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geeks, creators, mops, sociopaths on 1/6

4 min read

Can anyone honestly say that if some of those in the mob with zip ties, stun guns and other weapons actually came upon a member of Congress in the Capitol on Jan 6, they'd have just stopped and asked them to pose for a selfie?



— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@UROCKlive1) February 2, 2021


— Emma Gray (@emmaladyrose) February 2, 2021


— Sari Beth Rosenberg (@saribethrose) February 2, 2021

David Chapman writes something likely to get sued by J.K. Rowling: Geeks, MOPs, and sociopaths in subculture evolution, because muggles.

Subcultures were the main creative cultural force from roughly 1975 to 2000, when they stopped working. Why?

One reason—among several—is that as soon as subcultures start getting really interesting, they get invaded by muggles, who ruin them. Subcultures have a predictable lifecycle, in which popularity causes death. Eventually—around 2000—everyone understood this, and gave up hoping some subculture could somehow escape this dynamic.

(You can read very brief previews of my analysis of subculture dynamics in this table and/or this page.)

The muggles who invade and ruin subcultures come in two distinct flavors, mops and sociopaths, playing very different roles. This insight was influenced by Venkatesh Rao’s Gervais Principle, an analysis of workplace dynamics. Rao’s theory is hideous, insightful nihilism; I recommend it.1


Unless sociopaths5 show up. A subculture at this stage is ripe for exploitation. The creators generate cultural capital, i.e. cool. The fanatics generate social capital: a network of relationships—strong ones among the geeks, and weaker but numerous ones with mops. The mops, when properly squeezed, produce liquid capital, i.e. money. None of those groups have any clue about how to extract and manipulate any of those forms of capital.

The sociopaths quickly become best friends with selected creators. They dress just like the creators—only better. They talk just like the creators—only smoother. They may even do some creating—competently, if not creatively. Geeks may not be completely fooled, but they also are clueless about what the sociopaths are up to.

The Huntsman spider is a swift, efficient predator, that comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They are also known as “giant crab spiders,” “wood spiders,” “rain spiders,” and “lizard-eating spiders.”.

Mops are fooled. They don’t care so much about details, and the sociopaths look to them like creators, only better. Sociopaths become the coolest kids in the room, demoting the creators. At this stage, they take their pick of the best-looking mops to sleep with. They’ve extracted the cultural capital.

The sociopaths also work out how to monetize mops—which the fanatics were never good at. With better publicity materials, the addition of a light show, and new, more crowd-friendly product, admission fees go up tenfold, and mops are willing to pay. Somehow, not much of the money goes to creators. However, more of them do get enough to go full-time, which means there’s more product to sell.

The sociopaths also hire some of the fanatics as actual service workers. They resent it, but at least they too get to work full-time on the New Thing, which they still love, even in the Lite version. The rest of the fanatics get pushed out, or leave in disgust, broken-hearted.


— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) January 31, 2021


— Serpentine202 (@Serpentine202) February 2, 2021




— Andrew Wortman 🏳️‍🌈 (@AmoneyResists) February 2, 2021



Fascists are lonely:



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