Mike Burr - log

Long opinionated vector, flexible principles vector.

I was imagining a "network" of "political actors", the latter meaning -- anyone involved in politics in any way. This by my definition is basically every human ever. An "actor" but we're only considering their "state politics" interaction. Almost everyone lives under one state, or often several, in layers: city, county, state, province (gotcha, didn't I?). We're considering a couple of "vectors" that describe these actors:

  • Self-assuredness and/or overall conviction "strength" regarding existing "opinions" (or any good new ones that come along.) Steelmanning capacity.
  • Flexibility with regard to "what they should do" about one issue or the other. e.g. "If we used to jail people for being gay, well I guess I'm ok with us not doing that anymore." or "abortion yes, but only up until this arbitrary length of time, by gosh." Or maybe just: Ability to pretend you never said nothin like that. Uh-uuh.

Let's just pretend there are neat, clear-cut ways of measuring these two. Or at least, I hope it seems reasonable to pretend the above two things vary from person to person and we could as a species agree on rough definitions. Et cetera. If we really wanted to waste time.

The latter doesn't have to be forced. It could just be a habit: "I used to think we should kill people for X but now I only think that about Y and Z. Times change."

I would guess it's a result of not examining what it means to change your mind about something like that. Aren't you worried you might have made one additional mistake and we're currently doing something through coercion that is going to obviously be an undeniable "net bad" some day, after which you'll have to "oopsie!" again?

The number of people who have long opinions and flexible principles is big enough and it always has been.

If you consider how these "actors" will "act" and how their network(s) form, you can see maybe a kind of "social reaction" starting to bubble in the beaker (I think.)


Here's what I mean: If actors with the above two qualities interact, they, as sloppy humans, want to friend-up with another actor that is swaggery and boastful and loud and unthinking...just like them. Pals. And when they start swapping strongly-held-opinions (picture two 12yo boys with baseball cards) they each have to compromise maybe just a bit, here and there to make sure their strongly-held-opinions mesh up correctly. There are plenty of ways to wiggle out of an awkward opinion, especially if you build in escape hatches.

These two new pals are "greater" than the sum of their parts, and can more easily attract similar actors. A big, quivering "political movement" mass made up of strongly attracted cells with BroBinders on the outside and slutty political DNA on the inside.


So let their strengths be their weakness:

  • DO mercilessly mock people when they clearly contradict themselves. As these folks are usually loudmouths, they have probably left plenty of breadcrumbs back to the herp-derp kernel of today's hypocrisy.
  • DO be sure and document any hypocrisy traps you see people unknowingly set for themselves.
  • DON'T use your favorite "party" or "candidate" or any labels of any kind when baiting these trolls. You are only upsetting the Pendulum of Pointlessness. This also applies to gee-wiz political innovations. Ban the this. Ban the Un-Banning of that. You too might fall on your face. Remember, they just don't get it ...but also neither do you.
  • DO feel free to dig around in whomever's cesspool. As they are a floating blob of moron-cells, their most stupid opinions are carefully kept in the middle; the holy of holies.
  • DO also feel free to not gloat about "your side" when you expose a nugget. You will be the retard one day. To me, "Let's not have any of this" is the point.

- 1 toast