Why Not Presidential Debates On The ‘Net?

I am not trying to think hard on this, OK? Just the usual warnings*.  Light entertainment mode** for me, intellectual armor for you, just like always, right?

Understand that I think television produces good entertainment for the masses.  Lately I understand it has done some higher class stuff, my 19-yo kid and I started watching something on Netflix or one of the other streaming services the other day.  It came up as a production of NBC.

My son said, in surprise, “I have never watched anything by NBC. We didn’t have TV.  For which I thank you, btw. I read so many books.”*! I was ahead of that curve, the world is shifting to the net.

Anyway, this is a techie household that runs Linux and has since before the kid was born.  We have using social media since modems and the first dialup message servers, then to internet servers. Kid had a computer since 18 months, was playing games the same day, tho he only knew to pound the mouse at the beginning. Kids his age live on their phones, way better access to that immense information space, peer to peer in bigger and different groups than ever in human history. Different kinds of tribes, perhaps.

I pay attention to things like time spent with digital media by  the average citizen having surpassed TV time in 2013. That is producing a new version of community that seems to me to have a lot of good characteristics, to be more like the best aspects of old village life than our current very sterile institutions and suburban lives allowed. My family stays much closer with each other and with friends because of social media than they could with 1960s telephones.

I think history will be seen as pre-Internet and post-Internet, and this era will be seen as hugely important in determining the future, as the era when the common man finally won back control of his future via voluntary peer-to-peer institutions.  But probably I am as blind to alternate realities as most other pundits seem to be to me. Also, I am far from the first to say any of this.

I think that TV does good entertainment, and is completely lousy for any educational or information purposes. It is the ultimate one-size-fits-all, centrally controlled, runs at their pace and in their time slot in your life, if they can make that happen, media.  It is tailored to facadists, people who specialize in generating image.  That control of image of everything from the center was the source of political power, as well as a lot of $. Much unhappiness emanates from Hollywood and New York and their political patrons in DC as a result of the transition to using peer-to-peer communications and interactive net services. That is changing everything. They are losing control of the generation of images and agendas.  That is losing power.

The public school system is in a similar position.  Centrally-directed and organizes student’s lives around it, authoritarian and coercive, uses a very poor pedagogical approach, lecture and test. At least the kids can ask questions, TV doesn’t even allow that.

Neither one are good for transfering information of any complexity from one mind to another.  That requires interaction, or at least watching interaction.  Set speeches are top-down, one to many.  Same advantage to the facadists, same disadvantage to realists, the engineers of the world who are not satisfied with a debater’s points debate.  Dealing with reality requires more than politically persuasive actor’s speech accompanied by artistic waving of hands. Dealing with reality as a leader requires relating things to individual interests. Organize your web site to be versions of dealing with ‘people like you asking questions’ on topics you are asking questions about.

Consider instead a serious debate on the web.  This would not be a single stand-up event, it would be a long series of segments on serious topics.  If I were a candidate, in the TV debates I would be linking to my web site where I discussed that in depth with real citizens in real time.  “As I said to Kendra Smith in Nebraska just last evening.”  The net, youtube, is a medium where I could display depth of knowledge and humanity and judgment and every other human attribute while talking to real people.  Including making a mistake out there in public every once in a while, and being able to learn from it.

Forget events and travel and speeches.  Sit in an office with Skype and a web site and some assistants local and remote.  Talk to people, explain things, get understandings of points of view.  POVs are gold in reasoning****.

That is the authenticity, given reasonable understandings and sets of advisors, etc., that will win this next contest.*** Stop being an actor on a stage with a script and start being a people interacting with people.  How hard can this be to understand?  We have had leaders like that since caveman days, people who sat and talked and exchanged opinions.  Bottom-up as well as top-down and peer-to-peer without many levels.  Tribes made that happen 2 or 3 levels.

Somehow you guys went top-down on us.  Modern communications favored facade up until the internet, and you haven’t lost the old ways, I guess. It is a terrible strategy, giving up bottom-up.  My god, citizens were doing serious staff work for the leaders, it was easy to compensate for bias knowing local politics, and the process was training everyone and moderating everyone, when well-lead.

Anyway, it would be great preparation.  There are a ton of people pushing all sorts of views who can teach him how to do it.  Youtube is an exploration machine.

If I were the candidate, I would be leading the synthesis of people’s understandings, and tell them I am doing it, that is my understanding of my role in a leadership position. To lead is to listen a lot, to debate every side of any issue until you are sure you are not going to produce a catastrophe.  History, in my understanding of leadership, is allowing people to explore futures in peace, and providing justice in cases of disputes they cannot resolve between themselves.

That is a post-Internet approach to Presidential debates. Cool thing is, they wouldn’t have to do one or the other. Combined arms, post-Internet multi-media PR.

By the time I think of something outside of my area, it is already old hat for the professionals, and I am remembering some bit that I read, not having a new idea, but maybe not this time.

The political system is putting very serious amounts of money into what they consider ‘technology’, the IT infrastructure and database access so a centralized political system. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, invested a lot of $ in companies to do that for candidates.

That is so a centralized political campaign can beam messages into individual brains, or as near as they can get to that idea. Top down, all the way. Tailor messages to smaller groups of people, reliably identify small groups of people with particular sets of interests, keep track of who has gotten what messages and what kind of responses resulted, instant followup, etc.  Quick feedback on public opinion and the latest news.

That is our political elite’s version of campaigns. Same as their version of any other structure, them controlling us. The same as Google already does for its advertising customers.

The way we win is to convert it into a contest of our ingenuity against theirs, an evolutionary arms race, with information sharing peer-to-peer and with the candidate.  There is no way for them to win that race, $ and skills are not the factors.  We will have local knowledge and very many more people, some much more motivated than any paid politician.  In many cases, we will be opposing their initiatives, defense is a better strategic position.

A candidate using this new approach still will get overwhelmed with special interests and have to schedule time for dealing with fellow leaders, so it isn’t completely open.  No doubt many new problems will arise, but the growth of civilization, it seems to me, has been synonymous with the decrease of any man’s arbitrary power over another.  This is a step on that road to better civilizations.

Retail politics is out of my interests, thus I am likely a lagging indicator in this, and some new activists are doing versions of it.

Someone needs to talk to Jesse Ventura.  The guy could run a campaign out of Mexico.

*about propaganda being really good at putting attitude in your head and guiding thoughts away from your own local interests, which I think is the touchstone for life.

Also, how analysis like this is BS that misleads more than it informs, on all historical evidence. Thinking about Thinking.

**’Light entertainment mode’ is anything that isn’t analyzed to death.  This blog’s writer thinks words are very troublesome tools, civilization has not yet learned to think well.

***It wins every contest, when we get an authentic human. They had to steal elections from Ron Paul.  They have to make Jesse Ventura a non-person in MSM, nobody has heard of the most electable non-establishment politician since he stated that 9/11 was a false flag on Fox. “You haven’t studied it”, was his statement, both are still true.

****Points of View seem to me to be a powerful filter, tool, aspect, … I don’t even know what to call it.  But a mind with a point of view of a king is a different mind than his twin brother who grew up with him, and the kingship was decided by the flip of a coin 15 minutes ago.  How much different the king and dung collector.  It can never be clear that their well-combined judgments would not provide optimizations on the future, I hope that is clear.  I have it on the list of things to write, but that requires work.

Added later: Not only that, King, dung collector, a set of random individuals, when practiced in how to combine their minds and points of view, must be equivalent to the ensemble approaches advocated by the latest AI researchers, and equivalent to Watson’s implementation. So there is solid theory of all kinds under a jury, and we obviously should use them for many more things, in fact, Open Trials of the kind The Generalissimo has been talking about. I bet he has a lot to say about this subject, now that I can remind him.

*!Added much later.  That statement is absolutely true, my son said nearly those words.  I am still proud.

Added later yet : Authenticity, I tell you.

Added later : This shows that presidential campaigns can do better if they shed the top-down organization, distribute the grassroots efforts.  Contrary to where Schmidt’s $ is being invested.

Added later : Add these ideas into the mix, and this approach could out-trump Trump

Added later : this is how the Sanders campaign is beating Hillary’s money, enabling enthusiasm and local gumption.

Added later : Trump is really hard to beat, the man is a pioneer in digital media to build a market for his political brand. I am impressed, he far out-did my understandings. Do not that my understandings were better than Clinton’s team’s understandings, tho Wikileakds shows that was not a very high level.

5 thoughts on “Why Not Presidential Debates On The ‘Net?

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