Taking a stand against taking a stand

Pick a corner of the web, any corner – so long as it’s not overtly about politics, social justice or whatever.

Take a forum dedicated to Yo Gabba Gabba fanfiction – it doesn’t matter.

You’ll see something like this:

Everyone NeEdS to take a StAnD against the racism/attacks on freedom/whatever. And if you don’t speak out, you’re PaRt of the pRoBlEm!!!


Just… no.

Posting stuff like this doesn’t help – and I’ll prove it.

And it makes everyone worse – and I’ll prove that too.

Seriously – stop using every platform to spread your message. Even if it’s true and essential (it’s probably not, by the way,) you’re not helping anyone.


There’s a place for reasonable debate and for sharing your views. But posting long rants or hashtags about your movement aren’t persuasive.

There are four reasons to post something like that on all your accounts:

  • To make yourself feel better. The situation outrages you and you want to feel as though you’re making a difference. Admirable, but that feeling alone accomplishes nothing.
  • Virtue signalling or heading off accusations of apathy. (“I can’t BELIEVE you haven’t mentioned South Sudan on your website about floral arrangements!!”)
  • To genuinely attempt to ‘persuade’. People who agree with you will pump their fists before they stop caring. People who disagree won’t be persuaded by your ham-fisted rhetoric. Neutral folks will get annoyed. This strategy would make more sense if it had ever worked for anyone.
  • To ‘raise awareness’. It’s funny – I never heard something first through one of these sites, except for incorrect details. Why does everyone want to raise awareness of the biggest issues dominating the discourse?

Speaking of dominating the discourse…

If folks want to learn about the latest shitshow, they’ll turn to trusted experts for their take on it. They’ll read blogs by sociologists and philosophers and whoever has done the work. If they’re dumb about who they trust, they’ll turn to the mainstream media.

If they want to duke it out, there are plenty of platforms for that, like Twitter and Facebook.

But if they want to escape all that?

If they simply need a G-D break from whatever fear and anger is consuming them?

Then don’t be a jackass who takes that away from them. It’d be bad enough if it did anything, but all you’re doing is stirring up pain for no reason.


If you’ve been on the internet long enough, you’ll remember when most of it was a debate between atheists and religious fundamentalists.

Seriously, it was hard to find a forum that didn’t devolve into this.

The argument raged on for years. Looking back on it, it was crazy.

Did atheism or religion disappear during this time? Of course not. It made the hardliners more hardline, while everyone else rolled their eyes.

Then the debate moved on to something else.

Did militant atheism flourish because no one was speaking out against it?

Did religious fundamentalism laugh maniacally as it spread across the lands?

Please, as if.

Speaking out didn’t make a difference. Ignoring the debates didn’t make a difference.

So if both have the same effect, avoid the one that saps your time, energy and sanity – and everyone else’s.

So what should you do instead?

Ah, now that’s a question too-few people ask. They’d rather burn everything down than try to solve the problem.

But if you are interested in thinking deeper and making a difference – and, if you’re reading this, that’s probably true – then you want the latest issue of Phronesis Accelerator.

But not just the latest issue – the latest bonus issue.

How do you get the bonus issue?

Either refer someone to the service or be referred. That’s your only way. You can’t buy this report – not for a million dollars. Only those interested in spreading the good word deserve this insight.

Here’ s how you get it:


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