Public speech is a bad idea
June 17, 2015
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The Greeks and Romans dedicated much of their education to the study of rhetoric. It feels quite bizarre today, that people spent years studying the art of giving speeches and being persuasive, rather than trying to learn actual, real stuff.
But they had their priorities straight. Rhetoric is the art of public speech. And public speech is generally just a bad idea. If you must engage in public speech, you better study very, very hard, so that you have a shot at getting something out of it.
We of course have ignored this lesson at our own peril. And we have made public speech so much more open and pervasive. Which only works to feed the evil and the insane.
And the commissar comes down.
Well if you don’t want to learn, you better get out of Twitter. Being on Twitter is like getting drunk and speaking your mind about the revolution in 1794 Paris. Note that Sam Altman is gay-in-tech, and that didn’t save them from criticism. Now you need to cross-dress for that. Soon they’ll require actually chopping it off.
Paul Graham, who’s not stupid, points out that if public conversations don’t work, private conversations will happen.
Well actually private conversations have been going on for quite a while. You noticed this blog has been slow? That other good blogs have either hibernated or disappeared altogether? You miss some old commenters who are nowhere to be seen?
Well guess where they are.
Hint: not on Twitter.
So if you want to have some private conversations, you can send me an email. I hear the guys at Hestia have something going on too. So if you like what those guys write, you can email them. If you prefer what I write, you can email me. Don’t do both, that’s just bad manners.