Finished reading Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle. It’s a quick read and very accessible. Learned a lot about parts of cyberculture that I didn’t know, and got a new awareness and perspective on the ones I was already familiar with. Overall the book is a call to action to abandon the stale cultural ideas of transgression as a good in itself because it supports the rise of the far-right in totality, and to build something new.

Nagle also impresses the point that the response to the utter liberation of transgression (in the alt-right, 4chan, fash, manosphere, etc) cannot be puritanical moralizing and more identitarian politics, as that was already the historical cyber-movement to which the alt-right was a reaction. It has to be something new.

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But she also makes the point that you can’t out-transgress nazi hipsters. You can’t beat them by adopting their coded language and ironic use of memes, and style of out-grouping “normies” from whatever your online community happens to be. It just ends up supporting their cultural current.

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@rysiek Yes agreed, we are already seeing it begin to form!

Self-care, and community care too. Drawing from mutualist ideas.

Blocking and deplatforming does absolutely work as a counter tactic to the hate and abuse. But I am trying to reconcile that tactic with the idea of also accepting people as they are and allowing them to grow and learn from their mistakes. I haven’t quite figured out the alchemy yet.

@vortex_egg @rysiek I've passed by this book alot but this all sounds interesting! the essay Exiting The Vampire Castle by Mark Fisher sounds like a similar take that I've read.

My rough personal take: education in the first few instances of mistakes or even malice from people who are otherwise 'fine'. Then obviously working up to just disconnecting from those people/groups if they seem highly toxic / unwilling to change. If they are actively working to harm others, direct sabotage is good.

@starcide @rysiek There’s a concept that I drew from Buddhism which is finding people “just as they are right now.” No one is perfect. If you demand cultural or ideological purity or perfection before someone can participate in your culture, or at risk of being expunged, then you won’t have enough people left working together to make a resilient community.


@rysiek @starcide Completely agreed. I’m most commenting in reaction to the kind of cyber communities that have taken an all or nothing approach, as discussed in the book.

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A bunch of technomancers in the fediverse. Keep it fairly clean please. This arcology is for all who wash up upon it's digital shore.