Mooting


Matt Alexander on “muting” things on the internet:

In a world of highly-curated opinions, deeply polarizing and heavily-politicized views, and rampant tribalism in the consumer sphere … the ability to simply remove certain opinions that are not adherent with your own is irrefutably dangerous.

You ought to know — and embrace — opinions divergent from your own. Moreover, if you respect someone, you ought to listen to all that they have to say, rather than selectively censoring them.

I agree with the general drift of what Matt says in this piece — that you should keep an open mind and not immediately completely shut yourself from anything that doesn’t fit with your worldview. That’s about as far as I’ll go, though.

His approach seems to me at once particularly flaccid and troublesome. A philosophy where any opinion contrary to your own has to be given equal brain-space.

I don’t see it that way. Sure, I think it’s important to be open-minded. But once you’ve thoughtfully decided to hold an opinion surely you shouldn’t have to constantly subject it to scrutiny. Re-evaluate it periodically, sure.

Just because you respect someone for one slice of what they do or are doesn’t mean you should be interested in their opinion on everything under the sun. I couldn’t care less about the political opinions of a tech blogger, for example, unless they’re particularly relevant or informed.

if you don’t appreciate an event that’s happening, just avoid Twitter (or similar) for an hour.

Why? Why should I have to? There are plenty of reasons to avoid Twitter for an hour, but if I can mute some keywords and still derive value from what remains, why not?