Internet Arguing Destroyed the Universe

Once there was a person who argued on the Internet.

He spouted off any old thing that came to his mind. He saw things that disagreed with him for no particular reason, and he yelled at them—well, he typed at them, BUT HE TYPED IN ALL CAPS, YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!

Gradually he became aware that some knowledge might exist outside of himself. So he started to read books. “Why, this is great!” He said to himself, “I can use some of this in my arguments!”

And so he did. And the more he read, the more he encountered other people who had read the same or similar things that he had, and became friends with them. Together and individually, they argued about stuff—and every so often made a reference to some famous philosopher or economist or sociologist or essayist or business book author.

Frustratingly, this did not seem to get everyone to see things his way. So, our hero continued to read more, to search for the one book that would have the one argument that would convince everyone on the spot that he was right.

Over time, he noticed that the knowledge outside of himself seemed to be quite interconnected. The arguments made about morality seemed to rest on assumptions about the nature of knowledge itself, which seemed to rest on assumptions about the nature of the universe, claims about which relied on assumptions about knowledge, which relied on assumptions about the morals of people making contributions to the general stock of knowledge.

This was way more than he bargained for.

What to do? From trendy business book author Nassim Taleb, he learned of something called a “barbell strategy”, which he interpreted as meaning “do either the smallest unit or the largest unit, but nothing in between.”

So he wrote blog posts and essays on the one hand, and tweets and tweet-storms on the other, but not comments. But he still felt like he didn’t know enough, and he was betraying the grand unity of knowledge by talking about it piecemeal. So he went deeper; he only did aphorisms on the one hand and books on the other. The more he learned, the fewer he did of each; shorter, more profound aphorisms, and longer, more thorough books.

After reading the very last book, he stopped saying anything at all. He simply stood, in the library where he had finally hunted it down, staring at the last page.

After a long time, someone came up and asked him the time.

He opened his mouth to answer, and articulated the entirety of human knowledge, killing them instantly and destroying the universe.

And that is why Internet arguing is to be avoided at all costs.

3 thoughts on “Internet Arguing Destroyed the Universe

  1. Good thing he didn’t collapsed, the amount of knowledge he acquired can, no way or the other, support his capacity to store more. They say the brain has its limits too. Unless you perform Zen and gain Satori either way it’s still not enough to save an entire amount of knowledge in a small piece of organ. Do you think time can aid in accumulating knowledge without impairing the brain psychologically? I hope I’m making a point here. 😀

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