I’ve never been an “all or nothing” type of person, I believe in compromise and adjustment. However it seems that studies confirm that most people aren’t that way. Most people see every choice as a binary choice, thus creating an information cascade.
From the linked article:
“The belief that low-fat diets prolong your life is one example of a cascade. The crusade against global warming is another which is not to say that global warming isnt real. Cascades can be based on correct beliefs as well as mistaken ones. The point is that large groups of people can reach a consensus without most of them really understanding the issue: Once a critical mass of people starts a trend, the rest make the rational decision to go along because they figure the trend-setters cant all be wrong. The danger is that you end up with the blind leading the blind….“
I found this very fascinating, and very scary, especially when reflecting upon the decisions of both the Bush administration, and the Democratic Congress of late.