This morning, I came across an article discussing the anonymous parody Twitter account named Startup L. Jackson. A funny account with pithy, on-point remarks on the state of Silicon Valley.
I’ve been aware of the account for a while, but I’ve only seen it when it gets retweeted by people I follow.
The article goes into detail about the anonymity and popularity of the Twitter account. Apparently high-profile CEOs, investors, and other startup types have conversations with the account on Twitter. The author of the article decided to include a rather alarmist opinion:
Ed Zitron, a publicist in Silicon Valley running the boutique EZPR firm, finds the adulation disconcerting. “We know nothing of his qualifications, who he is, what he’s done, what he will do and yet there’s people who want him to speak to them like a strange prophet,” Zitron said. “Why the hell are you going to a parody account for your advice?”
This is the problem with contemporary political discourse. The problem is that we think someone’s ideas deserve consideration, or not, based on who the person is and not based on their actual ideas. We choose to judge ideas based on who said them, instead of based on the merits of those ideas themselves.
Who cares who writes these tweets if they have interesting ideas?
Sorry, Ed Zitron. I followed Startup L. Jackson for no other reason than I think it would piss you off. People like you, who think they should be the gatekeepers of ideas and discourse, are what’s wrong with this industry and with this world.