Feedback from November 24 and Beyond | Letters | Salt Lake City Weekly

Feedback from November 24 and Beyond 

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Growing Green
While fossil fuel companies continue to put pollution and carbon emissions into the atmosphere, it is the people and their communities that suffer.

The best snow on earth coupled with accessibility to the mountains and a fairly mild winter make Utah hard to beat, but a major drawback has always been the winter smog. Transportation, area sources—such as homes, buildings and businesses—non-road equipment and industry are all contributing more and more to particulate matter in the air and increasing the chance of disease for Salt Lake residents.

An enduring price on pollution with a "carbon cashback" returned to the people would result in cleaner air, a more stable climate and better health outcomes. If we want the greater Salt Lake Valley to continue to grow in population, we need the growth to be sustainable.

The solution is: Congress must pass legislation with incentives to transition to clean energy and transportation.
Salt Lake City

Sounds Like ...
My neighbor's high school-age child was talking to me about homophones. We came up with a candidate: Trumpery—behavior typical of the former president.

I admit that I showed her my 60-year-old dictionary's definition of trumpery (with a small t): Showy and worthless stuff; rubbish; ritual foolery.

Now is that a homophone or just a statement of the obvious?
North Salt Lake

Twitter Performance Art
Have you ever encountered a klansman at the grocery store? I have. I instantly recognized him as a member of the Ku Klux Klan because I'd seen him speak (sans hood) at a Klan rally (I was one of the protesters, not one of the klansmen) and on local TV repping the organization.

I didn't speak with him, both because I didn't want to and because I didn't have to.

I also didn't roll my cart to the front of the store, abandon it, loudly announce that if he was allowed to shop there I wouldn't be shopping there, stomp out in a huff and tell all my friends that if they ever wanted to talk to me at a grocery store, I'd be at the one across town.

Shortly after Elon Musk purchased and took control of Twitter, the hashtag #leavingtwitter began to trend as various people (including "celebrities," many of whom I've never heard) metaphorically stomped off of the platform because ... well, because.

There are lots of reasons to leave Twitter. Some of those reasons—it's turned into a time-wasting addiction, it feels creepy to be advertised to based on the algorithm's surveillance of one's interests, etc.—make sense to me. It's not that they're good or bad, per se. They're just personal choices that make sense to the people leaving. And with numerous alternatives to choose from, it's not like #leavingtwitter means going without social media. No biggie.

The biggest factor driving the #leavingtwitter trend, though, seems to be the equivalent of noticing the klansman in the grocery store and storming out theatrically. Yes, Musk told the Bad People they can stay (or return), with wider permissions to say Bad Things on his newly acquired platform.

But nobody has to talk with the Bad People or listen to the Bad Things. Everyone's free to ignore the Bad People, and can even block those Bad People so as to never be forced to notice their Bad Shouting.

Good Person A can get her social media "groceries," and Bad Person B can get his, without the two ever interacting at all beyond Good Person A noticing Bad Person B's presence and hitting the "block" link.

So far as I can tell, #leavingtwitter is largely an exercise in performance art—tiresome performance art. If other people (even Bad People) saying what they want to say (even Bad Things) troubles you that much, especially when you have the power to keep that speech out of your own "hearing," you're as much a part of society's problems as they are.

The cure for bad speech is more speech, not self-imposed exile.

Do as you like, but I'm not #leavingtwitter.
The William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism

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