In Pursuit of Affirmation

Volokh Conspiracy has a nice short post about how people’s biases flare up worse than a hot flash when in the presence of contradicting opinions. In general as humans, we simply do not like it when our deeply (or even marginally) held beliefs are being challenged. Thus, we attempt to seek out safe spaces where that disturbance is less likely to occur. This is why you end up with people on facebook regurgitating political arguments that 90% of their friends have already heard and memorized. Such peculiar actions make more sense if you consider them as means of publicly displaying your group loyalties instead of attempts at arriving at truth.

It’s cliche as hell but try challenging yourself. If you’re part of a political or philosophical minority this already happens often enough. Unless of course you deliberately bubble yourself in with other like-minded castaways, then you end up with the worst of both worlds: outcast and dumb.


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