We need skeptics. We need more skepticism. Less rash judgements and hot takes and fewer biases confirmed.
No more magical thinking. Less woo-woo.
Less Fake News and less referring to news that we don’t like as Fake News.
We need news networks that don’t trade in conspiracy to sell ads.
We need institutions to be held in check, but we need them to be held in check responsibly.
We need evidence-based governing and we need to hold our political parties to higher standards than winning at all cost.
We need truths that are also facts. We need whistleblowers that respect that the role of whistleblowing is larger than any one whistleblower.
We need self-help products that don’t make claims about “toxins.” We need movie stars that don’t want us to put coffee in strange places, and we need them to understand that vaccines are important.
We need headlines that don’t mimic the conversation style of 17-year-olds.
We need to ground ourselves in reality. Come back from the edges. Build politics of coalitions, not of isolation, exclusivity, or exclusion.
We need skepticism.
We need optimism.
We can and should have both.
CJ Chilvers runs a great blog. Especially when he writes about blogging. I’m a sucker for that kind of thing. He linked to a post from the IA Blog about some people ditching social media and returning to blogs:
There seems to be a weak undercurrent of old and young bloggers like us that feel sentimental or curious and want to bring back blogging. Blogging won’t save the world. But, hell, after two weeks now, we can confirm: it feels great to be back on the blogging line. If you are one of those old or young bloggers, please join in. Drop Facebook, drop Twitter and drop Medium for original thought. Own your traffic. You can use them to engage in discussion. But don’t get lost in there. Write daily. Publish as often as you have something to say. Link to other blogs.
The why is clear: social media is messing us up as people and as a society.
It feels good to get away from algorithmic feeds, stop reading about the daily dismantling of liberal democracy, and look for what’s interesting in the open waters of the Web. Write about things. Share things. Read beyond the headlines. Read other people’s thoughts on the world. Thoughts that aren’t overcooked into two-dollar advice listicles on Medium. Speculative thoughts. Weird thinking. Writing that isn’t trying to sell something or kickstart someone’s career as some sort of guru. Be reminded about the greatness of Kottke.
I’ve been writing here again and I can feel it making me better at my work. I’m finding more interesting things out in the world again. I don’t have to worry about being attacked by Russian MAGA bots. And I generally feel better about the Internet.