January 06, 2002
The echo chamber

It's been said many times, but one of the best things about the Web is the proliferation of viewpoints. I stumble across well-written opinion pieces all the time, from people I've never heard of, most of whom are doing it for the sheer joy and ego of seeing their words in print. Contrast this to the Op-Ed pages of your local paper. The Houston Chronicle has its good points and bad points, with a bland editorial page being one of its demerits. It's not uncommon for me to find nothing of value there.

While it's nice that there's such a cornucopia out there, I worry that I'm just reading stuff that I already agree with, or at least mostly agree with. I'm moderate left, I like but don't worship free markets, and I tend to civil libertarianism. Take a look at the links on the left side of this page, and you'll find more of the same. I don't agree with all of these folks on everything, but for the most part none of them have ever made me snort in disgust and question their critical thinking skills.

All that does wonders for validating my worldview, but then there's that nagging little voice that asks where the dissent is. How can I really feel good about my worldview if I don't challenge it?

That brings me to my problem: I'm having a hard time finding writers who don't share my worldview that I can stand to read on a regular basis. The folks at Libertarian Samizdata have convinced me that zealous libertarians are a bunch of loons. I used to read InstaPundit, but frankly I can't see why so many bloggers revere him. Personally, I think he's read too many of his press clippings. I want to like Andrew Sullivan, but I still can't forgive him for implying that since I was born in New York and voted for Gore that I'm likely to side with the Taliban in the war on terror. Ginger Stampley tells me I should give him another try. We'll see.

If anyone reading this has any useful suggestions, please drop me a line.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 06, 2002 to Other punditry | TrackBack