I understand how someone working for a tobacco company or Facebook can rationalize their complicity in the moment. That month’s paycheck depends on the rationalization. But I’m curious if this delusion persists forever or wears off after X years out of service?
Do the executives and scientists who helped push “smoking is not bad for you”, when they knew better, in the 1950s and 60s still believe they did the right thing? Or are they sitting in old age wretched with regret? How many Facebook folks will eventually accept their complicity?
Also fascinated by which rationalizations are most effective:
- If not us, it would just have been someone else
- I just worked on a JS framework there
- Not for me to decide what’s right
- Actually most connections were good
- [Anecdote about someone using FB for good]
- 🤷‍♂️
And then, do the rationalizations slowly wane, like chipping away at the moral truth, or does it happen all at once? What are the common catalysts to realizing your complicity? Hopefully there are psychologists and sociologists (not paid by FB) studying this.
Because it seems like we need an Arendt level of inquiry - ala the banality of evil - to understand this, such that we might better inoculate friends and family from falling into these mind traps.
You can follow @dhh.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: