A little advice from someone studying extremist groups: if you’re in a social media environment where the daily ubiquitous message is that you have no hope of any kind of future and you can’t possibly achieve anything without a violent overthrow of society, you’re being radicalized, and not in the good way.

If the solution to your problems sounds like “we need a blank slate” it’s a lie. There are no blank slates, and the closest approximation people can generally imagine is “burn it all down and let God/fate/history sort it out”.

That’s not problem solving. It’s barely catharsis, in practice. It doesn’t just create more problems than it solves, it destroys more solutions than it creates.

Put the apocalypse down, and back away slowly.

Real solutions to complex, systemic problems are not so easily reduced to “us good, them evil; kill them.”

[image transcript:

Voting as Fire Extinguisher

When the haunted house catches fire: a moment of indecision.

The house was, after all, built on bones, and blood, and bad intentions.

Everyone who enters the house feels that overwhelming dread, the evil that perhaps only fire can purge.

It’s tempting to just let it burn.

And then I remember:

there are children inside.

—Kyle Tran Myhre. end id]