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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

MTupps2's picture

I understan how you feel. I have troubles getting news with the political debates as well. It's not that I'm not interested its the fact that most of my news source comes from my friends. I think it is also inmportant to understand every ones veiws. Politics is a great way for people to get involved. I Also believe you should stand firm in your beliefes. I do know who is running and I hear here and there what they are trying to accomplish. If people have a hard time getting involved they should at least try voting if they are able too. 

Mbarasheed's picture

1. The people have to engage more into the democratic processes going on in the state. The author notes that not every human being is affected by every political decision. Yet, he asserts that each of use gives the power to the politicians to make such a decision and, thus, to the very least, we must control its execution. In other words, the citizens of the state have to watch the game and ensure that the rules are followed. Otherwise, the system will be in ruins and no one would have the ability to work effectively and live a full life.

2. The engagement is too be meaningful. The involvement in to the world of politics is to be well-thought. Today, the citizens of the states are provided with more opportunities for affecting the governments than ever before. They have the access to many regulations and laws; there are the centers providing the free legal aid to those seeking it. Finally, people have the social media to create a chaos and to raise the voice in regard to certain problem. Yet, all these tools are to be used with the certain purpose. They must solve the problem systematically and not to transform into the tool for the procrastination and as the method replacing the actual action. 

mbriggs's picture

I like how you described your first point! "...citizens of the state have to watch the game ans ensure that the rules are followed." That is a very cool visual. We essentially DO put our power in politicians' hands (we choose them to represent our views), and they can either take our input under consideration, or completely deviate from our "rules". We become the Referee in our games of life, and if we sit back idly and let the players do their own thing, what is the point? Very good observation. Thanks for sharing that!

Aalanazi's picture

I see your point and yes, nowadays I think many people have more opportunities to share their voices and thoughts by using the social media.

AA

Mmcghee's picture

The Second Point I liked is how the author brought up examples of how getting involved can go horribly wrong if you are not well informed about the situation. Knowledge is power and people need to know the root of a problem before we can get around to fighting it. The example the author used in the book was a good one with showing us how without being informed of a problem, you can cause a new problem by trying to fix the orginal problem. This is a good warning to people to get educated on issues and their causes before taking any real political action. 

mdeleon's picture

Exactly! While it's awesome for more people to get  involved and informed, it become pointless when you have the wrong information. Like that dotor whose research showed that vacinations could cause autism. He had a big following and people advocated his work. The it turned out that he fabricated his results.

mhammond's picture

The vaccination situation is a perfect example for why some political deliberations devolve into name-calling.  On one hand, you have parents that truly believe they are doing what is best for their kids.  On the other, people that truly believe vaccinations protect society as a whole.  The emotions are so high on both sides that rather than having an honest discussion about their concerns it turns into a fight.  This is a little bit off topic from the initial post, but how are we supposed to become informed when we are just yelling at each other.  We need to try and treat the other side with dignity and respect even if we think they are wrong, because no one wants to hear information from someone they hate.

mcobbin's picture

I agree with you. I believe that some people make judgments and have opinions on things they barely know about themselves which causes an even bigger debate. With all the resources we have, I think that more people should become more educated on topics so they can have the right facts and can debate reasonably without just sounding like they're just rambling on and on. 

Mgomawi's picture

The chapter talks about the democratic process in America and its short comings and about major issues of making a deliberate decision on issues and selecting the capable right candidates to be the presidents of the United States. It was also mentioned that president cannot achieve certain goals while in the office without the consent of the congress and the approval of the public. Some major points are as follows:

 “Public Deliberation belongs everywhere collective decisions are made”

Facts are not important but deliberation on real issues is.

“Expert knowledge is specific and exclusive; public knowledge is multifaceted and inclusive, as is human experience. …. Both kinds of knowledge are valuable but they serve different purposes.”

mcontreras's picture

I feel like being involved shows you what is happening in your community, school, country and much more. It is important to be involved and know what's going on so you are missing things that could be important for you to know. Many people don't get involved due to the fact of poor knowledge of the given situation. So being involved is something we should all do.

adnan's picture

i agree with you that people should get involved, especially, in the things that happen near them. Getting involve rise the person knowledge of him/herself and more importantly, it make him/her know who are the people living in his/her community.

Adnan

mqazaha's picture

Totally agree, I think that we all know we should be more involved, but we just think other people will deal with it when in reality that won't happen. If society educated themselves more on current issues both locally and nationally we would all be much more aware of our surroundings and have the opportunity to help out more efficiently!

Mbalkadr's picture

Good post, I agree with you that people need to be involved with each other in order be more knowledgeable of the things that happening around them. Also, getting involved can help the human development. Not having a good knowledge of the situation should not keep people from involvement. 

Mparks's picture

Yes, it is clear to see that people should be involved in their community. However, this is often not the case. I think if people could open there eyes they would become more knowledgable as to what's happening around them. The problem may be out of there reach but we should all be informed to the current issues going on around us.

Malkhamis's picture

I totally agree with you because if I know more and you know more and others know more we all can make a difference together because when people hide in their homes knowing nothing about what’s going out there who is going to try to help? Or who is going to say what must be said? it’s our lives and our friends and family and everyone that we care about.  

mcontreras's picture

Voting is a big way of showing your support for a certain side, or just doing it because you have the right. Not everyone votes because they don't care or they simply don't understand why they should or shouldn't vote. I personally don't know why I need to vote if I don't get involved or have knowledge of the political parties. I don't want to vote just because I have the right but vote because I feel strongly towards a certain candidate and situation. Knowledge is power so use it to your fullest. 

mgibson's picture

Completely agree. If we are uninformed about the topic, we have no business voting. We wouldnt know what we are voting for or why. If somebody wants to get involved, they should remain educated and up-to-date on the topic!

mkraft's picture

Values and judgement seem to be the most important things discussed in chapter 6. Everyone has different sets of values and beliefs. As stated in the chapter, some people would rather have armed guards in their neighborhoods...if they live in a more dangerous place. Some people would rather have no armed guards becasue there is no need for them in that neighborhood. Some people may value family more than friends, or the other way around. There are sets of values that are almost necessities, such as love or food/water. Love may be valued higher or lower on a scale, depending on the person. Politics can be a touchy subject because some people value them more than others. I personally don't find them very interesting at my age. Everything is presented as being bland and unentertaining. This could change with age. It is a citizen's duty to be informed on politics if they choose to go and vote or make a difference. If you do not research who or what you're voting for, you're just part of the problem. Judgement also comes into play because people do not always use the best judgement. Making choices based purely on emotions can be risky. Because of this, there are now more strict home renting guidelines in a city mentioned in the chapter. Options must be weighed very carefully in order to make sound judgements. 

 

mkraft's picture

Values and judgement seem to be the most important things discussed in chapter 6. Everyone has different sets of values and beliefs. As stated in the chapter, some people would rather have armed guards in their neighborhoods...if they live in a more dangerous place. Some people would rather have no armed guards becasue there is no need for them in that neighborhood. Some people may value family more than friends, or the other way around. There are sets of values that are almost necessities, such as love or food/water. Love may be valued higher or lower on a scale, depending on the person. Politics can be a touchy subject because some people value them more than others. I personally don't find them very interesting at my age. Everything is presented as being bland and unentertaining. This could change with age. It is a citizen's duty to be informed on politics if they choose to go and vote or make a difference. If you do not research who or what you're voting for, you're just part of the problem. Judgement also comes into play because people do not always use the best judgement. Making choices based purely on emotions can be risky. Because of this, there are now more strict home renting guidelines in a city mentioned in the chapter. Options must be weighed very carefully in order to make sound judgements. 

 

Note: I included both of my points in one paragraph. I am posting twice because of this.

Malfaraj's picture

 

 

A long time ago there was not any human law to serve human and the earth were people messing around the life, even some of the Organisms disappeared because of human greed and overfishing, and then the law from the governments to coming to human life, and some religions support governments

Since that time, and after all of this laws of the governments and religions.
The service of humanity evolved

I feel we can't live without leader (governments, religions or both)

Malanzi's picture

That's true I strongly agree with you.

Mbarasheed's picture

The deliberation that proceeds the active political involvement might be small or large-scale. The everyday deliberation occurs when the people make their political decisions or when they are discussing them in the ordinary conversations. Deliberative decision-making is crucial for the everyday democracy and for the collective action as people outline the limits of the conflicts and disagreements. 

mbriggs's picture

     One point that stood out to me in this chapter was the part where the author speaks of the Naming of Issues:

          "The names professionals give issues may be technically precise yet often fail to resonate with the things people hold dear. Getting people off the sidelines may be less a matter of arousing the indifferent than making connections with the things people already care about"

This is so true! If people hear a really technical name for something and feel that it doesn't apply to them, they will not dig further into the issue to see what it is REALLY all about. We as "The People" of America are affected by eachother and the decisions that each citizen makes, to varying degrees. We are all affected, but not proportionally or equally. So if a bad decision is made by those who are uninformed, everyone will suffer but only some will feel its full extent. Or in this passage's case it may be more of a problem getting people to realize that what they care about is important, and that some, if not all, issues will make a difference on these things either for good or bad.

     Another point that I found interesting was this:  

          "Studies have shown that an exchange of experiences with others, exposure to a diversity of opinions, and consideration of all alternatives create the ideal situation for good decisions."

Not everyone sees this and understands it. Or maybe they don't want to believe it, but if each individual is concerned about and informed about other people's lives and their opinions concerning issues and problems we can be more connected as a community. We can band together to make changes for the whole community that would actually be affective! We can talk all day long, but if we don't listen too, we will miss parts of the story/ situation that could be more influential of not only our decisions, but the decisions made by those in higher powers too! If everyone only wants to listen to themselves, nothing will ever be done, and nothing will ever be changed. Things, problems, and situations will all either remain the same or grow worse by our inactions! Having more informed citizens starts with more caring and receptive people willing to hear out the REAL problems of others from those people experiencing them. Then, and only then, can we start on the path to real change.

mhammond's picture

That is a great point about the uninformed making bad decisions that other people will suffer from in the end.  This idea reminds me of the "tyranny of the majority."  This is where the voting majority pushes their will to suppress a minority, gay marriage being an instance of this in recent times.  It makes it even worse when the people that are making those decisions do it without thoughtfully considering the whole situation.  The only solution I can see for this is to keep dialogs open and hopefully the informed opinions sound a lot better than the uninformed ones.

Mpetersen's picture

In the chapter, it made me think about how in tune I am with the upcoming election. In thinking about it, I am not properly informed about the candidate I am leaning toward voting for. I know two things in which I am supportive for the candidate I'm leaning toward. In a world where this generation is of utmost importance in this election, I can say I am very disappointed in myself and my lack of knowledge about said candidate. I am thankfully I still have time to become more informed about the parties and the candidates so that I can use my best judgement when I go to the polls for the first time to vote in November. 

Mjamick's picture

I agree on the fact that our generation is very important in this upcoming presidential election. I also see your point on not being as informed as you'd like to be. Such a big decision like the president of our country seems so small to me at times. But, realizing the importance of choosing the candidate that you believe will support your views is definitly a big decision to make.

Maan's picture

I'm not a U.S. citizen. However, in general I totally agree with you that people should be aware of all the background of the paties involved.

MMoorer's picture

Judgement is something we as citizens do on a daily basis, unbeknowingly most times. We make judgements and base our decisions off of those judgements. In our perosnal lives, as well as our professional careers, we all make thousands of judgements per day if not millions. But what makes a sound judgement? Chapter 6, I agree with the neuroscience behind the comment of having exposure to many cultures, ideas, and inidivudals essentially makes for the better judgement in a person. Having that diverse field of interaciton is what develops our judgements as beings, we learn that from a very small age with growing up under our parent's roof and sibling's influence. However, judgement is a two way street, it can be used to tear down your ideals, or build them up, It is ultimately up to you.

adnan's picture

I totally agree with you. Making judgments depend on the person knowledge., experience, and what he feel about it.

Adnan

um19's picture

that's so true and I agreed with you