The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “Politics

Is It This or That?

Posted on November 6, 2018

The American midterms today will be just another reminder of democracy’s strong tendency to be overly concerned over what people believe instead of what is true, to be lulled into being persuaded by perception rather than reality. Millennia ago, even Plato warned against the propensity to permit persuasion to overshadow the problem of knowledge. The distinction between blind belief and knowledge has only become more blurred  in the social media era. Take a citizenry, especially of the mass-consumer and tech savvy variety, and the potential is huge for fabrication, half-truths, misnomers, outright lies, and innuendo. While such things remain a temptation in fields like advertising, it is now a reality that politics excels at it. Why? Because such perpetrators know we are vulnerable to…

Elections: Social Media Gets It Right When We Use It Right

Posted on October 16, 2018

Technology and elections have gone hand in hand for a long time and it hasn’t always been a comfortable fit.  When radio and television came along, so did the opportunity to put image in front of substance.  Voting machines, while quicker, became known for glitches, recounts, and recounts and hanging chads. But nothing – nothing – has confounded politics and elections the way that social media has in the last decade.  Rather than putting more meaning and information into the process, platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter have front-end loaded misinformation, hackers, trolls, “fake news” and even the commercialization of privacy. Perhaps the worst of it all is that none of us feel we can do anything about it.  Facebook and Twitter especially…

Voices But No Voice

Posted on October 7, 2018

It wasn’t all that long ago when people believed the world was coming together, forming one community premised on human rights, equality, self-determination and the right of every voice to be heard. Helping all that along were technological advancements – economical transportation, the internet, cellphones and social media. But something happened along the way, to the point where it seems most now believe the world is coming apart and the tech tools have just as much alienated us from one another as they have helped us understand one another better. We no longer know what to make of our world. With more money than ever in its history, more exposure to other cultures and ideas, and global communications now possible in a millisecond, we…

The Most Expensive Real Estate in the World

Posted on September 13, 2018

The following is a repost from a blog originally written on February 16, 2017.  It is still prescient since little seems to have changed since that time 18 months ago and citizen responsibility is required now more than ever.   Readers and viewers seem transfixed with the more extreme political movements across the world. Far from bringing the world closer together, these new developments threaten to disassociate us in ways we haven’t experienced in decades. All eyes are on politics these days. Yet something else is bubbling beneath the surface that receives little attention but which is effectively cutting off our collective ability to meet the powerful challenges facing our modern world. For over two decades we have watched as hyper-partisanship has ripped the…

Beyond Measure

Posted on September 5, 2018

With all the shenanigans erupting in Washington and America at present, it was disappointing to watch a couple of political activists kick Bernie Sanders to the curb in a recent interview.  They were excited about some new blood from their own generation winning primaries as part of the growing socialist movement in the Democratic party.  All that is exciting and speaks to the need for democracy to renew itself, but to regard Sanders as irrelevant is a sad portent – specifically because if that pattern continues, then they, too, will eventually be sidelined in similar fashion. Bernie Sander’s history of activism is important because he was once where these activists are, only the price he paid for his beliefs was likely more severe.  The…

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