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The Ecology of Democracy, Chapter 6 - Your point of view - 2

Hello Everyone,

Our classroom discussions have centered on a chapter you were assigned from The Ecology of Democracy.

This is a gentle reminder that your posts and responses are due by Monday, November 27th by midnight. Keep in mind, you are to write a well thought-out, meaningful reflection paper about your group project  and respond to two of your classmates papers, for a minimum total of three posts.

Remember, we are interested in your original thoughts and ideas! This assignment is designed to get you to think critically and engage in a civil discussion with your classmates about the democratic process of problem solving as it relates to you in the classroom and in the community.

Please do not wait until the last minute; post early and often. Each post will be graded based on the quality of the content. Your post should cover some aspect of the chapter you are reading including the problem, process, program and projected outcome. Please use this link to enter the website http://ecologyofdemocracy.org/.

You will make your posts in the classroom conversations area; under the thread The Ecology of Democracy Your point of View-2. You can also receive up to 20 points extra credit by answering the thread question: How do you understand the role of citizens or the citizenry in a democracy?  If you have not registered, you will need to do so. Feel free to catch me in class or shoot me an email if you have any questions.

Best

Comments

WJohnson's picture

I totally agree that future generations need to be involved. If we want things to get better, we need to learn from the past in order to change the present and in effect better the future.

Wsarraj's picture

Yes I am 100% with you. Our actions truly defines and shapes what our future will tend to look like, and that our past expereinces will help us to avoid such ill failings. But those who perform stuff for their own sake must be warned that in the future, they may be the ones impacted, and thus they may not feel the effects now, but gradually it will reverse on them. That why acting equally for the future of all is the best way to ensure a healthier future in my opinion.

Whui's picture

I completely agree to your thought. I assume that might somehow related to education and culture. From what I saw back in my hometown, Hong Kong, I realized the older generation mostly care about theselves because they suffered from "the bad time", and they believe making a good living is the most important thing other than anything else. While the younger generation who had "a better life" chase for dreams and freedom. If you see it from one perspective but not the other, you would probably see people are not getting involved when that is not part of their value. While from the other side, some people are trying to get involved to something that is extremely hard or almost impossible to achieve. Which is better? I really don't know.

Wrollins's picture

Hey Waters, I completely agree with you some people get into politics that have no business being there. They people are the ones who run for public office not to help their constituents but to enrich themselves. This is not empty talk, just this year Representative Marsha Blackburn and Senator Jeff Flake sponsored identical bills to be voted on by their respective groups. Flake's bill passed the Senate and headed off to President Donald Trump to sign, which he did promptly. What is this bill? A piece of legislation to allow telecommunication companies to sell your browsing data to companies for advertising and other applications. Rep. Blackburn and Sen. Flake both received hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations from the telecommunication industry. This is profoundly negligent for Flake to do as a poll done by the Huffington Post stated a great majority of Republicans alongside Democrats wish to veto S.J.Res.34. Obviously, we have people not working for our best interests but instead their own. 

WJohnson's picture

I think one of the biggest barriers that divides the public and makes individuals less involved is the feeling of insignifigance. With this feeling, it is hard for an individual to get involved because it may feel pointless. From being well informed to completely clueless, the feeling that either way an individual's oppinon won't matter deters many from taking action. No matter how novel the cause, be it the future or wellbeing of the public, people don't take responsibility for that fact that change won't occur if they don't take part in the community.

Wsarraj's picture

Yes, I have met many individuals who do not go around being active in their community since they feel like their voice has no value, in the million of other voices. Feeling pointless can be detrimental sometimes, as the accumaltive effect can be large and harmful and eventually reverse on them. Thus why having a voice in everything, even if small and insignificant, can sometimes be of great importance. 

Wmukhtar's picture

I think this is a very interesting observation. If we tend to feel like we don't matter then we will not be inclined to give our own opinions. A way to remedy this is certainly to become knowledgeable about a certain topic, but it is also to give ourselves a certain level of self love. That is to know that we matter and our views matter and in that we will also consider other people's point of views and begin to respect them. I think once you love yourself you begin to love where you came from and through this you will want to give back to your community in order to grow and thrive.

Wsarraj's picture

I strongly believe that technology is greatly changing we percieve others and the whole world around us. With technological advancements, we are absorbed into a society that is confined within boundaries and distant from the outside world. This limits our approach when dealing with our closest neighbors or friends, where we just tend to deal with them over social media, rather than physical contact. This will reduce our social interactions, and can actually increase the number of those diagnosed with anxiety or anti-social behaviors, which will increase the the need to treat. On the other hand, being social and more open minded can increase brain activity and not induce this fear of social interaction. this is why I belive that interacting with others is key for a more successful and happy life that is free of any illnesses. 

Wblankertz's picture

I agree! Technology can be great for interacting under certain circumstances, and it can even promote getting involved in certain things, and it's a great source for learning about what is going on in the world. However, with that being said, it seems that the cons catch up with the pros. While technology and social media may not be 100% bad or 100% good, interacting with people face-to-face seems to be the more beneficial option. 

Wblankertz's picture

I agree! Technology can be great for interacting under certain circumstances, and it can even promote getting involved in certain things, and it's a great source for learning about what is going on in the world. However, with that being said, it seems that the cons catch up with the pros. While technology and social media may not be 100% bad or 100% good, interacting with people face-to-face seems to be the more beneficial option. 

Wyang's picture

Hello Sarraj,

I agree with you, that the social media has a great impact to the society. Some people even refer Internet as the third Industrial Revolution. As a matter of fact, Internet have been doing a lot of changes to our economy and education system since early 21s. With a much wilder way for informantion, it's amazing how the world changed in 17 years. We could never accomplish what we have achieved from 1993 to 2000, but look what we have done since 2000.

Wmukhtar's picture

Hello Sarraj, I definitely agree with what you are saying, technology has certainly had a huge effect on how people interact with one another. I think you should also consider the effects of technology on involvement in politics however. People now have an easier platform to convey their thoughts and interact with other people on social media. While it increases the number of "trolls", it can also increase the number of positive interactions. 

Wsiddig's picture

Hello Sarraj, 

I agree with you! Technology has defintely changed our way of preceiving others and our perspective of the world itself. I think with how fast technology is working today and all the new fancy updates we have, it has become so easy to reach someone across the world from you. And because of this i think people are so distracted by the real important issues in the world and real physical interactions rather than social media fun. However, i still think social media has its great pros, like reaching out to people if you need them urgently and as you said it just increases brain activity and can be used as a very a valuable source of information.

Wblankertz's picture

One barrier that keeps people from getting involved is not being fully aware of the issue at hand. The author of Chapter 6 mentioned that getting involved is only half the battle. Once we get past the initial barriers in order to get involved, there are more factors that may make people turn the other way. Once involved in solving a certain issue, it is important to understand the whole issue before-hand. The chapter mentioned someone jumping to conclusions about something happening in their neighborhood. They were able to get involved, but they weren't informed of the whole situation. It is very important getting involved within our communities, but if we are not informed of nearly every aspect it may cause our own emotions to prevent thoughtful decisions, as stated in the chapter. 

WChapman's picture

The most important thing we need to do is to get people involved in the community.  Democracy will only work if we have active participation by the majority of the population day in and day out. However, finding a way to accomplish this task will be quite difficult. With every individual being so unique in their view of the world and society, it will be hard to cater a "plan of action" that will encompass the entire community.

One thing we could do would be to offer tax incentives to every individual who actively engages in their community. Of course, placing a monetary value on involvement seems silly, but it may be an extremely effective way of getting people involved. In fact, I don't know of a single person who wouldn't show up to a town meeting in order to receive a tax break. Another way to begin to get people involved is through parenting.  If parents showed their children the value of being an active member in society, I feel that more individuals would grow up to become active members, as well. Lastly, we may be able to strike up interest in public policy if there is some type of entertainment or refreshment at community events. When someone mentions a town hall meeting or city council meeting, I tend to think of some boring event with a bunch of old guys sitting around. If we were to change that stereotype, we might able be to see more involvement by individuals in the community.

Wrollins's picture

Chapman, I agree with what you're saying, democracy needs some assistance more now than ever. What I find interesting is that we don't need to offer people tax incentives to participate in their democracy because they're already taking action. With Bernie Sanders bid in the presidential election, he brought many new faces to politics, but that fire has not stopped for one reason: people are pissed off. A grassroots movement is organic and can be seen in action across America and the World. Things such as the Women's March and high attendance at townhalls is exactly what we want and need.    

Whallock's picture

Many people fail to think that they have a voice when it comes to politics.  Many people have views that they feel are not worth expressing because they think that they are the only ones that may feel that way when in fact many people agree with you.  I myself have never been big into politics because I don't believe it matters what I think.  But if you don't try to change things are nothing will ever happen.  I believe that in a way the government is so big that many people dont feel that they care what you think but many citizens may agree with you.  Ai Weiwei believed that you have to take action against the government if you want things to change and despit the government not supporting his actions many of the citizens did support him. 

Whallock's picture

Many people are afraid to take action because they feel that if someone disagrees with them they are making the wrong choice.  Often people are afraid to stick up for whats right simply because they dont want to be judged by other people.  Another problem is that people often fail to make good judgement simply because they do not have the whole story.  As a society not only do we need to make good judgement but we also have to focus on the economic part of the problem.  Although you may want to help the homeless people in your neighborhood how are you actually going to do it without money?  Thats why the more people we get to support a cause the easier it becomes.  You dont have to focus on the whole problem by yourself.  Spreading awareness is just as important as knowing the problem is there.

Whallock's picture

Technology is changing the way we view things and the way we interact.  Many people have become so shy that they are unable to physically interact.  We may be able to talk to someone half-way around the world but not be able to speak to the person directly in front of us.  Communication through social media is a good thing in that you can talk to anyone from anywhere but it is also a bad thing.  People are less likely to go out and interact with someone because they feel that they can do anything through the use of technology.  We can do anything through are cell phone.  Technology is becoming a distraction to younger generations and is overwhelming a majority of people. 

Wyang's picture

Hello Hallock,

I used to face the problem you mentioned, about how little can one person change. Then I realized that there are a lot of people who have the same idea as me, so if one person step out and do something, the rest will follow. Corporation and communication is critical to the society. And the power that a group can produce when people are combined is amazing. 

Sometimes it is important for us to step out. There will always have risk, no one can make the perfect judgement. Our choice is based on the information that we have, and if most of the people can involve, the net of the information can be as complete as possible, so the group can output the most perfect solution.

Wsiddig's picture

Hello hallock, 

I agree with what you are saying 100%. Me myself i can seem to be very outgoing on social media but then if i am trying to interact with someone in real life it's awkward because i am shy or whatever. In addition, it has also become a great distraction to our generation, mostly the youth. i find myself on social media ovefr 12 hours a day which is very scary in my opinion.

Wyang's picture

I don't know whom to quote, but I remember I heard there was a saying that "sometimes the truth is hold by the minority”. This might not be the truth, but sometimes the most percentage of the people might be made the wrong decision together. Sometimes what is right may not be what is easy to accept. All of us can make decision, all of us can choose from A and B. But only few of us can always make the right decision, fewer can always choice the right one. So, when the time comes, when you became the only one who hold the truth, will you adhere to what you believe?

It is easy for me to say, that I would follow what I believe is the truth, but will my opinion matter? Since in democracy, the “power” is hold by the molarity. And if I persuade those to follow me, will that affect the fairness of the democracy? As we all know there are party whip in Senate, those people who persuade other to follow their group. But those people are doing it for profit, power and influences. Is it right to guide the direction in democracy? 

Wmukhtar's picture

I believe that while technology has been a huge barrier in people's involvement in society it has also given a voice to those people who previously did not have one. Any person can jump on social media and make a statement that can be seen by basically the entire world. While this may seem like something positive, I believe that it has also increased the divide between people. For example, plenty of people hop on social media behind a mask and begin to post negative things about individuals/groups. When people meet in real life it is very difficult for them to slander one on another, but from the comfort of a screen this often becomes easy. There tends to be group polarization online as well, where people tend to delve deeper into their own views when they find a group of people similar to them, as opposed to broadening their perspectives. There are also positives linked to involvement in social media. Often times, most people that do not watch the news or interact with others on a daily basis get most of their news from social media, it is what keeps them in touch. This could also be harmful because the information is not always factual. Overall, the use social media can either be a positive or negative in terms of involvement, it depends on what mindset the individual approaches it with. 

Welnour's picture

I agree with your points.  As well I also believe that people are using social media to only further confirm their own beliefs and view points, seeking out people that share their views to build up a confirmation bias and ignoring anything else.  And yet some take the opportunities social media provide to broaden their perspectives and gain understanding from people they know nothing about.  We are living in a time where the answers to almost anything we dont understand is one click away.  But at the same time we must be wary of fake news sources or any deceptive knowledge that could mislead us.  Essentially social media is a double-edged sword, and it is up to the individual to gain anything from these platforms.

Wsiddig's picture

Technology is changing the way we act, interact, and just the world completely now. I think because of technology people have started to be less involved with real political and life issues that matter and only interact over things that entertain them like music, sports, drama, and whatever else the youth find themselves to enjoy these days. I think technology is the reason why our generation is becoming very poor in involement with some of the more remarkable issues in today's world. Although technology is hurting our youth today, there are still many positives from it. For example, for some people it can be a great quick news outlet and for others it can be a way to spread a positive message on facebook or twitter, since that's what pretty much everyone uses today.

Wsiddig's picture

Technology is changing the way we act, interact, and just the world completely now. I think because of technology people have started to be less involved with real political and life issues that matter and only interact over things that entertain them like music, sports, drama, and whatever else the youth find themselves to enjoy these days. I think technology is the reason why our generation is becoming very poor in involement with some of the more remarkable issues in today's world. Although technology is hurting our youth today, there are still many positives from it. For example, for some people it can be a great quick news outlet and for others it can be a way to spread a positive message on facebook or twitter, since that's what pretty much everyone uses today.

Wsiddig's picture

Technology is changing the way we act, interact, and just the world completely now. I think because of technology people have started to be less involved with real political and life issues that matter and only interact over things that entertain them like music, sports, drama, and whatever else the youth find themselves to enjoy these days. I think technology is the reason why our generation is becoming very poor in involement with some of the more remarkable issues in today's world. Although technology is hurting our youth today, there are still many positives from it. For example, for some people it can be a great quick news outlet and for others it can be a way to spread a positive message on facebook or twitter, since that's what pretty much everyone uses today.

Wsiddig's picture

Technology is changing the way we act, interact, and just the world completely now. I think because of technology people have started to be less involved with real political and life issues that matter and only interact over things that entertain them like music, sports, drama, and whatever else the youth find themselves to enjoy these days. I think technology is the reason why our generation is becoming very poor in involement with some of the more remarkable issues in today's world. Although technology is hurting our youth today, there are still many positives from it. For example, for some people it can be a great quick news outlet and for others it can be a way to spread a positive message on facebook or twitter, since that's what pretty much everyone uses today.

Wrollins's picture

I have to agree with you Fares that people don't seem to care about politics or to be civically active in general. The internet gives people instant dopamine on demand; they can go from playing games to messaging friends to watching the newest thriller. Why spend time reading up on new bills being introduced into Congress? I assume it is because people don't see political policies directly affecting them but what happens when the laws bring adversity to them? They organize marches and protests, one tweet about politics can get millions of people talking, who usually don't participate in activism (i.e. Women's March). Technology is one of they greatest tools for political activism, and more has been done using it than anything else, so I don't blame technology, I blame it on being willingly oblivious.  

Ualbashrawi's picture

it is right that technology has become more common and uesful but it has made people isolated from everone. despits its positives but nagitive are so much which that make people become busy with means of social communication rather than participation in society. 

Haleem