A couple quick thoughts in the wake of last night’s election in the United States.
Derek Thompson, Senior Editor at The Atlantic observed that it is appropriate for some humility about the ability to influence public opinion:
A year ~99% major newspapers/ magazines endorsed losing candidate is a time to be v humble about any one's ability to sway public opinion
— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) November 9, 2016
I noticed a tweet that said that no one in that person’s timeline was excited about seeing Trump win. To me, that is a problem. So I replied, saying “I tend to learn a lot by reading things that can sometimes make me angry”:
Why so many people were surprised by last night's results.
I tend to learn a lot by reading things that can sometimes make me angry https://t.co/QjJm9AdT1q
— Mark Goldberg (@Mark_Goldberg) November 9, 2016
In August, I wrote about this phenomenon (Reading just what we want or what we need?), asking “How do we encourage reading alternate perspectives, consideration of dissenting viewpoints, and engaging in cooperative dialog?” It is a real challenge when we self select digital news feeds, or get algorithmically selected articles served to us on social media based on what is perceived to be what we want to read. Perhaps the advantage of print media was the enforced diversity of views based on bundles of content including more than what we want.
Aren’t our minds nourished by snacking on opposing views once in a while?