A campaign addressed to our minds and best instincts

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From “The Wit and Wisdom of Adlai Stevenson,”  September 6, 1952:

A campaign addressed not to men’s minds and to their best instincts, but to their passions, emotions and prejudices, is unworthy at best. Now, with the fate of the nation at stake, it is unbearable.

Plight of the Individual in Modern Society

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From Carl Gustav Jung’s The Undiscovered Self:

The bigger the crowd the more negligible the individual becomes. But if the individual, overwhelmed by the sense of his own puniness and impotence, should feel that his life has lost its meaning – which, after all, is not identical with public welfare and higher standards of living – then he is already on the road to State slavery and, without knowing or wanting it, has become its proselyte.

Jung on Futurism

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From Carl Gustav Jung’s The Undiscovered Self:

Historically, it is chiefly in times of physical, political, economic, and spiritual distress that men’s eyes turn with anxious hope to the future, and when anticipations, utopias and apocalyptic visions multiply.

Defining Internet politics by its opposite

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From Joe Trippi’s The Revolution Will Not Be Televised. Democracy, The Internet and The Overthrow of Everything, p 226:

I am convinced that Internet politics and government will be defined by its opposite, broadcast politics, and by its potential to fix many of the problems politics creates:

  • Civic d i s e n g a g e m e n t. The net builds communities and brings people together, providing the first reversal of trends reported in Robert Putnam’s alarming book Bowling Alone – the isolation of Americans, the death of participatory politics, and the unraveling of the fabric of critical social and civic structures.
  • The dumbing down of the American electorate. We’re all tired of those studies that show half of schoolchildren can’t name the president or the capital of their state. For the past fifty years, people have assumed they have to compete with the SHALLOW FLASH OF TV to get anyone’s attention, but the internet is growing exponentially with a very old-fashioned recipe: reading and writing.
  • The insidious corruption of our politics and our government due to the disproportionate influence of wealthy donors, special interests, and corporations. The internet shines a light on these dark recesses and quickly organizes millions of Americans cheaply, without relying on billionaires who want something for their money. Unlike TV ads which can cost millions, on the Internet, ALL YOU NEED IS A WEB SITE AND WORKING FINGERS.
  • Various other diseases of broadcast politics, including ATTACK ADS, governing by SOUND BITES, and celebrity politics. When the Internet has become the dominant information media in this country – in the next few years – TV will go back to doing what it does best, entertaining us. TV is great for Law and Order. It is not so good for making laws and keeping order.

Environmental overload

This post has been imported from .psych

environmental overload: the overload hypothesis assumes that humans have a FINITE CAPACITY for processing stimuli and information and predicts that we cope with sensory or information overload through (among other responses) selective attention and ignoring LOW-PRIORITY INPUTS.

from: Sundstrom, E., Bell, P.A., Busby, P.L., Asmus, C. (1996). Environmental psychology 1989-1994. Annual Review of Psychology 47: 485-512.

Attentional overload

This post has been imported from .psych

From Stokols, D. (1995). The paradox of environmental psychology. American Psychologist, 50(10), 821-837:

attentional overload is a psychological state in which individuals are overwhelmed by higher quantities and faster rates of information than they can manage (Cohen, 1978; Class & Singer, 1972; Milgram, 1970)…

will computer-based networks exacerbate the tensions between advantaged and disadvantaged groups by further separating “information-rich” and “information-poor” segments of society?

The potential of technology in the political environment

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The following is an excerpt from a speech delivered by Howard Dean, at George Washington University, on December 8th 2004:

The destination of the Democratic Party requires that it be financially viable, able to raise money not only from big donors but small contributors, not only through dinners and telephone solicitations and direct mail, but also through the Internet and person-to-person outreach.

The destination of the Democratic Party means making it a party that can communicate with its supporters and with all Americans. Politics is at its best when we create and inspire a sense of community. The tools that were pioneered in my campaign — like blogs, and meetups, and streaming video — are just a start. We must use all of the power and potential of technology as part of an aggressive outreach to meet and include voters, to work with the state parties, and to influence media coverage.

The most practical destination is winning elective office. And we must do that at every level of government. The way we will rebuild the Democratic Party is not from consultants down, but from the ground up.

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