The Santa problem | Seth’s Blog

An echo chamber is created by a marketer to assemble a group of people who are insulated from conventional discourse.

It can happen to sports and music fans, to investors, to companies that have confidence in their view of the world, or to social or political gatherings.

We support an echo chamber when we can gain status or find tribal affiliation by adhering to its rules.

The resilience of the cultural norm happens as a result of insulation from reasoned discourse and is amplified by threats to status or affiliation.

The tooth fairy myth is a fairly benign myth, but, like Santa, it’s mostly reserved for kids. When leaders seek to gain power and profit by organizing and maintaining an echo chamber, it begins to have negative side effects.

You’ll know you’re in one when:

  • It’s considered unpopular, weak or even immoral to change your mind
  • Isolation from contrary facts or opinions is celebrated as an admirable trait
  • The rationale for the core beliefs of the echo chamber changes when insurmountable reality can’t be avoided
  • Calm conversations that touch a nerve often become heated debates

The reason Santa is a problem is that sooner or later, reality arrives.

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