I should start a category here, called Twitter Over-reaching or Trying to Say Too Much in a Tweet or Twitter Is Not the Place for Grand Generalizations, or something. Because I keep seeing people doing that, and it can be funny or pathetic or destructive or all those.
The latest one that I’ve noticed is by Peter Boghossian. It’s not part of a larger conversation, the previous and following tweets aren’t related, so it really is meant to stand alone and say something true.
Attempts to engineer social justice will be unfair if they target equality of outcome as opposed to equality of opportunity.
He’s a philosopher and I’m not, but that just looks silly to me. Attempts will be unfair? They’ll be unfair if they target equality of outcome? Just like that? Really? Attempts to aim for equality of outcome will be unfair, just like that, with no qualification?
I could see saying that insistence on mandating equality of outcome will be unfair. I could see it and probably even agree with it. But that’s not what he said. He said something much more limited, and thus much more realistic and un-strawmannish, and thus much more reasonable and fair to the opposition – but then he drew an unreasonable sweeping conclusion anyway.
Attempts to aim for equality of outcome can mean for instance trying hard to do away with obstacles, including non-obvious ones that take digging and research to find. Will that be unfair? If so, why?
It’s the familiar libertarian bullshit, of course, but in trying to put that in a reasonable way and doing it on Twitter, I think he ended up with obvious nonsense.