There’s been quite a lot of people leaving Twitter because Elon Musk has decided to try and buy the platform. I’ve been thinking what to do about this and whether I care or not. I’m no fan of Elon Musk. I’m pretty sure he’s a disingenuous fool who says lots of things but it’s all self-serving promotion. I don’t even think he’s a business genius. So, when all the news broke about him buying Twitter I did have a few thoughts about whether I should stay on the platform. But then, what’s the difference between him owning it and a bunch of faceless investors owning it? I don’t think it will make a difference to me and my uses of twitter.
Then there’s the concept that he’ll allow “free speech” on the platform. Well, that’s interesting because in my experience that just means racists will be racist. As a private company Twitter can set whatever rules it wants given the current status of “things being said on the internet are not the responsibility of the platforms on which they are said”. Can you imagine having to moderate all the gigabytes of data that gets sent to these platforms for dodgy content? Who would be doing the monitoring and what would the rules be? At the moment Twitter is like advertising in the UK. It’s fine until someone complains about it. There are rules but you only have to follow them if someone raises an issue.
I’ve got quite a lot invested in Twitter in terms of this website. If I delete all my data then every tweet that I’ve embedded over the years on my communications will be removed and to be honest it will change the look and feel of this site. If there’s an option to download all my tweets and images and try to then re-link every tweet on this site then that’s something I could look into but the time and challenge to do that might make it not worth it. I am invested – time wise – into twitter and so removing that would bother me. I am aware that this is the “sunk cost” fallacy. It wouldn’t matter to anyone but me if I left twitter. That place has been a rabid discourse of racists and arseholes for over eight years now [everything went shit in the middle of 2016] so leaving now wouldn’t change much.
I would like to introduce a new logical fallacy into the world.
The argument from “PROFESSIONALISM”.
This argument is provided by those who wish to change organisations and structures. The conversation might go something like:
“We want to make you work 20 hours more in a week. As a professional you must agree that this would increase the time you have to work.”
Essentially it seems rather a hard argument to try and battle. If you are a professional then you want to do your job to the best that you can. You also think that you are open to change and improving outcomes. So, this “you should agree with me” approach seems rather hard to argue against.
My problem with this argument backing up changes in an organisation is that pretty much anything can be justified using the “you’re a professional and so would want the best for your sector”. This is why the argument shouldn’t be used. If your argument can be extended (a bit like the slippery slope) to back up anything then it invalidates the points you are trying to put across.
“You can’t disagree with these new standards as they surely improve what it is that is expected of you as a professional.”
Again this seems hard to argue against. But there is a counter argument to be made. As a professional I should be expected to do all that I reasonalby can to ensure that I work my best. There is a limit to what can physically be done and the expectation on professionals should stop before that limit is reached.
Time for the world to use arguments that really back up what they want to do. Some evidence wouldn’t go amiss either [not just anecdote].
I have two children. One is currently two and the other is two months. I love them both to bits and think it is the best thing I have ever done (bloody hard work too). I think that the best I can ask for is that they both end up with happy and fulfilled lives.
Anyway, the way we learn how to deal with children contains the biggest logical fallacy. We expect children to react to what we do and tell them. We hope and expect that when we ask something of that child they do it because of what we have done in the past. We expect that when I child is upset or being difficult whatever we try and works that particular time should work every time. Now that is a big no-no. I have become more and more convinced that children are complete random action generators.
They do not follow the rules of what we expect. They follow rules written in the edges of clouds and butterfly wings. We try something and it works, therefore it should work every time. Wrong. The reasons behind the action are different every time and so the reaction needs to change too. We are just very good at changing our reaction depending on what we see. We like to kid ourselves that we have it sorted and understand the children so well. We don’t. Humans just love the patterns in life and where we spend most energy and time gives us the biggest case for patternicity.
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc!