Homophily is “love of the same” and refers to the tendency of people to connect with others who are similar to them in status, values, beliefs, or attitudes. In plain English, “Birds of a feather flock together.”. Social media sites geometrically reinforce this tendency by creating “echo chambers” of like-minded people. Similarly, “chains of recommendations” akin to Amazon’s “if you liked…” which reinforce our preferences under the guise of expanding our horizons.
The dangers of groupthink and fractionalization of social bonds are well known, more subtle are the dangers of becoming intellectually lazy, not being willing to allow your mindset, your world view, to be challenged/questioned.
One thought is that a “Stretch” option would be nice or an “Unsuggestion” that would give you the opposite of “If you liked…”. In any case, it is vital that we as individuals remain aware of our tendency toward homophily and make the effort to keep our minds and hearts open.
“It was a well-known fact that humans became more addled than usual when running in herds.” – Jim Butcher, The Aeronaut’s Windlass
“The best things and best people rise out of their separateness; I’m against a homogenized society because I want the cream to rise.” – Robert Frost, 1874-964
“We are not supposed to all be the same, feel the same, think the same, and believe the same. The key to continued expansion of our Universe lies in diversity, not in conformity and coercion. Conventionality is the death of creation.” – Anthon St. Maarten, Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier