will making opinion polls faster and more common improve life? [cr-95/11/14]


Sender: "David E. Anderson" <•••@••.•••>


Your note (extracted below) scares me.  It comes across as condescending,
naive, and anti-rational and completely ignores the real issues.  You sound
like the famous Star Trek Next Generation creation, the Borg: "Resistance is
futile. We shall assimilate you."  I even wondered if you were satirical until
I saw your email id is "evote".  I'm most scared because you're promoting a
political system but misunderstand the key criticism of its weakness.

History shows that political systems based on appeals to authority such as
"the words of prophets" are oppressive.  This is not a world of love and
light.  We do not protect the meek and quiet by simply saying "let's be fair"
or "let everyone have a say in things".  We need to show our systems actually
improve the odds for desireable results.  In other words, "in practice" counts
more than "in theory" ( and practice divorced from theory is destructive and
"feels fair" is not a theory).  Those who wrote the US Constitution knew this.
You have an obligation to show you know this as well.

In Weimar and Nazi Germany a lot of ordinary people were attracted to feelings
of unity, strength, and destiny and wanted retribution for the treaty terms of
WW1 and an end to economic problems.  They viewed these feelings as
characteristic of standing up for oneself and demanding fairness... As always,
the other aspects of human nature did not go away, including fear, greed,
power hunger and war-lust.  All of these elements expressed themselves and
were carefully manipulated by the rich, the powerful and the plotting to an
end we all know.  Unhappily the nice people who just wanted the cameraderie of
belonging to the Fatherland along with their Rilke poetry got more than they
bargained for, as did the rest of us.

We have a duty to make sure the electronic polling idea does not also backfire
and wound us.


<begin quote>

Sender: •••@••.••• (Marilyn Davis)

I hear you and thank you for articulating so honestly what, I know,
many people feel ... especially members of the press.

As a "pure-of-heart street fellow" building the democracy drum, I am
genuinely sorry to bring such worries onto your head.


But please, don't be afraid.  Everything is going to be OK, even

Electronic Democracy is the vehicle to take us to the world that was
always promised us by prophets; a world where a meek person like me
can influence political affairs as much as any domineering person.

We'll do a great job.

<end quote>
<#include std disclaimer>

"What information consumes is rather obvious:  it consumes the attention of
its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention,
and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of
information sources that might consume it." - Herbert Simon

David E. Anderson/New Media Support, Worldwide Support, Oracle Corporation
phones: 415-506 extensions: desk: 6307 lab: 9333 fax: 7812 pager: 800 617 6914

 Posted by Andrew Oram  - •••@••.••• - Moderator: CYBER-RIGHTS (CPSR)
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