Extremism

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Filter Bubbles Are Shrinking Our Minds

In a Ted Talk, internet activist Eli Pariser demonstrated how the same search query can produce very different results for different individuals, based on their past online behaviour. As Pariser argues, these algorithms are playing the role of information gatekeepers. They shape, or reinforce, our world view based on what we want to see instead of what we would rather not see but may need to see.
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Danger: ‘Democracy' At Work

What does the mind do when it sees all those values it was brought up to believe in start to evaporate? More extremism: nationalism, racial superiority, religious certitude, male domination, bigotry, egotism... the usual list which has seen so many Trumps of the "Me Tarzan, You Jane" variety get democratically elected in the past: Hitler, Mussolini, Berlusconi, Erdogan, Putin, Le Pen, Fujimori...
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An Appeal to Modi: Don't Fiddle While India Burns

The Roman Emperor Nero was accused of fiddling while Rome burnt. Nero, whose rule is often associated with extravagance and tyranny, focused a lot of his energy on foreign diplomacy. He blamed Christians -- a minority community in Rome at the time -- for starting the great fire of 64AD, and presided over their wholesale torture and execution. The events of Nero's Rome are nearly two millennia old, but a lot of these misadventures resonate in modern day India.
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Chetan Bhagat And The Anatomy of A Bigot

I recently had the dubious pleasure of reading Chetan Bhagat's Times of India blog post on the "Anatomy of a liberal". The style of his piece is as frothy as ever, though sadly a little short on credible detail. The crux of Chetan Bhagat's argument, perhaps, is that India's liberal class is great at taking umbrage. There is much to take umbrage at right now. There is a rising feeling of intolerance -- towards dissent, towards resistance, and towards alternative belief systems -- a wave ably represented by Bhagat's article.