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The Merits of Contrarianism & Why I hate Chatbots.
I generally have an aversion to chatbots. If you articulate your viewpoint on a particular subject and I can predict, line-for-line, the reasoning behind it or infer your perspectives on related topics, I perceive that as problematic. The concern isn’t whether we agree; rather, it’s the possibility that you’re echoing viewpoints accumulated from TikTok, Faux News, Twitter, or any prominent influencer of the month.
If you belong to a marginalized group, it's understandable that your viewpoints may mirror your experiences, reflecting a form of self-preservation. But what if all your beliefs align impeccably with the stereotypical expectations associated with your identity, and the rationale you provide is merely the repetition of well-known party lines we've all heard before?
A few weeks ago, I attended an event featuring an 'Ideological Turing Test', a game where participants argue both for and against a certain belief. The challenge is to present each stance so convincingly that others cannot discern your actual position.
As a former Model United Nations-geek with a penchant for intellectual exploration, I anticipated an effortless victory. WRONG. The reality was starkly different. My arguments, both pro and con, were so predictable that they made ChatGPT look innovative.
Although the game was a casual meet-up, the realization stuck, prompting reflections on my core values and beliefs.
I’ve often identified as a contrarian, a response that seems typical among those who feel alienated by society. Collectivism becomes intimidating when you've been ostracized by the majority. Nonetheless, espousing contrarianism or echoing popular sentiments merely for the sake of appearance is not only insincere but potentially harmful. Neckbeardism.
We, as humans, are inherently flawed and irrational. If we are truthful to ourselves and others, our genuine thoughts will inevitably deviate from expectations. This is important.
Is there any virtue in being a contrarian? Perhaps. But not in aesthetic. True growth and transformation are the fruits of critical thinking, even if your fundamental beliefs remain unaltered in the process!