Using the Internet to get out of your reality tunnel
Jesse Walker has an excellent new essay up at Reason.com, "The Facebook Friend in the Plastic Bubble," which argues that the Internet makes it easier for all of us to get out of our "reality tunnels" (my wording, not his) and get opinions and information from people who don't agree with us. (I think Jesse is right, but this is not the received opinion, hence his essay.) This blog posting illustrate's Walker's opening explanation of the reality tunnel concept with an illustration from Prometheus Rising.
My own experiences on Twitter would tend to illustrate Walker's point. True, I follow several libertarians and folks who are interested in Robert Anton Wilson, i.e., people who would tend to reinforce my (general) view of the world, but I also follow a few liberals and conservatives, too. (Robert Anton Wilson argued that everyone should make a point of reading opinions from people we don't agree with, to avoid becoming dumb by being locked in to one ideology. On the Internet, that's pretty easy). I also follow several news organizations. Because I'm on Twitter, l learned very quickly about the death of Osama bin Laden. I don't accept the thesis that the Internet shields me from what's going on in the world.