The Talkback Quality Paradox

Ever since Web news sites and forums made it possible for the random readers to post talkbacks, I have been noticing the abysmal quality and thought which went into several of the talkbacks.

Given that most of those talkbackists have the right to vote and given that they demonstrated their lack of wisdom, the question is: how do democracies get managed in a more or less reasonable way?

Seems that good democracies have filters between the random opinions at whim and actual action. First of all, you must care enough about your opinion to discuss it with your relatives and friends, trying to win them over to your point of view. Several big mouths seem just not to care about their own utterances.

Then, as you argue with your closest and dearest ones, their objections get you to check and polish your idea. Blatantly silly ideas fall on the side at this time.

Finally, to actually lobby in support of your idea, you need funds. To have funds you need to be successful in business or persuade people, who have been successful in making money. Since it requires rationality in one’s brain to make money in our world, this is yet another filter, which makes it difficult for crackpots to get their agenda across.

We can improve the process further by refusing to elect people to political positions, unless they have proven that they know to bring an idea to fruition, to manage an operation, to explain why their ideas are sound. This is important especially in small non-profit organizations, in which the membership elect the governing bodies. We also should be less serious about people, who did not prove themselves to be doers rather than big-mouths.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.