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Echo Chamber Effect Programs Human Beings

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Illustration: Gabriela Juarez/Mesa Legend

Are human beings pre-programed robots? Sometimes It’s easy to believe that’s true. Even many of our scientific disciplines from physiology to the social sciences support this conclusion regarding many aspects of human behavior. What I mean in this particular instance is how much of a role do knee-jerk reactions play in our daily decision making in particular and in our lives in general.

This is something that I have not thought about for a while even though I’ve always considered it interesting and upon self-reflection may also explain why I react to many of the things the way I do.  Basically, human beings will instinctively react to certain occurrences or events in a way more consistent with conditioning than what we are hard-wired to do. Many argue that humans have free will and other species don’t… After all, “a cat is a cat” and will snuff the life out of the most beautifully plumed bird or swat around and torture the cutest, fuzziest mouse for hours until it dies.  We are usually not horrified that this cat, our beloved housemate, is capable of such cruelty… we just think the cat is “doing its thing”  something we chalk up to instincts (programming).

By most accounts, humans, unlike animals, are supposed to have free will and the ability to use a filter called “choice” which overrides knee-jerk reactions to certain stimuli but for whatever reason, we don’t. We seem so tribal, divided and in so many cases, held hostage by “Groupthink” I for one feel this behavior has been cultivated by the powers-that-be in everything from sports leagues to the political machinery of any given state or country and this is usually to the advantage of these powers.

This has all been especially true recently in America with regards to the Trump presidency on all sides, not to mention all the campaigning from all the candidates leading up to the election. This discourse is clearly manifested on the social media outlets like Facebook where you see your friends on either side raging against the other especially with politics. The arguments are intense but predictable with respect to what side they are coming from and are getting increasingly tedious.

It seems like fewer & fewer people are willing to think outside of the box or have original solutions. many times they just fall into lockstep with their team, all programmed to react to stimuli like robots. My friend Mike Gurevich has a great video he posted a couple years back describing programmed or “robotic behavior” really breaking it down in the simplest way, as well as a solution we should all consider given the current political climate in our country. Perhaps we can stop falling victim to default knee-jerk behavior cultivated by the “Groupthink” of whatever side we profess to be on and step off that programmed algorithm to become un-robots.

Here’s his post https://www.facebook.com/MichaelGurevich/videos/10152250099273571/

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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