie is still technically legal, for some reason).

Here Khiefets finally references legal norms, but in a vague, misleading, and mostly useless way. These are all censorship tropes, invoked in a tropey way. The observation that some speech is outside the First Amendment is true but irrelevant and unpersuasive absent specific explanations of how particular established exceptions apply to particular speech. The "you can't shout fire in a crowded theater" bit is a reference to a rhetorical flourish in a subsequently overturned case that means absolutely nothing. The "you can't incite people to violence" observation is true but somewhat overstated, since the test for actionable incitement (whether the speech is intended to cause, and likely to cause, imminent lawless action) is narrow. And "fighting words" — if it survives as a doctrine — is restricted to face to face insults directed at a specific person. Most importantly, these legal doctrines are all irrelevant to the question at hand — whether private companies are involved in wrongful censorship — because internet companies aren't the government and their actions can't violate the First Amendment under the state action doctrine.

Onward we slog:

Yet despite it being completely illegal in real life, people think they are allowed to threaten and harass people online. Leslie Jones received a mind-boggling number of inflammatory and threatening messages on Twitter, and zero people went to jail. Contrariwise, if someone (say, I don't know, maybe a Cracked writer) organized people to make a bunch of prank phone calls to a radio DJ, they would for sure go to jail. Just ask Cracked writer and jail alum John Cheese.

Wait, wait, wait. This is too much whaarrbargl. Kheifets has just asserted that things called "threatening" and "harassing" online are "completely illegal" in "real life." Well, not exactly. Only true threats are outside the protection of the First Amendment. Many, perhaps most, threats are not "true" because a reasonable person would not interpret them as a genuine statement of intent to do harm. The law of "harassment" is more muddled, but suffice it to say that not everything you think is harassing is outside the protection of the First Amendment either. It's true that nobody went to jail for being assholes to Leslie Jones, but Khiefets hasn't established that anyone did anything outside the protection of the First Amendment, so the observation doesn't get us anywhere. Then Kheifets asserts that you would "for sure go to jail" if you "organized people to make a bunch of prank phone calls," and for that assertion cites an article by another Cracked writer who doesn't explain exactly what he did before he was arrested and doesn't explain what happened to the charges after he was arrested. In fact, organizing people to call (or crank call) someone might get you charged, but it's not at all "sure" that you'll be convicted or "go to jail." This is nonsense.

It keeps getting worse:

So just to be clear (and I can't believe this is a sentence that actually needs to be written), you aren't allowed to intentionally inflict harm on someone, even by just using words, whether via in-person chat, phone, email, Facebook, Instagram, telegraph, Snapchat, Tinder, smoke signals, singing telegram, carrier pigeon, words scrawled on a gas station bathroom wall, or even Reddit.

This isn't a correct statement of law. It's not even a correct statement of morality. It's absolutely allowed — and protected by the First Amendment — to do things that you intend to cause harm. For instance, condemning people for evil or stupid acts may cause them harm, but it's protected. Revealing true and shameful facts about them — Anthony Weiner, anyone? — may cause harm, but it's protected. The proposition that you aren't allowed to cause harm through our words — a popular trope of badly written cyberbullying laws — is not just wrong, it's a joke.

Kheifets finally gets around to something worthwhile and not entirely inaccurate:

If a comedian makes rape jokes and people don't like them, that isn't the audience censoring the comic any more than someone not liking a meal is censoring the chef. Nobody has to support anyone else's shit sandwiches.

Kheifets goes on in that vein for several paragraphs. He's right. People shunning you for your free speech is their free speech. Criticism isn't censorship. But it would be nice if Kheifets — having invoked and blundered around in the vicinity of legal norms — would point out the key one here, which is that only government action can violate the First Amendment.

Kheifets concludes with this:

Free speech is a vital part of a free society. Shouting racial slurs at people until they're afraid to interact with the world isn't. You aren't entitled to free, uncontrolled access to Facebook's servers. You're free to ride a horse, but you're not free to ride a horse into an IKEA — especially not a horse you don't own. And constantly crying "free speech" is beating that horse to death.

This, particularly as the coda to Kheifets' piece, is confused. I'm not sure whether he's saying that racial slurs aren't a "vital part of a free society" (arguably true but irrelevant to whether they are protected speech) or whether he's saying they aren't protected free speech (which, under many circumstances, would be incorrect). The horse thing is just incoherent. And Kheifets is the absolute last person to have any business berating others for inaccurate invocation of free speech rhetoric.

Seriously, Cracked. This is crap. Most of your columns about free speech are crap. They don't educate anyone. They promote confusion and ignorance about vital civic concepts. Why do you keep doing this?

Copyright 2016 by the named Popehat author.

Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up sped up every time he says Never
Originally Published December 3rd, 2016, 10:57 AM
Rick Astley - Never Gonna Give You Up sped up every time he says Never

submitted by /u/PM_YOUR_VAGINA to /r/videos

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Donald Trump: Magician-In-Chief
Originally Published November 30th, 2016, 02:24 PM

A Mathematician's Perspective on the Divide
Originally Published November 23rd, 2016, 03:47 AM

Defender of the Crown - kingmaker run
Originally Published November 21st, 2016, 09:00 AM

Via tumblr user becausegoodbye:

When I was a kid, I was in love with the Amiga game Defender of the Crown. I knew the game well enough to beat it every time, so I made it more interesting by giving myself a new challenge: I would pick an opposing Saxon lord at the beginning of the game, and make *him* win. In my head, my character had the combined humility and cunning to understand that even though he could take the throne, Cedric of Rotherwood - whose leadership rating is ‘strong’ - was the king England really needed. Rather than being the king, my character would be the kingmaker.

This proved to be quite a bit trickier than winning the usual way. The Saxon lords (as opposed to the tougher Normans down south) are wet blankets militarily, and an enormous amount of handholding is required for them to build up their forces. Generally, I’d conquer all the territory around my beloved Cedric (basically forming a protective wall around him), and let him slowly expand into my territory as I fought off all of the other lords. I’d regularly challenge him to jousts, bet whole territories on the outcome, and flail around so ineptly that the assembled lords and ladies would certainly have muttered about match-fixing.

The really tricky part came in the endgame. To pull it off, I needed to (a) stop Cedric from taking my home castle too soon, (b) defeat all the Norman lords, and © in the process, have them destroy *nearly* my entire army, leaving me vulnerable to Cedric’s slow bumbling advances. Because you gain troops automatically based on which territories you control at the start of each turn, the second half of the game becomes about maintaining a delicate reciprocal balance between taking territories down south and losing them up north. After I’d taken care of all of the future-king’s enemies for him, mortally wounded my own forces in the process, and essentially handed him England on a silver platter, that ungrateful little shit Cedric would finally attack my home castle, seize the throne, and erase all historical traces of what I had done.

“For England,” I’d whisper, as my home castle burned to the ground in the distance.

Best Fire Tornado - DIY - no moving parts!
Originally Published November 20th, 2016, 04:33 PM

If 2016 were an
Originally Published November 18th, 2016, 06:11 PM

If 2016 were an umbrella...

Paranatural - Chapter 5 Page 161
Originally Published November 17th, 2016, 11:47 PM

New comic!

Today's News:

if you turn the other cheek fast enough you can really get some force behind it and use it for offensive striking purposes

Just used @shipt for the first time, and it was awesome. So groceries. Much lazy. Very yes. …
Originally Published November 17th, 2016, 02:30 PM

Just used @shipt for the first time, and it was awesome. So groceries. Much lazy. Very yes. …

Alkanes, Alkenes & Alkynes - Snatoms
Originally Published November 14th, 2016, 02:43 PM

Introduction to Elements and Bonding - Snatoms
Originally Published November 14th, 2016, 01:45 PM

Gracias por estar aquí
Originally Published November 12th, 2016, 06:14 AM
This.  This, this, this.

This. This, this, this.

Lets start with what this is not. I am neither predicting doom from a Trump presidency, nor am I telling you that you have nothing to worry about. That isn't the point. The point is not the relative merits of what happened on November 8.

The point is that if you want to fix it, whatever it is, you can.

I don't have a brilliant grand plan.

But I have a little idea.

Say "thank you."

Say "thank you" to the people who might be feeling marginalized.

Say thank you to Muslims you know. Say thank you to any immigrants you know, or meet. Say "thank you" if you see a gay couple. Say thank you. Introvert? Then leave a note on their windshield.

You have to admit, no matter how pro-Trump you might be, that right now, a lot of people are scared and wondering if America just had a referendum on whether to hate them or not. Again, I am not saying that is what a Trump vote meant. Personally, I disagree. But, I can't deny that a lot of people need to be made to feel welcome, because they don't feel that way right now.

No matter how they got to feeling that way, that's where they are. Even if you think they should not feel that way, you don't get to tell them how to feel.

Well, you do a little. You can tell them to feel that you, personally, want them here.

You hear someone speaking Spanish? Tell them "Gracias por estar aquí". You see someone in a hijab? Tell them "thank you for being here." You see someone wearing a "Black Lives Matter" button, and you think "all lives matter?" So what, if ALL lives matter, then Black ones do too, right? So shake their hand and say "yes, they do."

And so on… Maybe they need to hear that right now. A lot of them are feeling worried.

Forget whether they should or not.

That is how they feel.

Those of us who aren't scared should make damn sure to let them know how we feel. Most of us feel that they belong. Way more of us feel that way than the tiny slice of us who don't. But, that tiny slice gets the press. That tiny slice is the image that the media wants everyone to see.

Drama sells. Random acts of kindness don't. So, we have to outnumber them. We have to overwhelm them. Do it so much that we annoy them for god's sake. Do it so that they feel like America turned into a big dumb dog that wont stop licking their faces.

So, can you try this? Just say thank you. If you're an introvert, then leave a note on their windshield that says "thank you for being part of America." Look up random foreign sounding names in the phone book and email them a postcard that says "Thank you for being in America." Just do something to thank them for being here. Because, without them, we aren't America.

So to all my friends who don't think they're welcome in America right now, you're not just welcome. No, "welcome" isn't enough.

Thank you.

Thank you for being here.

*Note: Please share this. Or steal it. Plagiarize it without credit, if you like. Public domain, with no rights reserved. The point is to spread the word.

Copyright 2016 by the named Popehat author.

Is it just me or does the phrase "serving at the pleasure of the President" suddenly sound much more creepy? @TheDailyShow
Originally Published November 10th, 2016, 11:13 PM

Is it just me or does the phrase "serving at the pleasure of the President" suddenly sound much more creepy? @TheDailyShow

America rage quits. #2016ElectionIn3Words
Originally Published November 8th, 2016, 11:21 PM

America rage quits. #2016ElectionIn3Words

The Farce Awakens #2016ElectionIn3Words
Originally Published November 8th, 2016, 11:19 PM

The Farce Awakens #2016ElectionIn3Words

BRITAIN: Brexit is the stupidest, most self-destructive act a country could undertake. USA: Hold my beer.
Originally Published November 8th, 2016, 10:17 PM

BRITAIN: Brexit is the stupidest, most self-destructive act a country could undertake. USA: Hold my beer.

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