Nathaniel J. Smith is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

Nathaniel J. Smith @njs

I don’t think I’ve written about Taiwanese democracy on masto yet. It’s story time!

In the early aughts, the Democratic Progressive Party won control of the government for the first time. This was the first time the KMT—which ruled for decades under martial law—did not control the modern Taiwanese government.

But trust in government and democratic practices were at an all time low—which is what happens when you’ve been under authoritarian rule for generations. People were rightfully skeptical.

@lindseyb technically I think one EM dose (2 pills) = one extra strength aspirin + one extra strength tylenol + like 4 cups of tea? But for my migraines tylenol is useless (and scary in general), while ibuprofen is magic, and ibuprofen and aspirin are *basically* the same thing anyway so... 👍

But then, caffeine is my worst migraine trigger so maybe don't listen to me. (And uh, sorry if you knew all that and it was a rhetorical question)

1st amendment jurisprudence Show more

@thor Heck, if you'd been willing to indicate some respect for your interlocutors by using CWs (and maybe toning down the comparisons between oppressed people and totalitarian regimes) you could probably have had this exact discussion inside one of those safe space instances.


@thor That's like... literally every mode of human interaction though. I don't invite racists to birthday parties, you're going to see particular political opinions expressed at a church potluck (which ones depends on the church), etc. ISTM that the difference with safe spaces is that they articulate an explicit+intentional set of rules to accomplish a clear goal, which makes those rules *more* subject to debate/revision/improvement than in most social arenas.


@thor Serious question tho: if you imagine you're someone who faces the constant drumbeat of institutional oppression and the need to defend your (partial, incomplete, flawed, necessary) safe places against the constant attacks on them, and then re-read your posts in this thread from that perspective... would you guess that the author of those toots was someone who would be safe to talk to in a nuanced ways about their trade-offs and flaws?


@thor I understand the worry about closed-mindedness, but the request here wasn't even to remove the content, just to give people the option to prepare themselves before reading stuff and otherwise have some case-by-case control over the time and place of their exposure? I don't see how forcing people to read things is going to be a solution to closed-mindedness, and it has some pretty obvious and severe downsides!


@thor AFAICT the concept of safe spaces has been reasonably controversial within feminist-and-related circles, and there've been decades of nuanced in-group debate about their existence/purpose/value/...? Why do you jump to the conclusion that no-one who is in favor of safe spaces could agree that they have limitations/downsides?

@thor ...earlier in the thread you compared safe spaces to "totalitarian regimes" with "thought police". Now you seem to think you can decide who deserves to be in these spaces, and feel "suppressed" if some people voluntarily choose not to talk to you. Are you sure it's the safe spaces advocates who have the totalitarian bent here?

I'm sorry about your ancestors' oppression and good for you for reading, but I'm not seeing evidence you've internalized what you learned :-/


@thor literally sniffed about how "somehow you survived [being unfriended]". How on earth is that supposed to be read, if not to imply that the people wanting "safe spaces" are equivalent to someone who *couldn't* survive being unfriended?

(@mala: lmk if you want to be untagged...)

@thor Honestly, you sound absolutely typical for a white dude (and like me until I learned more): you have absolutely no idea what "safe spaces" are or how people experience them. (E.g. I've never seen a crowd of SJ folks all agree on anything!)

Imagine if every time you ever spoke in public, or walked down the street, for your entire life, there were always people hassling you, condescending at you, threatening your physical safety… this is not like being unfriended on fb


@thor @mala I think a key think you're missing is that historically the concept of a safe space was developed by groups who are constantly attacked or in imminent danger of being attacked whenever they participate in any kind of public space, which is an incredibly corrosive and harmful way to live. And "safe spaces" are about creating the *option* of taking a break from that danger for one god damned moment to breath.

@aparrish And this is why in the 24th century, Picard still telling the computer "Tea, Earl Grey, Hot" every time

@lizzard wow everything about this is horrifying, right down to the giant picture of cash+cigarette at the top of their blog page.

"And you sleep soundly at night knowing that [you're underpaying your employees]." –

@lizzard so it's... like uber, but for the tyranny of structurelessness?

@spacekookie I think the guy I sit next to at work is using awesome these days... I have to admit that I gave up on configuring things a while ago and switched to gnome-shell. Lua is pretty neat though :-). And writing your own WM is super fun, in a hitting-yourself-in-the-face-with-arcane-mistakes-made-in-the-80s kind of way? Though maybe writing a wayland compositor is the fun thing kids do now, I dunno.