[Link] Regular news vs. newsletter news – Slow Boring

Hey folks. I think if I were in a normal columnist job, I’d be expected to do impeachment takes this week where the goal would be not so much to persuade anyone of anything as simply to restate the views the audience already has, in a better-crafted way one hopes, so as to induce them to share the column on Facebook.

Original source: Regular news vs. newsletter news – Slow Boring

[Link] How to be less full of shit

Predictions can be used to express hopes, which are not actually “predictions”:

But that really is my main takeaway from the study of predictions: don’t predict so much stuff! Predictions are commonly used as one form or another of bad faith rhetorical device in punditry. People predict doom for politicians as a way of saying they don’t like them or predict failure of political tactics as a way of saying they don’t approve of them. Or they’ll issue dire prophecies of doom as a way of saying they want to get people more concerned. This encourages sloppy thinking. And its alarm-raising form is particularly harmful. If you think back to January 2020 it was perfectly reasonable to think the new virus in Wuhan wouldn’t become a global pandemic. But a 15 percent chance of a global pandemic is really bad! We need people to be able to discuss moderately improbable bad events without sounding like the boy who cried wolf.

Original source: How to be less full of shit

[Link] Scoring points by being cynical

Basically, the understanding is that whoever can paint the darkest possible portrait of the status quo is the one who is showing the most commitment to the cause. And you see this norm at work across climate change, health care, criminal justice reform, the economy, and everything else. If you’re not saying the sky is falling, that shows you don’t really care. A true comrade in the struggle would deny that any progress has been made or insist that any good news is trivial.

I tend to think this approach to politics is counterproductive — it’s psychologically and emotionally exhausting, out of touch with people’s lived experience of the world, and ultimately demoralizing and un-motivating.

Original source: Scoring points by being cynical