The blogpost where Buffy tries to be all clever and pretend he's a bit wise like Socrates, but convinces no-one.... This is expanded from a comment I made in response to the excellent and erudite Mindfump. [He's great. You should go read his stuff.] 'DIVERSITY OF MIND' At the risk of sounding particularly smug, I pride myself on having impeccable taste in friends... indeed, without exception, all my friends are delicious and fabulous people. They also all rate extremely highly in the compassion stakes... one of the biggest reasons, really, that they're my friends. They're also all more clever than myself [it's not hard, to be fair] -- it's always good to have wise and clever friends. They raise us up. However, this circle of friends also has a wide diversity of political and religious viewpoints -- from hippie liberals to stodgy socialists to curmudgeonly conservatives -- sometimes dissimilar to, and occasionally at odds with, my own. Though of course, these disagreements are always chummy... if possible, I do everything in "chummy" fashion, as is my way. I've always liked to debate in the fashion of the "Socratic Dialogues" of ancient Athens... albeit in a much less erudite fashion, and with much more wine [as is the way at Chez Buffy, or my local pub]. I definitely welcome this chummy sense of disagreement and debate: after all, if my friends all had identical or even very similar views, and furthermore always agreed with me, then that'd be the most direct route up my own arse that I could possibly take. Possibly due to my sense of duality, I'm also firmly of the belief that, agree with them or disagree, the majority of the UK's political parties have their angels, and have their demons. Certainly you won't find me turning my back on anyone for their political views [within reason... he added, quickly covering himself]. Also, my own political views are quite fixed, but they can get moved a little depending on new facts/arguments I encounter. That's good. It's evolution. But is being welcome to a diversity of views going out of fashion? The more I read about politics and hear the comments of people online, the more bigoted, polarised, and restricted are the views that I hear. This has been happening for some time, I think: the voting for, and reaction to, both President Trump and Brexit may have firmly underlined this mutually antagonistic tribalistic mentality, but it didn't produce it. Is tribalism the nature of online commenting, or does it reflect the UK at large, the USA at large, and the world at large? A while back, out of weariness I had to turn my back on both Facebook and twitter. My reason? It simply wasn't fun the way it used to be. I felt like I was drowning in a deluge of bigotry, emotive exclusionism, elitism, virtue-signalling, and more bigotry. Socratic it ain't. So... -- Is it wrong of me to be jaded? -- Is it wrong of me to be intolerant of intolerance? -- Is it OK that I want to believe in compassion and good sense and democracy and progressiveness and patriotism... but at the same time, am very suspicious of people who bandy those words around as if they're going out of fashion? And, as with so many things, I remain confused. Heck, will I even be voting on June 8th? I suppose I won't know 'til June 8th. But, for the time being, I'll be proud to encompass diversity of mind. For me, that's where Utopia begins.