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Free Information in a Democracy

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Solatic
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Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Solatic » October 6th, 2017, 11:12 am

Democracy means obviously, "government by the people for the people." In the United States we utilize what would be called a variation of Democracy, a Republic. But the basis of any Democratic government is simple, the people are trustworthy enough to receive fact first and foremost, in order to derive an educated opinion.

Now information is the highest commodity in any part of the world, should information be free to everyone? Specifically if it is vital to arrive at a consensus that will lead a democratic nation to become even more progressively sound? Regardless of the sort of progress than anyone would intrigue themselves to, I certainly for one believe that all people's should be entitled to authoritative sources of information conglomerated into one. An internet library if you will, that has checks and balances in order to keep opinions out and to keep out biases as well. That distributes information based on fact alone. Wherein, facts speak for themselves, and so we may deduce clearly whether ideas may become functional or not. I personally see that politicians whom have loss basis with their constituents usually lose elections.

So perhaps the issue is clear communication and transparency in everything? How do you feel about these things?

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LuckyR
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by LuckyR » October 7th, 2017, 2:31 am

Solatic wrote:Democracy means obviously, "government by the people for the people." In the United States we utilize what would be called a variation of Democracy, a Republic. But the basis of any Democratic government is simple, the people are trustworthy enough to receive fact first and foremost, in order to derive an educated opinion.

Now information is the highest commodity in any part of the world, should information be free to everyone? Specifically if it is vital to arrive at a consensus that will lead a democratic nation to become even more progressively sound? Regardless of the sort of progress than anyone would intrigue themselves to, I certainly for one believe that all people's should be entitled to authoritative sources of information conglomerated into one. An internet library if you will, that has checks and balances in order to keep opinions out and to keep out biases as well. That distributes information based on fact alone. Wherein, facts speak for themselves, and so we may deduce clearly whether ideas may become functional or not. I personally see that politicians whom have loss basis with their constituents usually lose elections.

So perhaps the issue is clear communication and transparency in everything? How do you feel about these things?
Funny you should trumpet the value of facts in a post-knowledge world. It isn't about facts anymore, it is about feelings. If you feel disenfranchised, even if the facts don't bear that out, you vote for the candidate who confirms your feeling.
"As usual... it depends."

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Burning ghost
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Burning ghost » October 7th, 2017, 3:01 am

What is intriguing is that there is a vast, almost endless, stream of knowledge and learning at our finger tips.

Most people spend time watching kittens fall off tables though rather than actually challange themselves to understand more about their world.

The issue is we necessarily have our childlike curiousity beaten out of us early (for our own self-preservation - meaning curiosity needs limits to be of safe use), and then we have an even harder time breaking free from our own shackles of safety in order to expand ourselves as human beings.

Every chain we break we do so by ripping a painful hole in our sense of reality. It takes pain to move forward. I cannot deny that "relaxing" is of use. I do believe we are too prone to confuse relaxation with laziness today.

Clear communication starts only by painfully extracting yourself from your cold comfort. Like babies, although with numbed curiosity, people tend to gargle and flail around assuming that they know everything merely because they regard "everything" as being their immediate unchallanged view. A slap in the face to rouse them is often met with the reaction of building thicker walls rather than exploring the possibility of another view.
AKA badgerjelly

Steve3007
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Steve3007 » October 7th, 2017, 3:25 am

Solatic:
I certainly for one believe that all people's should be entitled to authoritative sources of information conglomerated into one.
How are you going to ensure that the information is authoritative? Who will decide? Is it always possible to demonstrate that something is an objective fact and contains no element of opinion/editorialization?

Most of us have access to a vast amount of information when compared to the pre-internet age. But are we better informed? Or do we just have greater power to confirm (in our own minds) what we already choose to believe by selecting from a large pool of data?

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Razblo
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Razblo » October 8th, 2017, 3:46 am

Personally I know more as a consequence of an open internet. I can youtube how to fix my things without paying someone else to fix certain things and nor do I need to take a course in fixing things. Of politics or social history, I also know more as to what is going on than I otherwise would have due to the net. However, I am not so sure the internet will be as open as it has been.

Steve3007
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Steve3007 » October 8th, 2017, 4:08 am

For value-neutral information like how to fix the screen on your phone, I don't see much danger in the information explosion which is the internet. Only benefit. As I said, the potential problem comes with information that we and other people want to either be true or false. Information to which our very strong human tendency to confirmation bias can be applied. A bigger pool of such information means a bigger pool from which to select what fits our worldview and reject what doesn't. Unless we consciously take steps to combat our confirmation bias.

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Razblo
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Razblo » October 8th, 2017, 4:21 am

Steve3007 wrote:For value-neutral information like how to fix the screen on your phone, I don't see much danger in the information explosion which is the internet. Only benefit. As I said, the potential problem comes with information that we and other people want to either be true or false. Information to which our very strong human tendency to confirmation bias can be applied. A bigger pool of such information means a bigger pool from which to select what fits our worldview and reject what doesn't. Unless we consciously take steps to combat our confirmation bias.
Therefore open internet but with personal responsibility (in regard to bias), meaning "We consciously take steps" is not something requiring some presumed objective 'authoritative source' (usually that the 'authority' has itself designated as such a thing) to command.

Steve3007
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Steve3007 » October 8th, 2017, 4:27 am

Yes. As I said to Solatic a few posts ago:

How are you going to ensure that the information is authoritative? Who will decide?

It's difficult to see how any authority "imposed from above" can be assured to be purely informative and not have an agenda. But that then leads us to be entirely personally responsible for ensuring we fairly and objectively assess evidence. There are clearly problems with that too. I don't know the solution to these problems. I merely point out that in moving from the old system of a small number of "professionals" telling us about the news to the system we're moving towards now (sometimes referred to as "citizen journalism") we don't solve all problems. We replace one set of problems with another set.

Solatic
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Solatic » October 10th, 2017, 10:10 am

Steve3007 wrote:Yes. As I said to Solatic a few posts ago:

How are you going to ensure that the information is authoritative? Who will decide?

It's difficult to see how any authority "imposed from above" can be assured to be purely informative and not have an agenda. But that then leads us to be entirely personally responsible for ensuring we fairly and objectively assess evidence. There are clearly problems with that too. I don't know the solution to these problems. I merely point out that in moving from the old system of a small number of "professionals" telling us about the news to the system we're moving towards now (sometimes referred to as "citizen journalism") we don't solve all problems. We replace one set of problems with another set.
Youre right, of course concerning this idea within our current polyarchy. But in a democracy, the people are above, and the people are the authority.

Steve3007
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Steve3007 » October 11th, 2017, 6:11 pm

But in a democracy, the people are above, and the people are the authority.
And for a democracy to work the people need to be able to fairly judge the claims of those competing for their votes. How would you propose that they do that? How do we the people sift the ocean of data?

Eduk
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Eduk » October 20th, 2017, 7:08 am

I thought we were in a democracy?
Unknown means unknown.

Solatic
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Solatic » November 18th, 2017, 2:57 pm

Steve3007 wrote:
But in a democracy, the people are above, and the people are the authority.
And for a democracy to work the people need to be able to fairly judge the claims of those competing for their votes. How would you propose that they do that? How do we the people sift the ocean of data?
It's seemingly a vicious circle, you need an educated people, in order to facilitate the proper education to make a people educated. I'd personally say, that children need to learn the fundamentals of real life, and give them the tools required to break down a proper understanding of any situation at hand. Mathematics, history, language, are absolutely necessary. Science, is easily corrupted by opinion for the most part, but the fundamentals of science can excel children through proper education. In other words, to groom the following generations to think for themselves, as well as how to "keep their cool." During duress.

Eduk
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Eduk » November 18th, 2017, 8:08 pm

The problem with saying a better education would be better is that, while true, it's non trivial to pull off.
We basically have the government we deserve. And we basically have the schooling we deserve.
Unknown means unknown.

Solatic
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Solatic » November 18th, 2017, 11:34 pm

Eduk wrote:The problem with saying a better education would be better is that, while true, it's non trivial to pull off.
We basically have the government we deserve. And we basically have the schooling we deserve.
Ever hear the phrase, "A child's teeth should not be set on edge?"

Eduk
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Re: Free Information in a Democracy

Post by Eduk » November 19th, 2017, 4:36 am

No. Not heard that one. What does it mean?
Unknown means unknown.

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