If you've been around here at all, you know: I
hate dislike woke-ness. So, why?
I have asked myself this question too.
It isn't that I disagree with much of woke-ness dogma, although I do.
My fundamental challenge with many "woke" ideas is that I don't believe government action is the best way to handle them. But I recognize the contra points of view and will happily engage on them.
My dislike stems from the inauthenticity of woke-ness. It's virtue signaling; most wokies* don't understand the issues, haven't actually thought about them much, but have absorbed prevailing wisdom and eagerly parrot it in order to show that they, too, are a "good" person. Does it make them feel better about themselves? Maybe. And maybe that's the attraction.
One tell is that wokies* reject facts which don't fit their narrative. If you think X, and you encounter a fact which is ~X, what do you do? Do you inquire about the fact? Do you process it and maybe come up with X'? Or do you simply reject the fact?
* is wokie a word? No. Should it be? Yes.
I often refer back to an incredibly insightful ontology of ways to disagree, from Paul Graham:
- DH0. Name-calling.
- DH1. Ad hominem.
- DH2. Responding to tone.
- DH3. Contradiction.
- DH4. Counterargument.
- DH5. Refutation.
- DH6. Refutation of the central point.
Wokies rarely engage on the facts, even if there are legitimate arguments available; instead they go for contradiction, ad hominem, and name calling. And there is an even weaker response: silencing the source This is happening all over, and is even institutionalized.
My central gripe isn't with these people's actions, it's with their intent. I have many friends with whom I disagree, and I have no challenge with their disagreement if it is authentic.
On this day, April 1, we encounter a lot of falsehood for the sake of humor. And that's great. I've never laughed harder or enjoyed myself more on account of some of it. You might say this is authentic falsehood.
Unfortunately and irritatingly, our public discourse has moved strongly toward inauthentic falsehood. We say things we know are not true and act upon them, because others will agree, and we'll feel better about ourselves.
The other day I mentioned nut picking, "acting as if the craziest people in any group represent the group". This is not authentic.
I wish the pendulum will swing back, but I'm not optimistic. I see several parallel gradients that reinforce inauthentic behavior, locking it in. The antidote is to question everything. Not just on April 1, but every other day.