TPOT / PostRat
TPOT or Postrat is a decentralized community mostly on Twitter. TPOT, which stands for "This Part of Twitter," is an acronym used by some to refer to a group of accounts that tend to discuss intellectual and technology or science-related topics, but also post memes and jokes. "Postrat" is an abbreviation of "post-rationalist" and refers to the philosophy of some accounts in TPOT. The TPOT/Postrat community is not organized, but rather a loose way of referring to a constellation of users who are mutuals and have similar interests.
While TPOT is by self-definition a loose and vague group of accounts and niches, many of those who participate were formerly part of the Rationalist and Effective Altruism movements. The Rationalist movement advocated atheism and the use of logic and rationality to solve the world's problems, centering around a series of blogs in the 2000s and 2010s. The TPOT community grew up around Twitter, roughly at the time of the coronavirus pandemic.
What makes TPOT a "post-rational" community is an interest in topics that are not traditionally rationalist, such as spirituality, occultism and conspiracy theories. Early references to "postrat" as a label referring to a group of posters occur on Twitter as far back as 2016. Users also reference meet-ups in-person between different members of a postrat community. These meet-ups are often called "Vibecamps," and involve IRL mingling between people who know each other on Twitter. One TPOT poster named @VividVoid_ described the community and its atmosphere in the tweet (seen below) which received over 300 likes in a week on June 20th, 2023. It was in reply to a thread by another poster criticizing the awkwardness of some people at Vibecamp.
Prominent accounts and people in the TPOT community include Aella Girl, Venkatesh Rao and Sarah Perry. One prominent account, eigenrobot, as of June 2023 uses the tweet below as their pinned tweet, which describes a rejection of logic for an embrace of "gnosis," a concept in Greek that describes reaching knowledge of the divine through knowledge of the self.
While largely tied to Twitter, TPOT is also significantly represented on the social platform Bluesky. "TPOT" formed one of the clusters identified in maps of the Bluesky community from early 2023, during Bluesky's beta test (seen below).
TPOT is also connected to Substack, with many prominent TPOT accounts running blogs. Further, a variety of older blogs and publications related to the Rationalist community (but also not) are associated with TPOT and Postrat, such as Venkatesh Rao's Ribbonfarm and LessWrong.
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