Ben Thompson at Stratechery has a post that gives me hope. It is pretty easy to get spun out on negativity when thinking about the state of affairs in the world, but Ben’s suggested defaults offer an antidote:
- First, it should be the default that free speech is a good thing, that more information is better than less information, and that the solution to misinformation is improving our ability to tell the difference, not futilely trying to be China-lite without any of the upside.
- Second, it should be the default that the status quo is a bad thing; instead of justifying why something should be done, the burden of proof should rest on those who believe things should remain the same. This sounds radical, but given the fact that the world is undergoing profound changes driven by the Internet, it is the attempt to preserve the unsustainable that is radical.
- Third, it should be the default to move fast, and value experimentation over perfection. The other opportunity cost of decisions not made is lessons not learned; given the speed with which information is disseminated, this cost is higher than ever.
The misinformation problem has been the most pressing issue in my mind, with Trump, COVID and vaccines being at the forefront. Thompson helps make me think of misinformation as mold; much better for it to see the light of day than be stuck in a dark corner to fester.
The latter two are just great ways to live life, run an organization, or participate in citizenship.