Internet-originated forms of communication could re-enfranchise knowledge and policy sources now elbowed aside by celebrity mega-media.
An electronic knowedge and anlaysis base need not draw only from laymen.
Genuine experts in academia, business, government, and other areas could find a satisfying way to connect with the general public, without needing the over-cultivated marketing skills that today's book and magazine publishing industries seem to demand. Just by being clear and reasonably concise on matters in which laymen in discussion groups had already indicated an interest, such experts could find themselves reaching the public in ways that would not be possible in today's environment.
Political candidates could also begin to get back in the action in more productive ways, translating discussion ideas into proposals for policy and legislation.
In a well-structured electronic environment, candidates could cost-effectively lay out their platforms in enough depth and detail to give voters a chance to reasonably evaluate them. Providing politicians this opportunity could reduce their dependence on the kinds of big-money contributions that are required to finance the propagation of today's more consumer-style advertising images.
Clearly, then, significant advances in the way we communicate are possible in the emerging online environment. By making good use of these developments, an electronic knowledge base can be an important component of a larger struggle to regain control of our cognitive order, with all its immense power, and bring us back into more healthy contact with reality.
(c) COPYRIGHT 1998 ROBERT WINTER. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.