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Patrick.net is an anonymous forum where the fundamental human right to offend is protected. Freedom of speech is nothing but the freedom to offend. Speech which offends no one needs no protection because it will not be censored. Controversial ideas are inevitably offensive to someone and therefore need protection from censorship.

As MisterLearnToCode says:
We can't ban offensive speech because then we'd be at the mercy of the most easily offended; the lowest common denominator, and wouldn't be able to discuss jack shit.


I especially want people to have a place to say things they cannot say in person because of family or work or school pressure to conform to the politically correct opinions in their area.

If you are expressing a sincerely held point of view with good will, your comments and posts are very welcome here. If your point of view is "offensive" to others, that is no problem. Enjoy your freedom on this site, but please try to keep it about ideas and not about the other users or the site itself. I love Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw's philosophy about political debate:

https://patrick.net/post/1326765/2019-08-23-perfect-description-of-how-public-debate-should-be

There are many ideas that we will never agree on. The left and the right have different ways of approaching governance, based on contrasting philosophies. But many of the ultimate goals — economic prosperity, better health care and education, etc. — are the same. We just don’t share the same vision of how to achieve them.

How, then, do we live together in this world of differing ideas? For starters, let’s agree that the ideas are fair game. If you think my idea is awful, you should say as much. But there is a difference between attacking an idea and attacking the person behind that idea. Labeling someone as an “-ist” who believes in an “-ism” because of the person’s policy preference is just a shortcut to playground-style name-calling, cloaked in political terminology. It’s also generally a good indication that the attacker doesn’t have a solid argument and needs a way to end debate before it has even begun.

Similarly, people too often attack not just an idea but also the supposed intent behind an idea. That raises the emotional level of the debate and might seem like it strengthens the attacker’s side, but it’s a terrible way to make a point. Assuming the worst about your opponents’ intentions has the effect of demonizing their ideas, removing the need for sound counter-reasoning and fact-based argument. That’s not a good environment for the exchange of ideas.


The primary moderation rule is to not attack other users or the site itself. Personal attacks solve nothing, and in fact get us further away from solving anything. Examine what is said, not who speaks, and try to acknowledge whatever truth there is in what the other person is saying before attacking the flaws in their argument.

If you don't like this site, go somewhere else. This site cost you nothing, was a lot of work for me, and doesn't even have advertising. If you can't resist insulting the other users or the site itself over and over, you'll be banned and your comments deleted.

To repeat, here are the rules:

1. Do not insult the other users.
2. Do not insult the site.

Flag personal attacks and attacks on the site with the "flag" link by each comment so that they will go into moderation where they will be reviewed by a moderator. Please do not flag comments just because you don't like them.

If you're wondering why your comment was flagged, please click the "edit" link on it. It should be pretty obvious when you read your own words again. If you think there was a mistake about the content's being flagged, please write p@patrick.net

If you don't have the "flag" link, please report personal comments to p@patrick.net by email.


Here are the original articles that made this site famous:

https://patrick.net/post/1282720/2015-07-11-ten-reasons-it-s-a-terrible-time-to-buy-an-expensive-house
https://patrick.net/post/1282721/2015-07-11-eight-groups-who-lie-about-the-housing-market
https://patrick.net/post/1282722/2015-07-11-37-bogus-arguments-about-housing

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