Furthest Right

Retreating from reality

It’s not what happens out there in reality land; it’s what I want to happen.

And by our weird logic, this “I” is not our physical brain but some weird metaphysical creation that even atheist liberals believe in.

When we go online, each of us is our own editor, our own gatekeeper. We select the kind of news and opinions that we care most about.

[T]here’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information — but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.

Almost half of Americans now live in counties that vote in landslides either for Democrats or for Republicans, he said. In the 1960s and 1970s, in similarly competitive national elections, only about one-third lived in landslide counties.

One 12-nation study found Americans the least likely to discuss politics with people of different views, and this was particularly true of the well educated. High school dropouts had the most diverse group of discussion-mates, while college graduates managed to shelter themselves from uncomfortable perspectives.

The result is polarization and intolerance.


Welcome to pluralism. We all retreat to our own realities. Couple that with an intense belief in pleasing the self above all else, and you have some isolated people.

We even put vital issues on the backburner to retreat further into our comfortable human world of tangible numbers, objects, contracts and inclusive beliefs, far from death or natural selection or social intolerance.

For the first time in Gallup’s 25-year history of asking Americans about the trade-off between environmental protection and economic growth, a majority of Americans say economic growth should be given the priority, even if the environment suffers to some extent.

Gallup first asked Americans about this trade-off in 1984, at which time over 60% chose the environmental option. Support for the environment was particularly high in 1990-1991, and in the late 1990s and 2000, when the dot-com boom perhaps made economic growth more of a foregone conclusion.


That’s downright comical. Actually, it’s downright honest: people will always pick what benefits them immediately over what’s right in the long term, because to be the monkey that chooses self-sacrifice first is to lose in the game of status played by the tribe.

Share on FacebookShare on RedditTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn