Monday, May 6, 2013

the tyranny of the bubble

I really believe in seeing outside what resides in my limited sphere, of hearing other perspectives different than my own, of avoiding the echo chamber of ideology/subculture/religion/provincialism at all costs. That's relatively easy because I don't see the world the same way most other people in my world do and I'm reasonably comfortable with that. Seeing the world through the eyes of others is fascinating anyway, which is why I enjoy blogworld and the Internet and reading books about people that aren't like me in places that I've never been to.

It's incredible to me with the vast array of perspectives and sheer quantity of fascinating stuff and information, how stupid a lot of people still are willing to be. It's not that hard to fact-check those memes that proliferate like crabgrass in my garden, or that urban legend that resurfaces every few years, or whether or not so and so is dead and whether or not that article is satire and then say it doesn't matter. I'm glad that people have pointed out when I've goofed on there, and I make the amends accordingly. 

I don't know how you could not bother to do your homework on our foreign or environmental policy, or learn something about another country, or get your news from somewhere other than a cable news outlet or Jon Stewart, or a quick perusal of AlJazeera English is sufficient enough to see it's not AlQaeda news.

I get that people are going to be mean and creepy especially when things like abortion or religion are involved. I wonder where some of these people live and who their friends are and if they live in bubbles that they never try to pop. What basement or what hipster ghetto where you don't know anyone who practices a different religion or lifestyle or whatever.

And it's fascinating to me to watch the echo chamber at work, when everyone gets all shrill and groupthinky together about OMG wingnuts/Democrats/people who drive cars/people who ride bikes/people who live in cities/people who live in suburbs/gay-straight-trans-bi/Muslims-Christians-Atheists/Dave Mustaine/Ted Nugent/Morrissey/AmandaPalmer). Assumptions are made, opinions affirmed, as if Point A is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER when there's a whole lot of other things going on. Suddenly everyone's a conspiracy theorist in their own way.

Because any dissenter gets shouted down or has to qualify the argument in a way that one wouldn't do if you were all sharing beers at the local bar. It's a pathetic validation, and for all the talk of how bullying is bad (no shit), if anything, it cements my theory that this is a universal human trait when I see the bullying that goes on in comments sections on pretty much anything. It's only bullying if someone does it to you, isn't it?

Also, no one outside that website and that little bubble really gives a shit about bike lanes or food trucks or mason jars or that band putting out that record. No one else cares and they go on living their life. I have to remind myself of this.

1 comment:

  1. heh, with the obvious exceptions I have learned to avoid comment sections, generally even those which claim to open to considered differences aren't really and the usual gossip-world echo chambers feedback loops ensue, funny nekkid apes that we be...