An odd complaint about Twitter

There is little room for indulging nuance, complexity, or flirting with the middle ground.

True, it is only 140 characters…

30 thoughts on “An odd complaint about Twitter”

  1. “But there’s also a way in which social networks seem to be feeding a cycle of action and reaction. In just about every news event, the Internet’s reaction to the situation becomes a follow-on part of the story, so that much of the media establishment becomes trapped in escalating, infinite loops of 140-character, knee-jerk insta-reaction.”

    Well, duh. Because that’s the incentive. Donald Trump and Katie Hopkins are doing the same thing that music promoters used to do of promoting Eminem because it creates hype and division and a product to sell to one side. The people in America who think that Muslims are a big problem now have a figurehead, and he’ll soon have a book to sell them.

    The reality is that everyone wins from this. Idiots get their ridiculous blowhard champion to have faith in changing things. The self-righteous get their chance to signal their righteous condemnation. Donald Trump gets some money.

  2. What price Trump has dementia? I’m not just throwing that out there – I just can’t fathom how stupid he appears – for someone so successful. I’m looking for some sort of angle in there, in that he has a genius plan to play stupid because it has some weird appeal to the masses that few of us can see, or something – but occam’s razor says its probably just dementia.

    Oh, and how funny would it be to find out that millions of seemingly sane people have been cheering on the confused ramblings of a senile mental case…

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Malta – “What price Trump has dementia? I’m not just throwing that out there – I just can’t fathom how stupid he appears – for someone so successful.”

    What makes you think he sounds stupid? I love the guy for pushing the Overton window. Every time he says something, the rest of us becoming that little bit more free.

    Back to the point, I would think most of this blog is under 140 characters. And most people do nuance, complexity and occasionally flirting with the middle ground just fine. Not me of course.

  4. One thing I’ve noticed about successful people who’ve been successful by their own efforts, rather than being at the front of the queue in the silver spoon hand out. They don’t do much “indulging nuance, complexity, or flirting with the middle ground.” Partially, I’m minded, it’s why they’re successful. Confidence. But also, because they’re success means they don’t have to concern themselves with being nuanced or the middle ground. All that’s for the also rans.

  5. successful people who’ve been successful by their own efforts, rather than being at the front of the queue in the silver spoon handout

    But we were talking about La Donald? Fred was somewhat more than fairly well off.

  6. Just a general observation, SE.
    But, come to think of it, the spawn of the movers & shakers often go on the same. Why some second generation moneyed can be such complete assholes & do their level best to dissipate what daddy accumulated.
    They’re only valuable attributes when you’re right.

  7. BiS

    The way I heard it is:

    The parents makes the money

    The children, having seen how hard the parents worked to make the money, make sure to look after it.

    The grandchildren, having always been surrounded by cash, have no sense and blow the lot.

  8. Bloke in Malta – The Donald Trump you see is a persona. It’s no more real than the public face of any other politician or celebrity.

    In The Donald’s case, he’s like a rhetorical bull in a politically correct china shop. He plays the big bluff Noo Yawk billionaire with no fucks given.

    Turns out that:

    a) a lot of Americans like confident people who unapolagetically mock political correctness, and

    b) Trump’s attention-grabbing bombast has the effect of forcing his opponents to respond to him. So instead of talking about their own platforms, the other candidates and the media are spending most of their time talking about Trump.

    Attacking Trump, to be sure, but in this election cycle every attack just feeds his legend, because Yanks are sick of being told what to think by the MSM and establishment pols.

    And where lame duck “respectable” establishment pols like Bush and Clinton have spunked fortunes in advertising money to little effect, Trump has gotten tens of millions of dollars of publicity – for free.

    That’s not stupid.

  9. @SMFS fair enough at him not exactly keeping it PC – I’m all for saying what you wanna say – but what he says sounds pretty dumb. As in blocking all Muslim civilians from entering the US is really silly for a lot of reasons (logistics, diplomatics, economics) and can’t be taken as a serious pragmatic policy – even outside of the moral question of whether it is right to judge all Muslims by the actions of a few, blah blah.

    And, even then, it really is a bit disproportionate to that one shooting – considering he is also against gun control, despite all the other shootings. But yeah, fuck it, I’d be here all day if I was to list all the other reasons that he appears stupid.

  10. It might be that Trump is simply saying what he personally believes to be true. I’m trying really hard to see what is so insane about saying, “Group X contains significant numbers of people who are a threat to us, therefore we should consider whether to let them in”. Dementia? Isn’t it more demented to do the opposite?

    Look, I used to have a significant connection with a gay bar in London. I often went there for a drink late on, and sometimes already the worse for wear. Once or twice they had a new doorman and had a bit of trouble getting in (imagine me slurring, “go and find [the owner]”.

    They had a door policy against drunken, non-gay rocker types stumbling in because as a group, such people may cause trouble. That isn’t discriminating (in some “hate” sense) against people like me. It was just practical. Bear this in mind; it’s not just a matter of whether said types may cause a scene, attack people, etc. But if a nominally gay bar is predominantly full of straight blokes, it loses its character. Its culture. It becomes less comfortable a venue for the gay people it’s primarily for.

    So, a door policy. A selective border control policy.

    Which part of this becomes mad and evil when it’s, in this case, Muslims entering a non-Muslim nation in massive numbers, I have yet to discern.

  11. As to Twatter, its lack of nuance and incapacity for proper discussion or debate and thus inevitable character of soundbites, slogans and re-tweets, is why the Left like it, having found that more reasoned social media discourse, like blogs, leaves them to exposed to criticism.

  12. I think the most telling comparison is that Trump has spent $21,000 on advertising hjis campaign and jeb Bush is somewhere north of $35Mn

    Trump 38% – Bush 3%…

    Also bar Trump (and maybe Carson and Cruz) the rest of the Republican field are complete ball-less tossers…

  13. I also think that the thought that all Muslims might be barred entry as a result of their lunatic fringe might just encourage the moderates (who seem to do and say fuck all) to actually police their own communities.

  14. Maybe he’s throwing out wild ideas and see if people can justify them for or throw out more reasonable ideas on the same basis rather than think things through himself, like Johnny suggestion that it could influence moderates

  15. Well said at 7.40 and 7.42, IanB.

    What Trump says doesn’t bother me, but the way he says it does. To convince people of the Muslim threat (terrorist and demographic) we need calm and measured language, as IanB uses above. Btw, Trump’s response to McCain was rather nasty.

  16. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Malta – “As in blocking all Muslim civilians from entering the US is really silly for a lot of reasons (logistics, diplomatics, economics) and can’t be taken as a serious pragmatic policy – even outside of the moral question of whether it is right to judge all Muslims by the actions of a few, blah blah.”

    Why? It would be hard to keep people of French citizenship who are actually Moroccan out, but it would be easy enough to say no more Saudis or Pakistanis. This is a sensible policy and we should have done it years ago.

    Jimmy Carter banned all Iranians from coming to the US. Was this stupid? Counter-productive? Somehow it is always different when Democrats do it.

    “And, even then, it really is a bit disproportionate to that one shooting”

    Yeah but it is not one shooting is it?

    Theophrastus – “What Trump says doesn’t bother me, but the way he says it does.”

    So you are simply buying into the Leftist narrative pushed by the mainstream media – he is a big meanie. Don’t go there. The BBC is not your friend.

    “To convince people of the Muslim threat (terrorist and demographic) we need calm and measured language, as IanB uses above.”

    I don’t think that we need to convince anyone of the Muslim threat. We know it. They know it. We deplore it. They celebrate it. The problem is that our treasonous ruling elites have no solutions – and lack the courage to even discuss it openly. Trump does not. Trump will continue to dominate the polls until those treasonous elites find a way to have a sane conversation about this that leads to actual real policies.

    Not just telling people that they have to accept they will be blown up any time a Muslim feels aggrieved and there is nothing they will do about it. Which is Cameron’s position at the moment.

    ” Btw, Trump’s response to McCain was rather nasty.”

    Trump is not a nice person. But if the sensible people in the room refuse to be sensible, then the not-nice people will dominate.

    The real fear is that this is the start of the Likud-isation of Western politics. The Israeli Labour Party dominated Israeli politics for generations after 1949. But they had no solution to terrorism. The Likudniks – who were very nasty people indeed and often still are – did and now they dominate. Where is the Labour Party now? Where is the Left that used to be their main opposition?

    We can have no Muslims or no liberals. In both senses. Your choice.

  17. Reminds me of school and how in English language we had to reduce a piece of text to ever smaller versions

  18. SMFS

    You misunderstand me, and I should have been clearer. I don’t like the way in which Trump says things because I believe it’s counter-productive, not because I particularly disagree with him.

    You are wrong though that we don’t have to convince everyone of the terrorist threat from Islam. Our “treasonous elites” mouth platitudes about the religion of peace because that is what most people want to hear. Faced with terrorist slaughter, most people will weep or virtue-signal or light a candle or engage in a group-hug or sing Lennon’s fatuous ditty, ‘Imagine’. Combatting such decadence requires sober, rational language – like IanB used.

  19. @Theo & IanB
    “To convince people of the Muslim threat (terrorist and demographic) we need calm and measured language,”

    Who do you think you’re needing to convince, here. Pretty well any opinion poll shows the public are entirely aware & convinced of the Muslim threat. There seems to be widespread consensus what to do about it.
    The only people it seems need convincing is the ruling elites. And you could be calm & measured with them until your jaw dropped off with material fatigue. Their interests are not the public’s interests.
    Would have though it was obvious, by now. The only way to get a politician’s interest & compliance is to pose a direct threat. To politicians.

  20. SMFS – it’s not practical because it’s not practical – how do you tell if someone is a Muslim, ask them to eat a pork sandwich at the arrival gates? It doesn’t exactly say ‘Muslim’ on their passports, like it does ‘Iranian’.

    I’m not some lefty idealist – I believe in certain things, like a small liberal state – and employing a shit load of government agents to inspect the lives of possible Muslims/random brown people, so that we may chuck them out of the country, smacks of a big illiberal state. This argument is a self interested one, in that I personally don’t want to live in a state like that – without even bringing in the philosophical argument that we shouldn’t prejudge people without evidence, which is probably a powerful enough argument all by itself.

  21. We already live in an illiberal state.

    As to practicality, the easiest solution would be a total immigration moratorium. The only new citizenships should be granted to newborns whose parents are both themselves citizens. We do not need any more citizens. There is no reason to accept anyone.

    It should not have come to this of course, but then we are in a classic “I wouldn’t start from here” situation due to decades of disastrous policy driven by ideological extremists.

  22. I have a 15 minute video conference with London every morning – there’s only one native born Englishman in a team of seven on the London side of the call. If there had of been a moratorium on immigration there may be only one person on that side of the call, and maybe an extra six people on this side of the call.

    I’m not sure how long that would last either – it’s a lot of effort to keep one person in the loop. It’s not as if a majority of our customers are British, or we are even a British company, or anything – for any top level jobs we don’t need to be there at all. Just pay our VAT where it’s due, and continue to have market share, while basing all operations (outside of the logistical) somewhere a bit more liberal – where the cleverest person gets the job, even if he has a funny accent and a different skin pigment.

    Welcome to a globalised world. You’ll struggle to nitpick the bits of a liberal free market economy you like, while restricting the bits you don’t like – and if you try, you’ll end up with all the unintended consequences, and be in the same ‘it is just isn’t fair’ place as those miserable Guardian types.

  23. So, if somebody doesn’t move from country B to country A, the consequence is that they do their business and live their life in country B to country A. Um, yes. So?

    As I said, we would not be in a position of making hard choices if ideological fools had not forced us this far down the road. If you are on a coach and the driver drives it into a lake, don’t blame the man leading you out that your feet are wet.

    And we will not be remembered fondly for sacrificing the peoples of Europe for a few points of GDP. There is more to life than economics. Liberals should not keep making the Marxist (traditional form) mistake of thinking everything else is superstructural to the mode of production.

  24. “live their life in country B to country A.”

    I garbled that, it should be “live their life in country B rather than country A”.

  25. BiM

    I understand your concerns; but these are desperate times. The UK cannot cope with any more muslim immigration. The threat – demographic as well as terrorist – is too great. So immigration, visas and work permits from muslim majority countries must be severely restricted. Since most muslim countries are ‘loser’ countries, the economic effect on the UK would be minimal. While this filter would be imperfect, it would reduce the UK’s attractiveness to muslims generally, and enable the security services to keep tabs more easily on the few allowed in.

  26. @Theo
    “These people need convincing:”
    Links to article about Brit criticism of Donald Trump.

    To be honest, Theo, who gives a monkey’s what Brits think of Donald trump? Certainly few US voters. Can’t say I find the topic riveting.
    And what is that YouGov survey telling you?
    Half of Brits surveyed would disagree with what a US president said, irrespective of what he’d said or even which president it was. If they even knew who was president.
    Then there’s the Graun comment crowd who’d cheer Obama on kitten drowning & foam at the mouth at any Republican on Mom & apple pie.

    Generally, people are fairly relaxed about shitting on doorsteps problems far from home. Shitting on THEIR doorstep’s a whole other matter

  27. BiS
    The link showed that 64% of Brits disagree with Trump’s suggestion that the US should close its borders to muslims. It’s reasonable to conclude that pretty much the same number would oppose the UK closing our borders to muslims, when in my view that is exactly what should be done.

    Now, you claimed:
    Pretty well any opinion poll shows the public are entirely aware & convinced of the Muslim threat. There seems to be widespread consensus what to do about it.
    Yet YouGov’s poll findings suggest very strongly that you are wrong about that. Have you any polling evidence to back up your assertion?

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