Curated Resource ( ? )

Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | Aeon Essays

Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult | Aeon Essays

my notes ( ? )

echo chambers and epistemic bubbles... systematically exclude sources of information... exaggerate their members’ confidence in their beliefs... work in entirely different ways... epistemic bubble is when you don’t hear people from the other side. An echo chamber is what happens when you don’t trust people from the other side...

‘epistemic bubble’ is an informational network from which relevant voices have been excluded by omission... might be purposeful... we ... seeking information confirms our own worldview... [or] entirely inadvertent... using networks built for social reasons ... as information feed... we miss out on contrary views and run into exaggerated agreement...

An ‘echo chamber’ is a social structure from which other relevant voices have been actively discredited... brings its members to actively distrust outsiders ... something like a cult ... Those outside are actively labelled as malignant and untrustworthy ... to break an echo chamber [dont] wave “the facts” ... repair that broken trust.

world is overstuffed with information... filters need to be outsourced ... [but] extended social networks [as] informational network needs ... broadness and variety. ... In a bubble... exaggerated amounts of agreement and suppressed levels of disagreement ... imagine at identical newspapers with each headline ... increasing your confidence ... = group unanimity is simply an echo of my selection criterion ...

echo chambers ... more pernicious and robust ... Limbaugh ... actively transfigure whom his listeners trust... attacks ‘mainstream media’ ... discredit all other sources of knowledge ... outsiders are not simply mistaken – they are malicious, manipulative ... emotional isolation typically practised in cult indoctrination ... isolated... by ... who they accept as authorities... hear, but dismiss, outside voices ...

exposure to contrary views could actually reinforce their views ... conspiracy theory ... protected against simple exposure to contrary evidence ... [actually] increase ... confidence ... ‘evidential pre-emption’... intellectual judo ...

radical intellectual autonomy is a pipe dream ... we are irredeemably dependent on each other ... modern knowledge depends on trusting long chains of experts ... Echo chambers ... social parasite on that vulnerability...

plenty of echo chambers on the political Left ... a basic check: does a community’s belief system actively undermine the trustworthiness of any outsiders ... probably an echo chamber...

Sunstein’s recommendation... more public forums for discourse where we’ll all run into contrary views ... if we’re dealing with an echo chamber... useless at best, and might even strengthen the echo chamber’s grip...

articles arguing there’s no such thing as echo chambers or filter bubbles... lump the two phenomena together ... focus... on measuring connectivity and exposure on social media ... none of this weighs against the existence of echo chambers ... [which explain] current informational crisis in a way that epistemic bubbles cannot...

We don’t have to attribute a complete disinterest in facts... or reason to explain the post-truth attitude... simply attribute to certain communities a vastly divergent set of trusted authorities... An echo chamber doesn’t destroy their members’ interest in the truth; it merely manipulates whom they trust ... in many ways, echo-chamber members are ... engaging in critical reasoning... questioning... evaluating sources ... critically examining those who claim expertise ... their basis for evaluation ... whom to trust ... radically different. They are not irrational, but systematically misinformed about where to place their trust...

Those caught in an echo chamber are giving far too much weight to the evidence they encounter first, just because it’s first ...

Derek Black ... raised by a neo-Nazi father... groomed ... to be a neo-Nazi leader... left ... performing a social reboot... abandoned everything he’d believed in, and spent years building a new belief system from scratch... overall attitude of generosity and trust ... Matthew Stevenson, a Jewish fellow undergraduate, started inviting Black to Stevenson’s Shabbat dinners... unfailingly kind... earned Black’s trust... is now an anti-Nazi spokesperson...

people leaving echo-chambers ... rarely ... encountering some institutionally reported fact... personal connections comes with a substantial store of trust...

We don’t simply trust people as educated experts in a field – we rely on their goodwill... trust, rather than mere reliability, is the key concept ... goodwill is a general feature of a person’s character.

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The above notes were curated from the full post aeon.co/essays/why-its-as-hard-to-escape-an-echo-chamber-as-it-is-to-flee-a-cult.

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