Is anyone else here by virtue of Sam Harris being the last remnant of their former alt-right media-sphere?

It’s sad that so many seem to become entrenched in particular ‘groups’ of public figures. Whether it be those characterised as alt-right, or those in the more recent trend of leftist BreadTube, the IDW, or any other ultimately futile tag.

I find myself agreeing or disagreeing with personalities on all sides. I’m not an obsessive consumer of content from any group, but I tune in every now and then to a video from Sargon, Vaush, Rubin, Harris, JBP, ContraPoints, the Weinsteins, and many others with smaller audiences.

I usually consume their content when I want to hear different sides to (roughly) the same story. I want to hear drastically different takes on the same issue, as I formulate my own conclusions. I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing with most of the above, though people like Sargon, Vaush, and Rubin strike me as the least charitable to their opponents.

There is a toxic and seemingly perpetual ‘us vs them’ mentality which pervades online media. This is exacerbated in the entrenched fanbases of popular figures. It’s okay to dislike someone intensely, I certainly share those feelings for specific people, but to unthinkingly dismiss everything they say on those grounds is foolish.

I rarely listen to Rubin these days. Of the lot, he seems the most inane, mutable, yet somehow still predictable. But I follow his tweets to remind myself of the dronery. The personality of Vaush, who I’ve been listening to for less than a month, rubs me the wrong way, but I find myself agreeing with many of his arguments, which are apparently uncontemplated by people like Rubin.

I’ll never be a fanboy of either camp, or any others that may arise. I listen to all and consider my positions in relation to theirs, from topic to topic. This, I think, is healthy. Identifying with specific groups of creators to the point where one is prone to their unflinching, feverish defence, is not.

I’ve read 12 Rules for Life. Much of it seemed like reaffirming common sense, some of it near delusional, grandiose, esoteric interpretations of biblical themes, presented as being universally accepted by the Christian faith. Some of it genuine criticisms of leftist mania. But yes, lacking in proper engagement with issues like climate change. Peterson’s appearance on PragerU was particularly infuriating for me.

The difference between my take on Peterson and a take from someone entrenched in a leftist echo chamber is that I recognise the useful common sense in some of his arguments, though not unique to him by definition, whereas I’ve seen some on the left dismiss anything he has to say because of his apparent lack of honest engagement with climate science, or his uncommitted take on trans issues.

It’s okay. You can be infuriated by him in one breath, and appreciate the content of his words in another. The same applies to any individual, whether fleeting YT star or your neighbour. The difference should be in the extent to which we agree or disagree; not in whether the sum of your views amounts to tacit allegiance to one group or another. Please, let’s kill this dead-end behaviour.

This was written quickly and without much thought to structure. Apologies for rambling.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: be careful not to find yourself in another entrenched group on the other side.

/r/samharris Thread