Without being able to debate ideas, to critique thinking and to kick concepts, echo chambers form as power and social consensus hardens around established norms. Power, intentionally and more often unintentionally vests in founders, creators and those we would naturally expect to have all the answers.
More often than not, these experts do have the answers, but often they don’t, especially when it comes to complex adaptive systems.
Critique and skepticism is therefore at the core of sustaining a consistently innovative culture - a culture that isn’t aiming to be right, but gets consistently less wrong.
Quoting Wei from Polkadot Forum.
There’s only one community I’ve seen in the cryptocurrency space that handles criticisms well – Monero. Their Reddit mods hold an event called “Skepticism Sunday” weekly, where only “negative aspects” of the coin are allowed to be discussed.
That really worked. In many other places, things just deteriorate, grow confrontational, and eventually lead to pure personal attacks. Then you have no other choices but to at least temporarily ban them, so that things can cool down.
This creates a vicious cycle where things become even more confrontational next time negativity is expressed. We ought to allow some form of skepticism, otherwise Polkadot falls.
It’s not just about “constructive criticism”, because for most of the time, people that point out the problem don’t have the expertise in providing solutions. Still, we must have a way to know the problems, especially if things get serious.
Tim Urban, author of WaitButWhy talks eloquently about the difference between Echo Chambers and Idea Labs:
“In an Echo Chamber, falling in line with the rest of the group is socially rewarded. It’s a common activity to talk about how obviously correct the sacred ideas are—it’s how you express your allegiance to the community and prove your own intellectual and moral worth.”
“An Idea Lab is an environment of collaborative high-rung thinking. People in an Idea Lab see one another as experimenters and their ideas as experiments. Idea Labs value independent thinking and viewpoint diversity. This combination leads to the richest and most interesting conversations and maximizes the score of group discussions.”
Each comment if warranted can become its own thread, each thread can become its own debate. Each debate can drive forward interesting conversations.
Will prompt every Sunday.