Why Not A Vox For The Grey Tribe

Scott Alexander, in one of the best essays I have ever read, differentiates the red and blue tribes, before acknowledging the rise of a Grey tribe.

There is a partly-formed attempt to spin off a Grey Tribe typified by libertarian political beliefs, Dawkins-style atheism, vague annoyance that the question of gay rights even comes up, eating paleo, drinking Soylent, calling in rides on Uber, reading lots of blogs, calling American football “sportsball”, getting conspicuously upset about the War on Drugs and the NSA, and listening to filk – but for our current purposes this is a distraction and they can safely be considered part of the Blue Tribe most of the time

Pax Dickinson further defines the Grey tribe.

Greys are a libertarian-minded tribe of live-and-let-livers. They tend to dwell online, often adopting shifting pseudonyms and communicating with each other on forums and anonymous imageboards. Amongst the Grey Tribe one would expect to see higher levels of internet savvy, fondness for tech gadgetry, and disillusionment with traditional politics. They support privacy and anonymity, and oppose the NSA surveillance regime. Edward Snowden is a Grey Tribe hero. They revere open source, strongly support an open internet, and it is by no means exaggeration to describe them as free speech fundamentalists.

Many of the Grey Tribe self-identify as Blue, agreeing with Blues on many social issues while feeling disagreement with the Blues in areas economic and opposing Blue efforts to enforce political correctness. A few self-identify as Red, strongly agreeing with small government and 2nd amendment rights, but usually feeling strong antipathy or at best ambivalence toward Red social issues like opposition to gay marriage and abortion. Other Greys adopt the libertarian mantle, and many Greys disavow politics entirely. Despite their own failure so far to self label as such, the Grey Tribe does exists as its own independent culture, overlapping in areas but remaining distinct from the Red and Blue cultures.

So, my question, why isn’t there a news source catering to the Grey tribe? The Red tribe has Fox, the Blue tribe has MSNBC.

Vox offers a useful model of how to build a modern, semi-reputable news source catering to a tribe. However, the Grey Vox would cover different topics than traditional news sources. Economic analysis would be non-ideological, data driven and trustworthy, think Scott Alexander. Grey Vox would be strongly critical of government surveillance, thinking of Snowden as a hero. Silicon Valley and the tech industry would be heavily covered. Social issues would be approached through a live and let live philosophy, a distrust of the Red tribe for wanting to ban gay marriage and the Blue tribe for wanting to punish the Red tribe for wanting to ban gay marriage. Foreign policy would be covered less than most other sources, but would be geared toward non-interventionist realism, think Chris Preble.

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Other aspects of the Grey Vox would be self-awareness, interactivity and rationalism. Grey Vox would acknowledge their biases, and try to correct them. Grey Vox would cultivate quality comments and be open to revising articles if the comments show a factual error or misleading narrative. Grey Vox would identify not with the positions it took, but by the process used to reach them

If you think this is a good idea, comment or tweet at me (@marklutter) so I can gauge the reaction to see if creating a Grey Vox is something I want to dedicate time to.

Updated: October 9, 2020 — 8:11 am

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