The world is not black and white. It’s mostly gray.
In today’s world of hot takes and cancel culture, a lot of people seem to pin others down based on one thing they did or said. You know, just to get this short burst of hollow moral superiority, collect likes, or generate advertising dollars.
I don’t think this is good. People, a lot like the characters in George R.R. Martin’s fantastical universe, are mostly not good or bad. We need to learn to conduct discussions in more nuanced ways. We need to stop concluding B because somebody said A.
The Elon Musk bashing and loving is a good contemporary example. Objectively, he has done things that nudged the world in the right direction. Clearly, he has a good understanding of engineering and business. At the same time, he meddles in topics that he’s not an expert in, like geopolitics, where he causes unnecessary confusion.
We should be able to discuss this in a nuanced way. We should be able to say, “well he probably shouldn’t have called a random guy a pedo, but what he did to move the needle on electric cars is still amazing”. But what I often see happening is that people either hate and despise everything he does, or love and defend everything he does. This doesn’t make sense. Not for Elon Musk, not for Barack Obama, not for Albert Einstein and not for your grandmother.
This is not to say that the richest man in the world with an apparent God complex needs defending from a rando on the internet like me. It’s just a fitting example to make my point.
Now, I could go all into how hot takes and viral posts are incentivized by the ads industry, which they of course partly are, but this post is not about this. This post is about reminding everyone that most people are not absolute bad or absolute good.
I think it would be a positive thing if we all could add some more nuance to our discussions.