Hello again. This morning I made a comment on a blog I just started reading, Light Circle, a two-time immigrant’s blog about her living as such a person in modern Germany (http://alightcircle.com/2017/09/29/of-blood-and-air-homelands-lost-and-made/). It’s turning out to be what it’s like for many immigrants trying to make a life in America! Not easy by any stretch! I expressed in my comment that while I agreed with what she had written, the message was most likely going fall into, like much of what I write or share, what I call an echo chamber. I feel like the internet and most everything people engage in conversation on has become an echo chamber….an abyss. Many of us talking, few of us actually paying attention to what anyone says that doesn’t match our own view of about anything these days.
What is the official definition of an echo chamber?
noun: echo chamber; plural noun: echo chambers
an enclosed space for producing reverberation of sound.
I explained that what I meant by that is people like to read what solidifies and or validates their current position on most everything and seldom, if ever, deviate from it. Kind of like most social media and chat rooms of old. A lot of people trying to be heard but few if anybody actually listening!
So what happens is people who have a certain position on something will write a blog or some other form of media and the people who will most likely view and or read it already agree with the sharer’s position and or intent….they agree. The people who don’t will, like I’m guilty of doing, look at the title and briefly skim the subject matter and if it doesn’t validate or solidify my existing position, will get pissed and dismiss it altogether! I try to force myself to look at and or read opposite positions on things, but more times than not I get so mad I can’t get beyond my anger to objectively reason with what I’m reading or looking at!
For example, lately I will see a picture of our President’s face and or a member of his supporting cabinet or just our Government in general, and before I even start reading get so mad I don’t even finish the rest of the article! Sometimes I wonder if this isn’t a useful technique being employed for just such a reaction!
So what am I missing by doing that?! Did I miss something positive and good being so blinded by my feelings and preconceived notions about him? From my past experiences of not doing this, most times the answer is no. Still, I am being a hypocrite doing this and behaving this way.
For example, this morning I forced myself to get beyond my feelings about him and was rewarded! I found out he did something positive for a change! He actually decided to help the people struggling in Puerto Rico by waiving the Jones Act so supplies can flow more freely to the territory now.
From everything I’ve read about this behavior, condition, activity….it’s part of the human condition to find strength in numbers. It’s natural for us to congregate together with like-minded people so we feel better about ourselves….get to be “right” about something.
Yes, being “right” is so important to so many people. I’ve struggled with this sometimes crippling condition for most of my life….having the last word….the final say about some argument, position or debate. Like a dog with a bone not willing to just let the other dog take the fucking bone and get on with my life. I see this all around me…it’s not just me that suffers from this inability to just drop the fucking bone and walk away.
No! That would mean failure, defeat, surrender, becoming irrelevant or worthless, admission of being wrong…..being weak…giving up even. God forbid we should do that!
This is what I see going on in the older generations and mine right now. People with money and fear to burn ruling the day, like they have always done, and dragging the newer generations kicking and screaming back to the “good old days” that never were. The only saving grace about what’s happening? We have technology and the internet so at least what they are doing is broadcast and can be recorded everywhere!
Looking back through time, good old days are a great fiction written by the same people who are responsible for the text books of sanitized history our school kids are reading. History is written by the “winners” not the survivors. I’m a survivor of current history and in a couple of generations, after I’m dead and Kyle is gone, my mostly cursive written journals, my art and most everything I’ve created in this lifetime will most likely end up in the local landfill or burning barrel somewhere…like I was never here.
I encouraged this blogger to continue writing, even if she ends up being the only person who reads what she writes. May be someday the internet God we are collectively creating (A sort of Omnibus like in the Dune series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dune:_The_Machine_Crusade) will use her words, mine and those of the countless other canaries singing in the coal mines around the world to fix this mess we’ve made!
After all the internet hears everything….even if it’s in 7 billion plus echo chambers!