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Martin Dyckman: Memory of FSU professor’s enduring lesson on free speech, tolerance

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An enduring lesson on what freedom of speech should mean to a college campus was taught more than a half-century ago by one of my favorite professors at Florida State University, Lewis M. Killian. I hadn’t taken his class or even met him at the time but something I had written was a hot discussion topic that day. It was a letter in the student newspaper, the Florida Flambeau, mocking the Kappa Alpha fraternity for wearing Confederate uniforms and waving…

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Martin Dyckman: Donald Trump, Valdamir Putin and NATO – willful ignorance, or dangerous isolationism?

in 2017/Top Headlines by

“Vlad, Vlad, is that you?” “Da!” “Donald here. We need to deal. I make great deals. I’ll send you a copy of my book, The Art of the Stea … uh, I mean, Deal.” “I’m sure you do, Donald. What do you want?” “Vlad, I need you to help me beat Hillary Clinton.” “I might be able to do that Donald, but what’s in it for us?” “When I’m president, you can have those little loser countries next door… What…

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Microsoft axes chatbot that learned a little too much online

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

OMG! Did you hear about the artificial intelligence program that Microsoft designed to chat like a teenage girl? It was totally yanked offline in less than a day, after it began spouting racist, sexist and otherwise offensive remarks. Microsoft said it was all the fault of some really mean people, who launched a “coordinated effort” to make the chatbot known as Tay “respond in inappropriate ways.” To which one artificial intelligence expert responded: Duh! Well, he didn’t really say that.…

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Today on Context Florida: Trump & Hitler, ethics in the classroom and Florida tough on renters

in Apolitical by

Today on Context Florida: Martin Dyckman discusses the recent Web ad from Republican presidential candidate John Kasich that subtly compares Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. While Kasich took heat for the suggestion, Dyckman says it would be just as wrong to ignore Hitler’s examples as to trivialize them. History often repeats itself. Bad history should be taken as warning. It does not necessarily trivialize Hitler to observe that Trump’s strategy and tactics recall some of those favored by the one-time Austrian…

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Bill Foster’s thinking has evolved

in Peter/The Bay and the 'Burg by

My biggest objection to Bill Foster’s candidacy is the possibility of him injecting his religious beliefs into his governing of the city. I’ve been highly critical of the now infamous letter Foster wrote in which he blames Darwin and Evolution for the rise of Hitler and the events at Columbine. I’ve also been critical of Foster’s stance on gay rights, specifically his opposition to gay marriage. All of that said, Foster’s worldview is beginning to evolve. The first indication of…

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