Join us this summer as we
Swim Against the Tribe
Read (just a wee bit) outside Your Box
stretching your summer reading list
swim against the tribe

Summer is here and we know you have plans – fishing, sunbathing, a summer read or two? Whatever you’re up to, we say you add just one more to-do: “Save the planet by escaping the echo chamber.” Doable, right?

We’re calling it our summer “Swim Against the Tribe” and we’re going to make a summer tradition of it. Below you’ll find suggested reading material to learn more about the problem and the solution as well as suggestions about how one might dip your toe into the water of understanding different political perspectives. Don’t worry, we won’t throw you into the deep end without floaties on.


This page will offer up a growing compendium of resources to break out of our increasingly isolated echo chambers, bit by bit. It took a lot of time for us to get isolated into feuding information silos, it will take awhile to get out.

We challenge you to think of balancing what Robert Putnam calls “bonding” and “bridging.” Sure, spend lots of time with people you have lots in common with – that even includes diving into the information sources you currently trust. But make a little “bridging” a part of your life habit as well – every once in awhile stretch toward those you disagree with – check out that other newspaper or TV channel. A politician you dislike just says something that confirms your dislike? Seek out the full text of the comments and the context around them. Give them the benefit of the doubt you’d give someone on your side of the aisle. Ask yourself what the consequences are if your tribe is wrong factually on this or that?

We’d like to keep growing this resource as we all learn better how to Swim Against the Tribe. Email us your suggestions.

Hat tip to Val Mindlin for the substantial assist on gathering resources.



A little summer reading to stretch left
Read Left for Conservatives:
Protecting the vulnerable and equality.

“All students of man and society are aware that the besetting danger is not so much of embracing falsehood for truth, as of mistaking part of the truth for the whole.” — John Stuart Mill, 1859

A little summer reading to stretch right
Read Right for Liberals: Individual rights and moral commitments.

“It’s hardly possible to overstate the value of placing human beings in contact with other persons dissimilar to themselves…Such communication has always been one of the primary sources of progress.” — John Stuart Mill, 1848