I’ve realized recently that my level of tolerance for stupidity is at an all time low. There was a time when I’d delve into the most idiotic and asinine apologetics without hesitation and it would be virtually impossible for a theist to make me block them or ignore them, no matter how troll-like they got. Those days are gone now and good riddance to them.
It started on Twitter, where trolls roam free. I probably had my most recent Twitter account for a year or so before I dropped anyone into the black hole of my client’s mute function. However, I started to recognize that there were some people that I had no interest in reading, even in passing, ever again so they started vanishing from my timeline. Then, there was the Muslim invasion of the #atheism hashtag, where literally hundreds of messages a day from Muslim spammers and their ilk would flood the screen for hours on end. At first, I tried to report them to Twitter for spam and when it became clear that Twitter didn’t give a damn about policing their own system, I started muting them wholesale. I didn’t stop there, I decided that because there were so many theist trolls on Twitter, not just ignorant, stupid theists but theists who were actively trolling the atheist hashtags, that they’d go away too. I have no idea how many people are on permanent mute, my client doesn’t give numbers and I have no interest in counting the literally thousands of people I’ll never see a tweet from again, but I don’t miss them at all and seriously, I probably ought to double the number that are dead to me and I might actually make Twitter something occasionally worth looking at.
This has extended to other things I read online as well. I once prided myself in never actually blocking anyone but life is just too short to deal with morons. Most recently, I block on every site that has it available with gleeful abandon. I determine if the individual is likely to ever recognize the broad side of reason and if not, away they go. I have no interest in beating my head against the wall of blatant stupidity. I tend to give them some broad latitude but once they cross a certain level of absurdity, they get flushed and I honestly don’t see me ever clearing my block lists again. Once I did, I’d empty them on the first of every month and give people a chance over and over and over again. No longer, if they earn their spot there, they can stay there for the rest of their misbegotten lives.
And really, why should I be tolerant of stupidity? There are lots of people who say I should learn to be tolerant. Why? Nobody ever suggests we should be tolerant of child molestation, rape, murder, etc. The only things that I ought to be tolerant of, that anyone ought to be tolerant of, are things that are actually tolerable. Stupidity isn’t tolerable, especially when it’s self-imposed and vehemently maintained. This isn’t ignorance, where someone just doesn’t know what they’re talking about, this is stupidity, where they know and don’t care. If that makes me a grumpy old man, so be it. Get the fuck off my lawn.