The Familial Cave

It has become fashionable nowadays, in the programming community, to belabor the importance of the social instituitions1 of love, family, children and the like so as to downplay the hitherto dominant singled-minded passion about computers, etc. in the hacker culture. The term familial cave refers to this brainwashed attitude of the belabourers2.

Some contexts from Twitter (where low-effort posts abound, and thoughtless factoids spread like wildfire):

Underlying Psychology

  • The human “need”3 to belong
  • The strong desire for love, and to be loved
  • The believed inability to break free of these bonds
  • The lack of freedom to do the things one would want to do in life, if it not for the instinctual constraints
  • The rationalization of one’s bondage by downplaying anyone who lives more freely
  1. Here, we are referring only to the whole (brainwashed) social identity formed around the otherwise carefree and idiosyncratic acts like raising children or sharing roof with fellow human beings.

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  2. Derived from the allegory of the cave.

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  3. It is of course more accurate to describe this as a “desire” than a “need”. The need to belong is unlike say the need for air and water; as you can live without the former (happily in fact).

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