Another day in paradise

How nice it is not to live in an outrage amplification chamber. (Oops, this blog is supposed to be for my angriest opinions!)

On a day-to-day basis I am generally filled with a sense of tranquility and balance when it comes to American culture: yes, there is some political polarization around me, but from my perspective it’s generally symmetrical, and also basically friendly. Mostly I exist in a wide middle-ground, where the poles are distant bumps on the horizon you can only see after a deliberate journey and a lot of squinting.

Granted, my perspective does not include journalism products or social media. But that’s kind of the point! These conflicts people get so angry and worked-up about are in many ways only existent in the virtual fantasy-lands of the news and Twitter/Facebook. Out here in the real world, people get along, even help each other out, and laugh or shrug it off if something isn’t to their liking. It’s something I think most people would realize if they turned off their phones and computers more.

Probably, the parts of the real world that are very ideologically homogeneous are not like this. There are definitely some places you can live and work that are a lot like an over-curated Twitter feed. I have trouble seeing why people would want to live and work in places like that, especially if at the same time they complain about ideological bubbles.

There might even be an unnamed, underappreciated virtue: buying groceries from, seeing around the office, living down the street from, sitting in traffic behind, (etc.) people who you know statistically might be just as likely on your political left as your political right, or in a higher or lower socioeconomic class, or things like that. It’s a kind of unification-by-uncertainty. And I would say it works well.

Long live diversity!


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