The Puce Tribe

post by mike_hawke · 2021-02-28T21:11:05.778Z · LW · GW · 7 comments

In 2014 Scott Alexander introduced us to the Red/Blue/Grey tribe model, with his post I Can Tolerate Anything Except the Outgroup [LW · GW]:

The Red Tribe is most classically typified by conservative political beliefs, strong evangelical religious beliefs, creationism, opposing gay marriage, owning guns, eating steak, drinking Coca-Cola, driving SUVs, watching lots of TV, enjoying American football, getting conspicuously upset about terrorists and commies, marrying early, divorcing early, shouting “USA IS NUMBER ONE!!!”, and listening to country music.

The Blue Tribe is most classically typified by liberal political beliefs, vague agnosticism, supporting gay rights, thinking guns are barbaric, eating arugula, drinking fancy bottled water, driving Priuses, reading lots of books, being highly educated, mocking American football, feeling vaguely like they should like soccer but never really being able to get into it, getting conspicuously upset about sexists and bigots, marrying later, constantly pointing out how much more civilized European countries are than America, and listening to “everything except country”.

(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)


But the label "Grey Tribe" now feels outdated and less useful to me. So, inspired by Naming the Nameless [LW · GW] and Scott Alexander on Fussell on Class, I’m gonna spew my ideas about a fictional Puce Tribe. Why puce? Because it sounds funny, that's why.

The attributes listed below are meant partly as aspiration and partly as realistic speculation.

The Puce Tribe:




[2] See: Complex Problem [LW · GW], Bad Equilibrium, Prediction Markets, Incentive Engineering, Small Scale Experimentation. Also Credible Neutrality.

[3] See: Parks & Recreation, Community, Archer


Comments sorted by top scores.

comment by Ericf · 2021-02-28T21:22:07.305Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Are you describing an existing set of millions of people, or an aspiration that the values of your immediate circle be spread to include millions?

Replies from: mike_hawke
comment by mike_hawke · 2021-02-28T21:35:07.568Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

the latter

comment by PatrickDFarley · 2021-02-28T21:35:07.706Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Is this actually an existing tribe? I feel like the traits in this list have zero correlation.

Replies from: mike_hawke
comment by mike_hawke · 2021-03-01T15:01:02.120Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Yes, it's a real fictional tribe. If you don't believe me, just go hang out in the Plagueis Plain for a while. There's also a big exclave of them in Hypothetistan, if that's closer to you.

comment by Gerald Monroe (gerald-monroe) · 2021-03-01T00:15:20.180Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Sounds like higher class blue tribe members.  I haven't seen any characteristics that would exclude them, while red tribe is exclusionary.  They actively believe anything that isn't acceptable within their narrow, restricted worldview is a idea from an enemy, whether that enemy is communists, immigrants, minorities, or progressive members of Congress.

further thought and I remembered the exclusionary things about blue tribe: 

  advocating for the rights of the allegedly privileged 'in group'

  suggesting that differences in outcomes between different racial and gender groups could be caused by genetics statistically correlated with race or gender and not solely discrimination

   simply saying a banned idea on twitter or elsewhere is enough to get one "cancelled", socially ostracized, or fired from one's job.  While the red tribe appears to be far more tolerant of occasionally aberrant and hypocritical behavior of it's members otherwise in good standing.  

comment by kithpendragon · 2021-02-28T23:09:20.630Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

My family comments that Puce tribe "sounds like normal people".