Mandating reliable nurse staffing systems
Everyone has a different set of speech acts they consider beyond the pale, with no real way of sorting it out.
I ended up writing a couple of really angry blog posts, which not only corrected the statistics but also prominently named the author, accused him of being a bad person, and recommended that nobody ever trust him or take him seriously again. One factor that must underlie people’s distrust of non-governmental free speech norms is that they’re so underspecified.The First Amendment is a comparatively simple, bright-line concept – the police can’t arrest you for saying the President sucks.Repeated harassment – the kind where you scream insults at someone every time they leave the house – falls in the same category: the active ingredient isn’t the information being conveyed by what insults you choose, it’s that they face being screamed at and made to live in fear. Me saying “Donald Trump is wrong on immigration” lowers Donald Trump’s status – that’s a speech act.And yeah, the archetypical example of this is starting a campaign to email someone’s embarassing secrets to their boss to get them fired. Me saying “You’re wrong about free speech” might trigger you and make you feel awful until you write a 10,000 word essay responding to me – that’s a speech act too.For example, if Alice is a nurse, she might say “I don’t believe hand hygiene matters, and I’m going to try to convince the hospital administration to remove their rule mandating handwashing – but until I succeed, I’ll follow the rules and wash my hands just like everyone else.” If I trusted Alice, this would allay my concerns, and I would go back to wanting to debate with her instead of wanting her fired.See also Be Nice, At Least Until You Can Coordinate Meanness.A second view: the author was either deliberately deceitful or criminally stupid; either way he really was inexcusably bad.If I just quietly correct his statistical error, only a fraction of his readership will see my correction, and meanwhile he’ll go on to do it a second time, a third time, and so on forever.The opinion ought to enter the marketplace of ideas, compete with other opinions on its merit, and either win or lose based on people’s considered rational judgment.But this can’t be separated from signaling a propensity for action.