posted on 2021-07-21

culture tribes and legitimacy

there are two large culture tribes: grass roots culture and historical institutions culture.

grass roots culture is indie games, amateur youtube, blog posts, weeb artists on twitter and pixiv, and the like; whereas historical institutions are triple-A games, hollywood, television and youtube channels owned by big media, art and literature schools, and so on. needless to say, i associate strongly with the former and don't have much respect for the latter.

note that academia doesn't necessarily mean historical institutions: though the two are largely associated together, there is a large amount of academia-type discussion happening among non-institutional hobbyists.

something that people from the grass roots tribe feel like they lack is legitimacy. but, my claim is the following: it is in fact grass roots tribe that represents what culture the general population generally enjoys, and we should just choose to stop respecting historical institution culture; to stop thinking of it as what is good, valid, or even mainstream.

when someone from grass roots "sells out" to go join historical institutions, i would argue that they are not gaining the legitimacy that they think they are: on the contrary, by associating with them, they are giving legitimacy to those institutions.

(note that while this applies to culture, it doesn't necessarily apply to more instrumentally useful fields like science; though grass roots science have been pretty cool, imo)

posted on 2021-07-21

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