Attractive Assemblages

What we see in human decision makers is a whole body of anecdotes. I tell a story, you tell a story, I like your story so I tell similar stories. On the internet that happens much faster. 

Then those stories form a trope, and it reaches a critical mass and goes through a phase shift and then the trope/assemblage/strange attractor exists independently of the story-teller. People effectively get sucked into it, they can’t escape from it. 

Then they start to filter things, because the assemblage is a cognitive activation pattern. 

[Dave Snowden]
'Naturalising Sense-making w/ Dave Snowden. September 3rd, 2020'

The influence on people's actions and on the course of events that derivations—theories, doctrines, reasoning—seem at times to have is always deceiving the surface observer. At most the derivations strengthen already existing residues—a truth well realized by skilled propagandists; for the rest, they operate only indirectly.

The seeming influence of the derivation is in reality the influence of the residue which it expresses. It is for this reason that the “logical” refutation of theories used in politics never accomplishes anything so long as the residues remain intact.

Scientists proved with the greatest ease that the Nazi racial theories were altogether false, but that had no effect at all in getting Nazis to abandon those theories, and even if they had abandoned them, they would merely have substituted some new derivation to express the same residues.

[James Burnham]
The Machiavellians: Defenders of Freedom, p.176