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HOW ECHO CHAMBERS ENCOURAGE PREDETERMINED CONCLUSIONS

Without an open mind, you destroy your soul.

There is an old joke in South Africa and probably the rest of the world. It is said that a traveler got a flat wheel and then discovered that the jack did not work. Luckily, he saw a farmhouse in the distance and started walking. As he walked, he worked himself up on what the farmer will say when asked for assistance. He became more and more negative as the scenarios raced through his head. When the farmer opened the door to greet him, as is expected from farmers, he snorted: “You can keep your damn jack!” And walked off again, leaving the farmer bemused and somewhat confused.

Now I don’t know if that is true or not but there is a saying that jumping to conclusions without finding out the real facts is the road to disaster for most. It is also part of the law, to hear the other side, in Latin, the Audi Alterum Partem Rule. Without that there cannot be any justice. Worryingly, the way that the internet search engines (all of them) work is to be partisan. If you go on YouTube (test this by all means) and click on an artist or show or channel that you like chances are 100% that the same artist, show, or channel will now bombard you with ads and previews. That is not by chance but deliberate marketing done by artificial intelligence observing your every click including how long you stared at a picture or listened to a video clip. A profile is built upon your behavior and your every move is tracked through your phone. In short, they know your likes and dislikes and will only supply that content that you like to you.

Okay, this is of course excellent marketing. But at what cost? We see the ignorance today with riots and vulgar attitudes to dissenting views. We see that echo chambers are created where people only look at the news that they agree with and like, never that stating the other side. And thus you create radicals on the left and the right. President Eisenhower warned that when you are not in the middle of the road you are in the gutter, be it left or right, it is a gutter. We lose sight of that wisdom. That what we read and hear (deliberately) enforce our pre-determined views even when wrong. And it takes a bigger man than most to admit wrongdoing or even to hear the other side. Therefore, confrontation is guaranteed. It is also so that the Corona Panic created fear. Fear of the illness which is genuine and not denied by me but should also be explained in context like age and death vs infected rates as I did in so many blogs before this one. Yet even that is not done by the media. It is always worst-case and death rates and no good news. And so the panic shutdown of economies took place and will take place again with draconian laws and freedom infringements to enforce whatever silliness is desired. Then there is the very real fear of financial meltdowns which are happening rapidly now with millions of people losing jobs, companies closing or shrinking, and more. The next step in this scenario is violence and the complete breakdown of society. Something I warned about since the Covid-19 panic started.


Yet is all starts with not hearing both sides. When one side only is heard, the wrong conclusion is possible. We saw that in Britain where the expected Covid-19 death tolls were overestimated by 10-12 times. Not percent, times. In other words, totally wrong, ridiculously wrong, and pathetically scaremongering. And those that said it cannot be right were ignored, never listened to. We know what happened then as it did across the world. Note that hearing both sides is not the same as agreeing with the opposing view but taking note of before a decision is made. That should be where we start undoing the harmful and indeed evil effect of social media engines that encourages only pre-conceived ideas. But it will not be done. Too much money is on the line.

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