Yesterday was almost the day that I bought a domain name, something like, skepticmovementdramaclock.com, and put up a page that said how many days since the last skeptic dustup. It would be easy, because I could just up a page that said “Zero” and never touch it again. Thats how I felt last night, when I was tempted to go full blown cynic, and say fuck it. I took a deep breath, loaded Carol Tavris’s “Mistakes Were Made” onto my kindle, and walked away from the keyboard. After reading the first 5% of the book, I was able to be relaxed enough to go to sleep.
I once thought that rifts could be healed, that time would soften people, and the trajectories of groups would once again merge on the same line of progress. People warned me I was being too optimistic. Turns out I was wrong. Totally wrong. My assertion has turned out to be Piltdown-esque, in its wrongness and self delusion. That’s why I got so down at times last night. Instead of people working together, and discussing difficult topics like adults, we have time spent on two dustups that are about as dumb as dumb can be. In fact, if people tweeted about how the dustups were big deals, I probably unfollowed them. I’m tired of it.
So what’s left to do? Well, unfortunately, for all intents and purposes, I have a long list of people to just “write off” as lost causes. I won’t expect them to improve their behavior or actions, but I remain open enough to be surprised. There are websites that despite morbid curiosity will never be entered in any form in my web browser. My social media lists will be trimmed and people who have little interest in moving forward, will probably be cut. This will keep me a little saner. I hesitate to call it a block list or any sort of boycott, but I have limited time that I can spend looking on social media sites anyway, and unless it’s necessary, I don’t need to be following everyone anyway. This makes it a little easier to manage.
I will continue to work on Skeptunes, and this blog will find more and more updates I think as a way to keep my mind focused on the work. I’ll be making a concerted effort to read more books that pertain to skepticism. If I see a site or project in need of a few bucks, I’ll open my wallet. Lastly, I’ll be sure to thank people more often for help and to let them know when they do good work. I see others frustrated, too, as things become nastier and nastier, and everyone could use a pickup.
That’s what I do when I feel like giving up. Retreat, reflect, retrench.