The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friending and such...

I made a mistake a couple of years ago. I got on Facebook. Soon after I started being hit by "Friend" requests. By strangers and friends of strangers and friends of friends of strangers... all of whom had the tenuous connection to me by the alleged fact that we had "mutual Friends" on Facebook.

 I occasionally asked the requesters who they were and try to learn if we were somehow connected. I would get either no answer or the request would be withdrawn.

At that point, I started seriously ignoring Facebook Requests.

Now I run into comment areas where they require you be logged into (or log into) Facebook before commenting. On the one hand, it reduces trash comments because you are no longer completely anonymous. On the other, it inhibits pithy comments because you are no longer anonymous. I have no idea what the ratio of good to bad might be.

The fascinating thing about the internet has always been the anonymity one can have. You could choose and appropriate (or not so appropriate) cyber-name and develop a personality unlike any you had in Real Life. For a few hours each day, you could be that person you always wanted to be.

Oh sure, it allowed some abuses. Cyber-bullies come to mind. And "Trolls". But, for the most part, it was completely harmless. And you could ignore the bad apples. Or just read and not participate... which meant you avoided insults and cyber-battles (relinquishing your right to have your opinion "heard").

But now I think we have gone too far in protecting people from the Bad Guys of the internet. And Facebook has become a real problem for me. I have contemplated getting out of Facebook entirely. So I looked into that and found this:

How do I permanently delete my account?
If you deactivate your account from your Security Settings page, your profile (timeline) and all information associated with it disappears from the Facebook service immediately. People on Facebook will not be able to search for you or view any of your information.

In case you want to come back to Facebook at some point, we save your profile (timeline) information (friends, photos, interests, etc.) so that your account will look just the way it did when you left. A lot of people deactivate their accounts for temporary reasons and expect their profiles (timelines) to be there when they return to the service.

If you do not think you will use Facebook again and would like your account deleted, keep in mind that you will not be able to reactivate your account or retrieve any of the content or information you have added. If you would like your account permanently deleted with no option for recovery, log in to your account and then submit your request here.

I boldfaced the section that bothered me. One, you apparently do not actually really destroy all traces of your Facebook existence and, two, there seems to be an implied threat in the second paragraph. Perhaps "threat" is not the right word, more like a "How could you do such an anti-social thing?" remark.

So I have taken the middle road, I ignore Facebook "friend" requests in general and most of the "Status update" emails from those "friends" I retain on the page.

Still, that social guilt follows me about. You know, the  guilt that used to make you tolerate all kinds of offensive behavior of your peers in high school because you didn't want to feel like an outsider? I thought I outgrew that, I truly did.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I ran across this:

Man faces five years for 'God does not exist' Facebook post

Am I a bad person for wanting out of Facebook?

And do any of you bloggers out there hate the new Blogger interface as much as I do?


Torggil said...

I don't know about the blogger interface.  I am not familiar with the old system.  I do wish I could indent paragraphs though.  What concerns me about your article link is that Australia is very close to Indonesia.  I hadn't realized that Indonesia was a border line theocracy.  How silly is it in the 21st century to jail someone for up 5 years because he is an atheist?  That a belief in religion is a requirement to be an unjailed citizen?  I was going to say free citizen, but that would be overstating the case given the religious restriction.

Douglas4517 said...

 There was never a way to indent paragraphs, it seems. Indonesia is a Muslim country and Muslim countries tend to have very strict laws on religion. They often have apostasy laws and I think that is what he ran into. In some Muslim nations, that can get you the death penalty. Not so in Indonesia apparently, where is faces up to 5 years in prison. To those of us who grew up and live in nations with freedom of worship, it is almost unbelievable that something like this could happen.

Torggil said...

 I know, seems like nobody in the West expects the Spanish Inquisition- for to me that's what this sounds like.  As a human being I can respect him for what he was prepared to do.  As a fellow Atheist, I wonder where I can donate to his defence fund.

Douglas4517 said...

 We are "spoiled" in a lot of ways. Maybe "naive" is a better word.
Have you Googled Mr Aan?  His (this chapter anyway) story starts on January 20 of this year when he was arrested.
He has attempted to recant his words.
But there are those who want him beheaded.
And there is more. Much too much more.

Google his name. I didn't find a defense fund but the story is quite interesting and makes me very happy that I live where I do.