Thursday, November 8, 2012

Political Consequences of Not Balancing Impulse Thinking With Deliberative Thinking, Part 3

This is the last post building 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.


“Of course, the internet also brings huge benefits. It is now possible to access more kinds of information than ever before in history. But most people have neither the time nor the know-how to sort through the countless government documents and scholarly studies available online. They have to rely on public figures and news organizations that are the objects of distrust or partisan scorn.


“As columnist and former Reagan speech writer Peggy Noonan has written, ‘Someday we’ll be told something true that we need to know and we won’t believe that, either.’ Long before anyone could have imagined the technological marvels that we carry in our pockets, the Founders understood the risk of hasty judgment.


“In The Federalist No. 71, Alexander Hamilton wrote: ‘When occasions present themselves, in which the interests of the people are at variance with their inclinations, it the duty of the persons whom they have appointed to be the guardians of those interests, to withstand the temporary delusion, in order to give them [the people] time and opportunity for more cool and sedate reflection.’


“The moral is that public figures, reporters, and commentators of all kinds should take a breath and think before they post. Slow down, because speed kills.”

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