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Bad speech is not the same as false speech. “If a false thought is so much as expressed boldly and clearly, a great deal has already been gained.” Bad speech is confused and cowardly.
“The solution to bad speech is more speech.” This is often interpreted as a call to engage with bad speech, or to set up a dichotomy between engaging with or censoring bad speech.
I see a lot of bad speech scrolling through twitter, speech that would not be worth engaging with in any context and speech that is not worth engaging in a context where engagement is a metric the platform optimizes for.
What is my solution to this? To ban this speech? To ban twitter, as a platform that is optimized for anger and hatred? My solution is to close the tab and to read a book.
The most basic decision is not what to say, but what to listen to, since what we say is in some sense a response to that, and we will always respond in kind.
If we read a lot of angry tweets, we’ll write a lot of angry tweets. If we read a lot of books, we’ll write a lot books? It’s not that easy. Of course writing an angry tweet is easier. I don’t plan to write books anyway, but I’d like to write longer essays, I’d like to talk about ideas rather then news.