The phenomenon of online “Selection Bias” has become an increasingly prominent topic for social and political scientists, especially since the advent of wide-spread social media.
Selection Bias is the process by which people, through the natural course of their online activities, develop a bubble of their typical interests and ideologies, surrounding themselves with like-minded people, and losing meaningful understanding of different experiences and points of view. This has led to the drastic political polarization seen in the social scene today, and the “us v. them” mentality is veritably ubiquitous.
Regardless of political leanings, most major news networks, from Fox to MSNBC, or online resources such as Salon and The Blaze, do not even try and disguise their bias. It has created an environment where talking heads shriek at one another; lionizing their respective sides while demonizing the other.
However, when the bubble of our own political selection is permeated, we discover that, quite often, people diametrically opposed to us are, in fact, normal people, and have thought out their opinions beyond the usual talking points and sound-bytes.
To this end, I am gathering a group of recent graduates, both from my own Grove City College and elsewhere, from all different different backgrounds and political ideologies, to gather on a single website to present a calm, intelligent, respectful forum where the interested bystander can come and see WHY people of different political views think the way they do, and find out exactly where and why people stand for different things.
Entitled “The Thought Lounge,” it is intended to be something of an online round-table, where ideas can be exchanged, discussed, and presented with minimal interference from passion and unthinking dogma.
From conservative to liberal, libertarian to socialist, Christian to atheist, no one can or should deny the value in learning multiple points of view, even if it is only to reinforce and better understand your own.
Currently still in development, please keep an eye out for the official launch announcement of the “The Thought Lounge Project.”
If you are interested in the chance to write for the Thought Lounge, please contact me.