On Wednesday a few minutes after 5pm, upon leaving a meeting near downtown Austin, I chanced on a large group of busses parked just east of the I-35 on 5th Street. I snapped a few pictures and was on my way.
Later that day, I noticed news reports of protests in downtown and near the University of Texas campus. Having dealt with closed streets and unusual traffic patterns that day toward the south of the downtown (below 8th street) and having seen some pictures of protests that looked more like the south end of downtown than near the capitol, I presumed the busses had something to do with the protests.
Casually, I texted a few friends and then made a Twitter post. I post on Twitter just a few times a year, and until yesterday I had about 40 followers.
The response was massive (about 15,000 retweets in the first 36 hours), and even the local news commented:
And for a fleeting moment the front page of Reddit I’m told as well:
Was I flat wrong? Perhaps!
It turns out Tableau was having a massive conference having nothing to do with politics less than a mile away. Could these have been busses for Tableau’s shenanigans? I hope they don’t mind me linking to the schedule from that same day:
And so, I posted this:
Does Anyone Care if I was right or wrong? Sadly, not enough.
In the 3 hours since posted, my alternative (and possibly true) view of reality has garnered a whopping 8 retweets and 11 likes.
What’s going on? The systems that carry information to us all are filtered by what’s sensational — not by what’s true.
To be cynical for a minute, people are surprisingly uninterested in truth but very interested in what helps them to make their own case. This is probably human nature, but is it healthy? Is that really the basis and process by which we want to make big decisions about our future based upon?
A Few Words from the Middle of the Road
First of all, I voted for Gary Johnson. I’m neither a supporter of Trump or Hillary, but I did consider voting for both of them for different reasons.
I’m secular independent who leans Republican. I often describe my political views as “little ‘l’ libertarian with a heart.”
A few of my key political positions:
- Reduce taxes on both individuals and businesses
- Encourage the repatriation of wealth
- Pro business
- Freedom of religion
- Pro gay marriage
- Cover pre-existing health conditions for every American
- Pro gun
- Increase the availability of visas for foreigners while reducing illegal immigration
As you can see, I don’t fully align with any candidate. Let’s promote new voices so that we can have the dialog necessary to reach real and lasting solutions.
I want to set an example. I can be wrong, and I can admit it when I am. I will strive for the truth, and I ask you to do the same.
Let’s respect and defend the rights that make America … America! Let’s respect each other, and let’s give each side a chance to be heard.
Whether we like what’s going on in the streets today or not, remember those people have a voice. I do not want to live in an America where people cannot make their views heard.
I ask everyone to do their best to tone down some of the anger and find compromises if not collaborations that can move us toward a better America.