Twitter Outrage & the Death Of Expertise
Everyday I log onto Twitter and decide what Twitter outrage will consume my mind for the next 24 hours.
In a world where everyone has a voice and some voices are more important than others (based purely on the number of people who follow you) there’s bound to be issues.
Last week Wall Street learned how memes work and the voices of subject matter experts on stocks were drowned out by the masses. I couldn’t relate to this take by Paul Kedrosky (who is a subject matter expert on everything it seems)
I like that everyone on Twitter has moved on from being an expert on virology, single-strand RNA viruses, and viral escape; and is newly an expert on shorting stocks, momentum trading, gamma squeezes, market structure, vol trading, and so on. Carry on experting.
— Paul Kedrosky (@pkedrosky) January 28, 2021
… But he followed it up with this. Which got me thinking 🤔
We live in a dogpile era, where no matter the topic, a point mass of humanity becomes obsessed with the same thing at the same time, and dogpile it, with predictable consequences. It's beyond tedious.
— Paul Kedrosky (@pkedrosky) January 29, 2021
Twitter Outrage Amplified
This week there’s no shortage of Twitter outrage. From Russia to India to back home in the States the world seems to be devolving into utter chaos. There’s three ways to look at Twitter’s part in the chaos.
- The chaos starts on Twitter then seeps into the real world, or
- The chaos starts in the world world and seeps onto Twitter, or
- Chaos begets more chaos and Twitter amplifies said chaos
HONESTLY… I don’t know it’s all so confusing. It’s a spectacle more amusing than TV — the world is moving at an astronomical pace. One day we’ll look back at this era and realize we lived through a 1000 years worth of chaos.
Now back to Paul above. When I read what he wrote in the first tweet I was outraged. Mostly because I am not a billionaire like him and I have more in common with WallStreetBets than rich dudes whose weekly commute consists of jets rides to Montana.
I think I finally get his sentiment though. He’s not mad that a bunch of plebes made some bucks at the expense of some asshole hedge fund dudes. He’s mad that everyone has become a subject matter expert and rational voices are being drowned out by the mania of mass hysteria.
Also, I finally felt his pain this week when Mia Khalifa and Amanda Cerny became postergirls for the plight of Indian farmers. As a self proclaimed international relations geek I’m hard-pressed to believe they know anything about the complexities of Indian politics (as evidenced below).
— Waseem Ahmed ವಸೀಮ್ وسیم (@Waseem_BLR) February 2, 2021
I once worked for a guy who’d teach people how to trade stocks online and he’d always brag:
I know how to go viral on Twitter. Just see what’s trending and tweet about it too.
And with that I’ll leave you with a 100 year old story about the stock market
One day in 1929, Joe Kennedy (JFK’s Dad) is getting his shoes shined. The shoe shine boy began to give stock tips as he polished Kennedy’s oxfords. In that moment, it struck Joe that he needed to leave the market. He reasoned if shoeshine boys have an opinion on stocks, the market is clearly, dangerously popular.
p.s. I challenged myself to overcome a personal fear. For years I’ve been dying to drive my AWD vehicle down this sandy wash that consumes cars big and small. Every time I’d work up the nerve to do it I’d read another story about a Jeep that got stuck on this desolate 8 mile stretch of road and hide under my covers. Welp… this week I went for it with the help of a trusted coxswain . And the views were… just watch this video below!