So I got to thinking tonight about how the proliferation of communications technology is making life suck often times for those who have achieved any measure of fame due to their success. Imagine if someone – we’ll say head coach Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks for example – did something as innocent as getting down on bended knee to propose to his girlfriend in the middle of dinner at an upscale restaurant. (I know, Rick’s married. For some reason that’s just who came to mind.) While this is a beautiful event, some of the other diners who witnessed it would undoubtedly post this “news” on Twitter via their iPhones and such (or who knows, someone might even capture it on video with his/her mobile device and post it to Youtube.). Then it would probably hit SportsCenter and whatever else. Do we really want to live in a world like that where no one can do anything without it being talked about for all to see?
But then I reconsidered, swinging a wild 180 from the sanctified subject of wedding proposals to one far more serious. I figured, with all this newfound ability for people to communicate with any and every one else in the world instantaneously, many of the broken, corrupted power structures littered in this world can finally be dissolved. Regardless of your political affiliations, it is a widely held belief at this point that government bodies in the U.S. and elsewhere are comprised of affluent, well-connected people who often scratch each other’s backs in lieu of doing what’s best for the people and the world at large.
Governments were initially formed because some matters just had to be decided for the village and it was impractical to go door to door to poll everyone’s opinion each time. Nowadays, however, everybody can throw in their two cents from their computer. In a city (Dallas) where the public school system is a mangled mess, why are we having city hall and whoever else allocate the city’s budget behind closed doors? The tax money is coming from all working citizens is it not? I don’t even want to get in to the bombardment of bailouts we’ve recently taken on in this country. Let everyone vote to decide these things.
The potential applications for a paradigm shift like this are boundless. Police work is a mess just about everywhere in the world as far as I have been able to ascertain. We already judge people in the “court of public opinion” based on the news we consume, so why should we not use the answers we generate from the friendly debates we have amongst ourselves? If someone tweets (or whatever the medium) an opinion that is based on incomplete or incorrect knowledge of the case, others will surely be quick to point that out. You can’t argue with the truth.
Instead of having inane rules like mandatory minimum sentences that are inflexible to the circumstances of a case, people should be allowed to weigh their opinions against others and meet in the middle as to what punishment people deserve. After all, this is the way things were done before communities got too big to gather everyone around the village tree for a debate.
Its time to flush out the clogged bureaucracies.