Being a fan or a member of a movement makes you stupid.

It can be worth it when the stakes are low.

For example, being a dedicated sports fan can be worth the price of the stupidity it brings.

You lose the ability to objectively reason about your team, your rivals, or the referees. You see things through a lens warped by your commitment to the team. Most of all, you become susceptible to getting led to delusion and false hope by whatever hopium peddler comes around. You can’t help but believe THIS will be the player/coach/manager to save us.

But you gain the escapist enjoyment of fully giving in to the experience. You get lost in it, experience as epic, inspiring, and heroic moments that a non-fan would get nothing from. You get to live a drama. Like a good movie, you want to actually feel the ups and downs as if it were your own life.

The loss of clear thinking that comes with sports fandom has a small cost. Being blind to the realities of sports doesn’t hurt you much in life.

Being a fan or dedicated member of a movement in other areas can be very costly.

If you’re too emotionally invested in a technology, brand, ideology, political party, or leader the resulting stupidity can be very costly. You can lose lots of time, money, sleep, trustworthiness, friends, opportunities, autonomy, and sanity. The blindness of a fan makes them prone to wander off cliffs.

When someone points out a flaw in the thing you’re a fan of, does it causes you pain? Is your first instinct denial or rebuttal? That’s a good sign you’re probably being made stupider and less useful to yourself by your fandom.

Critics may be wrong, and your rebuttals may be right. But if your hackles get raised before you’ve even formed a rational thought about it, it’s a bad sign.

Humor is another sign. If you can’t point out and laugh at and satirize weaknesses in the thing you like, you’re probably too deep into fandom. All movements are dangerous, but any movement that isn’t laughing at themselves a lot is especially dangerous. Self-seriousness is the path to delusion.

Hold your likes lightly.