Apparently I missed the supposedly rampant “echo chamber” meme that was going around at the height of the Dean campaign — the notion that bloggers only pal around with people who feel and see the same way they do, thus reinforcing — rather than challenging — their own world views. David Weinberger does a brilliant job tearing down the myth of the echo chamber as either A) real or B) as necessarily a bad thing. What some people call the echo chamber, Weinberger calls bedrock: the “planks of conversation.”
Besides, we humans — echo chamber participants or echo chamber castigators — rarely engage in deep, meaningful and truly open conversation with people who fundamentally disagree with us. I have never debated a neo-Nazi, and if I did, I wouldn’t do so with an open mind: No way is that son of a bitch going to convince me that he’s right. No apologies. Being grounded in some beliefs is a condition for having any beliefs. And that has nothing to do with echo chambers.