Guest post: Some trust their sources so slavishly

Originally a comment by Stewart on I did say.

More seriously trying to understand it, there is probably a mixture of things going on, none of which is Ophelia holding unpleasant views she refuses to discuss, but one of which is Ophelia reacting with completely justifiable exasperation at people launching unceasing attacks at her (some of a truly vile and literally – in that word’s original meaning – dehumanising character, throwing the very idea of discussion or arguments out the window) for views she doesn’t hold.

Perhaps some trust their sources so slavishly that they feel it unnecessary to read what Ophelia has actually written; there are others who are deliberately egging them on. Others still have sunk so deep into a morass of jargon that they will follow anyone who seems to be trendy (which is what most jargon is really all about).

I’m getting the feeling, from the way some things have been written, that no single factor is as pervasive as the mob effect the Internet has become so good at generating, in a fairly amazing simulation (considering the differences) of the movement and behaviour of real, flesh and blood, mobs. Anyone belonging to such a mob who reads my words is unlikely to consider it possible they are part of one. There are people pushing that mob’s buttons with cold and cynical knowledge of how these things work and some of them are people who would stop short at such behaviour in the real world, but don’t bother thinking about the effects they don’t have to see after they click “send.”

Surrender to peer pressure is, I would guess, an enormous factor and many people truly do seem to be too lazy to think for themselves.

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