I was at a pretty sweet family BBQ today
Today my wife @email@example.com and I, with our son, set out on a 2 hour commute to visit my uncle who lives deep in the rural zone of southwestern Washington state for a big family BBQ. I've been there countless times, but this time was a little different. I was looking at today's bullshit regarding @firstname.lastname@example.org from my phone during the ride over and thinking about the daily harassment that poor dev gets. Then I had a relevation.
I'm not sure how to classify the people harassing him without making some assumptions. These are the youth and young adults of today. Who look up to the American DNC establishment. Who are thankful for Antifa's existence but would never dare march with them. Who signal boost charitable causes but never donate. Who solicit donations for themselves on social media - often claiming to be a few dollars from homelessness or starvation. There are many names for these people. Just today someone called them "anti-nazi nazis" (which reminds me of better years where Seinfeld could make a joke about a "soup nazi" and nobody would get mad and totally understand what they meant) which I think is fitting but a little too mean spirited to make my point.
Visualize this person in your mind. You've seen them before. Maybe you have a name for them that you use. For my purposes here - I will just call them Groans.
I arrived at my uncle's property and was immediately met with an invitation to pick fresh raspberries from the garden in the backyard of the house. They had boxed the plants in with nets to keep the birds out and the sun in, with 4 rows of just raspberry plants that were taller than me. He was also growing zucchinis, corn, and tomatoes. I had always taken the rural scenery for granted during family visits, but I remember when I was young there was no experience like that back home. I lived in an urban area in one of the many towns in the """Greater Seattle Area""". The only corn fields here are those weirdo private ones. You had to travel more than an hour to find a good off-roading trail if you even had the equipment to partake. We were basically city people.
I thought to myself - why didn't I turn out like the Groans? I had to adopt far left ideology to survive my highschool teachers. I believed some pretty radical shit at 18 years old. If not turning out like the Groans, why also did I not march through the streets with masks and baseball bats? Everything that breeds a leftwing radical was right there in my upbringing. That's when I had this crazy idea.
I don't think the Groans have any real experience with rural life
Groans harassing the Fedilab dev are always online. Even if they have a job it's probably in a town or city. Groans don't know what its like to live in a small town that isn't big enough to install stoplights. Groans don't know what its like to ride a horse, make something with your hands, or crazy chores like that. All my peers back home did breakdancing, skateboarding, video games, and loitering (and drugs but I wasn't in to that). There wasn't anything back home like there was in the rural areas. The people living out here don't spend a lot of time on the internet. Doesn't help that their internet, if they even have it, is really slow. They also have so many chores to do to maintain whatever they are doing with their land that they probably don't have time to jump on The Mastodon Network™ and call the Fedilab guy a nazi for no good reason.
So I re-read Dune and for the first time am now reading it's sequels. This series has a heavy emphasis on ecology. Also this book series is set in the far future long after the inevetable AI singularity & war - but the humans won. They outlawed thinking machines via culture, religion, and law so that a second singularity would never come. The cultures shown in these books doesn't really resemble ours at all, but the way the people in the books are attached to their land isn't too different to the people I've met in rural areas. How land is a thing to be respected, and cultivated. It doesn't quite equal survival for us like it did for them but it's still important.
There are more similarities to be found. For example, I will assert that Groans maybe have traveled but never stayed long outside their comfort zones. Some might find travel to be eye-opening, or life changing. Some may scoff and disrespect the places they begrudgingly visit. There was a scene from Dune Messiah that really stuck with me. In this scene a traitorous Fedaykin (Fremen Death Commando) recalls from his escapades in the interstellar Jihad following the first book about how his legion encountered an ocean. They had never seen an ocean before, as they are from Dune. After the battle they dropped their weapons and waded into the ocean - inspired by its awe. They drank from the ocean and it made them sick. This particular character believed they were sent to those water rich planets to witness the future their empire was creating for Dune - as one of the primary goals of the main character early on was to transform the planet into a green one. The tragedy of this goal that is a big theme in the later books is that shifting the balance towards greenery on Dune destroys the habitat of the sandworm which produces the spice Melange which is the only reason the emperor controls the empire. Everything that comes after this relevation in the books is in consideration of this delicate balance.
Why are you talking about Dune? I thought this post was about Fedilab, or BBQs or... - you ask
So I've set the stage for what's on my mind, here is my point. I think everyone needs an anchor to the tangible Earth. I'm not saying you need to go shovel pig shit to cure your depression. I'm saying everybody needs to have an anchor of experience doing something with their hands. I can always look back on my years of visits to my uncle's place but not everybody has an uncle that grows his own food. Hell more people now than ever don't even have both parents, and if they do they may not have their parent's support for reasons beyond their control. It doesn't matter if it's tending to a small backyard garden or putting together GUNPLA models - my wife told me (not sure where she heard this) that we're wired to feel accomplished when we make a thing with our hands. Which explains why she finds deep enjoyment out of her experience growing our own vegetables, or making dragons & unicorns out of pipe cleaners (I'm serious). I don't think Groans have this anchor. So they look up and seek out a global solution to their problems. They'll shill for politicans that don't actually care about them (I don't think any politician does. It's not one party's issue there), and they'll cry nazi against anybody who doesn't immediately agree with everything they say. Most of these Groans have their age or even their approximate location in their profile bios - I know they are young and have a lot to learn. Just wish they weren't so insufferable in the meantime. If I was 18 right now maybe I would have been tempted to cast that stone with them, but then I would probably just go outside instead.