Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Political Consequences of Not Balancing Impulse Thinking and Deliberative Thinking, Part 2

The next few posts will build on my post of a few days ago: We have, to me, reached an imbalance and a need to shift in our use of smart phones, iPads, Twitter, Tumblr and that kind of technology. These things have, as John J. Pitney Jr. wrote in the 10/15 Christian Science Monitor, “increased the speed and reach of communications…so that almost as soon as a thought enters your mind you can send it everywhere. Twitter-like thinking—the kind that relies on quick intuition and impulse—can work well when we’re playing sports, for instance.


“Political polarization heats up when discourse moves faster than the speed of rational thought. Given a chance to consider an issue carefully, people may see the strengths and weaknesses of each side. But when they respond immediately, they will cheer for the home team and boo the opposition.


“This tendency is especially strong during the ‘live blogging’ of a speech or debate. We will often read ‘Wow!’ ‘Yea!’ ‘lol’. We will seldom see a commentator saying, ‘Gee, I wonder what will be said next. Let’s all sleep on it.’”


“Moreover, people of all persuasions know that the mainstream press is not as thorough or thoughtful as it used to be. Reporters are reacting to what they see online, then posting their own stuff in hopes of keeping up.


“As Jay Root writes in his wonderful new book on the Rick Perry campaign, ‘We’re not so much reporting the news as blurting it.’”


“Even basic factual accuracy can [and does] suffer. Racing for a scoop this summer, CNN and Fox initially – and falsely – reported that the Supreme Court had struck down the comprehensive health-care law.”

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