Friday, September 17, 2021

Pills Bottled

Rageporn is seductive...
"Like much of modern media, Twitter shrinks our attention spans while bombarding us with things we might not otherwise have ever known or cared about and on which we have no influence. This is to say nothing of the political slant of Twitter. As Brian Riedl put it (in a tweet; Twitter has its uses), “Twitter users are D+15 — which would tie HI & VT for the most liberal state . . . the 10% of Twitter users who post 92% of all tweets are D+43 — which would make it America’s 2nd most liberal House district.”

This skew can breed, in those who believe it to be representative, a highly agitated and combative posture. It can make them think that America is already lost; this is called a “black pill” (the pill boxes of the redpilled are overflowing). It can make them believe that persuasion and workaday politics are inadequate to the moment, that only desperate action, often involving a departure from the constitutional order necessitated by the one already undertaken by opposing political forces, can bring any hope of salvation. It can make them believe that the political sphere is or should be a source of salvation — if only their enemies can be crushed. And so it can make them believe that only a countervailing force, similarly drawing strength from the online world and sharing many of its opponents’ attributes, can possibly contest it. In this way, the hyperpolarization and acute antagonisms of Twitter feed off each other, require each other, and may in fact reflect each other.
If you stay in your shouty bubbles, chugging from the availability cascade, this is what happens. It's because, in narrowly bounded virtual communities organized around common interests, our social capital is based on being even more enthusiastic than the other people in our tribe. 

In a firearms-oriented community social capital comes from shooting gooder or knowing a lot about firearms. In a Star Trek club, it's from being the Trekkiest trivia champ and having the best Spock ears. In Tumblrworld, it's from being the wokest and calling out nano-aggressions while everyone else is still hung up on micro ones. In Righty-ville right now, it comes from being the angriest, making the chest-beatingest calls for boogaloo.