Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Free Radicals

It is a human characteristic that we tend to socialise with people who have similar views to ourselves. This observation is equally valid on the Internet - perhaps more so - as discussion groups tend to cover narrow topics that attract others who hold similar interests and points of view. This can lead to the reinforcement and validation of ideas, radicalisation and extremism; what psychologists call group polarisation.
Interactive Democracy has a number of mechanisms to present diverse view points to counter balance radical points of view without inhibiting freedom of expression:
  1. Parliamentary debate leads to the pros and cons of an argument listed on the web site used to cast votes.
  2. The wider media present diverse arguments, reports and case studies that are easily accessible by the majority of the population. The vast majority are not radicals but can become well informed.
  3. The wider media, through its reporting of radical political groups, may encourage new members to join those extremist on-line communities, ask questions and debate points, perhaps watering down some of their radicalism.
  4. The slow pace of this type of democracy encourages wide debate and contemplation.

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