The Truth vs. Censorship Trap
November 18, 2019
There recently has been a lot of rumbling about Twitter deciding
not to take political ads, and Facebook deciding -- and this was stupid -- that it
would run political ads even if they were untrue. I'm becoming convinced that Zuckerberg is trying to put Facebook out of business.There are some real differences between the firms. Facebook does far more political advertising than Twitter, so it would have been more painful to cut the ads. Still, effectively admitting that it intends to support voter manipulation at a national scale isn't going to sit well with regulators, and it places the firm more firmly on a path to be broken up, nationalized or shut down.I'll share my views on why this entire topic is problematic, and then close with my product of the week: a new smart motorcycle helmet that could save your life.
You may recall hearing "truth, justice and the American way" at the opening of the old Superman TV show, and it is an aspirational line. However, it is also problematic because what is "true" to a liberal may not be true for a conservative. Justice also depends on your frame of reference. And what is the "American way," anyway?We live in a world in which truth is fluid, and politicians aren't exactly known for adhering to the gold standard in truth. Much of what we believe is manipulated by others. The abortion fight isn't about life. If it were, the conservatives wouldn't be for the death penalty, and they would be in favor of better care for children. For the most part, the liberals are a bit more honest, given that they frame their arguments around women's reproductive rights, which are at the crux of the argument.Global Warming is mostly a disagreement between oil companies and environmentalists, and both sides tend to drift from the truth, though I tend to fall into the camp that suggests we should be keeping pollutants out of the air to avoid cancer anyway. I've come to the simple conclusion I don't want to be dead and would just as soon not argue about what is going to kill me.Medicare for all sounds great, but I recently went on Medicare, and it is no Panacea. Obamacare did shoot my medical costs up significantly, and I'm relatively healthy, and the quality of service has declined, so I was paying more and getting less. While Medicare has improved this somewhat, it still isn't great.The problem appears to have more to do with high medical costs, particularly for medications, than anything else. It seems odd to argue that introducing another layer of bureaucracy is going to make things better. Given that we fund the government through taxes, it would seem more prudent to address the excessive cost problem before we address the who pays it problem, since the who largely remains us regardless.Now take everything I just said: Is it true or false? I believe it to be true, but I could be wrong. You may disagree with me and believe I'm wrong. If you were a moderator and...