Oh Michael, we are such similar creatures.
Justine Tunney
62

Thanks for your insightful reply.

What is this war? What are the sides? To be honest, I see a lot of bitter conflict in our society, but I don’t see the coherence of a war. I don’t see “sides”. I see a dissolution into feudalism and extreme individualism. I see a society where selfishness has become a virtue, in which “neoliberalism” (which is not very new, and not liberal) goes unquestioned, and in which pointless division thrives.

I am certainly not keen on siding with (or against) an organization like Gawker. Valleywag was more often than not in the right, but they’ve done some things that I question. Certainly, the way they presented you was irresponsible.

I was excited when Dan Lyons (whom I like a lot) joined Valleywag (for about a month). I really hoped that he’d bring the focus back to technology (and why so little technical excellence is seen in this industry) rather than gossip. Unfortunately, people are more interested in tearing things down than answering the apparently harder question around what we should build in the future.

At any rate, I’m still curious why you perceive a war, and what you think the sides were. Certainly, I’ve been involved in a personal “war” insofar as I’ve been attacked by ex-Googlers (who blame me for evolutions in the company and its reputation that I had nothing to do with) and, later on, Y Combinator people. I don’t see that particular struggle as historically significant, though. It’s not a part of something larger; it’s just a pattern of people being stupid that I continually have to deal with.

I would gladly throw my skills and energy to the right side if I perceived that there was a right side. However, I don’t see a binary war so much as a general dissolution of society that has been going on (due to our level of social and economic inequality crossing certain tipping points) for decades.