william f. friedman

anonymous asked:

how is tumblr a abysmally bad environment for politics??? literally everywhere especially anywhere on the internet is bad in someway and honestly tumblr is one if the best places one could go to, hell i wouldnt be half the good person i am if i never came to this site, most wouldnt, or would've just congregated elsewhere anyhow

I’m not saying Tumblr is comparatively any better or worse than anywhere else online, but that it’s bad in absolute terms. Briefly:

  • People on Tumblr often talk about important issues, but only ever discuss them on a surface level, failing to provide any sense of nuance or theory that’s necessary to actually understand complexities. As a result, a significant portion of Tumblr politics is based on a deep lack of context, detail, and historical understanding, often coming across as half-baked and simplistic.
  • People fully aware of the dynamics of this site often come on and throw together buzzwords and half-understood concepts to make people think they know what they’re talking about, and then once they acquire a following and social capital, they use stupid rhetorical tricks to dismiss and ridicule dissenters.
  • No one even makes an attempt to try and think through their biases, to question whether or not what they’re saying is wrong; you’re encouraged to form opinions purely to make you popular.
  • Instead of lots of people with different views engaging in good faith discussion with one another, people mostly split themselves off into tribal in-groups who actively shun and sanction engagement with conflicting views. This entire website is a weird, self-sustaining bubble with a number of smaller sub-bubbles within it, each of which forms an often-flawed consensus and then considers skepticism of that consensus as evidence of malevolence. Every disagreement is one to the death, every indiscretion is a call-out, every critique is an attack. It’s pedantic and childish, it has nothing to do with gaining knowledge and everything to do with showing off to your followers. 
  • Finally, as a smaller criticism, this website is obsessed with a really small spectrum of issues. It’s shocking at times exactly how little gets talked about on here. How many posts have you seen about PewDiePie or Markiplier being shitty over the last week? How many have you seen about the major decline in Chinese-North Korean relations in the last week? It’s something like 8-0 for me.People don’t talk about what’s most important, just what’s immediately relevant, what’s most fun to discuss. It’s all politics as entertainment. 
    • A more targeted criticism for only part of Tumblr: the same as above applies to a very limited spectrum of ideas being covered on here, largely due to the disproportionate size of the far-left on here. Like, if you can describe the views of Karl Marx to me but cannot describe the views of, like, William F. Buckley or Milton Friedman, then you do not understand American politics. No one makes an effort to actively read or understand the ideas of people they disagree with, even when those people’s views are extremely important to understand when trying to figure out how the world works. Instead, a lot of this site is focused on this aestheticized worship of dead communists than they are in learning about any ideas actually having an impact on the world we live in right now.