Cynicism, Devil’s advocate, snarks & dark humour. I’ve played these cards more than once in my younger years.
I try not to anymore: it usually doesn’t help do whatever you intended, alienates people, make some suffer, and opens the gate for other, actually harmful people.
If you are good-willed, want to share, educate and strive for greater values, it’s easy to attack “bad people”, but you might harm others in doing so. Please embody your greater, stricter standards and values with us, by finding positive ways to share and educate.
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If you can’t, I get you’re dying to show us your opinions, I often am too, but you’ll only be adding to the mess, and come out as less brilliant and benevolent as you certainly are.
It will show aggressive debate is fine, which it isn’t. It will let other people escalate, and you’d be responsible for it.
It will let others nitpick and sidetrack onto other paths you didn’t want to debate on, and ultimately weakens your point.
If you are such a good and smart person, do what other smart people do: explain with facts and patience, build simple and logic arguments. That will lead to more inclusive and productive conversations, from which people will actually learn instead of rejecting everything up front.
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Yes, Twitter doesn’t have room to include disclaimers. Yes, people will always find counter-examples and we are all biased. Yes, some days we are more open to things we dislike, and some other days we can react violently.
Yes, it’s funny to find the one sentence to destroy an opponent on the form, not principles. I still love provocation as jokes, or ways to explore or reframe hard topics. But “you can laugh about everything, just not with everyone (at every moment)”. That’s not being a coward or a flip-flopper. That’s being kind, considerate and appropriate.
So please, forgive my negativity and forgive yours, hold me to higher standards and hold yourself too. I look forward to discovering where we’ll go.