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Editorial and Opinion Articles: Social Commentary Headlines.

Ad hominem, esquire: by Joseph Kaminski

The block button has become man’s best friend. Someone on your feed has a different political opinion than you? Blocked. Someone comments on your page calling you out for something you said that was incorrect? Blocked. Someone in your inner circle has a point that you’re not so sure of? Blocked. Entire online communities have latched onto the groupthink levels of categorization that keep entire populations inflating their egos and infiltrating the information-side of the news. We have successfully normalized the idea of ignoring or even degrading anyone who disagrees. The internet allows us to take our self-image and warp it in any way that we please—to the point where emotion comes before information. What growth exists on a platform where people can always be right if they so choose?

As South African social critic and essayist Mokokoma Mokhonoana wrote, “intellect is the virtue of ignoring one’s emotions’ attempt to contaminate one’s opinions”. Or did he? How many of you reading this would actually fact-check such a statement in a news article or social commentary you grabbed off Facebook or Twitter? How many of you would stop reading this article to quickly copy and paste that quote into Google only to find it on some quote website like Brainyquote or Goodreads and feel content enough with that secondary source material only to come back to this article to humble-brag how intellectual you are compared to the rest of the general public? How many of you read this article at all?

Joseph Kaminski is a social historian with interests in political revolutions, economic recessions, and individualism. He collects old books and is a freelance editor working on several external projects. He publishes articles focused on history, sociology, and politics on his website JosephKaminski.org, and you can follow him on Twitter @publishingminds or on Mastodon @josephkaminski@mastodon.social.

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