So much of the literature on groups, societies, communities is fixated on enumerated pathologies that I'm reluctant to pile on, so I'm hanging this off the CategoryCreativity node.

Communities thrive when they find a CommonCause to rendezvous around. Many of the processes that make go bad in communities are extreme cases of the same processes that help to keep the community aligned with that single cause and in turn help to keep the actions of the individual members or subgroups from running off in all directions.

Here are some terms that I've collected for these processes.

Rondevous around as exemplified by CommunityTiedToOneMedium, CommunityTiedToOneTechnology, process, jargon, set of metaphores, or professional style are other examples.


We have a page (…that is poorly) named IdentityAndIntegration, explaining basic justification for throwing out perspectives that do not match with a particular effort's assumptions. In particular, in the context of wiki.

I always thought that EchoChamber? was a reference to the way that one person says something, and then everybody is saying the something, and then everyone believes it, because it's just "common knowledge." But it was just one person, and a hoard of echos.

I believe that what leads to IncestuousAmplification? is perhaps this:

  • A group forms around some values and ideas.
  • As the group gains more people, there is a need to decide what are those shared values and ideas, and what are not.
  • But the precise mixture of values and ideas is likely near incommunicable.
  • Thus there's a simplification of the values and ideas, into a core set of simple points.
  • The simple points become well-known, well-adopted cannon for the group.
  • There are likely conclusions from the simple points that would not come from the full understanding (which is incommunicable.)
  • The values and ideas and even their conclusions take on "a life of their own" and become a key part of the organization, despite the beliefs of the original group.

In my training in religious studies, we used to call this "ossification." The key culprit seem to be incommunicability. I believe that's why many lineages stress oral tradition and/or leaders (such as the Mormons), rather than written text.

I should probably move my story about the Twin Oaks cow building from MindGuards over to here… It's a demonstration of why CommunityFocusing is necessary.

Define external redirect: IncestuousAmplification SunshinePumping SingingFromTheSameHymnal OnTheBus EchoChamber ConcurrenceSeekingTendency

EditNearLinks: GroupThink