The Breitbart Syndrome

Robin Hanson lists "signs that your opinions function more to signal loyalty and ability than to estimate truth":

  • You find it hard to be enthusiastic for something until you know that others oppose it.
  • You have little interest in getting clear on what exactly is the position being argued.
  • Realizing that a topic is important and neglected doesn’t make you much interested.
  • You have little interest in digging to bigger topics behind commonly argued topics.
  • You are less interested in a topic when you don’t foresee being able to talk about it.
  • You are uncomfortable taking a position near the middle of the opinion distribution.
  • You are uncomfortable taking a position of high uncertainty about who is right.
  • You care far more about current nearby events than similar distant or past/future events.
  • You find it easy to conclude that those who disagree with you are insincere or stupid.
  • You are reluctant to change your publicly stated positions in response to new info.
  • You are reluctant to agree a rival’s claim, even if you had no prior opinion on the topic.
  • You are reluctant to take a position that raises the status of rivals.
  • There are more.