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Thread: Assault on Reason

  1. #1
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    Assault on Reason

    So time published an excerpt from Al Gore's new book "[URL=http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,1622015,00.html]The Assault on Reason[/URL]".
    All in all he has some good points like making cogress acountable and expecting them to show up.
    He also has some ironic moments like calling for government to make informed decisions when he puts out a 90 min political commercial wrapped as information regarding Global Warming. Note the 20 or so minutes he goes on about hanging chads.
    My favorite quote is below where he rails on about TV being the one way communication method that has taken over our lives. And indites computers, PDAs and text messagng in that list. I guess he has missed the whole message board, email, blogging and text messaging modes of communication in this. I believe computers have given the people BACK the voice of the people. We can choose our sources of information, do our own research and speak out on anything that we want to while getting immediate feedback.
    Hell with youtube we can even watch and rewatch the debates whenever we want. We have access to transcripts, studies and so on that was never available before, especially not without leaving home.
    He feels political commercials are the number one source of information regarding candidates while the TV advertising industry is seriously concerned about the place of DVRs in our society allowing people to skip those same comercials. Not only that but many political comercials were seen as counter productive because there were more negative smears contained in them then actual content. He goes on and on about his senate race in the 70s and acts as though nothing has changed.
    He finishes the article saying the internet SHOULD be used as our voice. When the heck did he write this book?

    [QUOTE]Radio, the Internet, movies, cell phones, iPods, computers, instant messaging, video games and personal digital assistants all now vie for our attention—but it is television that still dominates the flow of information. According to an authoritative global study, Americans now watch television an average of 4 hours and 35 minutes every day—90 minutes more than the world average. When you assume eight hours of work a day, six to eight hours of sleep and a couple of hours to bathe, dress, eat and commute, that is almost three-quarters of all the discretionary time the average American has.

    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. They hear, but they do not speak. The "well-informed citizenry" is in danger of becoming the "well-amused audience." Moreover, the high capital investment required for the ownership and operation of a television station and the centralized nature of broadcast, cable and satellite networks have led to the increasing concentration of ownership by an ever smaller number of larger corporations that now effectively control the majority of television programming in America.

    [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
    Hey Trades... I hope I'm not going to far off topic on this. But here are some of my thoughts on technology.

    I believe that freedom of speech is a necessity in a democracy. Without it, there is no way that popular sovereignty can function because we will lack the primary mechanism for debate and deliberation.

    I agree with you that technology has allowed us to do this at a larger scale than ever before, but free societies have been around a lot longer than the internet, ipods, and cell phones. Speaking for myself, the internet and on-line resources have greatly benefited my career as a wildlife ecologist. I have access large databases, a number of university libraries that I can get information from, peer reviewed journals that are on-line, and much easier communication with colleagues. Most importantly, it allows me to handle large data sets and analyze them rather quickly. However, these don’t make or break me. All of this was around before these technological advances. Therefore, technology has brought us convenience.

    The last couple of years I have been trying to understand our Constitution a little better than just viewing our rights as a hand bag of clauses that have no relation to one another. I think it would be interesting if people would stop looking at the Second Amendment as a right to own guns. The Second clearly states the right to bear arms to ensure the protection of national security. In this case, “arms” may not necessarily mean “guns.” We can arm ourselves with information, accountability, education, and so on that would ensure our national security because these offer the citizenry a means of clarity as to how they want to shape their society. The freedom to own guns simply gives us a right to a violent means of revolution or protection.

    So, when we speak about technology, I don’t see any reason why we can’t tie the First Amendment and the Second Amendment together to help us decide how we can shape our society. Why can’t technology be seen as a one of many means of protecting our way of life and our national security via the free and unchallenged movement of information amongst us? The old saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” might have some truth to it.

  3. #3
    al gore is a fat loser. He couldn't beat dubya in 2000, who needs him?

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=finlee17]Hey Trades... I hope I'm not going to far off topic on this. But here are some of my thoughts on technology.

    I believe that freedom of speech is a necessity in a democracy. Without it, there is no way that popular sovereignty can function because we will lack the primary mechanism for debate and deliberation.

    I agree with you that technology has allowed us to do this at a larger scale than ever before, but free societies have been around a lot longer than the internet, ipods, and cell phones. Speaking for myself, the internet and on-line resources have greatly benefited my career as a wildlife ecologist. I have access large databases, a number of university libraries that I can get information from, peer reviewed journals that are on-line, and much easier communication with colleagues. Most importantly, it allows me to handle large data sets and analyze them rather quickly. However, these don’t make or break me. All of this was around before these technological advances. Therefore, technology has brought us convenience.

    The last couple of years I have been trying to understand our Constitution a little better than just viewing our rights as a hand bag of clauses that have no relation to one another. I think it would be interesting if people would stop looking at the Second Amendment as a right to own guns. The Second clearly states the right to bear arms to ensure the protection of national security. In this case, “arms” may not necessarily mean “guns.” We can arm ourselves with information, accountability, education, and so on that would ensure our national security because these offer the citizenry a means of clarity as to how they want to shape their society. The freedom to own guns simply gives us a right to a violent means of revolution or protection.

    So, when we speak about technology, I don’t see any reason why we can’t tie the First Amendment and the Second Amendment together to help us decide how we can shape our society. Why can’t technology be seen as a one of many means of protecting our way of life and our national security via the free and unchallenged movement of information amongst us? The old saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” might have some truth to it.[/QUOTE]


    Well said Joe....hey, you never mentioned if I could come and help you tag wolves? :D

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve]Well said Joe....hey, you never mentioned if I could come and help you tag wolves? :D[/QUOTE]

    First... the money has to come through. Just yesterday we submitting another proposal for funding from the military. When we do get the funding and start the work and if you happen to be in the area and fill out a volunteer sheet, you could actually tag along. However, without rabies shots there will be no touching of the wildlife. ;)

    I use to have friends and family come out and visit me during the field season and I always took them out while I worked so they could see what I did. The bonus was seeing the coyotes, bears, and wolves.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=finlee17]Hey Trades... I hope I'm not going to far off topic on this. But here are some of my thoughts on technology.

    I believe that freedom of speech is a necessity in a democracy. Without it, there is no way that popular sovereignty can function because we will lack the primary mechanism for debate and deliberation.

    I agree with you that technology has allowed us to do this at a larger scale than ever before, but free societies have been around a lot longer than the internet, ipods, and cell phones. Speaking for myself, the internet and on-line resources have greatly benefited my career as a wildlife ecologist. I have access large databases, a number of university libraries that I can get information from, peer reviewed journals that are on-line, and much easier communication with colleagues. Most importantly, it allows me to handle large data sets and analyze them rather quickly. However, these don’t make or break me. All of this was around before these technological advances. Therefore, technology has brought us convenience.

    The last couple of years I have been trying to understand our Constitution a little better than just viewing our rights as a hand bag of clauses that have no relation to one another. I think it would be interesting if people would stop looking at the Second Amendment as a right to own guns. The Second clearly states the right to bear arms to ensure the protection of national security. In this case, “arms” may not necessarily mean “guns.” We can arm ourselves with information, accountability, education, and so on that would ensure our national security because these offer the citizenry a means of clarity as to how they want to shape their society. The freedom to own guns simply gives us a right to a violent means of revolution or protection.

    So, when we speak about technology, I don’t see any reason why we can’t tie the First Amendment and the Second Amendment together to help us decide how we can shape our society. Why can’t technology be seen as a one of many means of protecting our way of life and our national security via the free and unchallenged movement of information amongst us? The old saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” might have some truth to it.[/QUOTE]

    I can see where the first amendment could be stretched to cover freedom of speech on the internet. Not sure that you would even have to bridge it to the 2nd but then again I am not a lawyer. What I thought was odd was Gore's seeming lack of understanding that the Internet is already a conduit for multiway conversation. Also discounting the use of iPods and PDAs as entertainment devices rather than realizing that podcast are revolutionizing the way people hear one another's opinions and PDAs can be used to read books in a convenient medium is amazing to me. Personally I read a good 50% of what I read on a PDA. I love it since I always have it with me. Not to mention I have it on my desk next to my PC and no one questions me looking down and reading a couple of pages as they would if I have a paperback in my hands.
    My other problem with Gore's comments is he seems to allude to the fact that the Internet is under seige and that soon the ISPs will be locking us down as though we were in China or Iran. From my experience internet access is wide open. It is the wild west. Just take a look at what you can download using BitTorrent or Newsgroups and you would have to agree. Looks like Gore is trying to adopt another pet cause to save something that isn't in need of saving. (sorry I couldn't resist)

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Trades]I can see where the first amendment could be stretched to cover freedom of speech on the internet. Not sure that you would even have to bridge it to the 2nd but then again I am not a lawyer. What I thought was odd was Gore's seeming lack of understanding that the Internet is already a conduit for multiway conversation. Also discounting the use of iPods and PDAs as entertainment devices rather than realizing that podcast are revolutionizing the way people hear one another's opinions and PDAs can be used to read books in a convenient medium is amazing to me. Personally I read a good 50% of what I read on a PDA. I love it since I always have it with me. Not to mention I have it on my desk next to my PC and no one questions me looking down and reading a couple of pages as they would if I have a paperback in my hands.
    My other problem with Gore's comments is he seems to allude to the fact that the Internet is under seige and that soon the ISPs will be locking us down as though we were in China or Iran. From my experience internet access is wide open. It is the wild west. Just take a look at what you can download using BitTorrent or Newsgroups and you would have to agree. Looks like Gore is trying to adopt another pet cause to save something that isn't in need of saving. (sorry I couldn't resist)[/QUOTE]


    Well... I don't thing you have to be a lawyer to understand the Constitution. It wasn't written for them. However, I'm not sure what Al Gore's motives are or what he is trying to communicate because I haven't read the book (I probably never will... never cared much for the guy). But I do agree with you that the internet can create active communication between users. Sort of like the debates on specific topics on the board. I just don't think it has revolutionized how people debate or deliberate on issues. It's just created a new medium. Ideology is still ideology, whether it is verbal conversation, in a book, in a chat room, or done by sign language.

    If Al Gore is saying that the Internet can be used to control people, I partially agree with him. Technology is inanimate. It can be used as a means to free people or control them. But it's not going to do either by itself. It's important that people debate this stuff publically.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=finlee17]Well... I don't thing you have to be a lawyer to understand the Constitution. It wasn't written for them. However, I'm not sure what Al Gore's motives are or what he is trying to communicate because I haven't read the book (I probably never will... never cared much for the guy). But I do agree with you that the internet can create active communication between users. Sort of like the debates on specific topics on the board. I just don't think it has revolutionized how people debate or deliberate on issues. It's just created a new medium. Ideology is still ideology, whether it is verbal conversation, in a book, in a chat room, or done by sign language.

    If Al Gore is saying that the Internet can be used to control people, I partially agree with him. Technology is inanimate. It can be used as a means to free people or control them. But it's not going to do either by itself. It's important that people debate this stuff publically.[/QUOTE]

    My lawyer comment was more to how laywers interpret and reinterpret the constitution to try and meet thier needs.
    Gore was trying to say America has become a land of watchers rather than participants in the commentary of life. My points regarding the internet is that the internet has given the people their voice again while Gore thinks that it is used as passive entertainment rather than a communication medium.

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