Can A Ship Sail Right Over The Edge Of The Earth?

“The U.S no longer has a well-functioning self-government. . . .  American democracy has been hacked. The United States Congress, the avatar of the democratically elected national legislatures in the modern world, is now incapable of passing laws without permission from the corporate lobbies and other special interests that control their campaign finances.” 

The above quote is from Al Gore’s new book, “The Future.” It makes sobering reading as the U.S. ship of state drifts, apparently rudderless, toward “sequestration.” Is the bridge abandoned? Have the helm and the engine room broken down?

I don’t understand the panic over sequestration, but I am concerned about the ability of U.S. government institutions to function. Continue reading

Virtual Democracy Emerging As We Tweet

Think Congress is dysfunctional? That’s old news.

Consider replacing traditional representative government with a revolutionary new system.

Listen: Radio talk shows had a bright idea.

Two words: “Audience participation.”  Invite listeners to call in.  You can be on live radio! —  But only a select few get through the jammed switchboard.

Next, invite listeners to send an email.  — Bingo! Everybody gets through! — The host reads four or five emails in the time it takes to chat with one caller.

English: Tweeting bird, derived from the initi...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fast forward to cable TV news:

“We want to know what you think. Send us a Tweet about  [insert burning issue of the day]. We might read your Tweet on the air.”

Next step, Reality: 

Vote “Yes” or “No” by dialing a number on your cell phone.  Continue reading

Online Games (How Much Time?)

Quote

“In the United States, the average person under the age of twenty-one now spends almost as much time playing online games as they spend in classrooms from the sixth through twelfth grades. And it’s not just young people: the average online social games player is a woman in her mid-forties”

— Al Gore in his new book, “The Future”

Al Gore’s New Book

Status

Got the book! “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change,” by Al Gore. Splurged on the hardback. I can’t help myself. I need to know this stuff right away. I need to highlight it! “The Future” is not the kind of book I want to read on a Kindle. Nor is the book I’m finishing now, “A People’s History of the United States,” by Howard Zinn. Besides, my Kindle Fire has died. RIP. Next time, I’ll buy the iPad. — John