OSD 206: The third place
Come join our Discord.
Tldr we started a Discord. Join here:
There’s a concept, defined by sociologists and popularized by Starbucks, of a “third place”. Your home is your first place. Your workplace is your second place. Your third place is … well, your third place. It’s a hangout, the community from which you derive meaning other than that meaning you get at home and at work.
Sociologists define these eight attributes of a third place (from Wikipedia):
Occupants of third places have little to no obligation to be there. They are not tied down to the area financially, politically, legally, or otherwise and are free to come and go as they please.
Leveler (a leveling place)
Third places put no importance on an individual's status in a society. One's socioeconomic status does not matter in a third place, allowing for a sense of commonality among its occupants. There are no prerequisites or requirements that would prevent acceptance or participation in the third place.
Conversation is the main activity
Playful and happy conversation is the main focus of activity in third places, although it is not required to be the only activity. The tone of conversation is usually light-hearted and humorous; wit and good-natured playfulness are highly valued.
Accessibility and accommodation
Third places must be open and readily accessible to those who occupy them. They must also be accommodating, meaning they provide for the wants of their inhabitants, and all occupants feel their needs have been fulfilled.
Third places harbor a number of regulars that help give the space its tone, and help set the mood and characteristics of the area. Regulars to third places also attract newcomers, and are there to help someone new to the space feel welcome and accommodated.
A low profile
Third places are characteristically wholesome. The inside of a third place is without extravagance or grandiosity, and has a homely feel. Third places are never snobby or pretentious, and are accepting of all types of individuals, from various different walks of life.
The mood is playful
The tone of conversation in third places is never marked with tension or hostility. Instead, third places have a playful nature, where witty conversation and frivolous banter are not only common, but highly valued.
A home away from home
Occupants of third places will often have the same feelings of warmth, possession, and belonging as they would in their own homes. They feel a piece of themselves is rooted in the space, and gain spiritual regeneration by spending time there.
Today, internet forums meet all of those conditions. IRL matters too, but arguably most of the value the internet has created derives from its function as a self-serve factory of third places. From ARPANET through the present, most internet tools have done one (or both) of two things:
Help people communicate.
For a tool with any kind of permanence (from listservs to Minecraft to TikTok), #1 quickly turns into people self-organizing to build third places.
We hear a lot from those of you reading this newsletter, and you’re a cool bunch. What a lot of you have said is that you’d really like a way to talk to each other. So we’re launching a (third) place for that. Here’s how it’ll work.
It’s a Discord. You can join right now at https://discord.gg/bCNECzYtmZ
In one week, on Feb. 7, we’ll open a subscribers-only set of channels on the Discord. Subs will be through Substack and will cost $5/month.
For any group that’s growing quickly, today’s followers are the early adopters. E.g. if you’re doubling every six months, then the people who joined just two years ago are already in the top 6% by tenure. So because all you early adopters are the reason OSD exists, everybody who is a free Substack subscriber before Feb. 7 will have permanent free access to the subs-only section of the Discord.
Operational detail: the easiest way to claim this is to just join the Discord before Feb. 7. If you don’t do that but were a Substack subscriber before that date, email email@example.com and we’ll hook you up.
On Friday Feb. 10 at 9pm ET/6pm PT, we’ll celebrate with a Heat watch party. The action is the juice.
See you at the third place.
This week’s links
Man dies after dog steps on rifle
See also: OSD 192: Safety at scale
VICE discussion between people with various views on guns
Always useful to understand people’s mindset
even especially if you disagree.
Top-quality hats, t-shirts, and patches.
OSD office hours
If you’re a new gun owner, thinking about becoming one, or know someone who is, come to OSD office hours. It’s a free 30-minute video call with an OSD team member to ask any and all your questions.
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