The LISEchoChamber

I just recently heard the phrase "echo chamber" for the first time, and it made sense. Most people tend to interact with others that share the same views on many subjects. The term seems to be synonymous with politics, and seems to have attached itself to Howard Dean. Dean supporters only talked to other Dean supporters, and missed out on what everyone else was doing and saying. I'd say that's true of all supporters. Bush, Clinton, Edwards, Dean, Nixon, Regan, Carver (do I have any supporters?) they all just stick together and complain about the other guy. LISNews is, for the most part (unfortunately), an echo chamber as well. You'll find few supporters of the Patriot Act, or many of the other big librarian causes here, or almost anywhere on the web. That's not something I try to encourage. There have been a few very interesting and open discussions between people on both sides of the issue, which gives me hope that things maybe opening up. Intelligent discussions or arguments are few and far between on the web. It takes guts to be the one dissenting voice in any discussion. I had high hopes when I first heard about Shush, but so far it's been a big disappointment. Someone needs to take up that cause that has something interesting, informative, and well thought out to say.

So, I've given myself a personal challenge this election year. To get just one person to vote against Bush who would've otherwise voted for him. Luckily I've got a few people I think won't end up hating me as I work on them. I'm careful to be respectful, gentle, and always factual, and generally Socratic. I love letting someone talk themselves into a corner, I'm a quiet personally generally, so it's often very easy to do. I find it works best when I quote the man himself, that way there can be no doubt as to what was said, and only interpretation can be argued. So far I don't know how it's going, but it's been far easier to find really strong arguments on my side than I had thought. So far my favorite discussion went something like this:

Me: something about Cheny's energy taks force
Them: Clinton did the same thing
Me: So we're in agreement on Cheny.
Them: dead silence

It was like they'd never given any thought to what's going on with this except to relate it to their hatred and fear of the Clintons. They had no idea what Cheny was actually doing, not that I really do, but at least I had some quotes. This is probably typical of arguments on both sides of the issues these days. Bring up anything to a conservative and they squawk Clinton, bring up anything to a liberal and they squawk Bush.

Now, all of this does not mean I consider my self liberal, not even close. Most people seem to think if you're opposed to one thing, they you must be for another. Against Bush? You must be a liberal. For Bush? You must be a neocon. I tend to think both sides will have good points and bad points, and one side will usually have more good than bad. I've never been a one issue voter. At this point, as I see it, Bush is more bad than good.

No links in this one, too busy today.


Thanks. I'll pass. I've only been a Republican for 2 years, and I'm not about to go back, even though I think Bush's domestic spending is at the level of a drunken Democrat. I'm surprised you think the Patriot Act supporters are so scarce at LISNews or in the profession. That seems to be all I read--but perhaps it is the echo chamber in reverse.

>You'll find few supporters of the Patriot Act, or many of the other big librarian causes here, or almost anywhere on the web

Blake I need you to "parse", as those White House Spokespeople like to say, what you mean by "other big librarian causes". I lost you on that part.

No argument regarding PA supporters and naysayers on this board. We (I?) am outnumbered. Patriot Act Pariahs (PAP's). I like that. Unfortunately this ratio is unlikely to change within our profession. Why? Because most library folks are inclined to be liberal. No revelation here. Sprinkle this crowd with our libertarian friends and voila, PAP's is born.

You are also correct with the petty nature of many discussions. So is the nature of politics. They did this, so we do that. I'm certainly guilty of invoking a Clinton bash here or there. However I do make an effort to use facts, particularly by way of published, widely accepted resources, to support my position. I'm not talking about "facts" from web puddles such as "Brother Joe's Communal Coalition Against Hemp Persecutors", but legitimate sources.

I do my best separate fact from hysteria. Recent postings include the fact that CIPA does not require mandatory filtering and that Aschroft has applied the notorious Sect. 215 exactly zero times. I doubt this has swayed anyone's position however I hope this qualifies as "intelligent" discussion.

As for changing my vote. I'm with my friend nbruce on this one.

My question for you Blake. Are you a candidate for PAP's???

>You'll find few supporters of the Patriot Act, or many of the other big librarian causes here, or almost anywhere on the webYeah, that made little sense did it? My point was most librarians seem to support and/or oppose many of the same issues. Filters, CIPA, COPA, PATRIOT, etc... "We" tend to think alike on those issues. That doesn't mean every librarian does, just many of us.I was never a CIPAP or a PAP, but PATRIOT has some problems. For my money it doesn't matter if Ashcroft says it was never used, I don't like it (not the entire Act) because of the parts that are so clearly unconstitional. At least one part has been Ruled as such, and I suspect other parts would be as well. It will be an interesting process to watch.I was only with "Brother Joe's Communal Coalition Against Hemp Persecutors" for a few months back in the summer of 1969, so don't hold that against me!Always remember, anyone who disagrees with me is wrong.

"That seems to be all I read"That's not even the echo chamber in reverse, that's just it. We all tend to avoid reading the things we disagree with, and dismiss points that dissagree with what our frames say. Framing fits in with the "echo chamber" stuff, but I seem to have forgot it.I'm not sure that's what you meant, but it was too perfect to let slide by.


A young guy like you back in 69? I was only three at that time and don't remember seeing you at "Flower Power Child Care" tent.

Did did they have in utero membership back then??

I'm old enough to have gone to Woodstock!

I love it!!!!!!

I actually "really" laughed out loud on this one.

Keep this one for the archives Blake

Still chuckling

Interesting stuff, Blake. I've just lately started making a bit of an effort to read outside of my own echo chamber a little. However, at the same time, I have recently learned that I have developed high blood pressure. Since I'm pretty sure that most of what I read "outside the bubble" has a tendency to make my blood pressure shoot right up, I feel I gotta take it easy. Well, we'll see what my doc has to say. Maybe once I lose some weight, I can accelerate my reading across the fence.

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