Warm Water
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Warm Water • Posted: Sep 19, 2008 14:52:29Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

By definition, a living biological entity will expend energy to maintain a very narrowly described relationship with its environment, its zone of comfort, its niche. Ambient temperature is often one of its concerns. Too cold? Not comfortable, time to move. Too hot? Same thing. Temperature just right? Pleasure.

Humans are no different. We seek our comfort zone and get cranky, panicky, and then desperate if conditions change too rapidly for us to keep up. One would think that in this age of information explosion we would be forever vigilant in our efforts to foresee social, economic, and environmental changes that may require us to make adjustment. Early prudent adjustments are, as a rule, far less costly than panicked adjustments made when it is really too late. But the observed pattern of our behavior has been anything but prudence. Instead, what most people seem to do, at least in the U.S., is change the channel. We choose the information we consume to feed our need for comfort. Whether that information is actually valid with respect to the phenomenal real world in which we live does not seem to concern us. If the information presented makes us feel comfortable, that's enough, that's all we ask.

From the beginning, it has been the hope of democracy that its citizens inform themselves so that participation in democratic processes brings to the table the wisest, most effective, and most economical solutions to group problems. Instead, what we have today is people cocooning themselves inside private bubbles of information that help maintain personal feelings of comfort and security. Let anyone poke a hole in that bubble and unforgiving wrath spills forth.

It is fascinating to witness the two current campaigns for President within the U.S. One side is using information technology to help inform and focus attention and discussion on real world issues rapidly bearing down on us in hopes of bringing forth the best solutions for all of us. The other side is blatantly falsifying facts in an effort to create a completely manufactured continuum of comfort for voters. Should the second side prevail, this nation's transition from participatory democracy to managed economic slavery in service to a ruling elite will essentially be a done deal.

Do we really want that to happen? Is maintaining our personal cocoon of comfort really more important than as an informed thinking community, working together to solve our problems?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008