The filter bubble is the source of hate and division
I’m becoming more and more convinced the incredible division and hatred in America today unprecedented in my memory and maybe ever is due to a combination of effects one of which is what has been called the filter bubble.
1.2 billion people on Facebook and the other social media sites has created an alternate virtual reality of sorts combined with the dnc media of the left wing have combined to create an alternate reality.
One would think that such mass hallucination was impossible. People have talked about things like subliminal messages injected in media but nobody has thought about the idea that if enough people reinforced an idea or set of ideas and people listened only to those sources that they could effectively be programmed like subliminal messages are supposed to.
The MSM has taken an amazingly consistent approach to Donald trump and the election over the last year or so. While this looks simply like a bias problem it is actually something more insidious. The media and the social networks reinforce each other and discourage alternative viewpoints from surfacing. Any alternative viewpoint is roundly criticized leading to a natural filtration process that reinforces.
Naturally what we would think would happen is that reality would intrude and people would “wake up” as if they had been brainwashed and see the mistake. However, the brainwashing can be so effective that the pain of stopping the filter bubble makes people want to return.
People build their identity around certain groups of people and memes. They develop these common memes to unify the people. People belong to groups in order to provide ego support and emotional support. I have long noticed that these suppprt structures are way more important to people than logic or consistency of thought. It is more important than reality. People will stick with their group meme even during tremendous strife.
I thought these memes were roughly equally divided between left and right leaving some people who didn’t use political memes as building blocks for their ego able to think outside these limitations. Some people use religion or science or something else. These are called independents.
The combination of MSM media and social media primarily because of their consistent message has created an incredible bubble of common ideas that are being reinforced in a never ending fashion in these people who are in these sources.
In the past MSM was more balanced. More factual but today the media is clearly divided along party lines more than ever.
Trump is special. He has been a lightning rod for some reason that I’ve tried to understand. I think the reasons why are several.
1) trumps personality is a blunt speaking type. This is pretty common among successful people generally and CEOs in particular. However I’ve noticed a lot of New Yorkers in particular have this style. Sometimes some cultures are known as more blunt speaking like the Danish. It’s not always the case.
Blunt speakers can infuriate people as seemingly judgemental. It is important to understand that blunt speakers is just a personality and that people are not necessarily bad because they speak bluntly. It’s something people need to understand and handle if you are going to deal with people in your life. You don’t have to like them but politics shouldn’t be about liking over being effective.
Nonetheless part of my understanding of the dislike of trump is his personality type.
2) he threatens liberals. he is actually middle of the road. He was appealing to traditional democratic values. The messages of trade tariffs and immigration controls has traditionally been a democratic idea. The unions disliked immigrants so the democrats were against them. When the liberals deemphasized unions in favor of identity politics they also became very positive on immigration and for free trade reversing decades of liberal politics. Trump finally took advantage of the fact that the liberals abandoned the middle class and unions in favor of elite money and identity politics. The Two are incompatible which made it possible for trump to take advantage.
I think many liberals realize subconsciously this was a major weakness. Trump threatened liberal ego because he is going after a part of their “definitions of themselves” in effect trump is too close to democrats and therefore he threatens their ego. Their sense of self. As a result they react incredibly emotionally as if they were being attacked physically.
To defeat this attack on their ego they react viscerally and distance by ascribing evil motives to everything which seems incredible because he is actually closer to them politically than other republicans. He publicly has lauded lgbtq causes and affirmed rights of women. He’s raised several women who are extremely confident successful and liberal in many ways. He’s talked about the common man like Bernie sanders more than Hillary and the democrats.
I think a big part of the liberal hatred is tied to this psychological fear of trump as threatening their ego id of themselves.
3) the filter bubble created a narrative that had many people believing the same set of things. This was conspired in some ways. It may have been planned. I don’t know. It’s emergence is amazing. It is clear that this filter bubble has caused a reinforcement of ideas that don’t tally with reality.
The most obvious and painful filter bubble effect was the polling and narrative around Hillary Clinton’s lead. There is evidence John Podesta helped conspire the pollsters to join the filter bubble but there could be many root cause failures. I do beleive there was a filter bubble effect on pollsters too and it reinforced the false polling. Primarily pollsters used faulty demographic data to drive a bias to Hillary.
The filter bubble today has trump as a “monster” every expletice has been used. He is a dictator and hitler. Nothing he does is good. This is bizarre. You get the impression that people in the filter bubble think hitler would be preferable to trump. That’s how bad he is. However reality is obviously contrary to this.
Trump says whether you beleive him or not that he is for the average citizen that we should be blind to racial and other differences in people. He mainly differentiates against people and countries outside the us or not citizens. He is anti-globalist arguing that free trade as practiced by liberals and open borders harms regular people. Refular people agree apparently electing him. So while he may be wrong or he maybe bad speaker, he may have a blunt personality he is not evil incarnate.
I think a much easier to paint as evil incarnate would be a Ted Cruz who is very ideological. Donald trump is actually pragmatic. He’s a negotiator simply trying to get a better deal for America as he puts it. You may think he won’t or can’t get a better deal. You may think he’s a dufus or whatever but he is not evil for trying to get a better deal. It’s insane to hate him this much as the media and the filter bubble do.
They never give him credit. Fine. We allow people to be biased. But we expect people to give him a chance to hang him self before jumping all over Him for being incompetent or whatever bad happens. The filter bubble is already judged he has failed and will fail with 100% surety and even more that he is evil, has evil intent and is constantly nefarious.
He has good kids. If he had a bunch of scufflaws and questionable kids who were not very smart and looked abused we might wonder if in fact he is a scumbag. The fact his kids are well read successful balanced and likable people even liberal on many points defies explanation. How could hitler raise so many people who aren’t that bad and who actively support him and constantly defend him as being a good guy? It just doesn’t make sense.
If he was so evil how come he has thousands and thousands of employees of multiple races and he has many women in positions of power and none of them complain? A truly evil boss could not possibly have such uniformity. He must have mistreated people in those companies over the years like liberals expect him to mistreat Americans. So how is this possible?
He can’t be pure evil. He cant be so incompetent to win the race considering the roadblocks put in his way. He has 1/5the money of the democrats. He had his own party against him at times and he had the media against him. He won by a crafty strategy that required amazing level of effort. You can’t say he is a moron or stupid to be able to do this. He has some appeal and he rose against incredible odds and adversity which normally would be a positive thing. Americans like the underdog. He was absolutely the underdog.
All of this suggests the filter bubble is alive and well fostering a “false reality” which is driving a large segment of people susceptible to this type of programming to beleive in entirely fabricated stories.
There is other stories in the filter bubble that are incredibly wrong but that would distract us. The point is that the filter bubble is creating an alternative reality that is driving this country apart making people beleive evil things which causes them to riot and do more and more dangerous things.
I really think we need to call out this filter bubble because not only is it Sad and terrible to think so many people are not perceiving reality but it is now causing tremendous social discord some violence and could become easily much more severe.
I don’t know if the filter bubble emerged by random chance, by some onset of new technologies, is a human collective flaw in our programming, is directed by nefarious agents. What I’m doing is calling out that it is clear that it exists, that it is causing false beliefs and inflaming bad behaviors. It is not consistent with a democratic free society.
I’m not sure what to do about it. Will it collapse on its own? Will it have some form of catastrophic collapse or will it expand and engulf new members. Will multiple filter bubbles emerge?
To some extent human civilization may be explained by different filter bubbles over time. I haven’t comprehensively thought about this but clearly in history people in one country exposed only to information fed to them could get into wars and such with other filter bubbles.