Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Tavern Chat Podcast - E134 - Rant - Beware the OSR Thought Police

Last night on the weekly Tavern Chat hangout over on The Tavern's Discord channel, a topic came up that really struck a chord with me - the whole concept of telling folks who they can and can not follow on social media. It's all about control. Controlling thought, controlling access, controlling conversations and more. What is next? Telling folks which rulesets they can play and enjoy? Maybe they'll be asked to burn books next. Thus, I rant. If four-letter words offend you, you will be very offended ;)
I kinda got worked up on last night's weekly Tavern Chat hangout on The Tavern's Discord Server. Today I rant about the idea of telling people who they can and can not follow on social media and the danger that comes with it. Which gaming books will you burn?
Link to Episode 134 - https://anchor.fm/tavernchat/episodes/E134---Rant---Beware-the-OSR-Thought-Police-e2a4gs


  1. Can't wait to hear this one... a topic near and dear to my anti-authoritarian heart.

  2. Found time before bed to listen. Good stuff. I enjoyed how you put things in perspective without getting too political.

    It's hard, man. The thought-police drag us in, drag us back to that dirty political stage. I don't want to be there, ranting and raving about this and that... but we have no choice. We must call bullshit when we see it.

  3. I have actually had a recent experience with this. Being asked to unfriend people, I mean, based on political views. If you do so, you lose any opportunity to influence those views. Or to challenge them. And, as you say, I find my hackles raise when someone suggests that they should be able to curate my "friends" list on social media. Even if I know that they are well-intentioned.

    Who am I to deny Venger or Pundit or Tenkar the benefit of my positive influence? Such as it is, at least? If I actually believe that I am coming from a better place, and someone is not personally offending me, don't I have a social duty to try to make those I come into contact with better?

    I also tend to agree that trying to control others' access to the marketplace of ideas is a bad idea in general. It is insidious, and is not always obvious. For instance, attempts to redefine words are often linked with attempts to take the earlier definition out of the conversation. This occurs both within and outside of gaming.

    Anyway, people who don't like that I own my own mind, and my own social media accounts, can also unfriend me if they like.

  4. To be fair, I have a handful of friends that continually share outright falsehoods on social media. Like that picture of a certain political figure in a boat rescuing flood victims that's been going around recently. I don't tell these people who they can and can't be friends with, but I do suggest to them that pages spreading misinformation (malicious or through lack of diligence) are better blocked than reshared. They of course never listen and continue to be taken in by things 30 seconds of googling would show as false but what can you do.

    1. Note then that your gentle reminders, while they may not have had a discernible effect to this point, are probably better for them than unfriending them, leaving them to an echo chamber without those reminders.

      Dare I say that their constant reminder of how easy it is to fall prey to social media is perhaps good for you as well.

    2. Echo chambers have become popular these days. Part of the polarization of society I suspect.

      As far as social media, I'm finding less and less reasons to go to G plus these days. Its no longer the vibrant community that is was, its more factions. Maybe I should stick to Communities only.

      Facebook isn't bad so long as you stick to Groups. Politics infects many, if not most personal feeds.

      I keep my politics out of social media. Maybe its easier for me to do so as it isnt something I'm passionate about. My days of activism ended once I had to work for a living midway through college ;)

      My only agenda is to provide a politics free environment to discuss gaming and all things geekdom.


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