Wednesday, October 25, 2006

PC-Based Democracy

At a time when media ownership has become so consolidated that the average citizen is exposed to only a few points of view (and which drone on and on, repeating the same mantras ad nauseam), the PC has taken over the role of primary information provider for many of us.

Yes, I still listen to NPR and even Michael Savage, and I read several newspapers every day, including the Christian Science Monitor (excellent!). And I watch CNN and even, occasionally, Fox. But today, the established news outlets are only part of the story.

OK. I admit I must be one of the last people on the planet to realize that blogs are taking over, even though I've had my own for some time now. The "big" blogs stay close to the news, reporting and correcting and editorializing about everything under the sun. But the little blogs take the temperature of the country in a way never before possible.

I go to Blogger, hit "random blogs", and begin to march through America and the rest of the world (most of which is unintelligible due to language). There I find the most honest and comprehensive expressions of fellow citizens' hopes, fears and opinions - expressions that I would never hear if I met these people face to face. There is something about the keyboard that frees people to be must be that cyberspace is not yet considered to be real space. But I find it to be very real, and very revealing.

The blogs show how really different each individual is from every other. The designs differ, the topics differ, and the lifestyles differ (and how!), but the passion for expression seems universal. In just a few minutes I go from a mom's lament about her Caesarian-scarred belly, to a pastor's beautiful and helpful site, to a young man's aspirations to do something special with his life. If more people surfed the blogs they would encounter slices of life that open new vistas to their understanding, and more people are doing just that every day.

It used to be that people's horizons were broadened by traveling to new and different places, but only the fortunate or extra-adventurous could afford the time or make the effort. Now it's possible to be broadened in the privacy of your own PC-space, quickly and simply. Most everyone agrees that the world needs to change if we are to survive as a species, but disseminating the call to arms, getting some kind of general agreement, and pushing the power bases has been difficult if not impossible. Not anymore. As long as the Web stays in an uncontrolled state the potential exists for the people to finally get the upper hand. PC-based democracy! We'll see where it leads us, and how fast.


ERIC said...

You are dead on about how our democracy is ever changing. Maybe for the good, but maybe for the worse. We are the greatest democracy for allowing us to express ourselves individually. Albeit, in a usually unkown world of our own personal diaries that we call blogs. Blogs become mainstream, when the blog becomes mainstream. It is the intellectual slice of life that makes blogging interesting. Thanks for checking out my blog, I will continue to check yours. By the way , I am very well travel, and not a stuck in middle America ranter. If that is a word.

Life Hiker said...
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Dave said...

Very nicely written.

1138 said...

"We are the greatest democracy for allowing us to express ourselves individually."

No, we were.