Monday, March 10, 2008

futilely confronting the foolishness of crowds

This isn't a news flash to anyone I suspect, but it can sometimes be incredibly frustrating to publish an acute comment or reply online (or offline). Once some people feel that they're under attack, they will proceed to strike back at the comment or reply however they can: mod it down, ridicule it, counter it with irrelevant nonsense, etc. In any case, they don't seem to bother trying to comprehend the point it's making, or if they do then they still feel obligated to chivalrously "defend the honor" of banner foo. I've found that even if the tone is mild and evenhanded and all of the supporting axioms are undeniable, the same outcome can happen. The possibility of a moderate thought is simply crowded out by the sacred cows and cargo cults. How dare anyone attempt to offer a novel perspective! Evolved pack cooperation be damned, let's go back to competing dominance displays!

When I'm in a philosophical mood such situations often remind me of what Kris Kringle says in Miracle on 34th Street to explain why he purposely failed the mental examination after Dr. Sawyer the peevish company psychologist committed him to an asylum:
Oh, it's not just Doris. There's Mr. Sawyer. He's contemptible, dishonest, selfish, deceitful, vicious...yet he's out there and I'm in here. He's called normal and I'm not. Well, if that's normal, I don't want it. That's why I answered incorrectly.
When I'm in an impatient mood such situations merely make me want to yell "Doesn't anybody notice this? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"

No comments:

Post a Comment