While I only used Write.as as a springboard to starting up Write House, I do still keep an eye on its public feed, and I'm pleased to see that Inquiry finally outed themselves as something a dick. I'm not even sure where to begin, except to disclaim that as their word, not mine.
It's not just the regressive (or is it merely immature?) sense that if you don't know how to run your own web server you shouldn't get to have a voice here, although I certainly remember having to endure the “wisdom” of such types during that Eternal September—which did coincide with my own debut on the internet, although not via AOL.
It's their clear sense of self-impressed smugness, I guess. It's also the enforced ahistoricity of it all.
So I get a sadness-tinged kick out of more technically astute web technologists bemoaning what “has happened” [...] to the web [...], when it was the selfsame technologists that lowered the bar of entry so any [...] moron could participate – including in originally unimaginably vile ways.
The opening of the internet to the masses is not what's gone wrong with the web. What's described above is not “what happened”, or what is happening.
While there's surely no shortage of internet gurus who somehow succeeded in building the web while also completely managing to get wrong their responsibility to help, well, manage it in a human and humane way, that's not because all the “morons” got access to the printing press.
The problems of the web are design issues, and they are community management issues. They can be addressed and attacked through design and through community management, not through some sort of unspoken latent regret that the unwashed and unwanted haven't somehow been purged.
There's a generally skewed perspective that hovers behind all of this disgusted snarling at the “shit-for-brains” among us, and Inquiry brings it forward.
I think “conservatives” fundamentally believe there are better and worse people, and it's best to not let the latter foul the water of the former; conversely, “liberals” seem to believe shit-for-brains somehow magically transmutes to intelligence when mixing the two.
This perhaps accurately, if facilely, describes conservatives but it's the conservative's bastardization of defining liberals. What matters, though, is that Inquiry highlights their own perspective here: “there are better and worse people, and it's best to not let the latter foul the water of the former”.
Well, no, this isn't merely conservatism being described; it's fascism, and Inquiry has alluded to the instinct before.
But seriously: what more than anything else more quickly and/or often ruins a good thing?
The answer to this rhetorical, they offer, “is likely no longer politically correct to simply come right out and state”. Anyone who uses the term “politically correct” with a straight face almost certainly leans one way, and only one way, when it comes to respecting other people's rights to participate in society.
It's true that I somewhat suspect, as suggested above, that the issue here might simply be one of immaturity, which is independent of age, rather than one of a true psychic violence against the huddled electronic masses.
But it's still just as ugly when expressed.