What are you for?

My favorite movie reviewer is a YouTuber named moviebob. Moviebob frequently talks about the idiotic things other reviewers are saying. I would not know these other reviewers even existed were it not for moviebob. Moviebob is a memetic amplifier for the reviewers he disagrees with.

The solution is simple: Ignore people who are wrong.

It can be worthwhile paying attention to people who seem slightly wrong because they are wrong in interesting ways. Sometimes they are even right. But you should neither take seriously nor argue with those people who value winning an argument more than the truth. “Us” vs “Them” arguments are an endless source of such people.

“Us” vs “Them” definitions make it easy to draw battlelines. Which is a problem. The first casualty of war is the truth. Ignoring people who are wrong require operating counter to our tribal impulses.

Another problem with “Us” vs “Them” is the definitions are circular. How are “They” defined? “Not Us”. Be wary of any idea which defines itself by what it’s not. Such an idea is usually half of a symbiotic conflict. Attach yourself to ideas that define themselves in absolute terms instead. Otherwise you end up mired in circular logic.

Circular ideas are a waste of attention. Including—sometimes—Atheism. Atheism is at its best when it is pro science. Atheism is at its worst when it is anti religion.

The easiest—and worst—way to demarcate “Us” is to define “Us” as “not Them”. Speak in the positive. What are you for?