I don't think that's what Ireland means. At least I feel a similar sentiment towards EC as Ireland does and your description doesn't match my understanding of it.
One component (though certainly not the only one and probably not even the most important one) contributing to the EC feeling is that the posts here seem less predictable than on many other sites. It's common for me to see a posters flag, get an intuition of what that poster is going to write, and then find myself surprised.
There is also a mixture of politeness and acknowledgement here that feels special. People aren't overly polite, but enough so that for many topics there isn't even a chance for a flame war.
Quick example: I assume that most posters here are vaccinated against covid and I remember only one poster openly saying they won't get vaccinated - but I don't remember much fuss about it. Almost as if nobody thought their opinion was so much more valid that they needed to tell the other one how much of an <insult here> he is. This was during a time where this topic was all the rage both online and IRL and I was pleasently surprised to see how civil EC was.Maybe that person remembers the event differently though, haven't asked.
Also, EC doesn't seem to be too much of an echo chamber (at least compared to many other places I've visited).