Be Not Afraid

From Hank Fox, whom I read fairly often, but just now realized was not on my side-bar.
(W)e owe it to the larger world to do some small thing to counteract the mass mental illness of religion. That Pat Robertson can spout bugf*ck crazy stuff on national TV is a good sign for the freedom of speech. But that nobody can get equal time on that same medium and in an equivalent time slot to say "Pat Robertson is crazy as a roach on a hotplate" is a very bad sign for that same freedom.
Ideas operate alot like gravity. The larger their mass of support, they more influence they have on real world events. Since money and popularity operate as magnets of influential potential, people who have amassed large amounts of either (or frequently both) of these wonderful and efficacious things need to be observed and recorded in order to measure their influence and effects on our human societies. The larger their power, the more need for observation and, potentially, regulation.

There is nothing inherently wrong with individuals (or even Corporations) gaining more power and influence than the competition. That's an inevitability of existence. To a great extent, the bigger a thing is, the bigger it will get. It is a very natural situation.

But, as Bronze Dog nicely illustrates, Natural™ is not necessarily healthy for living organisms such as humans. (Take two snake-bites and call me in the morning...)

I don't want my government to decide - even on the basis of overwhelming popularity - what should or should not be broadcast over the Air Waves or Cables. I want my government to study the effects which Products and Programming have on our society. I want a rational and dispassionate evaluation of the most influential and powerful in our society and for that information to be highlighted and disseminated with regularity to all folk, so that we can make decisions with all the facts in front of us, not just the information given by some choice few who can afford to repeatedly and loudly force their superficially attractive ideas onto us.

Those ideas may be entertaining or emotionally satisfying, but if they are devisive to the point of violence and bigotry; if they are forceful without respect for rational thought, then they need to checked and balanced by an objective and Umpirical ({-;) government.

Democracy can easily degenerate into Mob Rules. Once that happens, the Mob inevitably loses it's control to individuals who are adept at filling the vacuum of concentrated power, and ignorance provides for dominance by whomever is brutal enough to take advantage; regardless of what is actually most needed for a healthy and progressive society.


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