Re: Forms of electronic democracy [cr-95/8/31]


Sender: Andrew Mark <•••@••.•••>

The use of the 'Net for facilitating access to the legislative process and
making the individual's opinions known isn't far off, though the problem of
biometrically authenticating the keyboard operator must be addressed first.
And that's not far off...

Andrew Mark
SMART TONE, INC.                            Voice: 212.721.0332
205 West End Avenue                         Facs:  212.595.5835
New York, NY  10023-4804                    Email: •••@••.•••


Sender: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: Forms of electronic democracy [cr-95/8/31]

I agree that public access to government documents is a great idea, and it has
been carried out for years, within the confines of resource limitation, by
government document libraries, which, I believe, are in danger of budget cuts
by Congress.  The major problem, as always, is economic in nature.

Where will the resources come from to set up public terminals for all the
citizens to use?  What about the poor, uneducated, computer-illiterate masses?
Are they to be disenfranchised?  What about the education of those who are
overwhelmed by the mere thought of sitting down at a terminal?  What about
information overload, a condition that drives me a little crazy somtimes?  I
try to filter more effectively and efficiently, but sometimes it gets beyond
me and I become grateful for some of the commercial filtering, if it is done
in an ethical manner.  But this is another problem.

The Internet is a wonderful tool for democracy, but it has limitations and
problems that have no easy answers.  But the reason it is such a wonderful
tool is that it allows us to use our collective intelligence to find solutions
to our problems through responsible sharing of ideas.  There are a plethora
of problems that afflict our world and we need all the tools we can get.  But
we must remember the limitations of ourselves and our tools in order to be
most effective and, above all, do no harm.  A chainsaw is a great tool, but
if used without skill, or with an evil heart, it can cause terrible harm.

As far as monopolies taking over the Internet, my father always says that the
only thing worse than godless communism is unbridled capitalism.  I would agree
that we need spiritual guidance of some sort in our lives AND the strength of
self-discipline to make the world a better place.  This is my holistic view
of the world.  My opinion added to a dollar bill will buy you a cup of coffee
most anywhere.

Thank you for moderating this group, Andy.  It is a work of love, I know.  I
will not criticize you personally, but will keep my comments to the subject
at hand.  If I want another subject discussed, I can always start my own
group.  Since I have neither the time, the energy, nor the desire to do so, I
am grateful for the work you do in moderating this group.

Thanks for listening.

Connie Page

 Posted by --  Andrew Oram  --  •••@••.••• --  Cambridge, Mass., USA
                 Moderator:  CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)

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