Friday, November 14, 2014

Does It Feel Right, Like Penetrating Insight?

Mytheos Holt:

Nevertheless, it is hard to deny that #Gamergate’s targets in this fight are more than just corrupt game journalists. Along with their furious denunciations of the gaming press, the movement also appears to be fighting a new culture war — one against a new, radical and dangerously illiberal left which marinates in a hideous quagmire of resentment, smugness, vacuousness and contempt for free discussion. This movement prefers the vile ochlocracy of the Twitter mob (it’s no accident that Suey Park of #CancelColbert fame is on the anti-Gamergate side), celebrates the Maoist public shaming of doxxing, and seems incapable of distinguishing between a .gif and an argument. Deemed “Social Justice Warriors,” or “SJWs” by their detractors, this new left is monomaniacally obsessed with identity politics to the exclusion of almost everything else and will attack anyone and everyone who emanates even a whiff of what it perceives as racism, sexism, cissexism, or any of a number of other “-isms,” including its own allies.

And so it was that I found myself reading a very good article at Tucker Carlson's website, chuckling at the fact that, thanks to the complete moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the SJWs, I can no longer look askance at an article just because of where it was published. In truth, if we care about truth, we should never take such shortcuts to begin with, but life is short, excuses are cheap and easy, and we all make use of heuristics in order to better manage our time. Still, if you get too attached to saving time for its own sake and become too reliant on superficial signals over substance, you will find that, to borrow Emerson's words, "...a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another." I knew these people were idiots and frauds several years ago, but I also knew that to say so too often or too energetically was politically verboten. Thus does social capital make cowards of us all.

A minor quibble — neither the war nor the warriors are truly new. We have a new baby-boom generation making use of new technologies, but the bullshit theories and dogmas have been around for several decades.