Monday, January 25, 2016
Writing about a trend in software development, Stavros Korokithakis describes an interesting phenomenon:
As with all fashionable practices, it starts out innocently enough, someone tries it, it works out very well for them, they present it in an eloquent way that outlines all the advantages of the new practice, and everyone is excited and eager to try it out. Soon, you have a deluge of articles saying how well it works, and how more people tried it with great results. What you don't hear, though, is the cases where it didn't work, simply because people aren't as motivated to write about their failures. [bold added]I have seen things like this happen again and again, but am having trouble finding a name for the phenomenon, which seems like it should have one. Korokithakis notes that it leads in part to "cargo-culting" whatever it is others are saying is so successful, but he doesn't name the phenomenon. The best I have come up with is, "echo chamber." Maybe this is technically correct, in that opposing views are underrepresented, but there is connotation with that term that the process is deliberate, which doesn't apply here. Should any passers-by know the correct term for this, please leave a comment or drop me a line.