Miguel Panao | Professor and Author

Finding ways to improve scientific writing and academic productivity.

There’s a new meaning for WMDs

And I call it Weapons of Mass Disinformation. Thanks to Twitter.

I read about this new feature – Fleets – which Twitter is experimentally launching in Brazil. Fleets are for thoughts what Snaps were for photos. Fleets will self-destruct in 24 hours.

Critics argue that politicians like Trump have a direct line to the public without accountability. But my concerns go to all those already addicted to this social network.

What is worth writing which is doomed to self-destruct? Nothing. But the time to write is taken nonetheless. And people’s attention is even more consumed with the Fear-Of-Missing-Out (FOMO). The result will be next to a dystopian scenario where people will cognitively turn into mental zombies looking at screens.

Fleeting thoughts are a sign of ephemeral life. I’m sure we can imagine better than seeding disinformation throughout the world. It spreads like a virus.

If you believe in your creative self and still want to make a difference in the world, start by joining the revolution of quitting social media. And if you feel you can’t, be mindful that you are a free human being. You can choose to write what is worth reading.

About Miguel Panao

I am a Professor at the University of Coimbra in Mechanical Engineering. I am also author of books in the fields of environmental ethics and Science and Religion. From the several research projects, this site is personal and dedicated to the search for the best approaches, tools, techniques to improve scientific productivity.

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