This weekly roundup thread is intended for all culture war posts. 'Culture war' is vaguely defined, but it basically means controversial issues that fall along set tribal lines. Arguments over culture war issues generate a lot of heat and little light, and few deeply entrenched people ever change their minds. This thread is for voicing opinions and analyzing the state of the discussion while trying to optimize for light over heat.
Optimistically, we think that engaging with people you disagree with is worth your time, and so is being nice! Pessimistically, there are many dynamics that can lead discussions on Culture War topics to become unproductive. There's a human tendency to divide along tribal lines, praising your ingroup and vilifying your outgroup - and if you think you find it easy to criticize your ingroup, then it may be that your outgroup is not who you think it is. Extremists with opposing positions can feed off each other, highlighting each other's worst points to justify their own angry rhetoric, which becomes in turn a new example of bad behavior for the other side to highlight.
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Attempting to 'build consensus' or enforce ideological conformity.
Making sweeping generalizations to vilify a group you dislike.
Recruiting for a cause.
Posting links that could be summarized as 'Boo outgroup!' Basically, if your content is 'Can you believe what Those People did this week?' then you should either refrain from posting, or do some very patient work to contextualize and/or steel-man the relevant viewpoint.
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Speak plainly. Avoid sarcasm and mockery. When disagreeing with someone, state your objections explicitly.
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On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a list of the best posts/comments from the previous week, posted in Quality Contribution threads and archived at /r/TheThread. You may nominate a comment for this list by clicking on 'report' at the bottom of the post and typing 'Actually a quality contribution' as the report reason.
This is the Quality Contributions Roundup. It showcases interesting and well-written comments and posts from the period covered. If you want to get an idea of what this community is about or how we want you to participate, look no further (except the rules maybe--those might be important too).
As a reminder, you can nominate Quality Contributions by hitting the report button and selecting the "Actually A Quality Contribution!" option. Additionally, links to all of the roundups can be found in the wiki of /r/theThread which can be found here. For a list of other great community content, see here.
These are mostly chronologically ordered, but I have in some cases tried to cluster comments by topic so if there is something you are looking for (or trying to avoid), this might be helpful.
Quality Contributions to the Main Motte
- "You and a great many others here seem to be operating under the assumption that the story requires there to be a good guy. It does not."
Contributions for the week of October 30, 2023
- "IMO we should be able to apply our hindsight and come up with better judgement than 'Lee did good' or 'Lee did bad'."
- "In the woke framework, genes may not determine how smart you are, or strong, or fast, or your career goals, or who you like to have sex with - but they damn sure determine whether you're a size 16 or an 8."
- "Society didn't come to their beliefs on this subject via rational scientific exploration and explanation. They did so through pure cultural power and intimidation."
- " One of the more insidious things about the prevailing culture is the way that it encourages people, almost to the extent that it is unthinkable to do otherwise, to identify with their desires -- especially if those desires are sexual."
- "How much worse off I would be if I decided these desires were 'simply the way I am' and constructed a worldview where any effort to improve my behaviour was 'not being true to myself'."
Contributions for the week of November 6, 2023
" Whatever kayfabe social signaling hating cis white males, normal women, or wholesome white families used to mean, the people uncritically consuming it and signal boosting it now don't understand it's only supposed to be insincere virtue signaling."
- "Well, who has "power" and who doesn't (who's punching up and who's punching down) are intentionally defined in a manner which is fuzzy, opaque and prone to being gamed."
Contributions for the week of November 13, 2023
- "The issue for the US's current recruitment woes comes from how the generational transition has matched to politics."
"In this context, at this time, the hypocrisy of academic Jews, or Jews pulling their donations from colleges, and acting all surprised and horrified that anything like this could possibly be happening, despite it happening to my people for going on 10 years, is rich."
- "...I sometimes think that the Culture War is best described as bike shedding at the scale of governance..."
- "GamerGate is one of those cases, in hindsight, where each side had a public definition of what they thought it was about, and both of them were lying or self-deluding."
Contributions for the week of November 20, 2023
- "If RETVRNING is not an option, I do have a general principle in mind on how to proceed, but I don't have a name for it."
- "At one point I would have considered myself a white nationalist, although only in the way a nineteen-year-old university student would consider themselves a Marxist."
- "As I said in the linked article, if a journalist tells you that Bob has Bad Opinions but refuses to tell you what those opinions are, that suggests that the journalist has remarkably little faith in their own opinions to win in the marketplace of ideas..."
Contributions for the week of November 27, 2023
- "I'll go one-by-one to websites from Fortune 500 companies in descending order and see how white or nonwhite the photos of people on their home page are."
- "My introduction to Social Justice in its modern form was getting "cancelled" by a close friend for speaking the truth in good faith..."
- "Why is Kissinger hated so much more aggressively than other ghouls and swamp creatures like a Donald Rumsfeld or a Paul Wolfowitz?"
Do you have a dumb question that you're kind of embarrassed to ask in the main thread? Is there something you're just not sure about?
This is your opportunity to ask questions. No question too simple or too silly.
Culture war topics are accepted, and proposals for a better intro post are appreciated.