The Internet has brought us such remarkable convenience and so many interesting time and energy saving upgrades to the mundane elements of daily existence. It has also brought emergent efficiencies that have opened up new directions of innovative potential, allowing collaborative experiences that bring distant forces together without the traditional physical limitations of space and time that defined our capabilities up until the mid-1990s.
But it has also allowed for the aggregation of communities that lack any sense of philosophical diversity. If you believe X, Y, and Z, you can find everyone else who also believes X, Y, and Z, and choose to spend 99% of your time locked in the process of negotiating your socio-cultural reality inside of the echo-chamber of that like-minded community — a cohesive club of similarly disposed people engaged in the process of endlessly reinforcing their shared existing biases.
Without the Internet, this is impossible. We used to be forced to interact meaningfully with people that didn’t come into every conversation already loyal to the same set of predetermined assumptions. Before the existence of personalized media, social media networks, and geographically-agnostic politically homogenous streams of mediated social existence, we were all constantly forced to challenge our biases by living in a heterogeneous social context.
The Internet has delivered us a solution to the inconvenience of debating our basic cultural and political biases as we assimilate new information from the world.
The result is an unprecedented polarization of political attitudes. If you want to understand this site in terms of a fundamental guiding premise, it is the central assumption that this factor is probably the most pressing danger we face as a society. It has led to what we call “the partisan death spiral”, a process by which large groups of people existing in the same political system have lost the ability to even discuss major issues, events, or possibilities in anything remotely resembling a constructive dialogue.
For the most part, the status quo is now shaped by at least two primary echo chambers of political perception that admit of no capacity to integrate into coherently shared notions of reality or anything even close to a common effort towards mutually agreed-upon solution pathways.
In other words, because of this fracturing of socially negotiated reality, we now exist as a paralyzed whole — unable to even agree upon which things are problems to solve, much less, on how to solve objectively obvious problems.
This manifesto is our commitment to work as hard as we can to provide a version of reality that is not consistently embedded in one echo chamber or the other.
By it’s very nature, this approach will likely rub most readers the wrong way because most readers will be natives to one echo chamber or the other. And the conceptual immune system will activate, flooding the mind with angry thoughts about how stupid we are for not seeing how such-and-such argument is just [conservative/liberal] propaganda of the first order, and how all [conservatives/liberals] actually ARE evil morons.
But, hopefully, for at least some readers, an awareness will be sparked that the world isn’t actually populated by 50% virtuous geniuses and 50% evil morons, with a political line drawn between the two groups.