Friday, 23 September 2011

Opinions are like ****holes.

I often get into discussions on controversial subjects unintentionally. They say I only open my mouth to change feet, and I can be terribly blunt without meaning offense so I have learned to defend my views pretty well. I like controversy though. It initiates discussion, keeps things from going stale and shakes things up mentally if nothing else. I’m very left wing, value people over money and material objects and a little bit of a keyboard warrior. The faceless aspect of the internet allows me not to get annoyed. BNP supporter there having a rant? Check. Have I had wine? Check. Will I back down? Nope.

Things which have got me into internet arguments; Homeopathy, Immigration, holocaust denial, politics, conspiracy theories, religion and fecking psychics. Seriously folks, with a little basic common sense and the use of occams razor, you could just let it be. It’s all nonsense in my opinion. Haven’t we enough crap going on without making it all more complicated?

The internet has made it easier to be controversial without having to deal with the awkwardness of actually verbally navigating themes in person with someone else. Is this a good thing? Maybe, maybe not. If you have the courage of your convictions perhaps actually demonstrating would be better than being a keyboard activist, shooting off furious emails and signing petitions. That’s easy to do, anyone can do it and as many online petitions are being ignored this is something recognised by the establishment. To be fair though I do tend to disagree with people in person too so I tend to piss a lot of folk off.

The internet is full of things which will fit your viewpoint. You can wander blissfully in reams of websites on psychics, conspiracy theories, white supremacies, whatever takes your fancy, and they will tell you that what you believe is right. You can selectively edit out the stuff you don’t agree with til you’ve created your own little bubble. We need however a good decent dose of controversy to jolt us out of that bubble. To see someone else’s views, to actually defend our views without youtube videos that anyone with a bit of software and an opinion can make, however misinformed. Without a website that backs up a view we may not be able to express adequately in our own words. And their lies the problem. As Einstein (who’s in for controversy himself today) once said, “If you can’t explain it simply then you don’t understand it well enough.”

Sources are necessary to back up facts, dates, but to use pundits or videos to argue a point displays a lack of understanding. I’d like to think I have my own views, but they will be influenced of course. But I’m happy to change my views with changing evidence, without embarrassment. I am happy to admit when I am wrong. Some people hold on to beliefs with a passionate fervour in the face of contradictory evidence which never makes sense to me. So I will continue with my attempt at bubble bursting, and testing my own bubble for the foreseeable future I think. After all, controversy can inspire action, tests people’s beliefs, and refines your standpoint. Maybe even changes it. A nice dose of controversy never truly does any harm. If you don't agree it lets you know where you do stand. After all, hasn't every massive change for the better throughout history started with a little controversy and going against the norm?


Abigail said...

Great Blog Lindsay, really enjoyed reading it. I envy your warrior instinct as I am sadly one of those irritating people who changes their mind, everytime anyone makes a valid point. i take my hat off to you x

Anonymous said...

And you're such a sweet little thing in person Lindsay! We're all a bit braver when we're sitting behind a keyboard. Wait until you read my blog, I have a feeling it might stir up a conversation!

vicky ellis said...

Brilliant Einstein quote. If I had any memory for such things I'd be using this to annoy people at every opportunity :)

I agree that we need to be amongst those who disagree with us, at least occasionally. Surrounding ourselves with yes men and women leads to stagnation. The worlds needs us to evolve in thought and deed and that means controversy.

Great post and great subject this week Lindsay.

P.S. Love the tags ;)

Barbara said...

That was me by the way (second comment)

Ashley R Lister said...

I'm now going to have to rewrite my blog.


Lindsay said...

Thanks guys x Ash, why do you have to re-write your blog?

Ashley R Lister said...

I have to rewrite mine because you've said things that echo my own sentiments almost verbatim (and I don't want to look like I'm copying).


Lindsay said...

sorry Ash :(

Lara Clayton said...

Sorry for the late reply, I've only just had the chance to read your post.

I agree with so much of what you say. You've tackled this week's theme brilliantly; your honesty is very refreshing.


Ps. As Vicky also mentioned - I love the tags :)