They wore white socks and polyester shirts and ties and thick glasses and coded in machine language and assembler and FORTRAN and half a dozen ancient languages now forgotten…
The mainstream of hackerdom, (dis)organized around the Internet and by now largely identified with the Unix technical culture, didn’t care about the commercial services. These hackers wanted better tools and more Internet…
[I]nstead of remaining in isolated small groups each developing their own ephemeral local cultures, they discovered (or re-invented) themselves as a networked tribe.
the term tribe is a general descriptor for these fuzzy cultural groups. you probably won’t find anyone who considers themselves a “blue” or “red”. they will use more specific words like “republican”, “socialist”, “progressive”, “conservative”, &c. hackers, channers, and “internet people” share a somewhat common identity that is distinct from the traditional red/blue/right/left cultural divide[^red-vs-blue]. this “grey tribe” is older than the internet[^greys-origin], but the network has created new ways for this small cultural group to find itself. here we will attempt to trace the origins of the grey tribe and understand their role in current year’s sociopolitical and cultural conflict.
[^red-vs-blue]: The Rise of the Grey Tribe [^greys-origin]: Citation Needed
Nothing more gray tribe than going to rationalist meetups and considering how stimulants could help you Learn Better
privacy is a thing of the past for most people. yet, hidden away in the darkness, grey tribe separatists have their own networks and anonymous channels. high bandwidth encrypted laser interlinks with constantly rotating quantum phase modulation. nobody can find them, they find you.
the free software movement was originally a grey tribe movement, wasn’t it? i’m guessing we are meant to submit to the new world order now that the new foss people have arrived? what if we don’t want to submit? what if we like our difficult and complex culture? no, it isn’t inclusive, sorry. you have to love knowledge and truth above all else to belong among the nameless. maybe we should consider foss a gift to the world, and move onto the next project? the normals clearly don’t want us here. i’m sure they can get along well enough without us.
so I guess the channers were right about the value of relinquishing identity. at least in part. there is certainly a sense of memetic capture in those spaces which cements non identity as a type of tribalism. channer culture has a lot of rough edges, but maybe that’s just what people look like when they can broadcast their thoughts and feelings anonymously. perhaps it can be looked at as a sort of lens into part of the collective consciousness that the internet has enabled.
not to say that the fear and hatred that you can find there (among other things) is good. there is certainly a level of toxicity in this subculture. these are emotions that we need to learn how to integrate on a cultural level. just like an individual, when a culture suppresses an emotion it festers. integration, shared understanding and healing are needed for us to move forward as a species.