Wednesday, June 24, 2020

From Elsewhere...

A friend wrote:
I don't like the term virtue signaling either, and for the same reason. What's even more hilarious are people who use the term liberally against their political opponents, but who themselves are epic virtue signalers to their own peers. I do notice a lot of actual virtue signaling, especially in the past six months, but I think that's mostly because social media turns some types of people into awful people. Or maybe just provides a powerful avenue for awful people to self-identify. Not sure which.
In this case, the medium definitely shapes the outcome. I replied...
Basically, social media allows people to divide themselves into tribes based on opinions and shared values. Social capital in those tribes is then accumulated by espousing those values more extremely than one's peers and being the first and most vocal proponent to shun those who deviate.

It's like watching the history of the Christian church for the first five or six hundred years played at 1000X fast forward, and on an endless loop. 
(With pagan Vandal & Sassanid infiltrators cheering on every divisive opinion.)
If you're in a virtual community defined by concern for social justice, then the person with the most concern for social justice will have the most social capital. If you're in a community defined by being edgy, then the edgiest edgelord is at the top of the heap. You think (Black/Blue) lives matter? Well someone thinks they matter even more than you, you quisling.

*looks around*

How about we give nuclear weapons to the unborn?