Existing in alternate realities

Yes, these days with internet echo chambers, conspiracy theories, more radical politicizing of science, and so on, it’s very obvious that we exist in different realities.

It’s always that way. We filter and experience reality based on our assumptions, which are more or less strong, more or less conscious, and more or less examined. And this creates a reality that is more or less similar to those around us.

Before the internet, we typically had to spend time with people in our physical world to create a very different reality from mainstream society, and that limited how often that happened and to what extent it deviated from the mainstream. These days, it’s easy to find online subgroups of people with any type of view on just about anything, sometimes created by trolls, and that makes radicalization and polarization of views far easier and it can happen faster and to a more extreme extent than before.

I suspect this is also happening because the internet is relatively new, and the current scale of trolling and intentionally created and promoted conspiracy theories are equally new, so our collective immune system for these types of viruses hasn’t been developed yet. It may be that in some years, more people are more conscious of the dynamics, signs, and red flags, and they are a little more resistant to manipulation.

There are some possible upsides to this.

As mentioned, more people may over time be more conscious of these social dynamics and a little more mature in how they relate to echo chambers, conspiracy theories, and so on.

More of us may be more conscious, in general, of how our worldviews and assumptions are formed by our culture and different subcultures, and how they sometimes tie into – and are fueled by – our own hangups and wounding.

And some of us may use this as an opportunity to explore this in even more detail, through different forms of inquiry.

What does my worldview consist of? What are the assumptions I am operating from? And, especially, what are my less conscious assumptions – about myself, others, and the world? What do I find when I look at where these come from? How do these assumptions color my perception, choices, and life?

How do these assumptions show up in my sense fields? How do my sense fields combine to create these assumptions and filters?

In general, what do I find when I examine these assumptions more thoroughly? How would it be to recognize these assumptions in daily life, and recognize them as assumptions and questions about the world?

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