By Scott’s request, we are trying to corral all heavily “culture war” posts into one weekly roundup post. “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 change their minds regardless of the quality of opposing arguments.
Each week, I typically start us off with a selection of links. My selection of a link does not necessarily indicate endorsement, nor does it necessarily indicate censure. Not all links are necessarily strongly “culture war” and may only be tangentially related to the culture war—I select more for how interesting a link is to me than for how incendiary it might be.
Please be mindful that these threads are for discussing the culture war—not for waging it. Discussion should be respectful and insightful. Incitements or endorsements of violence are especially taken seriously.
“Boo outgroup!” and “can you BELIEVE what Tribe X did this week??” type posts can be good fodder for discussion, but can also tend to pull us from a detached and conversational tone into the emotional and spiteful.
Thus, if you submit a piece from a writer whose primary purpose seems to be to score points against an outgroup, let me ask you do at least one of three things: acknowledge it, contextualize it, or best, steelman it.
That is, perhaps let us know clearly that it is an inflammatory piece and that you recognize it as such as you share it. Or, perhaps, give us a sense of how it fits in the picture of the broader culture wars. Best yet, you can steelman a position or ideology by arguing for it in the strongest terms. A couple of sentences will usually suffice. Your steelmen don't need to be perfect, but they should minimally pass the Ideological Turing Test.
On an ad hoc basis, the mods will try to compile a “best-of” comments from the previous week. You can help by using the “report” function underneath a comment. If you wish to flag it, click report --> …or is of interest to the mods--> Actually a quality contribution.