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Steel Hulls Make Good Echo Chambers

June 26th, 2007 · 5 Comments

TNR sends a mole on the National Review cruise, and comes back with such an astonishing cargo of crazy that there’s a spit-take lurking in each paragraph. (No word on whether they were following this activity schedule.) At this point, you’d really think it impossible to be surprised anymore by the terrifying self-delusion of conservative dead-enders. But you’d be wrong. I never put much stock in the handwringing of those who fretted that the Internet would fragment information consumption, replacing a “daily we” with a “daily me.” But this is a portrait of a group of people stuck in a truly toxic feedback loop: They’ve managed to successfully isolate themselves from the ordinary signals from the outside world that keep ideology at least loosely tethered to the realm of fact—and the pundits manning the barricades have done such a good job that their own belated attempts to provide a reality check won’t be believed.

Tags: Stupid Shit



5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 PW // Jun 26, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Canadians against Suicide Bombs? Priceless. They have a website.

  • 2 Anthony C // Jun 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Crivvens. What a funny bunch. NormPod in particular seems to have gone shrieking off the deep end.

    There’s no doubting the echo chamber effect. I think looking at the NRO Corner over the past year or so has been fairly instructive, where it’s possible to see certain of the more sensible commentators gingerly try to distance themselves from what they obviously see as increasingly barking mad assertions, without actually saying openly that some of the discourse is becoming very peculiar indeed.

  • 3 Dave W. // Jun 27, 2007 at 10:37 am

    This is why it is so important that places like HitNRun and highclearing have liberal, open comments policies. The “trolls” keep the rest from getting too delusional.

  • 4 Dave W. // Jun 27, 2007 at 11:11 am


    On a related note, it was sad to see Gunnels / Hak get banned over at Grill-Aides. Especially lame was the explanation as to why he had to be banned:

    Heraclitus has been banned
    grylliade’s picture
    2007, June 26 – 17:29 — grylliade

    For good this time. It’s the accumulation of things, rather than anything specific.

    Dee Watz should at least have provided a better explanation, but I fear the real explanation comes down to the fact that dissenting opinions, even respectfully expressed, are not conducive to an echo chamber environment. I find it kind of ridiculous that so many people profess to be socially comfortable only with those they agree with on political issues or religious issues or whatevs.

  • 5 Barry // Jun 27, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    The big thing is the incentive system. How many public advocates of the Iraq War (for example) lost their jobs for being wrong? Even as we explore a level of h*ll that many opponents of the war thought was unlikely, the same talking heads pull down fat cash to blithely hand us more lies. If those people were working minimum-wage jobs, on account of catastrophic wrongness, the next set of talking heads might think a bit.