Al Gore: The Assault on Reason, Part 3

June 1, 2007 at 6:32 am | Posted in Al Gore, America, Bush, culture, democracy, Democrats, government, internet, politics, Republicans, revolution, society, technology | Leave a comment

Check out this book excerpt from Time here…

I’m not an Al Gore “fan-boy” by any stretch of the imagination, and I still have mixed feelings about the sensationalist overtone of his movie An Inconvenient Truth. But this book excerpt I ran across on has piqued my curiosity. In these few pages he demonstrates some amazing insights that I think are worth discussing. I’ve extracted quite a few quotes that I am going to discuss over the next few days. Here’s the third and last one; feel free to chime in and share your thoughts.

“In the world of television, the massive flows of information are largely in only one direction, which makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation. Individuals receive, but they cannot send.”

This may be true, but there is more to our culture than television. Consider what I’m doing right now — “blogging“. This is a form of conversation; this is a method of discussing issues that concern an entire nation. He goes on…

“As a result, our democracy is in danger of being hollowed out. In order to reclaim our birthright, we Americans must resolve to repair the systemic decay of the public forum. We must create new ways to engage in a genuine and not manipulative conversation about our future.”

We already are – at least I think so. Remember the Digg user revolt over the AACS key? That’s just the beginning. The Internet is rapidly evolving into a very powerful public forum. The future possibilities are not just exciting, but kind of frightening as well. What if the true face of America is even uglier than what we already see? I hope it’s not, but after the 2004 Presidential election, nothing would surprise me.

Al Gore assures us:

“Any new dominant communications medium leads to a new information ecology in society that inevitably changes the way ideas, feelings, wealth, power and influence are distributed and the way collective decisions are made.”

Thinking about the Internet…Ideas? Check. Feelings? Check. Wealth? Check. Power? To be determined. Influence? To be determined. Collective decision-making? Now that would be nice, but to be determined.

When thinking about your influence on the world, when thinking about how you’re going to leave your mark, consider the last three “to be determined”. Think big! Think revolution! Think evolution! Think democracy at it’s finest!

Al Gore continues…

“Fortunately, the Internet has the potential to revitalize the role played by the people in our constitutional framework.”

He’s right on the money. Perhaps if the guy spent a little less time on global warming and climate and instead focused on these bigger ideas, his desirable outcomes for environmental concerns would be a natural result of a newly inspired democracy – at least according to box office numbers and The Academy Awards.

Exciting stuff if you ask me!


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