Micro.blog

bix
bix

Nah.

frostedechoes
frostedechoes

@bix What specifically are you finding in that post with which to disagree?

bix
bix

@frostedechoes A story here or there does not a reign of terror social media mob ruining people’s lives by design make.

frostedechoes
frostedechoes

@bix As I read his post, a topic Twitter advertised to me as tending was #karensgonewild. It was literally post after post going after people who had transgressed. There is a Jon Ronson book about it. I’m not sure pretending it isn’t a thing really works when so many anecdotes add up to data.

bix
bix

@frostedechoes Except that Karens is, you know, a real thing. These are not random innocents being thrown into some social media guillotine in some sort of “cancel them all and let god sort them out” reign of terror.

ducasse
ducasse

@bix I'd echo what @frostedechoes said (pun accidentally-intended). The Washington Post running a 3000 word major piece dragging up an incident of a non-public figure from two years ago leading to the loss of job/career would say differently. Among numerous other incidences.

Cancel culture is junk-food dopamine where the crowd gets to feel like they're dismantling racism whilst conveniently missing the bigger picture. It's hobby-politics.

"There's something unsustainable about an environment that demands constant atonement but actively disdains forgiveness."

patrickrhone
patrickrhone

@lucian @bix @frostedechoes I have nothing to add other than this is an interesting and important debate and I’m glad you all are having it. <grabs popcorn>

bix
bix

@lucian Of course, that "junk-food dopamine where the crowd gets to feel like they're dismantling racism" originated with Black Twitter punching up at legit offenses.

bix
bix

@patrickrhone In the end, my position comes down to: like all things I'm sure there are abuses but as a straight, cisgender, middle-aged white guy I'm not about to condemn cancel culture of the outing of Karens writ large, and usually the sturm und drang against alleged mobs arises out of one part or another of the power structure bearing the brunt of the punching up. I'm okay with a skeptical eye, but I'm not okay with doing the dirty work of the powers-that-be who are scrambling to keep their barricades intact.

esjewett
esjewett

@lucian @bix @frostedechoes It is indeed uncomfortable when the structures of power that have been used to oppress are turned on the oppressor and laid bare in all of their arbitrary cruelty.

frostedechoes
frostedechoes

@esjewett @lucian To be fair, I did ask @Bix to expand his thoughts on the matter, because I was genuinely interested in what he had to say, and he obliged.

ducasse
ducasse

@bix @esjewett @frostedechoes Oh, absolutely, I agree. Just because something becomes (or looks liable to become) a runaway train does not mean it didn't have a (worthy and necessary) destination to begin with.

However it simply feels reckless to dismiss the potential ramifications and clumsy-negative habits formed from allowing something such as this to go unchecked, granted immunity and impunity to moonlight as progressive, protected from any inquiry or criticism by virtue of its virtuous beginning.

Things build from the bottom up, and because there is, and was, good in the beginning does not mean there is no room for misuse and when misuse becomes the norm the damage is done and must be unpicked in reluctant bashful hindsight.

ducasse
ducasse

@esjewett Yes, but when the oppressor becomes simply anyone at all that is other than the one/group that calls out the oppressing, you've lost sight of the actual villain:

"Where all are guilty, no one is; confessions of collective guilt are the best possible safeguard against the discovery of culprits, and the very magnitude of the crime the best excuse for doing nothing." —Hannah Arendt

esjewett
esjewett

@lucian We are probably talking past each other a bit due to my being cryptic. My point was simply that yes it’s clearly bad in many ways, but there is some virtue in it’s role in the current American conversation: to allow white people to experience some of the indiscriminate, disproportional, mob retribution that is a core part of the black experience in this country. Turns out, that’s a shitty thing to experience.

ducasse
ducasse

@esjewett I can see that, to an extent, except for me to accept it as a justified end would be to see the victims being only whites, which isn't the case. Everyone and anyone is fair-game, except when a rival mob turns the cancelling on one its own, when suddenly rules and bounds are now introduced. I also fail to see how a "see we ruined your life, it's not very nice is it?" can be the most efficacious tract to take towards a unifying of cause. The mob eats its own, directing its ire redundantly at those who were already on board. The criteria of admission to the "good-side" becomes increasingly small. Deviation from the line is tantamount to Dissent; dissent then tantamount to herecy; the punishment; exile.

bix
bix

@lucian Which isn't happening except in edge cases. Even the Atlantic piece which prompted all of this doesn't actually argue this "it's out of control!" narrative in the fashion you and @ayjay have been making.

ducasse
ducasse

@bix I don't decide whether I deem something to be, or have the potential to be, out of control based on whether the Atlantic say it is or isn't. Nor do I think anyone should. Nor do I think anyone should come to their conclusions based on the stance of any media organisation, public figure, random internet stranger, or the neighbourhood stray cat, and I don't mention the cat to be mocking, but merely to highlight the folly of guiding ourselves by the opinions and thoughts of others -- whoever they be.

bix
bix

@lucian I didn't say you did. I said you're making an even more ridiculous argument than the article which sparked all this off. 😉

ducasse
ducasse

@bix Thats fair.

Let's reconvene some time in the future and reasses how ridiculous the concern is based on how many more ridiculous incidents we have?

More like the data analyst social‐democrat-progressive who tweeted a single tweet summary of Princeton University's Omar Wasau's research done in the 60's that found violent protest tended to hurt the democratic cause and Black people, which subsequently led to the data analyst being fired from his job for doing so, and labelled racist for deigning to tweet the work of a Black Professor whose conclusions they didn't like.. Oh, nevermind that he also apologised for tweeting it either. (remember that line I keep tweeting about disdaining forgiveness?)

Oh, which was followed up, let's add, by white [Nathan Robinson(https://twitter.com/owasow/status/1273642987185147904?s=19) writing an article telling professor of said research why he was essentially "anti-black", for having done said research albeit without having actually read said research in question; the baying cries for cancelling him are eerily silent however.

ducasse
ducasse

@bix fixing the broken link

bix
bix

@lucian Let’s recall, again, that this entire discussion was set off by Jacobs saying the following:

For the ones doing the mobbing, ruining the lives of innocent people is not a bug in their program, it’s an essential feature. There can be no reign of terror when only the guilty are punished.

[…]

That is why, for those who want to effect social change by exposure and shaming, punishing the innocent is a feature of their system, not a bug.

Which is what set me off. Nowhere have I argued that abuses don’t happen. The abuses, both the wrongly purported and the actual, quite clearly are being adjudicated and debated publicly. If only the situations in which true and actual racist behavior was called out were treated with this degree of furred brow pontification.

bix
bix

@lucian I hit send before I was done: what sent me scurrying to post to my blog was Jacobs’ contention that this is effectively the way some undefined “mob” wants it; to wit: “cancel them all and let god sort them out”, and there’s simply no evidence of that. An anecdote here or there doesn’t qualify. And in the scheme of things, giving precious and plaintive column inches to the wrongly accused, whether they were wrongly accused or not, just seems out of proportion in a society where all the racism that gets zero column inches every single day should maybe be the story.

ducasse
ducasse

@bix I thought it only fair to spare the timeline my confused meanderings: It is a System.

bix
bix

@lucian Bookmarked for when I haven't just woken up from an accidental nap.

ducasse
ducasse

@bix I'm terrible at napping! (p.s. I hope it's not in bad taste to say I'm very much enjoying this dialogue).