The Eaterateri vs Buzzfeed
A group of Victorian gentlemen called the ‘Eaterateri’ wandered various Scottish restaurants, trying all they could. The now well-known Adam Smith and David Hume regularly talked in the group about their ideas.
I don’t know if Hume felt bold enough to speak about Atheism, but Adam Smith may well have developed those ideas which he later published in The Wealth of Nations.
I’ve always liked this idea of a small group, having an evolving conversation. People can consider ideas, see how they feel about them, then bring them up again later, adding addenda, or objections.
These conversations we have with friends can evolve. Once someone mentions a point about wage disparity, we don’t need to repeat the same point on the next meeting.
This stands in stark contrast to political conversations online. Nobody makes points, only repeats slogans. No conversation advances, nobody reaches any conclusions. We hear the same left vs right tired old conversations again, and again, because an oligopoly of media outlets hold the reigns on the conversation.
Everything on the public internet seems like a stump.
Reddit and Lemmy , at their best, represent some small push towards the same conversation style. Ideas don’t go back and forth with nearly the same speed as a few weeks of eating at a restaurant, but over the course of months or years, certain subs gain access to repeat ideas. They’ll identify repetition, and often deal with it harshly, with a glib link to a previous conversation on the same subject.
(As a minor aside, this memory from a book is one of the few things I’ve not been able to find on the internet, so I may not have spelled Eaterateri correctly)