It’s our first submission to the Intellectual Turing Test! (Confused about what an Intellectual Turing Test is? Click here!) Please read, then vote at the end of the post. Feel free to speculate in the comment section about this person’s identity!

1. What discourse norms do you tend to follow? Why? Do you think everyone else should follow them, and why?

I tend to mostly shut up and let others speak. This is because I am privileged in several ways, but also because I am a shy person and I don’t feel a lot of need to make myself heard all the time.

Of course everyone should use the same meta-norms of discourse. People are, in the abstract, equal: in the original position, everyone should have the same ability to affect the conversation. To suggest otherwise would be to create privilege. But meta-norms are not norms, and our (actual, real-world) norms should take account of existing privilege to achieve the meta-norm. People with privilege are inherently “louder” and should be working towards equalizing the conversation, which is to say, they need to step back, listen more, and let others lead.

2. What is the true reason, deep down, that you believe what you believe? What piece of evidence, test, or line of reasoning would convince you that you’re wrong about your ideology?

I am a liberal. I believe in human rights, which are the same for everyone because we are all equal. Everyone has the right to have a decent life. I also believe that every person can and must define what a decent life is for themself; nobody else can do that. And everyone else needs to create the space necessary for that, pay attention, and respect our choices.

What would convince me that people don’t have rights? Nothing, because that is a normative statement. People should have rights because we’re equally people.

3. Explain Gamergate.

Gamergate is a conflict about the content of games and the culture surrounding games. Should games contain so much graphic violence and misogyny as they do? How does such content affect our thinking? Questions like these are totally valid questions, which are being studied by a number of social scientists and others. A small but increasing set of game developers are trying to use such criticism to improve their games and make them more inclusive.

The conflict is also about women in gaming, and the gaming identity. Gaming is a very cismale dominated culture. Why aren’t there more women and LGBT gamers and game designers? What are games, gamers and/or game companies doing that causes this problem? Shouldn’t games allow the player the freedom to choose her identity, including race, sex, and sexual preference?

Some conservative gamers feel threatened by such inquiry, and they have banded together to try to prevent game magazines and game companies from paying attention to it. In addition, because of the controversy many other internet trolls have jumped in. They use many tactics, primarily anonymous threats but also consumer pressure, in the attempt to silence criticism. Their behavior has been particularly egregious towards women on the anti-Gamergate side.