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originally posted by: Serdgiam
a reply to: Dumbass
We are dealing with human behavior, so its similar, but it isnt "exactly the same."
This is simply due to everything from real time exposure, to scale.
From churches back then, those one or two "ultra-zealots" wouldnt have the ability to connect worldwide, in real time, with others like them. The church itself may try to organize it through monasteries, etc. but the scale and global impact is completely different.
Those zealots would also be balanced out, in real time, by the surrounding population in a variety of ways. The "normal" people would frequently just ignore them. A church, for example, would need a much more general message to succeed. Whereas now, every little nuanced sub-group of hyper-zealotry can be targeted specifically and in real time.
When they did start to drown out the normal population in the past, we got everything from the inquisition in Europe to the witch trials in the US.
Now.. We have many that have had their entire perception of reality shaped by the Digital Veil. Older folks that grew up without things like the internet may not even realize how pervasive this is, or even that a switch has occurred.
At its most basic, the internet used to be a place we talked about things that were happening outside the internet. Now, many perceive it the other way 'round; the internet defines how they will perceive everything that happens outside of it.
So, I would argue that the main differences here are scale, addiction, and echo chambers. And, they make a massive difference in how it actually manifests in our society and culture when compared to similar periods in the past.