Tuesday, September 16, 2003

In the Echo Chamber

Dan Drezner, discussing a Kevin Drum interview with Paul Krugman, chides his conservative audience to go read the interview in full, to counteract what he sees as Krugman's "echo chamber" bias - the problem in which you habitually read only those that agree with you.

I suffer from this problem. Not so much in that I only read writers with which I agree, but rather that I don't read writers that are trying to make me paranoid, hateful, furious, or crazed. Not exclusively; Little Green Footballs is definitely an exception, although I often tremble on the edge of giving up on that blog. (Charles Johnson is definitely a hater; I should probably find a calmer prolific pro-Israeli blog to replace Little Green Footballs). But I've given up on Joshua Micah Marshall, who used to be my liberal read - I had a violent exchange of emails with him a few months back, and haven't looked back since. The closest I have to a steady liberal blog is maybe Jurjen's No Cameras, but he's not writing as much as he used to, and is more of a European statist UN-fanatic than a true American-style liberal or leftist. In general, I'm much more centrist in economic and domestic terms than the bloggers I read. I believe in estate taxes and progressive taxation, for instance, and I'm not exactly enamoured of untrammeled and unfettered Second Amendment exercise.

You could argue that I'm becoming more libertarian and right-wing by the company I keep. You would think that the opposite would have been the case, two-three years ago when I had my subscription to Salon and tended left in my reading. I like to think that I'm just shifting to avoid the haters; they were concentrated on the right before 9/11; they've move left now. Or, more correctly, the haters were in the saddle on the right; now they're in the fore on the left. This is, I suppose, a reaction on my part to Jane's Law.

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