Civilization currently has four (possibly five) major official arenas in which issues are ultimately resolved by dialogue and disputation.
- democracy (voting)
- the court system
- the internet (newly emerging; new but still fairly crude tools rapidly being developed)
Public discussion of issues has traditionally taken place in a number of additional venues:
- mainstream media:
- newspapers (editorials and letters)
- television (debates, editorials)
- town meetings (generally overburdened and barely adequate for dealing with local issues)
- Issuepedia:Dispute Resolution Technology: The invention and rapid spread of computers, as well as the extremely rapid development of new software, is causing new computer/internet-based tools to arise on a scale measurable in years or months.
Newspapers and television have become increasingly compromised all over the world by media consolidation. Within the United States, the Bush II administration has been engaged in anti-democratic efforts to undermine the effectiveness of many or most of these arenas.
How does "public opinion", as arrived at by discussion between individuals (and informed, perhaps unfortunately, by popular media) fit into this?
- 2006-04-05 When only the glib win, we all lose