Using Political Twitter

On Oct 17, 2020, at 1:56 PM, ‘Alan Forrester’ via Fallible Ideas wrote:

On 17 Oct 2020, at 19:07, Elliot Temple wrote:

[Alan’s blog post The state is not your friend | Conjectures and Refutations says]:

They [the govt] are not serving anybody by threatening Grimes.

They sorta are since they have lots of citizens who want Grimes threatened.

It’s not like they have a reply to Mises pointing out flaws in his ideas.

Most of them are social climbers, not intellectuals.


People in the UK worship the state and even when they disagree with the government in power.

Over-generalization condemning “People in the UK” with no “most” or “many”, and typo.


Is there something wrong with what I’m saying?

Some thoughts:

Are your tweets what John Galt or Howard Roark would tweet?

What is the purpose of the tweets? What is you goal(s) and what is your means of achieving it? Do you have a plan?

Are you trying to educate or persuade people? I think that’d take more explanation than you do in the tweets. And signaling libertarian tribe allegiance (as people will see it) causes some problems there. Part of those problems are due to genuine flaws with the libertarian tribe.

Some of these tweets don’t signal openness to discussion or having high quality reasoning to available in your mind to elaborate on the claims in the tweets. There are a lot of shallow tweets, including which make correct claims, whose authors couldn’t explain much more than they said in their tweet. Some of your tweets poorly differentiate yourself from those authors (even though you actually do know a bunch more arguments and info).

Why be into politics like this? Are you having fun? Do you think it provides practical benefit to you? Why don’t you do other things like physics or epistemology?

It’s not fun or beneficial. I should stop.

I’m annoyed because I think people should know better about this stuff than they do. But they don’t know any better so there’s no point in getting annoyed.

I think I liked twitter because I could see lots of stuff. But now I’m thinking it’s low quality stuff so I think I’m filling my life with crap.

I think I’m not going to bother with twitter much anymore. I don’t think any of the tweets you quoted were good. I lowered my standards. I might tweet out links to blog posts but I don’t think I’ll do anything else.

Thanks for the criticism.


I think you haven’t stopped, @alanforr, nor followed up to critically discuss the issue more thoroughly. Conceding too early, without learning enough to change, and then dropping the matter, is a way of protecting a behavior or value from criticism.

The steps to change a habit/autopilot/policy include observing what you do, trying to understand why and the benefits, coming up with an idea you think would be better which is a win/win not a compromise, using conscious control to try out the new idea, and using conscious control to practice the new thing until it becomes automatic. I’ve written about these steps in various places so I won’t explain it all again here.

You’re right. I hadn’t stopped.

There is some stuff on twitter that’s funny or weird or interesting and it doesn’t require much effort to engage with it. The win/win would be to do something more interesting instead. After reading “The Choice” I realised that doing easy stuff all the time makes life kinda boring. So I’ve decided to spend more time on CF and reading and less on Twitter and so far I haven’t missed it much.

You haven’t posted again, even once, since you wrote this 9 days ago.

My serious, considered advice: Something is going wrong. Hire ingracke to help you privately. Something like 2 calls a month. You need the advice as well as the regular reminders about philosophy stuff.

I felt upset after reading this post. I thought that was irrationality on my part so I stopped posting for a while because I thought I’d say something dumb if I didn’t carefully consider what the problem was.

Did you figure anything out?

I think it’s because I dislike parts of my life and I had to face up to that because of the post.

I don’t see why if your main takeaway was basically “it was underexplained; add more framing to some posts”. If that’s it, then I don’t see what’d be very threatening or problematic about the ~impersonal analysis of common social dynamics in our culture. Based on your reply, it sounds like you were either ignorant of those social dynamics or forgot about them at the time. In both of those cases, I would expect it to be kinda fun to read the analysis, similar to reading other philosophy analysis. I’m unclear on what negative things you had to face unless it was something about being too tired and careless too often.

BTW have you been reading my posts in general on the forum lately, or are you behind on a bunch? You might have felt uniquely challenged and singled out, when actually I’ve written a lot of kinda similar comments recently.