ELI5: System matters/doesn't matter

I keep seeing people mention or argue about “system matters” stuff. I’m not interested in getting into the debate, but it confuses me. It seems like there’s some subtext and/or history that I’m missing and haven’t been able to find.

Would love if someone could explain or point to a resource that explains from a non-argumentative, relatively neutral place.

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This is the essay that I think you need to read as centerpiece of the debate:



Not sure why I couldn’t find this, but it’s quite helpful.

I’m left with more questions and I’m realizing it’s not worth it to me to spend more time on it. I think I’ll have to avoid the conversation altogether.


Probably for the best.

On a fairly secluded forum like this, it is a good faith question. On twitter it means the poster wants to start a fight and get some followers out of dunking on folks who answer “wrong.” This is super easy because every answer is wrong and everyone is working from a different definition of both “system” and “matters.” Often to get maximum engagement they will switch the definitions they are using mid-way and then act like everyone else is an idiot for not realizing it. It’s not great.

For many people there is a shit-ton of baggage attached to the topic. Plus a whole lot of misinformation. As @Planarian mentioned, somehow everyone has a different interpretation of the core key-words, which makes even well intentioned communication a minefield :stuck_out_tongue:

To me, once you remove the drama and fog, it is a pretty simple concept to explain.
Then one can agree or disagree and discuss about it.

Would love to offer my take, if @sonofthe is interested :slight_smile:

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I mean, I generally like more information, but given how volatile the subject seems, I think it’s wise to end the discussion.

My big takeaway is that the core argument doesn’t even matter as much as the weight of the public discourse surrounding it and the personal investments. I’d like to understand where people are coming from, but I don’t think I can rely on good faith unless I’m having the discussion in-person, if even then.

I think there are smaller communities where you can have good faith discussion about this topic. This might be one of those places.

I am one of those people who have strong opinions on this topic, so if you’d like my perspective feel free to direct message me.