I’ve been thinking a fair bit about some of the stuff that Cass Sunstien argued at the RSA event I went to a few weeks ago.
You can see the bones of the argument he put to us here where he asks:
What happens when people deliberate with one another? Do they arrive at the truth? Do they go toward the middle? Can we predict the effects of deliberation?
The experiment he did shows that where we talk with people of like mind we become more extreme in our views, and he argues that we need to be careful not to treat the Internet in the same way.
Sunstien argued that if we only link in a hostile way to those we tend to disagree with, and use the comments box to shoot down disent we end up not seeing any value in other’s views and believing that our opponents are charlatans, liars and creeps.
In some ways this reflects what Blair said the other day in his speech about the media and the increasing importance of comment in trying to have ‘impact’.
I have no desire to fall into the trap of this blog becoming “more pernicious, less balanced, more intent on the latest conspiracy theory multiplied by five.”
All of which is my rather the over the top way of saying that I’ve added some links to non-Labour (local) politicians to the side bar.