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Big Revolution - Thinking more [Members only]

Welcome, members! And a merry Christmas to you if you celebrate. It's Christmas Eve and once I hit pu
December 24 · Issue #302 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome, members! And a merry Christmas to you if you celebrate. It’s Christmas Eve and once I hit publish on this edition, I have plenty of preparation to do for the big day.

Big things you need to know today
  • The Gatwick drone mystery continues. Two suspects were released without charge yesterday, leading one police office to admit there’s a chance there never was a drone in the first place. Investigations continue, and UK government ministers will discuss the saga today.
  • HQ Trivia has launched the new game it hopes will help ensure it has a future. HQ Words began last night in the US, as co-founder Rus Yusupov was named the company’s new CEO, following the tragic death last week of Colin Kroll.
The big thought
Credit: Marten Bjork on Unsplash
Thinking more
It’s no secret that Twitter’s enforced brevity means people boil down their arguments to their simplest possible forms.
People of all backgrounds and worldviews espouse simplistic, binary opinions despite these people being fully aware of how complicated, complex, and nuanced the world really is. Issue X is brilliant. Person Y is satan incarnate.
It’s this refusal to ever admit nuance - to see it as a rhetorical weakness - that means people end up arguing and blocking each other over things they’d probably agree on if they had a conversation about it over coffee.
But being fair, understanding and even handed gets fewer likes and retweets. Just like Facebook and Instagram encourage us to show a glossier version of our real lives, Twitter rewards us for taking extreme positions that may only partly reflect our real opinion. We’ve all become columnists in the world’s worst newspaper.
And probably around 80% of the negative sentiment on Twitter could be avoided if people picked their battles better. Do you have a reason to care about a certain issue, or are you just getting involved because you love the drama? If it’s the latter, why not stop and ask yourself if it isn’t better not to tweet about it at all.
A few nights ago, someone had a go at me on Twitter, asking how I could possibly claim to know anything about technology if I asked a question “like that.” I wasn’t sure what he meant, as I hadn’t asked a question. I calmly probed further, and found out he had completely misread one of my tweets and was picking on me for something I hadn’t said.
For some, this could have turned into war, with him unable to back down and me unable to let go. We’d have ended up blocking each other or having a performative battle in quote-tweets for hours. But no, he realised his mistake and apologised. I ‘liked’ his response, and that was it. Refreshingly simple!
How about in 2019, we all learn to think before we tweet?
Ask yourself: Have you over-simplified what you want to say to put character count over nuance? Could you reword it to avoid confusion?
Is that tweet you’re about to reply to worth your time, or could you just ignore it and get on with your day? The answer is almost always the latter.
Oh and if this message somehow gets to Jack Dorsey, removing retweet and like counts from public view would help immensely – there’s less pressure to 'perform’ for approval if you don’t know as much about what your audience thinks
One big read
Why It's Hard to Escape Amazon's Long Reach Why It's Hard to Escape Amazon's Long Reach
Wired attempts to list all the pies Amazon has its fingers in. Amazon clearly has a lot of fingers.
One big tweet
I know this feeling.
Oliver Burkeman
Signing off Twitter now to spend Christmas scrolling through Twitter but unable to post because I said I’d signed off
6:40 PM - 23 Dec 2018
That’s all for today...
I’ll be back in your inbox on the 27th. Have a great few days over Christmas, whether you celebrate or not.
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