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partnerships:articles:clue [2017/06/12 10:20] (current)
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 +Virtually Clueless
 +==================
 +
 +\
 +
 +### Who knows how to bring people together electronically to make good things happen?
 +
 +\
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +by Frank Odasz\
 + ​franko@bigsky.dillon.mt.us\
 + <​http://​macsky.bigsky.dillon.mt.us/>​\
 +
 +\
 + (The following two paraphrased paragraphs are borrowed from "Share Our
 +Strength"​ by Bill Shore.)\
 +\
 + ​Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis has visited more than one thousand schools
 +over the past decade to teach young people about jazz. He was quoted in
 +Life magazine as saying "What a kid learns about jazz is how to express
 +his individuality without stepping on somebody else'​s. The first thing I
 +tell kids is "Play anything you want but make it sound like you."\
 +\
 + The next step is learning to control that self-expression. Don't just
 +blurt something out, adapt it to what the other guy is doing. Being a
 +good neighbor, that's what jazz is all about. Jazz is democracy in
 +action. Teaching jazz is teaching the language of community. (page 106)\
 +\
 + ​Current political thinking appears to have polarized between the
 +Republican'​s belief that the free market is the key to solving today'​s
 +social ills, and at the other extreme the Democrats have the belief that
 +government holds the keys to taking appropriate action. What both
 +parties seem to have missed is the necessity of action by the civic
 +sector, as the third leg of the milkstool to provide support for a vital
 +America.\
 +\
 + What both Democrats and Republicans fail to see is that the government
 +and the market are not enough to make a civilization. The language of
 +the marketplace says "Get as much as you can for yourself."​ The language
 +of government says "​Legislate for others what is good for them." We're
 +missing the distinctive moral language of a civil society. All of us
 +have to go out in the public square, and all of us have to assume our
 +citizenship responsibilities. Rebuilding civil society requires people
 +talking and listening to each other; making music together as a
 +community, through songs of action, caring; with a spirit of giving
 +freely without measuring it out precisely, or demanding something in
 +return. (Page 12)\
 +\
 + The potential of the NII, community networking, and of each individual,
 +hangs squarely on this issue of joining with others to leverage the
 +public good, without thought of personal gain. Who controls our ability
 +to do this effectively?​ You and me.\
 +\
 + ​Today,​ an increasing number of individuals are awakening to the
 +personal empowerment of today'​s easy-to-use webbed Internet, complete
 +with search engines and free software. Many of these individuals have a
 +vision beyond a society of solo browsers, they have experienced true
 +human sharing and a sense of community through their online social
 +experiences and have realized that with the will to do so, people
 +anywhere, anytime, can bond together to work toward common goals, no
 +longer limited by distance, time, or the lack of access to adequate
 +information.\
 +\
 + Many community networks operating today are the result of the work of
 +such individuals who have diligently attempted to impart their visions
 +to others by providing a model online environment combining the vision
 +and the tools with citizens eager to benefit others.\
 +\
 + Will the big communications corporations preempt these budding
 +'​bottom-up'​ community networks? Citizens will determine the winners
 +through their participation.\
 +\
 + The options for any group of individuals to use a BBS, email, listserv,
 +newsgroup, web conference, or other emerging means (3D VRML avatars,
 +CUSEE-ME desktop video-conferencing,​ etc.,) are increasing. It's to
 +everyone'​s advantage for the big corporations to provide as high a
 +quality of infrastructure as possible, with citizens being primarily in
 +charge of their choice of communications tools and in the purposes for
 +which they use them.\
 +\
 + The reality of the situation is that creating autonomously controlled
 +local networks demonstrating the authenticity of widespread purposeful
 +citizen participation can only be achieved through a "​Win-Win"​ ongoing
 +partnership between the builders, and the users, of our emerging
 +National Information Infrastructure.\
 +\
 + The former Congressional Office of Technology Assessment clearly
 +states: "The diversity of applications necessary for a successful NII
 +can only come from the citizens themselves."​\
 +
 +### Theory vs practice
 +
 +\
 + In around 1867, when the first transatlantic telegraph was installed,
 +wonderfully flowery visions of our global human family being joined
 +together were ushered from many a pulpit. Most of these visions have yet
 +to be realized, even with today'​s technologies. The point is there'​s a
 +big difference between espousing theoretical benefits and demonstrated
 +practice/​realization of specific benefits.\
 +\
 + ​Beyond basic physical connectivity,​ universal service needs to focus on
 +the social infostructure by which people become aware of the validated,
 +not assumed, benefits of connectivity at all levels.\
 + ​Effective citizen engagement in lifelong learning and purposeful public
 +problem solving, that improves lives, is a key issue. We need ongoing
 +evaluative metrics to measure what's really happening after connectivity
 +is made available. Caring and connectivity are two related types of
 +bandwidth which must interact with common sense.\
 +\
 + As a society, we still don't know how to work together online
 +productively,​ yet. We're a passive preliterate video society evolving
 +toward becoming a proactive literate society.\
 +\
 + ​We'​re all kindergartners in the information age, experimenting with
 +various ways of communicating and working with others productively
 +online. Problems arise; such as a listserv discussion group growing so
 +large that most members become too intimidated to post their ideas, or a
 +few members choosing to dominate public discussions with sophomoric
 +'​spitting contests,'​ airing freely their negativity and causing the
 +majority of discussion members to recoil in distaste.\
 +\
 + Worse even, are discussions without leadership which are reduced to
 +circular hodge-podge messaging, where the same issues are discussed over
 +and over again with no one summarizing,​ archiving and disseminating
 +former quality messages and "​collected knowledge."​ When value and
 +knowledge are not aggregated, and decisions not reached, forward
 +progress is lost.\
 +\
 + It is the specific processes by which citizens aggregate knowledge and
 +engage in purposeful public problem-solving,​ effectively,​ that we need
 +to turn our focus. Without a national "​knowledge collection"​ effort in
 +understanding how to leverage these dynamics effectively,​ to allow us to
 +define the direction forward in realizing our joint potential, we'll
 +continue to be...virtually clueless.
 +
 +------------------------------------------------------------------------
 +
 +\
 + \\ / - \>​\>​\>​\>​--Big Sky Telegraph--\>​ Welcomes your imagination! / \\
 +Frank Odasz; franko@bigsky.dillon.mt.us Western Montana College of the
 +University of Montana \>​\>​\>​-NEW--\>​
 +<​http://​macsky.bigsky.dillon.mt.us/>​ Telnet: 192.231.192.1
 +Dialup:​406-683-7680,​ Type bbs\
  
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