- Oct 2022
This effort, which Americans have supported almostfrom the beginning of the national existence and which is oneof the cornerstones of our democratic way of life, has hadremarkable results.
Read in juxtaposition with the knowledge of orality and along with Graeber & Wengrow's The Dawn of Everything, one could certainly argue that there are other ways of knowing which provide potentially better pathways to democracy.
Further, the simple fact of basic literacy doesn't necessarily encourage democracy. Take a look at the January 6th (2021) insurrectionists who were likely broadly literate, but who acted more like a damaged oral society and actively subverted democracy.
Literacy plus "other things" are certainly necessary for democracy. How do we define these other things, and then once we have, is literacy still part of the equation for democracy?
- Mar 2022
The current mass media such as t elevision, books, and magazines are one-directional, and are produced by a centralized process. This can be positive, since respected editors can filter material to ensure consistency and high quality, but more widely accessible narrowcasting to specific audiences could enable livelier decentralized discussions. Democratic processes for presenting opposing views, caucusing within factions, and finding satisfactory compromises are productive for legislative, commercial, and scholarly pursuits.
Social media has to some extent democratized the access to media, however there are not nearly enough processes for creating negative feedback to dampen ideas which shouldn't or wouldn't have gained footholds in a mass society.
We need more friction in some portions of the social media space to prevent the dissemination of un-useful, negative, and destructive ideas swamping out the positive ones. The accelerative force of algorithmic feeds for the most extreme ideas in particular is one of the most caustic ideas of the last quarter of a century.
- Dec 2021