May 22, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
I participated in a call between a few bloggers and Al Gore today, talking about his new book, "The Assault On Reason".. Following are a few of my notes.
The rule of reason is the balancing wheel at the center of self government.
Without reason at the center of public discussion we fall back on repetition and propagandistic messaging techniques.
Asked if maybe he is saying that reason was used in the past more than it really was, he responded that there was never a golden age of reason but for all the faults in the past we did have a larger role for reason and the truth. The relative role of reason has been diminished.
Today, a determined well-funded special interest can be so successful in distorting the public's understanding.
Bloggers are in the vanguard. What you are doing represents the new wave. How many times have you written about a mistake in the media, until a brush fire starts and the media is forced to correct their story?
On torture: George Washington prohibited torture during the revolutionary war. He said no to this because part of the "new way" represented by the United States included a new respect for the individual. This has been America's policy since. It has never been condoned much less promoted by the executive branch before now. It violates these ideas at the core of the new idea called America.
Torture is one symptom of decay of the core values that led to the creation of America.
On the Internet. When information is more than a one-way flow, when individuals can join the conversation and challenge conventional wisdoms and present facts as they see them from their unique situation in life, and share their point of view, this changes the conversation. If what they are saying resonates with others who have reached the same conclusions but have not been able to articulate or frame their insight, this is what inspires changes.
We must protect the freedom of the the Internet from those who would control the flow of information.
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