Early internet subcultures used to be a haven for individualists and tech evangelists. But social media has become a hotbed for groupthink and reactionary cults. Surprisingly, many of these communities are comprised of the same people. From New Atheist to Trad Cath, pornhead to no-fap and pick-up artist to trad lyfe; 2013’s seasteading programmers have become 2019’s blood-and-soil peasants.
In the past few years there have been radical transformations within internet subcultures. For many of us who grew up online – as nerds, gamers, or introverted artists – the internet was a place you could go to “be a loser with your friends”. Before Web 2.0, fandoms and message boards were something of a safe space for the IRL socially awkward. The 2010s have been completely overrun by social media, set to the accelerating pace of technocapitalism.