The Blessings (And Curse) Of The ConstitutionWritten by Virginia Bola, PsyD
The Senate is in an uproar about issue of approving nomination of certain judges. There are vocal supporters for and against traditional techniques of filibuster. There are others working hard to identify options and compromises to avoid a head-to-head battle that will leave one side staggering.
The rest of country looks on: in confusion, in awe, in indifference, in disgust. We never really trust politicians anyway so why should their internal disagreements mean a hill of beans to working stiff on street?
The critical importance to every citizen, no matter social level or way of life, is that system has to work or we have no rules, no structure, no boundaries to mark our place. We all have differing opinions about how to rule world. Senators and Judges have varying ideas also. The truth is that when Senators and Judges, individually and then collectively, make decisions about issues, we all have to live with results.
One of great strengths of Constitution is that it provides a framework for our society but is also extremely flexible. That flexibility is constantly pulled and stretched by myriad of meanings that can be read into its written form. Over centuries, its principles have been interpreted, and reinterpreted, meanings changed as our society changed.
We hope, as no doubt founding fathers hoped, that in long term opposing forces should balance each other out and a centrist consensus should emerge that keeps us moving in a generally positive direction. For more than two hundred years, that has successfully transpired. While we applaud robustness of a document that has weathered slings and arrows of time so deftly, we must also look at events in short term and trauma they may impose.
Long before abolition of slavery, there was degradation of thousands of human lives, treated, auctioned, bullwhipped, and ravaged like livestock, all under auspices of Constitution.
Hype!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Has The Internet Gone Too Far?Written by Virginia Bola, PsyD
I remember back in 1980s (history for many of you reading this), I had a friend working at University of California who had access to Internet through University system. It was new, it was esoteric, it was for academicians, nerds, and professional scientists.
Another friend, a salesman, pondered commercial possibilities. "Sales and marketing," my University friend intoned, is "strongly frowned upon" by Internet community.
Fast forward 20 to 25 years. What happened?
A system designed for researchers and academic communities to discuss ideas has become one of primary means of communication for individuals throughout world. It is great leveler: a Bosnian peasant, a Kenyan tribesman, an urban ghetto adolescent, with access to a computer, is on a level with global corporations and top decision makers. The world wide web has created an unprecedented opportunity for verbal intercourse, far beyond anything that has historically been available, for anyone, even rich and powerful. Blogs, personalized and updated, perhaps several times a day, allow most humble their day in sun.
What have we done with this new weapon with its potential to unite world and give every individual, no matter how powerless and lonely, chance to interact on world stage?
We have commercialized it beyond any reasonable "make a sale" level. We have created ultimate international snake oil salesperson. We have taken "great communicator" and transformed him into "great con."
How did this happen? The desire to sell something - anything - morphed into simply desire to sell. Join any traffic site, SEO group, PR Newsletter, or Internet Forum and you will be immediately inundated with messages about selling.
Is there anything wrong with trying to sell a product? Of course not, that is what makes wheels of commerce go round. I have no objection whatsoever to someone trying to sell me something - that is their job and I respect their right to pursue it.
What totally sickens me (how about you?) are people who are not trying to sell me a product but are selling "how to sell."