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RE: Thought Crime


RE: Thought Crime
by k at 5:18 pm EST, Dec 7, 2007

Decius wrote:
I think the problem here is structural.

Well, yeah, as I tried to note, I basically agree. Congress doesn't work as well as I'd like it to, and I'm somewhat surprised that it even works as well as it does given how much a) stupidity, b) corruption and c) self-interest is involved.

The real problem is that this same issue keeps coming up over and over again, and Congress keeps selecting these cost free solutions, and keeps ignoring the objections.

True... it's election season and it's time to be "Protecting the children" or "Working for freedom" or whatever, so we get silly nonsense bills designed more to make voters feel a warm fuzzy than actually accomplish anything. And I agree that IP has been following the same trend (albeit for money rather than votes... not that they're not linked)... the PRO-IP bill I memed is a fat load of shite for that reason.

I'm not sure what its going to take to break these cycles. I thought the internet might help... might help people focus on other things than the fear the mass media constantly seeks to breed... I'm not sure anymore...

I'm not either... the futurist/technophile in me wants to believe in direct democracy, that we're approaching the technological capability to make that possible for everyone, and reasonable. Whether it's possible in fact, well, that's complicated, of course. For one thing, the effects of money would be at least as relevant, since votes would become even more about marketing. But I can't shake the fact that we're asked for too much compromise in selecting our voices, and that affecting that voice is only possible en masse (either a large quantity of humans or of dollars), and only sometimes even then. I'm not enough of a scholar governmental theory to assess all of it, or to conjure a lot of other alternatives and work through thought experiments, so it's not that productive maybe.

Still, I agree with you that the fundamental situation here is broken. Maybe this is a growing pain, or just a bad stretch, and things will equalize again. As I've argued, I think the media (specifically the emphasis on shareholder return on investment in media companies) is a large part of the problem, because it de-emphasizes hard truth over attention grabbing or entertaining "content".

Maybe the internet will help eventually. It's still young too. For all the bullshit, it's a pretty exciting time to be considering possibilities.


RE: Thought Crime

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