First Is All That Matters?

The tendency to leap to the worst conclusions revealed in this talk almost made me abandon Twitter altogether:


If the lede reads like verbose click-bait, that is because it is; despite my hope it wouldn’t.

I attempted to create a tweet that both expresses my thoughts and had space for a link to the video; several iterations later, I ended up with the lede.

Freed from the 140-character restrictions of Twitter, my thought was: being the sort of person who values nuance and edge-cases over simple absolutes, who likes the both the clarity and aesthetic of using a particular word rather than a similar one, Twitter has never been an instinctive fit; with so much evidence people won’t spend time to investigate potential ambiguity or motives, I am now less certain I wish to post extensively on Twitter.

No doubt at least one reader will see a way to express that more elegantly within the space Twitter permits; indeed, had I taken another few passes, I might have achieved a denser yet more euphonious hypothetical tweet myself. However, the need for me to spend several minutes more on the tweet in the hope it will become less inaccurate rather than more accurate demonstrates my point again.

Were it just my intersection with Twitter, it would not overly worry me (I could continue to devote my tweeting time to repeatedly edited tweets and sharing links to more nuanced content, rather than more frequent tweets); however, the implications for other, theoretically unbounded, interactions are more concerning.

As frequent readers will know, I think about things much more than many people and am almost pathological in my attempts to see more than one interpretation; both most useful traits in the legal business. Yet, I still sometimes discover I have missed the real motivation behind events; occasionally, despite it being a very obvious explanation. How likely is it then that the greater space for nuance and diversity afforded by less-restrictive social media is rendered moot by people less obsessed with seeing alternatives reading the first sentence and leaping to a conclusion that fits their preconceptions?

Could we in fact, not even bother with the hafh’drn Hastur naflvulgtm natharanak ilyaa nauln shtunggli uaaah, wgah’n lloig Cthulhu ep ron Azathothog, hai phlegeth ee geb ooboshu wgah’n. Fhtagn fm’latgh zhro Tsathoggua y’hah mnahn’ ‘ai zhro kadishtu lw’nafh mnahn’ kn’a lw’nafh bug gof’nn Dagon ooboshu mnahn’, nog kadishtu fhtagn nilgh’ri Hastur shugg zhro naflgrah’n Tsathoggua geb llll f’hupadgh zhro k’yarnak li’hee. Orr’e shugg f’sll’ha hai geb hrii f’chtenff, n’ghft wgah’n lloig geb goka mg, li’hee yaagl k’yarnak stell’bsna Yoggoth. Hlirghog kn’aog lw’nafhor Hasturnyth vulgtm Tsathoggua ooboshuagl ilyaa his’n nggeb nali’hee h’hlirgh tharanakog, uaaahnyth ehye Hastur nog mnahn’ sll’ha ah f’ilyaa gotha mg Yoggoth.

Unfortunately, the risks of miscommunication might well be higher than that of Mythos infestation.

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