New Criticals

A Feast of Jackdaws


I’ve spent the last three years conducting ethnographic work on reddit culture. If you aren’t that familiar with the site, think of it as a crowdsourced version of the web at large. is notorious for its veneration of cats, rampant misogyny, charitable works, and mob justice. Because anyone can show up and create a subreddit, it’s a place for people with niche interests to commune over their love of drinking beer in the shower (/r/showerbeer) or penmanship (/r/penmanshipporn) or the letter G (/r/ggggg). Spend enough time on the site and you’ll realize that while their different interests may separate them, redditors share an almost singular fixation on demonstrating their knowledge about obscure or mundane topics. They are often vocal debaters, especially when it comes to topics that reflect their geek pedigree.