I say this straight up, knowing I’ll offend more people than I could ever hope to enlighten, but to disparage, insult, or threaten anyone because their values and opinions are contrary to your own, is to contribute to the divisiveness and polarization that nearly everyone is complaining about today.
That’s not my opinion by the way, it’s been studied, peer reviewed, and published — multiple times by multiple groups and institutions. It’s based on experiment and observation, and supported with data. It’s inarguable, because it’s science.
All the name-calling, hate speech, and threatening toward those we may disagree with contributes to the widening of, the heightening of, and the fortification of the walls that exist between two sides of any position, argument, or set of values. End of story.
I get it, it feels good to hate. It feels good to insult. It feels good to have the upper hand in argument. It feels good to belittle. It feels good to be right, and in many cases we can almost say that these behaviors are justified — except that they work against the values they’re supposed to support.
If one believe in the sciences — the science of physics, the science of climate change, the science that explains and cures disease, and the science that gets men to leave the earth and safely return, it should stand to reason that they should also believe in social sciences. If one accepts all other sciences, but denies this one, they are not science-minded, they are practicing scientism.
Some excellent books that offer data to support what I’ve suggested include the following (I have read or listened to the audio version of each one, most more than once)…
It’s Even Worse Than It Looks (2012) by Thomas Mann
The Blank Slate (2009) by Steven Pinker.
Why We’re Polarized (2020) By Ezra Klein
How To Have Impossible Conversations (2019) Boghossian & Lindsay
Nonzero (1999) by Robert Wright
The Righteous Mind (2012) Jonathan Haidt
The Ape Who Understood The Universe (2019) Steve Stewart-Williams
Though some of these books touch just briefly on the science and study of polarization, several of them are exclusively dedicated to it.
I’m not talking about lampooning, cartooning, or making jokes. All of those have their place in political argument and beyond. The line between humor and hate-filled ignorance is a broad one though, and very distinguishable.
I’m certain most reading this, including some very close to me, will read it with a giant eye-roll. They’ll attempt to defend name-calling, insulting, and hate speech because it feels like it’s all they have left during tumultuous times￼. They’ll also deny that they’re a part of the problem. Denying that they’re part of the problem will also make them science deniers, which for many of them, will be an the ultimate irony.Insults, hate speech, and threats send nothing good into to the world — nothing. I get it, it’s hard not to take the bait when nearly everything we see, hear, and breathe is made out of bait. As soon as one takes the bait though, they become part of the problem.
This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb
This Week By The Numbers…
Bikes Ridden: 7
15.3 mph avg
13 hours 06 minutes seat time
Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Enjoy…