Monday, March 20, 2017

Social Balkanization

      One of the most important problems I want to avoid in blogging is creating an echo chamber. When you discuss your opinions on the internet, particularly on the hot political matters of the day, you wind up preaching to the choir. What is wore about blogging is you tend to gather n audience of other bloggers who are not only like minded, but have crafted similar posts from the same sources you utilized. If your intention is to preach to the choir, then that is fine. There is nothing wrong with ministering to the flock. But do not expect much growth from the free exchange of new ideas. New ideas with rarely penetrate.
      There ha been much discussion since the election about people living in political bubbles It has been mostly directed from the right toward the alleged liberal elite in major cities in the two coasts. But really, flyover country is just as much a conservative bubble. It I hypocrisy for one to point finger at the other. Tribalism is in human nature. People seek to interact with others who think the same way they do. I like to avoid this sort of insular behavior when blogging. It is one f the primary reasons I prefer to objectively look at political science as an academic field and less so as news coverage of current events.
     More to the point, the internet is not resisting the move toward creating insular environments for like minded people to safely engage in a circle jerk. You may snicker at safe zones on campus where student can be free from exposure to “offensive' speech, but you do not see much interaction between groups of differing philosophies on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. hose venues are safe zones every bit as much as those on campus except wore. Worse because they are self-inflicted.
      This social Balkanization is exactly what the powers that be in the information industry want. The mainstream media, who were almost completely in the tank for Hillary Clinton, lost out because the grassroots effort to elect Trump were successful. Trump's grassroots effort was headed by alt right online news organizations and boosted by social media. The media is rapidly losing its influence—and rightly so with its left wing bias—compared the free exchange of ideas on social media Hence the efforts by Facebook to weed out “fake news” and Twitter's banning of hate speech. With Facebook and twitter deciding what is fake news and hate speech. But of course the effort amounts to limiting conservative views, driving conservatives back to their own areas on the net and allowing no exchange of contrary ideas. 
     The effort to divide and insulate is the plan to weaken any further grassroots efforts that might dare help another anti-establishment candidate get elected. Just be aware this is happening, who is behind it, and why so you will not be complicit.

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