Robin Hanson expresses eloquently a theme I have often touched upon:
We feel a deep pleasure from realizing that we believe something in common with our friends, and different from most people. We feel an even deeper pleasure letting everyone know of this fact. This feeling is EVIL. Learn to see it in yourself, and then learn to be horrified by how thoroughly it can poison your mind. Yes evidence may at times force you to disagree with a majority, and your friends may have correlated exposure to that evidence, but take no pleasure when you and your associates disagree with others; that is the road to rationality ruin.
I see this everyday with my liberal friends, I see it in the blogosphere, I see it in atheists and worshippers, libertarians and socialists, idealists and pragmatists. The collectivist tendency is a powerful one.
And I know it exists within me too, though it is rarely displayed on a social level, principally because there’s no one I know who I think of as an intellectual associate. Perhaps that is a good thing.
The tendency to immerse oneself within echo chambers is hard-wired into the human psyche. It is a survival mechanism and it is an enemy of rational thought.
Robin Hanson’s words deserve to be remembered everyday by each person who thinks of himself or herself as a rational, intellectual being.