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

I don’t know what “discourse norms” are, but I think you mean something like “how should people talk to each other”. I think you should speak clearly as you can; you shouldn’t try to guess what the other person’s thinking, that never works; you shouldn’t try to make anyone angry but you shouldn’t take it personally if they get mad anyway – some people just like being angry.

Sure, I think everyone should follow those rules, it’d be nice. Why? Because getting ideas out of my head and into yours, or vice versa, is pretty hard. People should respect that fact. You should talk like you expect to be misunderstood, anytime you have something to say more complicated than “I’d like fries with that”. If you want communication that never creates misunderstanding or offense, you want a computer and an exceptionally obedient programming language, not two human beings flapping their mouths.

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 believe in empricism. If you want me to adopt your clever solution, show me evidence that it works. If you want me to believe people are bad, point me at concrete things they’ve done, not symbolic tokens or their identity.

But today’s “social justice” is all about symbols and tribal identity. You’re suspect if you’re a white man. You’re suspect if you use the wrong words for trans people. You’re suspect if you have the wrong politics. You’re suspect if you wear the wrong T-shirt! And when I say “suspect”, I mean “you deserve to be hounded by a mob of thousands, and driven to weeping repentance and the loss of your job.”

What kind of “justice” is this? It looks to me more like revenge — or bullying.

If your movement thinks it’s a great idea to hound people for wearing the wrong T-shirt — to force a programmer out of his job because you don’t like his politics — to scold and shame people for their language, instead of their deeds — that doesn’t look like justice to me.

I’d love a world where your odds of a good life were as high if you were black as white, and where women (and men!) didn’t have to fear rape. That’s a “social justice” I’d gladly support.

But the “social justice” I see people pursuing isn’t about measurable improvements in people’s lives. You don’t have proposals for concrete progress and you don’t bother to inspire with success. You focus on enemies, and not real enemies but symbolic enemies, helpless unsuspecting “enemies” you can gang up on and attack, for the sake and satisfaction of bullying.

As far as I can tell, it makes SJWs feel good to punish in the name of justice, and therefore they find an endless list of things that deserve punishing. They care about condemning me and my kind for an ever-shifting parade of supposed ‘microaggressions’ that mysteriously, untestably, allegedly add up to real-world effects — and there’s always something else we’re supposed to do before we’re allowed to ask to see the proof it makes a difference.

I don’t approve of injustice. I think your movement has forgotten what that word actually means.

What would convince me I’m wrong about the movement? That social-justice types aren’t just picking fights but have a justified crusade — that there really are huge fixable unfairnesses, and that’s what they care about?

That’s easy. You just need to show me activists who are pushing for concrete interventions, not symbolic displays of repentance for sin — and show me those interventions work.

I’d love it, for example, if social-justice activists were agitating on behalf of not T-shirt decorum, but, say, a replicable intervention that made immigrants from a low-performing ethnicity achieve the same kind of incomes as immigrants from high-performing ethnicities. That would be great.

But the irony about SJWs is that they seem to care a lot more about symbolic stands than concrete proposals — and they’re willing to persecute people like me right out of our jobs, on no evidence that those symbolic gains even matter.

Let’s face it: there aren’t going to be any studies showing that a workplace without “microaggressions” is achievable, because that would mean admitting that sometimes not everything white men do is terrible. The goalposts will just keep being moved. But if there ever were a study of microaggression-free workplaces, I really doubt it would be shown a cost-effective tool for improving the lives of women or minorities.

But honestly, if it did, I’d accept it. If you can win black people $10,000 of benefit at the cost of $5,000 of effort from an equal number of white people, sure, let’s go for it, I can bear the cost. I want a world that works well for everyone.

Unlike you in the social-justice movement, though, I think you have to actually look at the costs and the benefits. It’s wrong to think “he’s a white man, so we don’t have to think about any suffering he experiences, it’s deserved, no matter how small the gain to us.”

That’s just the logic white people used to do terrible things to black slaves for their convenience. “We’ll take away all your security, just to make our lives a little bit more comfortable.” When it was white men doing it, it was the logic of persecution. You’ve just reversed it.

But reversed persecution is not justice.

Explain Gamergate.

The SJWs think symbols are super-important, so for them it’s terrible if nerdy white men are having fun in a way that doesn’t ritually honor diversity and repentance. That sounds snarky, but I think it’s pretty much true. It’s like that old line about “a Puritan is a person terrified by the fear that someone, somewhere may be having fun.” As far as I can tell, a lot of social justice insanity comes from taking symbols way too seriously on way too little evidence.

So obviously the social-justice activists were going to home in on computer games. Computer gaming is full of cheerful play violence and play sexuality, played by a lot of nerdy, symbol-incompetent white men.

Gamergate was the inevitable collision of SJW power and fan power.

Core fans were enraged to find their opinions of what was fun were getting second place to a bunch of outsiders’ opinion about what was morally uplifting. How would you feel about being told you “shouldn’t” like chocolate and “should” like peanut butter? Then the SJWs were enraged, in turn, when they discovered their control over elite media figures didn’t automatically turn into control over ordinary fan opinions. Because unlike movies or TV, computer games is still a genre where Reddit commenters can bear as much weight as paid professionals.

I don’t think gaming companies should be pushed to slant or censor their work for millions of fans to please a bunch of self-appointed morally crusading outsiders.

I also don’t want anybody harrassed or threatened for the sake of their free speech, including SJWs. But I have to tell you I would feel safer saying that if I’d ever heard any respect from all of you for *my* free speech concern. How much I am supposed to invest in protecting activists’ speech when your very cause is censor the speech I care about?

Because dozens of women activists harrassed are visible and millions of gamers handed censored work are invisible, you think only the first is worth caring about, when they both are, and they’re both bad. But you – you aren’t willing to multiply by that “million” to reckon seriously the damage your side is doing.

Who needs to multiply when you can condemn Bad People and feel like a hero? That’s how social justice activists seem to think.

I think you need to take your math seriously, and count your victims not just your rescuees — even when your victims don’t come from your chosen tribes of the Noble Oppressed Backgrounds. I really wish I could convince more of you of that.