Why you can't learn philosophy from quotes

I went on Twitter the other day.

For purely research purposes.

I keep hearing that, if you know how to use it right, you can make great connections and build an audience.

I don't see it.

Every time I go there, all I see is a cheap traveling carnival overflowing with junk to tickle the lowest and most base parts of the brain. It's like promising you a sit-down six course meal with filet mignon only to hand you a greasy wrapper full of cotton candy.

Maybe I'm just not good at entertaining people, or writing platitudes, or appealing to the demographics that consume tweets.

But the app does have one purpose.

If you need to take a quick pulse of what's trending out there in the mass mind, few things match it.

Case in point, I did a search on "philosophy". Filtering for tweets that got decent engagement, based on replies and likes.

I found a thread promising 12 quotes from Aristotle.

Cool, I like Aristotle.

I don't want to spoil you. But I was disappointed.

It was 12 one-liners. Zero context.

Most of them weren't even Aristotle's quotes.

I'm not an expert on Aristotle, you understand. But unlike most of the internet, I have read his major works and even put them to work in scholarly writings.

Aristotle's writing has a feel to it. A solid 8-9 of these quotes didn't pass the sniff test.

Thread was on fire, though. The comments were magical.

"Wow bro great value!"

"I feel smarter!"

"So much wisdom!"

Look, you can call me a snob all you want. You wouldn't even be wrong.

But that mindworm that says, relax, don't worry, people are getting value!!! is hokum and bunkum.

"Bro don't be one of those nerds, people got value out of those quotes."

If that's your reaction, re-evaluate your life.

What value do you get out of a pack of lies?

Plus, quote pr0n is not wisdom.

"Yeah bro sweet quote" is not educational or transformative.

Believing that you learned something because you read a quote misttributed to a great thinker is next level self-deception.

It's also the worst kind of laziness and impatience.

Even worse than those dudes that memorize a list of logical fallacies and think they're smart now.

Let this be today's lesson:

Not all value is in the mind of the beholder.

Be good & take it easy.

Matt Perryman

PS I'm doing a video this Friday for member of my Night's Gate group. If for some mind-defying reason you aren't a member yet, and you want access, click here: