This is the third and final article in a short series on cleaning up the information environment. Part one can be found here, How to Fight Information Pollution, and part two here, How to Identify Your Cognitive Biases & Allergies. This one focuses on identifying unwitting (or witting) culture warriors parroting tribal narratives in the wild and online:
1. Their speech is markedly pronounced and highly emotive, usually denoting fear or outrage;
2. They demonstrate absolute certainty in the correctness of their positions on polarising issues (e.g. Covid, Brexit, wokeism, free speech, The Great Reset, etc);
3. They have a strong enemy hypothesis and evident combatants who pose to them existential threats (e.g. the vaccinated/non-vaccinated, Brexit leavers/remainers, Liberals, Tories, the WEF, etc);
4. They use a codified vernacular, often punctuated with pejorative phrases (e.g. ‘Covidians’, ‘Covidiots’, ‘virtue signallers’, ‘snowflakes’, ‘Tory scum’, etc);
5. They hold sacred values and evangelise tribal chieftains whose wisdom or platforms they consider sacrosanct/proselytisers of ‘truth’ (e.g. Joe Rogan, Jeremy Corbyn, Donald Trump, Russel Brand, Jordan Peterson, etc).
It should be noted we are all tribalists to greater or lesser extents. This list derives in part from personal introspection. It is now the criteria I use to assess the degree to which a narrative runs my own thinking and the thinking of others with whom I’m having discussions.
Read widely | Think critically | Share cautiously