So, I'm so exasperated by the lack of logic around here that I'm going to present you all with a thought exercise and limit the replies because I don't care what your responses are. When people say "well, I'm vaccinated, but I'm afraid of the people who aren't," consider this. /1
Imagine you live in Russia and vodka is free and alcoholism reaches social saturation levels, and everyone is drunk driving. You stay off the road at night and in your house. It's a pain in the ass and keeps you from doing things; you drive rarely to avoid death or injury. /2
And imagine that the U.S. government ships you a car with a system that has nearly perfect ability to sense and automatically avoid collisions. As long as that's your car, you're safe. Other cars no longer matter. The system will engage and you'll be fine. You can go back out. /3
Now imagine that your reaction is: "Look, I trust this system, but what about the other drivers who don't have it?" This is nonsense, of course. The point is that your car does. Drunks will be colliding, but not with you. Is it still possible? Sure. But *very* unlikely. /4
But maybe your answer is still to say: "Look, I'll stay at home. Who does that harm? It's my choice." And you'd be right, if your life goal is zero risk. But does it make a lick of logical sense to worry about the *other drivers*? No. No it does not. /5
"This system functions no matter what the other drivers are doing" is the whole point. If your answer to that is "yes, but what about the other drivers?," you're just refusing to comprehend that when "Condition X doesn't matter," it doesn't matter. /6
If you want to stay off the road, fine. You want to stay at home and never drive, fine. You want to trust the anti-collision system, fine. But to get through all that and then say "but the other drivers" is just irrational. /7
This example will piss people off, but this is about logic, not vaccines. "X doesn't matter" followed by "What about X, tho?" isn't a rational train of thought. /8x

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More from @RadioFreeTom

13 May
Man, I am so tired of Twitter's idiocy on this that I'm going to post this screenshot, delete it, and then say it again in a way that will make you all just as mad, but maybe with less *willful mischaracterization* of what I said. /1
1. The CDC says that unvaccinated people are not a threat to you if you are fully vaccinated.
2. If you are vaccinated but say "but I will wear a mask anyway because of unvaccinated people" then you are not accepting this basic fact
3. Not accepting facts is irrational.

4. No one is saying you can't wear a mask, and some people - with medical issues - *should* wear a mask, not just for COVID, but for any number of reasons.

5. But if you are doing it, fully vaxxed, because "someone isn't vaxxed," you're not "believing in the science."

Read 5 tweets
7 May
So we now have a landing page at Oxford U. Press, and this is my first of many pitches asking The Radio Free Tom Twitter Family to pre-order "Our Own Worst Enemy." (Pre-orders are an author's friend.) Short elevator pitch follows. /1…
I haven't monetized anything here on my feed, especially during the last campaign. You can read me at @USATODAY and @TheAtlantic and other places, but mostly I hang and inundate you with my terrible takes on everything - for free! I'm employed and can do that, so it works. /2
But as an author, I hope you'll appreciate a longer treatment of a lot of the stuff we talk about here regarding democracy and our civic environment. If you've enjoyed those discussions, I think you'll like the book. (If you liked Death of Expertise, you likely will.) /3
Read 5 tweets
6 May
The Republicans, for all their screaming about socialism and Biden, have decided to let other people run the country. They have no agenda to overturn or replace anything. They don't really care about defeating Democratic policies. This should scare you more than anything. /1
Sure, they'd take being a majority because it means power and money and security, but they don't really care about policy - beyond tax cuts for favored patrons and donors. Other than that, their goal is *never to have to live among their own voters, whom they clearly hate.* /2
Cotton, Hawley, Stefanik, Cruz didn't get top-notch educations and climb the greasy pole of power just to end up as the top attorney in Bumblefuck County or the Majority Whip in Albany or Jeff City. They're better than that, you see. Better than you. Deserving of greatness. /3
Read 6 tweets
2 May
This is like when people tell me about their friends who are engineers who are dedicated Trumpists. You can be skilled at something but in terms of emotional intelligence be a cinder block. Or you can be a street sweeper and still know right from wrong and truth from bullshit. /1
One of the things you learn when you examine "foxes" (broad knowledge) vs "hedgehogs" (deep but narrow learning) is that hedgehogs are often the wrongest people there are once outside their own field. /2
Recommending the book here by @PTetlock on this, but in general, people with super-deep but narrow knowledge can be a lot dumber about a lot of other things because all they know is that one thing they're good at. /3
Read 8 tweets
1 May
A couple of comments on this important piece by Flounoy, from a military education perspective. And remember, I don't speak for the war college or DoD or anyone but me. I don't disagree with anything here, but I want to amplify a point about personnel and education. /1
Every time we realize that our thinking is too hidebound, we get all kinds of trendy demands from the DoD: Do stuff in Chinese! Or Arabic! More high-tech education! Learn about technology! And culture! And it's a lot of band-aids that say: "Teach engineers to be strategic." /2
The problem is that when educators say: "Not only should our guys read 'The Thucydides Trap,' they maybe should read, you know, Thucydides first," the answer is: "No, not that old dusty crap, something relevant and hip! About technology and stuff!" It's a constant pressure. /3
Read 14 tweets
25 Apr
Today when we were picking arbitrary "best 10 or 20 years of pop music," we all disagreed of course, but I don't think it's just that you pick the years of your youth. Rock was born in the 50s, and has had life stages. Not an expert, but will opine for a sec.
cc @dcherring

@dcherring I totally get that people might point to 1955 to 1965 as the greatest period of ferment and change, going from Perry Como to the Beatles in just ten years. It's an amazing time. "She Loves You" still sounds ...revolutionary to me, as music. Dylan. Elvis. I get it. /2
But that music is still tentative and commercial and produced in mono by old guys. From 1965 onward rock goes from a youth yawp to a no-shit art form. Soon the acts that are big are guys who wanted to be the Beatles or Elvis when they were kids. It's the next generation. /2
Read 13 tweets

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