Sunday 24 March 2024

Things Fell Apart

In recent months I was able to listen to some of the episodes in the second series of Jon Ronson's Radio 4 broadcasts/podcasts Things Fell Apart. I haven't listened to all of them, and I haven't listened to the first series. All the episodes from both series can be found on BBC Sounds: Things Fell Apart. The episodes I have listened to suggest that they are all worth hearing. The stories are unexpected and told in a way that holds attention throughout - sometimes it is only in the last moments that the full import of the story's starting point becomes clear.

There are some clear lessons:

posting something to a blog or to Twitter/X that is not true can, down the line, have unpredictable and serious consequences

posting something that is in itself true, but forms only part of a story, can have the same consequences as above

re-tweeting or re-posting without due care and attention is a potentially hazardous game, as it can propagate something that is not true - see above

beware of taking an idea in one context, with its intended meaning in that context, and transferring it into a new context which gives the idea a completely different and potentially damaging meaning

it is easy, both in the ether and in the real world, to hang on to a discredited story and keep repeating it, again with the risk of unpredictable and serious consequences

if you are someone in a position of public influence, you need to be careful not to pick up a part story and use it to your own purposes/ideological intent

we should be careful not to think of ourselves as heroes (see last episode of Series 2).

Things Fell Apart does not address Catholic subjects, at least not in the episodes I have heard (though Episode 7 should be compulsory listening for those who have bought in to Great Resetting), but its lessons have clear application to Catholics who post to the ether.

My blog does indeed have an example of an unpredictable consequence following a post. The post involved is entitled If You Knew SUSY, posted way back in 2010. Looking at blog statistics at the time, there appeared to be a regular appearance of visits from Maryland in the USA which I couldn't understand. In 2013 a comment to the post explained what was happening. The author of the original article about which I had posted appears to have seen my post and was, I think, referring to it in discussions with his students/colleagues at the University of Maryland. See here: Superstring Theoretical Physicist on Codes of Reality.