So George R.R. Martin has spent quite a bit of time over the last week, and even a more energy, on responding to this thing called Puppygate. Which not directly related got some commonalities with last years gamergate story.
Yet, what strikes me skimming through a plethora of online discussions is that we seemed to have perfected name calling as an argumentation technique on the Internet. And since the terminology jungle can be a bit confusing I thought I should break it down by putting together this list of common names, so that you know which one you are ;) Trying for a tongue in cheek summary here, but if I fail at least you know what names to call me!
- If you don’t think the world economy is working perfectly you are a Communist
- If you are not in favor of free immigration you are a Racist
- If you think women have achieved any level of equality today you are a Misogynist
- If you are critical to any part of the Christian faith you are a Christian hater or taking part in a War on Christmas
- If you think anything is well in the world today you are a Straight White Male
- If you are against any Israeli policies your an Antisemite or Neo-nazi
- If you feel that gays, women or ethnic minorities are not having their voice heard on an equal level you are a Social Justice Warrior
- If you are critical of any part of the Quran or Islamic practice you are an Islamophobe
I am sure there are a lots more, these are just a collection of some I seen recently. So while I think there are real issues behind many of these examples I think sadly the Internet seems best for turning anything into a binary question, which surprisingly turns out to not be a super method for finding common ground, and as it turns out if you can associate a name to these things you can turn them into binary questions even faster!
Not that these things are specifically tied to the Internet, long time since I last saw any kind of political debate that felt like there was any time or interest in bringing out the nuances into the discussion; We do live in the age of bumper sticker politics after all.
Anyway, enough musing about the sad state of public discourse :)