Against tribalism, rather than against a tribe
As many will now be aware, a certain person whose handle makes an unfortunate monogram has entered the LambdaConf controversy. Like many on the SJ side of this long-running conflict, he appears to be making his living as a culture war profiteer, only by selling books rather than consulting services to monetize the tribal conflict he has stoked. Now, just like some on the other side, he is compiling a targeting database of ideological enemies.
They’d be just as vicious if they had equivalent influence, as VD’s McCarthy-esque enemies list illustrates.
Instead, we must fight for the establishment of norms which allow peaceful coexistence and free association – and thus, against the authoritarian, universalizing tendencies within every cultural-ideological tribe – and for the possibility of pluralistic technical spaces with norms that protect the purpose they serve for technologists regardless of tribal affiliation, and resist being transformed into a no man’s land in between red and blue tribe trenches. We must resist the growing atmosphere of pressure to fall into line with one side or the other, with instant mendacious vilification as the penalty for failure to conform, and defend the existence of social contexts wherein it is possible to decline to do so. In short, we need to build the rudiments of a social technology of political toleration.
In the last week, following supporting LambdaConf publicly on Twitter, I’ve had my work attacked by tribalists fearing it obstructs the exercise of power in accordance with their wishes. I’ve had sockpuppeteers blatantly lie about me and my associates here at Status 451. Now, enter the other tribalists with their list of enemies and their angry trolls who will no doubt attack the first set like rabid animals and denounce me for being a degenerate lesbian in the process. Let’s build a non-universalizing refuge from it all instead.