Friday, July 21, 2006

Crossing the Aisle in the Blogosphere (for a change)

Interesting effort to (nothing big, mind you) completely transform American politics, from the creator of Wikipedia:

So, fellow bloggers. Get involved? Watch as the name-calling takes over the sanity? Personally I find it interesting, and indicative of the state of politics now, that on both right and left, bloggers are in the habit of throwing the epithet "wingnut" at anybody on the other side of the aisle. Let's hope that Mr. Wiki is on to something here. His open letter certainly strikes the right note of civility and optimism.



At 7/23/2006 2:43 PM, Blogger Algernon said...

sounds promising.... provided the internet remains a relatively free and open forum. I confess to feeling apprehensive about the impending commoditization of the internet. I took a brief look at the so-called "Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006" bill pending before congress (see H.R. 5252) and found it rather daunting. but and have campaigns on the issue, so it may be worth further investigation.

in other words, will we have a realtively open, accessible blogosphere or wikiworld to hold this new forum in?

At 7/27/2006 1:00 AM, Blogger Ernest said...

I've got mixed feelings about wikis. The idea, if I understand it, is that the massmind ultimately finds its way to the truth. But the actual practice can be pretty bumpy.

Wikipedia can be handy for down-and-dirty looking up info, but it's also often wrong -- and a determined person can steer articles in stupid directions.

Will this political wiki suffer the same flaws?

Also, I note the usual plaintive desire for more civil politics. I, too, am tired of all the shouting -- but some part of me thinks that maybe democracy is supposed to be ugly sometimes. It's the way we hash out our disagreements -- and sometimes there are passions on both side of an issue.

Maybe raised voices -- and even flame wars -- mean the country is alive?

At 7/27/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger Algernon said...

I disagree about democracy needing to be ugly to function sometimes. or perhaps it does, and perhaps also it's time to move on to another form of political discourse that is less likely to become divisive, in the manner of our present representational republic. I must first say I grew up in a household the style of which could well be characterized by the word confrontational. Argumentation was a rather highly developed skill by members of that household as it was de facto coin of the realm--- seen as the principal means of gaining or maintaining status, credibility, attention. I used to believe it was a pretty good thing, a workable way of human interaction. over the years I've changed my mind. I would not suggest that a strict avoidance of argument/dialectic/debate is the answer, but I am very curious to see whether humankind as a whole (perhaps it happens already elsewhere in the world!) can move toward consensus as means of discourse. sound pie-in-the-sky? perhaps to our untrained ears. but didn't various native american tribes practice (still practice?) something along those lines? I am reminded of some vague piece of info I picked up somewhere about meetings among tribal leaders in which participants spoke indirectly to the subject or issue at hand; stories or comments were offered, sometimes seemingly unrelated, yet at the end of the meeting, everyone present had a deeper understanding of the issue and left with a sense of the will of the tribe. is that not possible for 'mericans? I believe it is. I believe also it would take a willingness to learn about the mechanics of consesus and a great deal of education as well.

At 8/05/2006 5:18 AM, Blogger tess said...

After I made the original post I read some critiques of the project and then spent some time on the new political wiki itself. I found that there was a lot of huffing and puffing (not surprising) -- and a disproportionate number of entries by someone claiming to be a Nazi, and espousing National Socialism. That gave me the willies, and unfortunately led to an instant distaste for the idea of coming back to the wiki. I have not visited again.


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