The Echo Chamber and The Death of Self-doubt

Photo by: Rubber Cat

If you believed the germ theory of disease in the 17th century you might find some obscure texts to support you, but mostly you were alone in the wilderness. To stick with that belief in the face of universal scorn, you had to have some really compelling (at least to yourself) evidence.

Most people won’t persist with an unpopular belief. Until late in the 20th century, if your neighbors didn’t share a belief, for most people you might as well be the only person in the world who holds that view.

Today though, you can pick any outlandish theory — the moon program was faked, 9/11 was a government plot, Britney Spears can sing — and you can find more blogs and news sites trumpeting that fact than you can read in a lifetime. Everything is confirmed. No one has to question their assumptions if they don’t want to. And frankly, none of us really want to.

The current media saturation means it’s possible for the first time in history to read only media that confirms your bias, no matter what that bias is.