Comments: More on Echo Chambers

I see two problems with echo chambers. The first is the obvious one, that by restricting your sources of input only to views that you agree with, you are less likely to be exposed to all sides of an issue, hence you are more likely to be wrong. Echo chambers lead you away from the truth. So, what is your goal? Is it the truth, or is it socializing? Groupthink is bad for the first but good for the second.

The second problem is the treatment of dissenters. Too often the self-reinforcing views of a like-minded circle require harsh suppression of those who disagree. This is a social phenomenon which reinforces the distinction between the in-group and the outsiders. It may also be necessary because the consensus views are relatively brittle (see problem one above) and won't stand up to real criticism, hence ad hominems and other rhetoric must be brought to bear to quash dissent.

Posted by Cypherpunk at February 12, 2004 11:36 PM