I will plant material here; if you comment, I think something will grow ...
Not nothing. Our situation does not call upon us to be heroes, it calls upon us to do what we can where we are as we see fit. The key point is that we don't satisfy ourselves with doing nothing at all ... not "nuthin'".
Forums, mail lists, news-groups, IRC, blog agglomeration sites … many people talking to many people. Or to themselves? Sometimes, to nobody at all.My career has been inspired and fired by the line, “Data, data everywhere, and not a thought to think!”
My name is Ben Tremblay and I started doing “computer mediated communications” in the early 70s. While studying CS in the late 70s I got into a discussion with a group of anthropologists and ended up proposing what is now called “e-democracy”.
Did you ever lose an argument and later wonder how because you realized that you were right? Sometimes that’s just by accident, but most often it’s because you lost to someone who knows how to use rhetoric and sophistry.
Our lives and our world matter too much to lose it all just because it’s easier to go along with the hucksters and the bullies than it is to stand up for ourselves.
Around 1978 I started thinking that “e-democracy” in some form was the only hope. It took me 25 years to find a form, a set of methods and process … first we talk about what we’re doing, then we talk about why it matters to us the way it does. It’s called “discourse”.