With Friends Like These

I’m inherently really skeptical of anyone who agrees with me a lot, especially if they agree loudly.

It’s not because I think they’re being disingenuous – I think this even if the person isn’t communicating with me directly. But if I hear someone talking about stuff I like and agree with, my eyes narrow.

I don’t want to agree with anyone 100%. I think that’s a recipe for disaster. I want to listen to people who make me uncomfortable, and I want to make others uncomfortable when they listen to me. That’s how we learn stuff.

More than that though, is that there’s a danger from agreeing with someone who you don’t know well. If I find someone on Twitter who says a few things that I agree with, I’m tempted to give them a signal boost, maybe a retweet with a “this guy knows what’s up!” attached. And as soon as I do, they’ll then say something new about how the moon lizards did 9/11 or something and now great, I’m associated with that guy.

That’s also why I won’t generally use political labels. I’m fine with talking about my views on a particular policy if asked directly (and under the right conditions), but I won’t give myself any sort of political identity label if asked. Not only do I prefer not to give people reasons to make incorrect assumptions about me, but I also don’t want to suddenly be attached to any crazy views adopted by whoever else chooses to adopt that same label – it’s not as if I can control them, after all.

I like my independence, both in action and in thought. So I try to keep a healthy distance. You should, too.

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