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

I do not simply believe that those engaging in discourse should assume the best of their opponents – surprisingly often, your opponents are legitimately malicious, and it’s never good to assume something false. I do believe, though, that you should avoid assuming the worst of your opponents – for example, by rounding off their arguments to the nearest cliche. Assuming the worst of your opponents is itself an example of maliciousness, albeit a minor one. Once your opponent has crossed a certain high threshold of maliciousness, it is justifiable to be somewhat malicious, though not as malicious, to them in retaliation. If you do so, though, be careful not to let your maliciousness target any non-malicious bystanders, and remember that maliciousness is epistemologically inferior – it is always better to show someone that they are in error than it is to hurt them, though in extreme cases the latter may be useful in accomplishing the former. Everyone should follow these discourse norms, because they are objectively correct.

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 have always been deeply committed to the pursuit of truth; when I fail to uphold this commitment, I later feel shame, and when I have a very low certainty of a point of truth that I have a very high certainty is important, I feel confusion and anxiety.  My ideology formed very early, in school, where I discovered firsthand the existence of authority figures who are more committed to other things, like maintaining their own authority, than they are to the pursuit of truth.  It is my belief that commitment to things besides the pursuit of truth deeper than one’s commitment to the pursuit of truth is the root of all evil.  Any person acting on these misplaced motivations can do irreparable damage to the world, and they tend to seek positions of authority, where they do even more damage.  I selected my political alignment because, in my experience, one side of the political debate is much more hostile to the pursuit of truth than the other side.  I could be convinced to realign politically on any given issue given a sufficiently strong argument for the other side of that particular issue, but it would be much harder to convince me to flip all of my political opinions at once; I’m not sure if I can conceive of such a situation.  I could be convinced to abandon my current political alignment and go looking for a new third party if my current political alignment was taken over by a different sort of non-truth-seeker – for example, if the Republican party became fascist.  On a meta level, my ideology can’t change, because it’s intrinsically linked to my ability to change my mind in the first place.

Explain Gamergate.

Gamergate fundamentally started when Zoe Quinn abused her boyfriend, Eron Gjoni.  For what it’s worth, it strikes me that Zoe Quinn probably has Borderline Personality Disorder and should seek counseling rather than just, you know, be made to feel bad, but that is still bluntly how it started.  She was an abuser and abused her boyfriend, routinely doing things like threatening suicide as a tool of manipulation, cheating and letting him know about it to induce feelings of inadequacy, and telling him that he didn’t have the right to set boundaries for the relationship.  After Quinn ended the relationship, Eron felt hurt, as many abuse victims do, by his abuser’s continued social prosperity among those who have not seen her abusive side.  He posted receipts of her abusive behavior in what seemed to him like the most obvious place, 4chan, in an attempt to get something done.  Something was indeed done, though 4chan’s immaturity led them to focus almost exclusively on the cheating element, which fit well with the then-natal “cuck” meme – and the angle that they took focused on a somewhat strained interpretation of the evidence indicating that Zoe Quinn had exchanged sex for publicity.  This was particularly easy for Zoe Quinn to manipulate her in-group into seeing as misogynistic, because quite a few of the people in the mob were indeed misogynistic, and didn’t really know what they were complaining about.  The already hopelessly-corrupt gaming journalism mini-industry came down heavily on Quinn’s side, largely because their internal discourse is so lockstep and intellectually incestuous, and largely because Zoe Quinn, as a politically active social justice proponent, is their innest-in-group, while those identifying with Gamergate, as common and anti-authoritarian people, are their outest-out-group.  The Anti-Gamergate movement, as led by Zoe Quinn, basically won, even though Gamergate had truth on their side.  They did this with a combination of their massive institutional power in the media, academia, and government, and their social scorched-Earth policy of “you’re disgusting if you’re a Gamergater, and you’re a Gamergater if you would tolerate a Gamergater”.  Nowadays, it is uncommon to see a positive Gamergate reference except from the obsessively, extremely political, while it’s somewhat more common to see anti-Gamergaters reminisce about how they destroyed Gamergate.