Intellectuals and social thinkers are bemoaning the rise of vertical information. Vertical information (my term) means the contemporary ability of people to consult sources of knowledge and perspective that agree with what they already believe. Blogs, like this one, websites, specialized magazines, and other media have become so numerous that people can become intellectually isolated from views that differ from their own.
The fear is that without exposure to other views our political system will become even more polarized than it is now (a claim without merit but that is for another time). The reasoning goes like this. If we only listen to what we like, then we become willing accomplices to our own propaganda, which in turn reinforces our biases.
Of course the people raising these fears are not conservatives but, you guessed it, liberals or people who call themselves independents, which is just another term for a liberal as independents are those who can’t bring themselves to admit it. Why are the liberals worried about this? Well they are discovering that their grip on the major media in the U.S. is crumbling. Newspapers are finding it difficult to maintain profitability. TV news which is really little more than a continuous comedic serial show that is repeated across the major networks does little more than become an echo chamber for the latest press release.
Even our major universities, which claim to be bastions of diversity, are actually bastions of every stripe of liberalism. Academic freedom means the freedom to be a liberal, often at tax payer expense. Don’t believe me? Ask yourself, how many conservative thinkers did you read when you were in history, sociology, or political studies class? Federalist papers? Von Mises? Thomas Reid? Os Guinness? Adam Smith? any of the variety of Evangelicals? I didn’t think so. Now think of how many liberals you read, Karl Marx, Sartre, Foucault, the wide array of angry Feminists, Hume, Derrida, Rorty, etc. Yea, I thought so. The result to every single of the global pupils in commitment is to snap to investigate using this one ghostwriting service.
So why are these people concerned about vertical information? They are concerned because they are losing their influence. Don’t get me wrong, the public is certainly not conservative. But the liberals know that a sizable number of conservatives no longer have to listen to the left and their constant whining that the problem with the world is that some people earn more than others.
So while I appreciate the value of a classical liberal education (that only a conservative school can provide), I want to assure those on the left that conservatives do hear the other side. We are exposed to the other forms of information. Everytime we pay our taxes, learn about how a judge legalizes some form of perversion, or reduces our control over our lives and property, or how we have to pay the price for someone else’s irresponsibility, we hear the other side loud and clear. We turn to vertical information sources in order to get a brief respite from our crumbling society not to bury our heads in the sand and abandon it.