Jul 19, 2010

Book Recommendation 7/19/2010

Today I'm going to recommend a book that has fundamentally changed my thoughts on politics here in the United States. It's called, The Big Sort by Bill Bishop.

The book takes a look at historical markers of the segmentation of American society and how this has lead to a hardening of positions on all sides of the political scale. The book examines how the information age has enabled like minded people to shut out all the sounds of other opinions. We have seen the results of this hardening in our sundered political parties that are becoming more and more unable to actually govern without "super majorities."

The fact that parties are getting to the point of desiring and needing a "filibuster proof" majority is another blog altogether, but the underlying cause of this division is our filtering of other influences that are different from our own. The way we can choose to listen, see, read, or interact only with people that have the same views as ours has made us all more extreme in those views.

The book is an eye opening read about how we have gotten to the most divided political scene that did not involve a civil war. It is written in a conversational tone that reads like a novel as the author explores different people and movements that have steadily driven us to a nation divided.

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