by Rob Enderle
People are funny,and I don’t mean “ha ha” funny. We often tend to think what we are going through is unique when just as often it seems we are repeating the same destructive behavior over and over again. I was reading a Magazine called “Mental Floss” which I now subscribe to the other day and it focused on the nasty lies that have been used in politics nearly since the beginning of the country. Some politicians actually went to jail for things they made up about their rivals.
But we have a number of tools now like www.snopes.com and www.Factcheck.org that allow us to go out and look stuff up before we either believe it or pass it on and, well, we just don’t use them as often as we should.
Could the Economy Make a Difference?
Maslow http://en.wikipedia.org‘s_hierarchy_of_needs, one of the old leaders on human behavior, indicated you could change behavior by putting people’s jobs and livelihoods at risk. Well the current economic conditions certainly are doing that in spades and that suggests people can be motivated to do their homework at least with respect to looking at the truth underneath the comments about each of the candidates.
However, the other problem is someone has to actually push people in the right direction. Harry Lewis over on ECT in this http://www.technewsworld.com piece is trying to do exactly that and I’ve been on a similar path of late.
To me it doesn’t matter as much who wins the Presidency as it does that we motivate people into actually doing their job with respect to their vote and do a little homework before voting. This is because the current problem is so big that it will take more than a new President to fix it and if we don’t fix congress at the same time we’ll just be spinning our wheels. This is also a non-partisan problem in my view and there are people on both sides that need to find employment elsewhere if we are to fix it.
But, to make a change (and as I’m writing this the house rejected http://online.wsj.com the latest bailout proposal), people will need to be motivated not to just vote but to vote intelligently and assure there are people in office who can get the job done. And not just done fast, but done right.
In the end the web provides an immense resource of both true, and untrue, information. Our ability to use this resource and determine what we can trust will likely have a lot to do with how successfully we become either as individuals or as a society. The web and related technologies are making a huge difference, there is however, an increasing chance (thanks to current events) that this difference could be positive.