The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mr. Gore Finds the Link

There's a fairly obvious link between the impending economic train wreck in the US and the disastrous response to climate change. Al Gore spells it out.
We haven't gone nuts — but the "conversation of democracy" has become so deeply dysfunctional that our ability to make intelligent collective decisions has been seriously impaired. Throughout American history, we relied on the vibrancy of our public square — and the quality of our democratic discourse — to make better decisions than most nations in the history of the world. But we are now routinely making really bad decisions that completely ignore the best available evidence of what is true and what is false. When the distinction between truth and falsehood is systematically attacked without shame or consequence — when a great nation makes crucially important decisions on the basis of completely false information that is no longer adequately filtered through the fact-checking function of a healthy and honest public discussion — the public interest is severely damaged.

12 comments:

EliRabett said...

One of the tragedies is that many people have let Gore be demonized. Perfect he is not, but pretty much on the mark and serious he is.

Dan Olner said...

That Gore link made me suddenly realise the secret dictatorship we're all living under...

Pangolin said...

Refusing to acknowledge reality when it's kicking you in the teeth?

Sounds like we've gone collectively nuts to me.

Alastair said...

It is not secret any more! The British cabinet has just published their meetings with Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox News, and his henchmen since the new government was formed in the UK last May here.

It seems clear to me that they have been regularly paying homage or perhaps just receiving fresh instructions on how the UK should be run.

It would be interesting to know to what extent Murdoch is behind the Tea Party's attempt to wreck the the US economy, in order to prevent Obama's re-election.

Alastair said...

I should have begun "It is not a secret dictatorship any more!.

Michael Tobis said...

Not to express any enthusiasm for the Murdoch empire, which I agree is a big part of the problem, but it would be a shame to miss Dan Olner's clever link on the grounds of Alastair's appearing to agree with it. It appears Alastair has not actually got the point.

Be prepared to click an extra time to get the point.

King of the Road said...

I almost stuck lit firecrackers in my ears.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

It's it's it's *physics* OMG!@

Dan Olner said...

"I almost stuck lit firecrackers in my ears."

This appears, on some cursory research, to be not a good thing.

Pangolin said...

I almost stuck lit firecrackers in my ears._King of the Road

Must. Not. Suggest. M-80's. Better. Drown. Gore. Out. To. Conservative.

Dan Olner said...

Back to the train wreck, just reading this in the Guardian and thinking about Krugman's take on the whole thing. Question from a UK subject: how exceptional is the current situation? The Gruaniad again linked to a nice little vid from the West Wing on the usual political posturing. But how unique is this particular congress? Have some U.S. politicians always been this solidly, unmoveably ideological, or is something genuinely different happening to America's polity? From over here, it seems pretty scary that the US govt appears so fundamentally broken, but perhaps it's nothing out of the ordinary, historically speaking...?

King of the Road said...

The secret dictatorship link was surprising and clever. The Sauron music made me temporarily wish I'd been born with no ears. I was able to quickly hit mute and survive the ordeal.