John Chidgey on Balance

I’m not a massive fan of link blogging, although there are some good examples, but when I saw John Chidgey’s post on Balance on Tech Distortion, I knew I had to link to it.

My words of caution are thus: Reading or listening to the same people, the same sources of information year in, year out, then fast-forwarding through the processing stage and expounding hastily via a blog or a podcast feels comfortable; like a warm glove in winter. It’s nice, it slips on easily, it can be popular to a niche crowd, but is it truly balanced? Useful? Interesting? Does it add value?

I’ve thought about this a lot. People hang out in certain circles, and people in those circles tend to listen to or read a lot of the same sources, but what does that mean? Does it matter that we live in an echo chamber? I think so. Some of the more interesting people I’ve met or known have been those who can surprise me or make me think twice about my own established views.

This also relates directly towards provincialism and strong brands of flag-waving nationalism, by the way. I’m a firm advocate of the idea that as many Americans as possible should spend as many years as possible living in a culturally different country at a relatively young age.

I’m not going to list names of tech authors or podcast networks or shows as examples of the bubble, because I like a lot of them too. But just stop and consider that, if you’re going to fill your mind all day with other people’s thoughts instead of taking quiet time for your own, make sure a good percentage of them mean something.