- No understanding of the game.
- No skin in the game.
- No agency in the game.
Only when you have a rational investment in the outcome and understand something about the process and reason to believe it works for you, does the value of the opinions you hold and your take on the opinions of others take shape and become firm.
Scenario A. Understanding
Imagine that I know nothing at all about professional sports in America. I'm sitting in a bar and the person at my right might say that the Dallas Cowboys are the best football team this season. The person to my left might say that the Atlanata Hawks are the best football team this season. I'd have to say both opinions are about equal even though the Hawks are a basketball team. The Hawks fan could go on and tell me that the Hawks won each of their games by an average of 12 points, whereas Dallas only won by 3 points. I'm in a totally ridiculous conversation and I don't even know why. I may even come to support the person on the left after the person on the right says "You're an idiot!" and walks away.
Now I'm supporting an opinion I have no idea about, while forming another opinion. "Dallas Cowboy fans are assholes." based on this one particular encounter.
The more you know about something, the less tolerance you tend to have for people who don't. But lots of people who never develop any expertise, or skin in the game, adopt opinions on specious premises. We live in a consumer society in which information and opinions are marketed and people adopt them based upon context rather than content. This is a well-understood psychological phenomenon called (something I can't remember) in which the consumer falsely assumes what's inside the box is well-represented by the illustrations on the outside of the box, or the conditions under which the box was presented. The other standard logical fallacies apply.
Scenario B: Investment
My personal opinion is that all gambling in Vegas is the same and is for losers. Now I actually know that one has a better chance at winning at Blackjack or Texas Hold 'Em and that there are professionals who can legitimately beat the odds. But I don't care because I never waste my money gambling in Vegas or anywhere. I've already divided the world into two kinds of people, those who don't gamble at all and idiots.
Imagine that I was an atheist. I have reasons to believe that Islam and Christianity are equally dubious. Since I have no reason to invest any hope or trust in their various institutional manifestations, I'm likely to come to regard the defensive of Islam and of Christianity about the same. Basically, both have no value to me. I don't need to care because, as Childish Gambino might say "I ain't lovin' those fake hoes." So while I have some understanding, I can still be dismissive of informed opinions and not bother to weigh the differences between them.
Scenario C: Agency
This one is especially interesting. It is the tragedy against knowledge and interest which is resignation. Imagine that I were a voter in a democracy and I understood the process. Not only do I understand the process, but I have a particular stake in the process. I want my party to win. But I live in a jurisdiction where the other party dominates. Say I live in Los Angeles and I want a Republican mayor. Or I live in Texas and I want gun control. Or I live in the ghetto and I want them to build a Nordstrom's. I know that pretty much no matter how much time and energy, knowledge I possess, what one guy like me can do against the system amounts to butkis. So I judge that everybody's opinion, not just mine, basically doesn't matter. What's gonna happen is gonna happen so yes I'll agree, I'll play along, but I really don't see the point in giving one opinion any more credibility than another.
When I was a kid at camp, we were organized into Adventure Groups. One boys cabin, one girls cabin, our two respective counselors and one staff member. These groups would get together on a daily basis and do our craft projects as a team. My group called itself The Mighty Flaming Armadillos. Already we were into Monty Python. We adopted purple as one of our banner colors, I do remember that. There was one group whose name I remember like it was yesterday. They were IIWI, pronounced Double I Double U I. It stood for "I don't know. I don't care. What's the difference? Incorporated". No matter what the project, half of them didn't show up and the other half did half-ass work. They refused to take anything seriously but they must assuredly said that their group was as good as any other group. Their banner was the four letters in plain black magic marker on a white cardboard picket sign, sans serif.
There is logic to apathy and non-judgment. It's not hopeful or energetic, but there's logic to it.