Sunday, July 13, 2014

Insanity Metastasizes On The Internet Left

Some of you guys have asked me why I'm so interested (ok...I think the word used may have been "obsessed"...) with the rise of crazy on the internet left.

I mean...the crazies are running the GOP, actively fighting efforts to solve the health care crisis, pushing Lysenkoist positions on evolution and climate change, rabidly attacking Obama at every turn...given the craziness driving the conservative half of our two-party system right now, craziness that runs the House, and may soon run the Senate...why worry about the relatively trivial moonbattery of the internet left?

It's a reasonable question.

My answer:

(1) I don't have to have a good reason for the things I'm interested in
(2) Crazy on the left wing of American liberalism tends to work its way into mainstream liberalism, since liberalism has all its guns pointed rightward. It's not quite defenseless against the its eventual uprising against the PC movement of the '90's showed...but it's very, very weak on that flank.
(3) The crazy on the left is very, very, very crazy indeed. We're talking this crazy goes to 11. We're talking full-on barking moonbats from stupideth dimension. We're talking slap-fighting, circle-jerking absolutely totally wacko, unhinged, non compos mentis, bugshit crazy craziness.

This is a great piece by Scott Alexander at Slate Star Codex. He asks people not to link to it, but his reason for that request is bad, and what he writes is very good, and almost nobody reads this backwater blog anyway...there it is.

It tells the story of one Charles Clymer, who used to be a hero of the barking moonbats of the leftosphere, largely for two reasons: (a) he's a jerk, and they really like that, and (b) he was the origin of some massively incorrect information about false rape accusations that made its rounds in the leftosphere--e.g. he claimed that a man is more likely to be hit by a meteor than to be falsely accused of rape. Clymer's nonsense was off by about four orders of magnitude, as Alexander also showed.

[Sorry: that is actually just a big part of the post; there's also a bit about an insane twitter witch-burning campaign that you really have to read. The infographic is here.]

Anyway, Alexander documents how the lunatics on the web left (including Arthur Chu, recent Jeopardy champ) turned on Clymer for basically no reason. He went from he's-our-hero to we-hate-him to (the ultimate endpoint of most such public hatings on the web left) he's-a-rapist on the basis of no evidence. It's not the the guy doesn't deserve it, because he himself is a nut and a jerk.

But that's not the point of the story.

The point of the story is that the web left is very, very, very, very crazy.

And, since they are completely and totally irrational, and not completely without influence, I think people should be noticing.

You don't have to wallow in their nonsense like I tend to do...but you should at least know about them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the point of the article you link to that the lefty-left's methods inevitably lead it to turn on itself? The advantage the crazy-right has had over the crazy-left for decades has been its ability to impose uniformity of crazy, which is why they are a real threat.

2:03 PM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, that's what Alexander says... But I doubt it. It may have that tendency--and let's hope it does--but I'm not willing to sit back and just assume that it will always be self-correcting in that way.

Besides, I think that, from the perspective of a kind of scholarly interest in cultish craziness, the PC/SJW left is pretty damn interesting, even apart from practical issues of harm.

Does that seem wrong?

2:15 PM  

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