On several issues, our ideas start off as a passing whim that a well written article, or that teacher we respect plants in our head. Elon Musk’s idea to colonize Mars is an example.
As we discuss an alternative stand with somebody else – a friend who thinks we ought to address world hunger before we travel to Mars – our grasp on our idea gets a little tighter, and we put our weight behind it. Consequently, our ego and reputation starts wrapping their tentacles around this idea, and we grasp a little harder, initiating a feedback loop around something that we had never thought about, until a little while ago.
In this manner, our idea turns into quicksand. The more we argue our stand, the deeper it sucks us in. Any statement we make leaves us embedded deeper inside this idea, until it consumes us.
This is when it morphs into an ideology.