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wnylibrarian's picture

The Diminishing Net Of Neutrality

Hello Interwebs,


No. I'm not writing about Net Neutrality, but I'm guessing you, the reader, already had a strong reaction to the words. That's my point.


I'm writing more about what appears to me as the ever diminishing returns on being neutral and, in a broader sense, the ability to compromise. The United States was a country based on the art of the compromise. It didn't always produce great results in the beginning, and there were a lot of growing pains, but overall from the Articles of Confederation to the US Constitution the art of the compromise usually took a strong root. I feel as a community, domestic and international, we've gotten away from the advantage of being neutral or, at the very least, being neutral to an extent as defined as seeing both sides of the argument to make a fair or rational eventual decision later in the game.


Everyone is ready to, "Come at me bro!"


The result is a net gain of people digging in their heels in their positions, entrenched, and the net loss is being able to remain neutral whether indefinitely or until it is time to make a decision. What if I write the following?


  • Android or iPhone?

  • Confederate Flag?

  • Coco Cola or Pepsi?

  • Democrat or Republican?


I'm guessing the reader had a strong reaction one way or another, but was anything but neutral. It seems as if whatever side you take the other side suddenly feels they have to either 1) Explain why you're wrong if you express an opinion, 2) Mock and jeer at your preference if you admit to one, or 3) Try to bring you on their side of the sphere again with diminutive dismissal of an alternative.


Why can't I like Coco Cola and Pepsi? Why can't I take the best of both sides? Why can't I be, you know, neutral? George Washington guarded against political parties specifically for that reason. He felt disagreements between political parties weakened the government as a whole. I'll take it a point further that, in anything, taking strong stances only inflame and galvanize the opposing party. An excellent example of this is anytime someone attempts to suppress and idea or an opinion. A comment thread on a blog post, or a discussion on an online forum. It only inflames the issue it doesn't extinguish it. See also Streisand Effect.


My biggest displeasure isn't with political leaders, it is with the sum of them and us. We, the people, have moved away from the neutral line, and that in my view is the biggest cause for alarm. The further people move away from the line it takes exponentially twice as much effort to fight the resistance to bring them back to it. Eventually the cumulative net loss of the neutral line is the system tears apart.


As always feel free to comment below.