“Group Polarization” : to be or….?
Some social experiments have demonstrated that when likeminded people intensively discuss a topic, tendency to extremism is liable to happen, a phenomenon which is called “group Polarization“.
In current parlance, extremism of course, has negative implications: bigotry , intolerance, thoughts narrowing, biases, etc.
Perhaps for “group polarization“, tendency to radicalism -meaning looking deeper into our own roots, is a better adjective; granted, radicalization has also a negative ring in the minds of some people.
A common observation, is that in populations under stress, people tend to talk in a common discourse, take care of each others and cooperate among themselves, in other words develop solidarity instead.
Beside, the methodology in the artificial settings of the alluded experiment, may have distorted the results .
At one side, it’s easy to see “group polarization” happening to “them”, for example to the religious people in the right wing.
On the other hand, just to believe that “our selves” are an exception to this phenomenon, is not a legitimate claim. People in “our groups” need to find where we stand.
Now, according to Elizabeth Kolbert in a current New Yorker article, Cass R. Sunstein, recently appointed head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, in his new book “Going to Extremes: How Like Mind Unite and Divide” maintains that the Web takes this phenomenon to a new level.
ZCom users are sharing a lot of common thought, it’s possible then, that we end up “polarizing” ourselves in divided groups?
And if so, would it be bad? (biased opinions as a minimum, or end divided and conquered in a worse scenario)
Or could it be good? (enhanced knowledge, solidarity, etc.)
Considering the many crisis society has been going through (economic, environmental, international relations, etc.), living is stressful enough and if the theories proposed are correct, the odds for a solid brotherhood to be developed among the Z users should be good..
But without awareness and taking no measures to avoid bad results, what should be expected for our group?
If we believe that education, involvement, unification, etc. are desirables, if history holds truth and the revolutionary changes are always carried forward by “grass routs elements” and usually are destroyed by late newcomer self appointed leaders. So, we better charge our batteries (mejor nos ponemos las pilas), as Miguel D’scotto said he did to exercise the presidency of UN General Assembly and as he usually does..
We plain users, have nothing but praise for the contributions of so many excellent writers affiliated to Z.
A times however, these otherwise superb writings, leave an empty lecture-like taste in our souls. Without active participation, the whole enterprise may become an exercise in futility and resentment could pop up it ugly head. We will be better doing more than just reading commentaries and opinions.
No reasons to doubt what the staff of ZCom is saying: with the improvements this time around, the system is becoming so user friendly, that not only the computer sophisticated among us, but plain readers, without shame for our lack of skills, could express how we think and to find some one with whom to share our thought, even if they are nothing but doubts do to our ignorance.
Having no experience in these matters, I am planning nonetheless, to watch carefully the Video, apply myself to understand the instructions, try to use the new facilities at ZCom to the extent of my inabilities and look for “friends” or “groups” with whom to share my beliefs
Of especial interest to me are the new liberation’s movements going on in Latin America.
In the last four months I have developed a profound respect and admiration for the people in the resistance of Honduras and no matter what happen in the next few weeks, in my opinion, the street actions and other activities carried out by what we call “pueblo, pueblo”, could be use as guides for what can be accomplished in non violent ways.
With luck, some one else also is interested in these issues and we can start sharing the lessons learned from the Hondurans struggle.
The truth be confessed, I have not the foggiest idea as how to ask for some one to be my friend and even less how to participate in a discussion group. So, it’s still to be seen what it will happen if I upload this few thought of mine in my current Zspace and when the link to the new system is functioning for me, upload them also to My Znet Top or My Z Space Top. Must likely as in the past, nothing is to happen but stay there for whatever time ZCom remains active.