And also, the importance of professionalism.
Or basically, shun social justice warriors, because they are pure poison.
I’m actually working on what’s going to be mostly a link roundup on why feminists are literally the worst people in America, but that won’t come until later because I was off staying at someplace that was stuck in the 1990s and wanted to charge an arm and a leg for internet access when I spotted the Insty link to SSC, and also I was on vacation. And then I ranted to my husband about it and then we [REDACTED: error #34, TMI] because having an intellectually stimulating conversation with my very own patriarchal nerd overlord is awesome.
So I’m strolling around my usual interwebs places and went down a link chain and ended up at this entry on Slate Star Codex: The Toxoplasma of Rage. Here’s the exerpt I want to pull out and focus on:
People talk about the shift from old print-based journalism to the new world of social media and the sites adapted to serve it. These are fast, responsive, and only just beginning to discover the power of controversy. They are memetic evolution shot into hyperdrive, and the omega point is a well-tuned machine optimized to search the world for the most controversial and counterproductive issues, then make sure no one can talk about anything else. An engine that creates money by burning the few remaining shreds of cooperation, bipartisanship and social trust.
Now, I’ve been working on my own response to being “triggered” by morons on the internet, and my conclusion a while back was that pulling out of the ‘net and refocusing on Real Life (which gives me some time to mull things over and subject my emotional response to logic and reason) is better than raging in pixels.
But that’s not why social justice warriors need to be shunned; that’s just an example of a non-extra-controversy-generating coping response. (Except now that I’m writing about it, does that make it part of the meme life cycle?) But consider what happened to the narrow-focus tumblr blogs: sjws tried to get them to go off-topic and join the outrage-generating meme du jour. The way to defeat that omega algorithm? People who can actually compartmentalize their lives and behave in a professional manner. Fandom communities for talking about fandoms. Professional communities for those professions. Et cetera. Normal people can do this. Normal people can compartmentalize. Monomaniacs like sjws? They can’t. So SHUN THEM whenever they cross the line. Ban them when they go off-topic. Delete their posts – just like they delete and turn off and “massage” their own comment sections. Preserve sections of the internet in which people can dare to have interests of their own that aren’t dictated by the loudest trolls on the internet.
One can see how Scott Alexander doesn’t quite “get” this – his personal environment is filled with sjws’ screaming, and I do admire how he handles it. But there are plenty of people who don’t care and don’t pay attention except to point and laugh, and every time one of these advocacy groups shoots themselves in the foot, it teaches more and more people to realize that the media is the toxoplasma meme vector – and tune it out.