Some people think that smoking causes lung cancer, and some people don’t.
Some people think human CO2 emissions are causing catastrophic global warming, and some people don’t.
It’s a wonder that anyone has any opinion at all, given that we know little about either cancer or climate or anything else.
Except it seems that the less we know about anything, the more certain we are about it: complete ignorance is a form of certainty.
And most of our opinions are secondhand: they’re what we’ve been taught by other people. Education is indoctrination. We’re all indoctrinated in one way or other, whether we know it or not. We attend one school, and read one newspaper, and watch one TV channel, and have one set of like-minded friends, and we keep each other in line, like soldiers on parade.
But these days the internet is a new source of multiple divergent opinions. The internet allows everyone to express their own opinions, And that results in a plurality of opinions rather than a singularity.There’s no longer one teacher, one school. one newspaper, one TV channel, one church. And increasingly everybody disagrees with everyone else.
Does that matter?
Can’t we agree to disagree?
But perhaps sometimes it does matter. Sometimes – as in a time of war – we need to all be of one opinion. And then an attempt is made to enforce a singularity of opinion. Dissenting voices are silenced.
And so the current pluralistic internet era will probably one day give way to a singular orthodoxy, from which all dissent is suppressed.
One day my blog will be closed down. And so will everybody else’s. They’ll be replaced by a singular orthodoxy. We’ll all say the same thing.
It could happen very suddenly.
It’s already happening. Dissent is becoming “hate speech“:
Facebook changing hate speech, voter suppression policies
Facebook will now take on an approach similar to that of Twitter, labelling posts that may violate its policies but are allowed to remain on the platform because they are deemed newsworthy.