I’ve been a paying subscriber here at Medium for two years, and during that time I’ve learned a lot. Nevertheless, I have decided that it’s time for me to depart. I don’t expect to find any greener pastures; I have simply lost interest in trying to deal with people.I’ve been discussing matters with people on the Internet since the 1980s. I’m not kidding; back then, of course, there was no Web; it was all done on discussion forums, and back in the earliest days, on ByteNet, we were running at 300 baud and you could actually read the text as it scrolled up onto the screen. I’ve participated in discussions on a wide range to topics with hundreds upon hundreds of different people. Medium is, in general, populated by some of the brightest commentators on the Internet.
I crave in-depth discussions with knowledgeable, articulate, rational people. I’ve had a few such discussions here, and enjoyed the occasional flash of brilliant commentary. I’ve been nailed a handful of times — getting nailed is one of the best ways to learn and I greatly respect anybody who can teach me something that way.
But I am sad to say that such experiences are overwhelmed by the shoddy pap that dominates. I am horrified by the frequency of grossly irrational arguments I read here. Here’s a list of logical fallacies:
I’ve seen most of these here on Medium. Ad hominem arguments, post hoc ergo propter hoc, lots of black-and-white reasoning, personal attacks, defining terms to produce the desired results, and so on.
The problem that most bothers me is the ignorance of so many commentators here. Now, ignorance is not in and of itself objectionable; we are all ignorant in varying degrees. Our ignorance is monumental; a truly erudite person might know 0.01% of the truth, where the average person knows only 0.0001% of the truth. What bothers me is the insolence of severely ignorant people making grand assertions of absolute truth. Over and over I have cautioned people that “It’s always more complicated than you think.”
Now, I have made my own loud declarations, but usually the grand declarations I make are based on solid evidence. I have always been able to back up my claims. I have on occasion shot my mouth off at particularly obnoxious respondents and on a few occasions I wrote things that I now regret.
In any case, I am no longer deriving any benefit from Medium, so it’s time so mosey along. I’ll put my energies into writing more essays for my website.