The basic unit of group disagreement

It’s extremely rare that any two people possess the same basic beliefs and priorities. It might be so rare, that it doesn’t actually happen at all. We’re all at least partially aware that if you dig deep enough, any superficial resemblance in the beliefs and priorities of any two people is fundamentally erased.

That doesn’t stop us giving each-other crap because someone fails to precisely conform with our views. I’ll be talking some more about that, but right now, I’m going to talk about Jack Thompson.

Disbarred Florida attorney, Jack Thompson is a bit of a popular topic among readers. His vociferous stand against the games industry doesn’t exactly endear him to people who are a part of that industry, or those who are its consumers, in the main.

I can’t honestly say that I agree with him on… well, anything much, but I believe that the amount of venom and ridicule he attracts is far and away more than he deserves. If he ran around axe-murdering cheerleaders (or something), he’d probably get treated better.

Thompson gets death threats, threats of violence, sex toys sent to his house, and probably worse. Almost continuously. Think about that. Is that really an appropriate response to someone that you don’t agree with?

Forget about whether it is commonplace, is it appropriate? Reasonable? For the majority of us, of course it isn’t. It just makes you look like an arse – and not a particularly attractive one.

Offline, the basic unit of group disagreement appears to be the half-brick. Various social and political groups are the targets of the thrown brick because a bunch of people disagree with them. It’s a denial of their right to speak, and by choice of tool, a denial of their right to exist.

Is that sense (that we must destroy what we do not agree with because we cannot bear its existence) truly so commonplace? What does that say about us?

Thompson, whatever disagreements I have with his position and opinions, has a tenacity and persistence that is positively breathtaking. In the games industry, the man is a quite legendary phenomenon, whom few gamers have not heard of.

I cannot help but admire his tenacious approach to his goals. It’s rare to see that sort of determination and drive. That’s something that’s worthy of respect, whether or not you agree with those goals.

Respecting someone with whom you are in disagreement is unfashionable, I know. It’s far more common to throw half-bricks, throw around ad hominem ad personum, threaten, harass, and other such inappropriate behavior – but isn’t that the lazy way out?

Ultimately, is it not an admission that you don’t have the drive, determination and persistence for your cause that the other person has for theirs?

2 thoughts on “The basic unit of group disagreement”

  1. half-bricks? somtimes it’s full commercial planes…

    Whenever someone else’s opinion feels to the person like it can result in serious harm to somthing the person cares for, it’s not uncommon for the person to overreact

  2. That reminds me of a story from the Dalai Lama

    “Imprisoned by the Chinese for eighteen years, Lopon-la fled to India after he was finally freed…They tortured him many times in prison. I asked him whether he was ever afraid. Lopon-la then told me, ‘Yes, there was one thing I was afraid of. I was afraid I may lose compassion for the Chinese.’ I was very moved by this, and also very inspired.”

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