The Devil's Advocate wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:08 pm
Kingsindian wrote: ↑
Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:07 am
Thanks for the response.
My main problem was that I did not find any overarching "point" for the piece. My main focus was supposed to be David Auerbach's saga on Wikipedia, but his case is very complicated and does not really lead to any simple conclusions. I read a lot of Auerbach's stuff for writing about the piece. For instance, Auerbach in his Slate article
on GGTF essentially says the same thing as Gamaliel, but later on, there is a lot of bad blood between them. Auerbach, in his Slate review
of Catherine (video game), even sounds very much like Anita Sarkeesian, decrying the "misogynist gaming culture". Therefore, Gamergate, and what happened with Auerbach and Wikipedia afterwards was very weird.
Therefore, I tried to put Auerbach (and related events) story in a broader context and show how Wikipedia's structure leads to these issue. The last section "structural issues" talks about this. There is supposed to be a part 2 (maybe more), if I get the time.
Perhaps what I wrote was as "boring and useless as possible", perhaps not. In general, I think the post could have been shorter.
I don't think it is all that complicated with Auerbach. He was anti-GamerGate, but a moderate who didn't think everyone on the opposing side were a maniacal conspiracy of rape terrorists. We all know how extremists feel about moderates
. That you find it weird is, I suppose, revealing in its own way. One thing I reiterated regarding GamerGate is that it was very much, arguably still is, a fight primarily within the left rather than between the left and right. More accurately, it was a fight between the libertarian elements of the left and the authoritarian elements. Auerbach himself did a pretty good job summarizing the split in his piece
about how to end GamerGate.
"Extremist" is an epithet rather than an analytical term. Why did Auerbach go from quoting Brianna Wu to fighting with her? And why did Auerbach fight with Gamaliel after basically echoing his arguments? It's also very convenient to believe that the split is between "libertarian" and "authoritarian" elements of the left. But to my mind, it's just begging the question, and is a rather self-serving explanation. I am therefore, suspicious of it.
Indeed, Auerbach makes some very weird points. Let me take a very simple example. Auerbach condemned Eric Corbett during and after the Gender Gap Task Force case and called Wikipedia sexist. So far, so Gamaliel. Now, recall that Yngvadottir supported Eric Corbett and lost her bit in that case when she overturned an AE decision unilaterally. Later, when Auerbach had a fight with Gamaliel, he stated that Wikipedia is sexist because Yngvadottir was desysopped but Gamaliel wasn't (in the April Fools ArbCom case). I do not find this a coherent argument. And it has little to do with being an "extremist" or "libertarian" or whatever.
In general, I find that many political fights are over personalities; and ideology is often a retrospective justifications. This is how sectarian splits work. Were Bolsheviks authoritarian while Mensheviks weren't? Actually, they both were. Was the Ayn Rand society "Objectivist" while the Atlas society wasn't?
However, saying that the entire matter boils down to personalities is too simple as well. There are definitely political differences. Rosa Luxemburg was still a Marxist, but her philosophy and actions were different from Lenin.
As for Gamergate in general, it had many different strands, and I do not consider it to be primarily an intra-left fight, especially after the entry of figures like Milo Yiannopoulos and Christina Hoff Sommers. Indeed, many of the themes go far back to complaints about political correctness on college campuses from the 1990s at least. This was mostly carried out by the right wing (indeed, Peter Thiel wrote a book called "The Diversity Myth") There are left-wing versions of the similar arguments, but they're framed in radically different forms and reach very different conclusions. When I read comments on KotakuInAction, I don't read those arguments, however.
The terms are rather vague anyway: anyone can claim to be leftist, rightist, feminist, libertarian, whatever. It's not what you say, but what you do. And what the framework of discussion is, what measures one is pushing, what coalitions one is part of. Politics is coalition-building to a large extent.