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August 26, 2016

Our #HotTake Culture and Why It Exists, and Open Thread

I didn't write about Ryan Lochte because 1, I didn't care, and 2, I didn't know any facts.

In this #HotTake age, where assholes race to be the First To Be Outraged on Twitter, having no information is really no impediment to having a very strident, emotional reaction.

As with people rushing to attack Ryan Lochte based on no information whatsoever.

I think this is an interesting phenomenon, and I think I can explain it.

Suppose a black guy is shot by a cop. I have absolutely no information about it. I don't know if the black guy was shot, for example, accidentally or in a conflict. I don't know if he was armed or not. I don't know if the cop shooting is black or white.

I know nothing about it.

Now -- should I have an opinion on this matter?

The obvious answer is "No, I should not," but that's not the real answer.

In this #HotTake non-culture culture, I should definitely have an opinion.

Based on what, if i have no information?

Based upon my tribal sympathies and chauvinisms, is the answer.

See, anyone can condemn a cop shooting once they know the actual facts and the facts turn out to show that the victim was innocent and the cop was blameworthy, fast on the trigger or negilgent or what have you.

But if I wait to know the facts, what does that say about me as a person? It says nothing about me -- again, anyone can see the facts of a bad shooting and then say "That was a bad shooting."

No -- to establish yourself as on a higher moral plane than other people, You have to offer a strident, emotionally-hot opinion without knowing anything.

Because only if you don't have the proper facts upon which to make that determination can you successfully advertise the fact that you are knee-jerkedly siding with BlackLivesMatter.

(Or, for that matter, with cops, if that's your preference.)

Again, this is not a game of showing that you've come to a reasoned judgment after the evidence has emerged and you have apprised yourself of it.

Bad people can use the power of reason too, after all. Racists can see a shooting was bad, if the evidence proves the shooting was bad.

The game is not to make a reasoned, fact-based judgment -- because that says nothing about your default sympathies, tribal allegiances, and ideological priors.

The game is to make an unreasoned, non-fact-based judgment, a judgment based only on emotion and allegiance and chauvinism -- because that, unlike a fact-based judgment, shows where your heart is.

That's why people in the #HotTake culture pressure others to take positions before any facts are actually known -- facts are for the emotionally cold.

No, the point of making snap decisions isn't to make logical judgments on individual facts, it's to emotional judgments based on "social justice" or group facts.

Ryan Lochte was rich (well, relatively) and white and Tastelessly American and probably was in a fraternity at some point (or at least looks like he was).

The people in Rio are diverse and less wealthy and probably were not on the Harvard Crew Team.

If someone like me waited to indict Ryan Lochte, but then ultimately indicted him based on fully known facts, that kind of shows that I'm racist, because True Allies of the Downtrodden don't wait for facts.

They just show their ideological priors and tribal loyalties by condemning the member of the Out-Group.

No one cares where your brain is -- that's so Twentieth Century, man.

The new hotness is to be nothing but Emotional Bias, 24/7.

In the old days, enlightened men and women would show their enlightenment by reserving judgment until the facts had been collected and analyzed.

In the New Enlightenment -- really the New Dark Ages -- we show our enlightenment by doing the exact opposite, shrieking our strident but completely uninformed opinions before the situation gets all tainted with "facts" and "evidence" and "reason."

In Ignorantia, Veritas.

In ignorance, Truth.

Open thread.

Happy weekend!

If you're now, like me, in the "Middle Ages" between ages 28 and 30, make sure you do a lot of warming up before any physical exertion, and don't skip post-workout stretching and cool-downs and definitely don't skip recovery days.

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posted by Ace at 06:50 PM

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