Rethink.

Ora sono ubriaco d'universo. (Ungaretti)

A Suggestion for My New Right-Wing Pals at Digg

I’ve been sick the last few days and unable to focus on anything, but have been able to periodically drop in on Digg and vote up articles and meet a nice bunch of conservatives I hope will be friends.

Right now Digg is quite obviously gripped by election fever. Every article has to do with Obama or McCain and why they’re perfect or total sleaze. It looks like the conservative goal is to get one positive article on McCain to the front page, or, better yet, one of those really nice juicy articles about ACORN and vote fraud.

I think the strategy of “keep trying” is fine, but it is kinda getting redundant hearing the same stuff over and over again. And one thing I’m worried about is, well – how did moonbats become moonbats? A lot of you want to say “it’s because they’re liberal,” but trust me, I know plenty of liberals that can destroy me intellectually: they’re Left-of-center, but they’re not wearing tinfoil. And while quite a few of you have been more than vocal about how much more you know than I do, I’d be careful saying that to someone more objective than me or you.

My thought is that if you depend on the news to confirm why you’re right or why you’re wrong, you’re prone to becoming a moonbat. Since the news can’t provide a sense of value itself, and since values must matter more, what ends up happening is news you don’t like ends up getting distorted however you like or ignored altogether. Our Lefty friends on Digg have managed to turn the fact there hasn’t been a terror attack on American soil in years into a conspiracy theory, alleging that the Bush administration created al-Qaeda, Osama’s just a fiction.

Can we be this nutty? Sure we can! All of us who’ve been online for a while have seen people say the exact same things we believe, then spout off about their visit from aliens and how Nostradamus was correct about everything.

Just like from “Seinfeld,” with Newman’s explanation of why the mail deranges (“it keeps coming, and coming,”) we’re only reading the same thing over and over again for the most part – heck, if I didn’t have a dissertation to write, I’d be a complete news-junkie. The nice thing about school is that it forces me to engage a different set of books always. When I was an undergrad, I was a total news-junkie, since the books I read there weren’t that good for the most part, and I can safely tell you everything I read in the news then is the same stuff I read now, and I’m not any wiser because of that.

So my suggestion is this: while you’re digging the election stuff, please make sure a good diversity of articles about other things that are important to you get submitted and distributed. If you’re into ballet, submit that. If you’re into pro-sports, pass that around. Do stuff that makes you at least look like you’re not fixated on the election, like you have a life. Because at the end of the day, this is your life, and those of us using the Internet to change the world explicitly have made a calculation beforehand about how much we’re going to let the Internet change us.

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