Using Twitter makes you cleverer

Heron Smith

Facts and figures speak volumes. They prove and they disprove. They are both the weight behind an argument and the wedge between substance and conjecture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a fact or figure is worth ten thousand, for whilst a picture can be disingenuous and lifted from context, a fact cannot. Or can it?

As a journalist and writer, I’m someone who relies upon a broad spectrum of supporting evidence to illustrate a point, and in order to persuade my readers that the argument I present is worthy of their time. Eyewitness accounts and testimonies- whilst subjective and unreliable- are emotive at their base. Facts and figures, on the other hand, are typically interpreted as neutral. Indeed, there exists a popular perception that statistical correlation is conclusive, and that such supporting evidence is, by nature, a trump card of sorts when balanced against opposing views. However, this is not always the case. Read more of this post

Engaging Iran

Heron Smith

Quite on trend, Western tensions with Iran have been escalating. Israeli politicians- buoyed by recent IAEA reports- have increasingly derided the effectiveness of sanctions, whilst aggression directed toward the British embassy in Tehran has inevitably led to a media fixation regarding to prospects of eventual military conflict. With American presidential elections next year, and leading candidate Newt Gingrich having already paid lip-service to the prospect of regime change, we in the West ought to be extremely concerned. Conflict with Iran is beyond undesirable. The justifications are steeped in hypocrisy, the objective is extremely short-sighted, and the consequences will stretch beyond our generation.

Setting aside the inevitable link between Western prejudice and base philosophical questions- such as how we could ever justify preventing a sovereign state from following our own nuclear example- the argument that we are entitled or obliged to hinder Iran’s nuclear ambitions by force is incredibly short-sighted. Not only is the concept of pre-emption a recipe for perpetual war, but it also lends credence to Israel’s false sense of insecurity, which in turn has proven a momentous obstacle to regional peace, particularly with the Palestinians. Read more of this post

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