> No; this is an excuse to pat yourself on the back for being contrary. Don't validate your beliefs by how much they make others angry
That was absolutely not what I intended to say with this admittedly tongue-in-cheek quip. There is a kernel of (subjective) truth in there though: if you find yourself agreeing with one side of a meme war 100% on everything, it's most likely time to rethink some assumptions. Conversely, if you're not agreeing wholesale, you just have a target on your back, that's a given. So I could have worded that better, it doesn't have anything to do with being contrarian for the sake of causing offense.
> Group identity and culture wars are not new (and are certainly not going away).
I thought I addressed that. Again, I probably worded it too obtusely.
Further, as a strategy it is exploitable: say you have opinion X and I want you at X+1. I can manipulate you by loudly proclaiming X+2.
tl;dr: there are no easy heuristics here. Treat the entire communication environment as hostile and manipulative, form your opinions with great care, and double check all your sources.
Additionally, I said that, having already formed my opinion X, if I get that response, I can predict certain things. This is very different from your 'exploit' which requires the reverse process.
I'm afraid you've provided cogent and valid criticisms of a completely different set of statements than I actually made.
If someone, anyone, goes looking for the facts, there is only one destination in which they will end up. The facts aren't hard to find. They are all in boring science textbooks. But nobody reads those anymore.
The current culture war is waged by those who profit off ignorance against those who crusade for truth. You may think this is a black and white view of it, but it isn't. One side wishes to obliterate facts, the other wishes to incinerate pretty lies at the expense of hurt feelings.
So yes, there are a great many positions that are factually incorrect. All of them, to be exact, except the factually correct ones.
The problem of course is that facts can be inconvenient to those who seek power.
Thank you for clarifying.
> There is a kernel of (subjective) truth in there though: if you find yourself agreeing with one side of a meme war 100% on everything, it's most likely time to rethink some assumptions.
Yes. But "you're probably wrong if you agree with anyone completely" and "you're probably right if you disagree with most people" are very different.
> > Group identity and culture wars are not new (and are certainly not going away).
> I thought I addressed that.
I think here it's me who has been unclear. That was just an introductory remark. The substance of that part of my comment was to wonder whether the internet is really what's been exacerbating the current culture wars and factionalism, or if it's just coincidental. I still don't feel confident either way on that question.