Category Archives: Media

The misdirection in the ‘elites’ discourse.

There are respectable ways of knowing how things are run and who the beneficiaries are. Over-indulged misdirection about ‘elites’ isn’t one of them.

If you’re looking for good answers to the big old questions around “who runs things around here, and who do they aim to serve?”, then Anthony Downs’ work on ‘rational ignorance’, or Mancur Olson’s on productivity and the logic of collective action from the 1960s and ’70s is a great place to start. Continue reading here.

How to defeat Cancel Culture.

The key is to defend the independence of editors from all of their enemies. And those enemies are not all in The Woke Mob.

Maureen Lipman is the latest in a long line of artists and writers to complain about the chilling effect Cancel Culture can have on the arts. I have some sympathy with her view. Don’t risk sophisticated witticisms. Appease that lowest common denominator that has a bad-faith agenda, or an inability to process irony.

Read more:

Fake news, and confiscating megaphones

There are two kinds of ‘fake news’ – we should be more tolerant of the one that seems to annoy us a lot, and we should be more worried about the one that we’ve always accepted.

Taking Twitter seriously

TwitterA quick aside. I keep reading about how awful public debate is on Twitter.

No-one would bother getting upset about how awful public debate is on 4Chan.

Like 4Chan, Twitter was not designed as a place to debate anything in any sensible way. If you’re using Twitter as anything other than a newsfeed, you’re going to get trolled, and outside the microclimate of people who take debate on Twitter seriously, what is said on Twitter doesn’t really matter.

Step away.