Sometimes I still read feminist stuff and my kneejerk reaction is to nitpick something. Not that I do, and not because it’s feminist, but because I feel like that’s what the culture around critical thinking breeds. In a way, they end up teaching critical thinking wrong. It’s adversarial. You argue against extreme fundamental religious people people who believe the earth was created yesterday, or moon landing deniers, or climate change deniers. You argue with crazy, obviously wrong people who won’t get swayed by rational arguments. So what do you do? You nitpick.
That’s still rational and often an important part of refining arguments, but the value is over-inflated. Instead of a tool for improvement, it’s an actual attack vector — often the only attack vector. We learn not to reach new understanding and new knowledge by reasoning, but to score on what we perceive to be the opposition with sick slam dunks. We learn that we’re right and anyone who disagrees with us haven’t been dunked on enough. These communitie (skeptics community, atheism community, etc), as much as they want to teach critical thinking, mostly end up just teaching debate club.
I know I’ve written about this before, but it kills me when I read something and my knee jerk reaction is “WELL THAT MIGHT NOT NECESSARILY ALWAYS BE TRUE”. Like “No shit, brain, there are tons of exceptions to everything. Why don’t you just shut up and fill in the blanks and fix the little mistakes your self, have some empathy and learn something.”