Monday, 25 September 2006

Disclaimer, disclosure, and echo chambers

Disclaimer: I represent myself and myself alone in any opinions expressed as such on this blog. I am currently in no position of any authority in any institution whatsoever, so my opinions can not safely be considered those of any identifiable group of people. So if you don't like what I say, put the blame on me personally.

Disclosure: I am an evangelical Christian (but not a fundamentalist - look it up), which is probably the single most important cornerstone in my identity. I do try to assess my stand on any issue through filters of truth and justice (I know it sounds corny, but I mean it) to the best of my finite understanding. My politics tend more to the right wing, but I'm highly suspicious of highly partisan people, who far too often have replaced independent thought with a worship of labels. I am still mystified by what is considered left or right wing at times. In Russia, right-wingers are diehard Marxists. So I feel no obligation to see any party platform as Holy Writ, or any political leader as a Messiah. I also have no trouble at all directing criticism at somebody I could cheerfully vote for at the next election. Nobody's perfect, and I figure it's better when leaders are held accountable by their supporters first. I am also the mother of five children, which means I am not easily impressed by tears, whining or temper tantrums...

Echo chamber: n. A room or enclosure with acoustically reflective walls used in broadcasting and recording to produce echoes or similar sound effects. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved September 25, 2006, from website. Or, metaphorically, a group of people who echo their unanimous opinions back at each other and reinforce each other, excluding and often reviling any others. This is what too much of the blogosphere has become. To prevent that from being my experience, I read an eclectic group of blogs (listed in the sidebar) that comprises liberals, conservatives and undefinables, Christians, Jews, atheists and Muslims, obervers of the political scene, observers of daily life, Americans, Canadians... They have in common that they hold their opinions with a certain amount of intelligence and rationality. Linking to any particular post of theirs does not necessarily mean I agree, but that I consider it worthy of attention for one reason or another.

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