Malacandra.me

Wherein I apologize for being an arrogant, blithering idiot among many, by @DavidOAtkins

Wherein I apologize for being an arrogant, blithering idiot among many

by David Atkins

Tonight all of twitter went manic after a number of people listening to police scanners heard that police were considering "Suspect #2" to be a missing Brown university student. For hours, just about everyone on twitter was convinced that Suspect #2 was the student in question. It became a "known fact", even as the traditional media refused to state any names.

This led to a bunch of fools, myself included, making fun of the traditional media for its "failure" to state what people on twitter already "knew."

One of the very few to express skepticism about the identification was Digby.


While we don't have positive identities yet, it's increasingly clear that Suspect #2 is not the student in question. As usual, Digby was right. And so was the traditional media.

There are many things to learn from this, but the biggest lesson of all is that while there may be wisdom in crowds, there is also greater foolishness. Dangerous foolishness. Foolishness that Digby even wrote about less than 24 hours ago.

We have professionals for a reason, and oftentimes--particularly when not all the facts are in--it's best to let them do their jobs.