Thursday, January 25, 2018

The "general public" seems to lack the cognition to interpret all the free speech thrown at it on social media


George Will led of Thursday with a column “When thewhole country becomes a campus safe space”, which reminds me of “when the world is led by a child” by David Brooks (the “child” has become “President Poopiepants” on Facebook).
  
Will talks about “Truth Decay” as if our impromptu  social media system needed root canal therapy at the dentist.  The public has trouble distinguishing facts (from a shared set) from opinion or interpretation. Remember Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts” oxymoron?  (She is an attorney and should know what a “fact pattern” is.) One problem is that social values are often presented (particularly in religious contexts) as facts (like how marriage used to be presented) when values can be spun by speakers.  The “morality” of how I have led my own life would be very much a matter of opinion related to postulated moral values.  We think about the “Axiom of Choice” in mathematics.

The Washington Post continues with a no-brainer editorial, “social media sites can’t allow fake news to take over.”
  
  
We’re getting uncomfortably (or Milo-dangerously) close to an assessment of who has the right to be heard as an individual.  People can reasonably want me to meet certain expectations (aka requirements) before having my own floor, and I can retort by saying “you” have no principles involved, only what clinical psychologists call “reactive responses”.  You could certainly reasonably question me about apparently low community engagement (formal volunteering, especially after belonging to a group and taking orders from others), or, the lack of legitimate marketing campaigns, that would be present if I could really meet consumer “needs”. 
  

I can say that, having downsized and moved into a smaller (condo) space, I am trying to tool up to actually “sell” a novel, a screenplay, and some music (some of it composed in teen years) through legitimate channels.  This leaves little or no time for more conventionally “other-directed” social interactions.  I have to play “Good Doctor”.  O do need to get some skills up, and I can imagine how they could improve my ability to help others more directly.  (One example: get better at tournament chess again.) 

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