Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘Echo Chamber’ as Author of the ‘Hive Mind’

 

A continuing theme on Scott Adams’ blog is to challenge oneself to come up with more innocent explanations for events that otherwise lend themselves to conspiracy thinking. For example, Scott challenges us to consider whether the 17 mistakes all made in the same direction in the FISA application process to surveil the Trump campaign can have any explanation other than conspiracy? To be clear: “Conspiracy” involves a plan and coordinated action in pursuit of that plan. This is different from bias.

Scott Adams, as I understand his commentary, is floating the idea that federal agents did act in a biased, but not conspiratorial, fashion. (At least until the Durham investigation reveals any single large conspiracy or multiple small conspiracies taking advantage of other people’s bias.) We all have our biases, but they become dangerous problems when they become the basis for state action. So even if you rule out a conspiracy, it remains important to understand the source and development of certain forms of bias that can infect state action.

Scott even goes so far as to say that the source of the bias that led to the Russia Hoax was the feedback loop between the media and the government. Remember, a clap requires two hands. If you wave one without contact with the other, there is air movement but no sound. So it was that whatever scheme the Clinton/DNC came up with to smear and defeat Trump (or presumably any other Republican rival that emerged) would have no effect unless picked up and publicized in the media. Once the media actually responded to the provocation an echo chamber was established that amplified and intensified the desired feelings of fear and loathing.

This was the start of the “hive mind” — the alignment of thinking and (when opportunity arose) action. Like cranking up the power on an electromagnet, people with strong bias were fused to the narrative and people with weaker biases were drawn closer to cooperation and consideration of actions previously thought unacceptable. This is the dynamic of mobs: from discontent to rumor; to shouting and to force.

Although the Russia hoax was a particularly pernicious and consequential event, it is by no means sui generis. We have seen this on a smaller scale and with lesser national impact: the Covington boys, the Duke Lacrosse case, etc. In each event, an echo chamber was created to crowd out dissent and alternative narratives that led to a hive mind and mob action. When government officials are inclined or induced to promote or cooperate in a given action or set of actions, the consequences to society are grave, to say nothing to the devastation of individuals for which no monetary compensation can provide repair.

Humans being humans, these events will continue to arise. But we can limit their consequence to the broader society by fidelity to our constitution and its due process protections for individuals. (No, contra Representative Quigley [D-TX], hearsay is never better than direct evidence, even if in a given case a particular specie of hearsay may be more credible than a given piece of direct evidence.) This becomes ever more important as our cultural institutions are under “hive mind” pressures. It may not be a conspiracy, but it is a mob mentality that our government cannot be permitted to embrace.

The Deep State is actually a form of “hive mind.” The solution to the “hive mind” problem is to attack the echo chamber that supports it. And this is what Trump is doing to great effect. But is he just creating an alternative echo chamber and a competing “hive mind?” Is it just Godzilla vs. King Kong? For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Events will give us the answer. Pray that we like it.

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  1. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Or, the Obama Syndicate was a criminal enterprise. They started in 2010 with the DOJ data mining the IRS for opposition research, then moved on to data mining the NSA database for political research, then moved on to fabricating material for FISA warrants. This was not a two-bit burglary. This is a RICO and seditious conspiracy.

    • #1
    • December 15, 2019, at 10:42 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  2. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Lois Lerner did not require direct orders from the Obama Administration to kill the Tea Party, she just did it. Hive Mind, indeed.

    • #2
    • December 15, 2019, at 12:24 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  3. Unsk Member

    Far too many on the so-called Right are looking wildly for excuses for why so many of our trusted bureaucrats betrayed the public trust so badly. These excuse seekers are delusional beyond words.

    The entrenched bureaucracy 99% of the time rules for the benefit of the left, because those in the bureaucracy are overwhelmingly and thoroughly leftist and are protected by the Leftist political class as if their lives and careers depend on it – which they do. If walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck – it is a duck. End of Story. 

     

    • #3
    • December 15, 2019, at 1:07 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Unsk (View Comment):

    Far too many on the so-called Right are looking wildly for excuses for why so many of our trusted bureaucrats betrayed the public trust so badly. These excuse seekers are delusional beyond words.

    The entrenched bureaucracy 99% of the time rules for the benefit of the left, because those in the bureaucracy are overwhelmingly and thoroughly leftist and are protected by the Leftist political class as if their lives and careers depend on it – which they do. If walks like a duck, talks like a duck and looks like a duck – it is a duck. End of Story.

     

    Bingo, they are Leftist doing Leftist things, thinking Leftist thoughts. They KNOW Trump was guilty because he is GOP and thus evil and corrupt, just like they know Bidens are innocent and good..

    • #4
    • December 15, 2019, at 5:34 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Michael Collins Member

    Rodin: So, for example, Scott challenges us to consider whether the 17 mistakes all made in the same direction in the FISA application process to surveil the Trump campaign can have any explanation other than conspiracy?

    So all seventeen mistakes were made in the same direction. Without bias we would expect roughly half of all mistakes to favor Trump, and half to work against him. So by pure chance the odds against all seventeen mistakes disfavoring Trump, with no mistakes made in his favor would be 2 to the 17th power to 1. Or roughly 130,00o to 1 against all seventeen mistakes being unfavorable to Trump by accident. This estimate should not be taken too seriously. Life is more complicated and unpredictable than math. Innocent explanations are possible. Nevertheless, the math is at least suggestive. Let’s keep our eye on this one.

    • #5
    • December 15, 2019, at 6:10 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  6. Henry Castaigne Member

    The ideological uniformity of the Left is stunning. It is entirely possible that this is a Hive mind thing. However, I think it’s more likely that there was some kind of conspiracy that emerged from the Hive mind thing.

    • #6
    • December 15, 2019, at 8:24 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. RightAngles Member

    For me, the Deep State inner circle is the Queen, and the dutiful parrots in the media along with the everyday rank-and-file liberals in the citizenry are the hive mind drones. The tyranny of the Left makes it so that it never even crosses their minds to think any other way or even entertain the possibility that there just might be another point of view. They think and act as one.

    • #7
    • December 16, 2019, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  8. Old Bathos Moderator

    Just some observations:

    1. Some ideologies make for greater susceptibility to the hive mind. The belief that We are mentally and morally superior to Them is an instant filter, especially when you erase the ancient Judeo-Christian notion of a fallen human nature. A great deal of empirical data is instantly made invisible.
    2. Some ideologies make independent thinking a dangerous defect rather than a virtue. Every leftist-controlled institution cleanses people and ideas that are not consonant with the most current narrative. A hive mind is a constant, not an occasional phenomenon in such gatherings.
    3. The more personally insecure, uneducated and economically useless a person is, the more he/she will seek out a hive that passes out emblems (of (substitutes for) worth and influence not unlike the Wizard of Oz reaching into his bag for trinkets. We structure of education, welfare and other systems to produce such people.

    Within the MSM-driven hive, the complete absence of regret or apology and the refusal to turn on those who misled and abused the trust of the other worker bees is telling. They are simply regrouping, buzzing, waiting for the next narrative to believe and promote to continue attacking the same enemies.

    • #8
    • December 16, 2019, at 8:27 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  9. Skyler Coolidge

    I listen to his talk most days, and he’s very interesting, although smug and nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. He is seemingly incapable of understanding that not all human action is rational or interest based. He refuses to accept that some people are just pure evil. For example, he continuously attributes the behavior of that thug in charge of North Korea (I don’t feel like looking up how to spell his name) to reason and self interest, completely ignoring that this is a man that would gladly starve all his people to ensure he is in power. Trump may flatter him, and intimidate him, but Adams would assume he was honest to his own peculiar view of reality. He’s not.

    Likewise, the democrats are not just “seeing a different movie,” as Adams so often claims. Certainly that’s true of some, but the ones driving their agenda are not such mindless fools. They are intentionally creating this schism in our nation and its culture. Adams is a strange combination of cynic and Pollyanna.

    • #9
    • December 16, 2019, at 7:45 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Stad Thatcher

    One thing’s for sure: It’s difficult to tell the difference between an organized group acting in one direction, and individuals going in the same direction based on their beliefs, which just happen to be the same.

    • #10
    • December 17, 2019, at 8:06 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Joe Boyle Member

    So, the federal agents had the same bias but they didn’t have a meeting to discuss the bias and make plans to further the bias. And this makes a difference? I’m supposed to care about this? I’ve wondered why so many big brains think Adams so very smart. To me, Adams is a very clever, entertaining cynic but not especially insightful. The “two movies” and its many copy cat versions hurt my ears. I cannot believe Schiff and Nadler have pure motives but simply see the same movie differently. They started watching this movie the day Trump was elected and his crimes have changed several times. So, it’s not two movies. It’s several movies.

    • #11
    • December 17, 2019, at 12:09 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Joe Boyle (View Comment):

    So, the federal agents had the same bias but they didn’t have a meeting to discuss the bias and make plans to further the bias. And this makes a difference? I’m supposed to care about this? I’ve wondered why so many big brains think Adams so very smart. To me, Adams is a very clever, entertaining cynic but not especially insightful. The “two movies” and its many copy cat versions hurt my ears. I cannot believe Schiff and Nadler have pure motives but simply see the same movie differently. They started watching this movie the day Trump was elected and his crimes have changed several times. So, it’s not two movies. It’s several movies.

    I don’t think Adams is crediting any “innocent” motives to Schiff and Nadler. The focus of the commentary was on some FBI personnel involved in a counterintelligence investigation of Trump. Specifically the question of whether they were all engaged in a criminal conspiracy or whether at least some of the participants were influenced in their thinking by a larger media/workplace environment to be open to the possibility that there was a “there, there” (even though no evidence was ever actually produced). With such a bias whatever information they received was given credibility it didn’t deserve and pushed them forward rather than stopping.

    • #12
    • December 17, 2019, at 12:21 PM PST
    • 1 like