There is a danger in any group that information and behaviour is just recycled endlessly round and round in different forms and words. It becomes the identity of the group. Over time, the information gets staler, and narrower. The truth research world is not exempt from this. And if I spend too much time in the same circle of people and information I start to think and feel as if we are all exactly the same.
A closed circle of people can be anything, a peer group, a class at school ( a good way to keep children’s brains narrowed), people you work with, a family, a couple, university academics, a nation, the middle classes, a small town, a church, a group of like minded people. How nice to be with like minded people! Well yes for a while. But before long, there is nothing new to learn! We all become the same!
A Church is a good example. Everyone must follow the Bible and the Vicar to stay part of the group. No thinking outside of this is allowed. The information is constantly reinforced by repetition, and we feel secure that it must be right because we hear it so often. It feels like it is coming from lots of different sources and is therefore valid. As long as you stay in the same circle, everyone agrees! If we hang out in a different circles, we get another set of information, probably also closed, which is contradictory. What do we do? Dump the first lot, and move circles? Or try and persuade the contradictory people to come to our circle so they can’t contradict us any more, and we can all think the same, agree and be happy? Or do we just completely avoid anyone that contradicts our current view?
These closed circuits of information kill off free thinking, which is the only route to new information. Getting together with other people that are on a similar track can often help grow ideas and information, and validate that you are on a good track and not alone in your ideas. This is all good. The danger is when the growth stops, and everything stagnates. There needs to be a constant flow, more like a river than a stagnant pond.
The stranger coming to town is an often repeated theme in stories. This is an example of how fresh information comes into a closed circle. The stranger invariably stirs things up and causes havoc. It is like adding a new chemical to the mix. Despite the havoc, the stagnating small town inhabitants are compulsively drawn to the stranger.
There seems to be a social desire to belong in a group, and people fear stepping out on their own. Is this innate human behaviour, or indoctrination? It is convenient for the elite to have us in closed circles and not thinking for ourselves. Easier to control. We can all fight each other, and there are huge gaps of understanding that no one is occupying. A closed circle will not tolerate dissenters and even develop its own jargon, not quite understandable to outsiders. To think for yourself too much is to risk being ostracised from the group, to be no longer accepted, to be isolated.
The TV world is an example. TV programs refer to other TV programs. You have to be part of the TV world to understand a program, especially a comedy, which makes jokes about TV programme and TV people. They even make TV programs about the making of another TV program! In fact a lot of our social interaction seems to rely on TV world. People can’t talk to you if you haven’t watched a TV program recently. “Did you see such and such on the telly last night?” To belong, you need a TV. Well you don’t actually, you just think you do.
Free thinking, and diversity is the healthy alternative to closed circuit information. All our unique paths are part of the same whole. There is no one right way, other than your own for yourself. And only by diversity can we collectively know everything. There is always more to learn, and no one can individually know it all.