The major reason for the top-down, centralized approach of the Manhattan Project was the need for absolute secrecy and security controls in a wartime setting. Absent the need for these strict security controls, a more decentralized market-led solution should be much more effective, as dozens of different solutions are able to be market tested and refined continuously to eventually build bottoms-up towards solutions that are broadly appealing to everyone.

If there are 100 ideas on how to fix polarization out there, what would be more effective? Fusing those 100 ideas into a handful of compromise-heavy solutions and then taking those solutions to market, or taking all 100 ideas to market individually and letting the market gradually refine and then determine the winners? The latter approach is the reason American startup and venture capital communities are the best in the world - the market should determine the winners, not a bureaucracy. I'm no libertarian nut and can recognize when exercising state power is beneficial, but when doing complex things like deciding which ideas will be the most effective, a decentralized market will typically decide best.

Additionally, given how polarized we already are, any state-led polarization solution will quickly devolve into skeptics and conspiracy theorists on both sides arguing about how the solutions offered are actually meant to help the other side. The inevitable distrust of any good faith efforts by the other side to reduce polarization means that any real solution is going to have to be a grassroots, bottoms-up campaign, not a top-down solution.

The question of why the grassroots organizations that you mentioned haven't solved the problem already is an interesting side conversation, but I think it's clear that hoping for a centralized solution is moving us in the wrong direction. A grassroots solution is both more efficient and more likely to be trusted by both sides.

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Agree that all ideas are welcome. But democratic discourse is a public good. The market has brought us siloed media, disappearing journalism, and social media. All driven by profit-maximization. Looks more to me like a market failure. The owners have no incentive to solve the social problem (except for token PR).

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Demand drives supply, so any issues with the market's products should be taken up with the demand (i.e., us). Everyone is subconsciously addicted to negativity, so it should be no wonder that that's exactly what the market provides. If we want the market to fix the problem, we need to change the demand.

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