Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Monday, February 23, 2004

“Consensus” vs. “Mainstream”

I posted on the disadvantages of consensus thinking a few months ago. I recently checked how often the words “consensus” and its near synonym “mainstream” were used on several different newsgroups. I came up with the following results:

alt.revisionism 3970 8250 0.48 7320 11,000 0.67
sci.environment 6520 2940 2.22
talk.abortion 5730 3120 1.84

When I try arguing against consensus thinking, I sometimes run into the objection that creationists and/or neo-nazis also object to the mainstream. It looks like the terminology used is quite different, with fascist dissidents objecting to the mainstream. and libertarian dissidents objecting to consensus. That should not be surprising. After all, the consensus is used as a way to stop thought, whereas the mainstream implies flow, so it can change.

UPDATE: I have added a line for talk.abortion.


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