Home » Uncategorized » About that: the Internet narrows minds, however open they start out

About that: the Internet narrows minds, however open they start out

A commentator on a Slahsdot article reminds that the Internet is a double-edged sword for politics, and for information spread in general:

Rather than a world-wide network enabling us to reach and appreciate a far wider range of topics and beliefs, we’ve instead been largely enabled to find the most comfortable echo chamber to reinforce all of our crazy without having to listen to neighbors who might not agree with our increasingly detached beliefs.

Not that that’s always a bad thing, if you’re a persecuted minority, for example. But I think the edge facing us does more cutting than the other side of the sword most of the time. Just look at how partisan things have gotten.

I have indeed sometimes wondered how the US election and candidates looked deep from within the Republican community; I’ve wondered how the economy and tax policies look both from a Daily Mail reader viewpoint and a millionaire stance.

I wonder sometimes how Linux looks when you work with everything Microsoft, with support from MS, and with solutions that work under MS.

I believe being gay is no less a fact of biology than having ginger hair, and I doubt I will ever understand why allowing gay people to be married under law affects anybody else.

I wonder whether the Japanese see American pop culture as being just as bat shit crazy as they see theirs to be. I have no doubt that our own pop culture is palpably insane.

And I can demonstrate support for my ideas by amassing tons of articles and publications as “evidence” to support me – but so can the opposite side. I don’t believe for an instant that there’s something wrong with the way my opponents process thoughts – but there are probably many premises and accepted truths they haven’t stopped to think about yet, just as I may be none the wiser about the sources of my own beliefs.

And in all of that I read articles and discuss issues around similarly-minded people. I am a jack-of-all-topics and master of none, so I fare not so well in debate with the opposing side; but the same goes for them, and so we leave discussions neither one convinced of the correctness of the other’s opinion. “How can I know my opinions are right” is at times as unanswerable as “how can I know that anything outside of my mind exists?”

And I retreat to my echo chamber for ammunition, to rattle cages and rally troops.

Time to go get a bible, and subscribe to a Tory newsletter. And to try praising all things Microsoft for once.

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