When Big Al talks, people listen. They may not admit it in public, like when we don't order a rare steak in a restaurant in front of a bunch of people we don't know... but people listen.
And who in America has actually asked what you think, lately?
Thanks for asking.
I love how the iPhone has allowed me to work from home or just not from the office. However, I don't love how people now assume they can reach me with work questions any time of the day or night... globally. I can work with people in Chicago, New York, London, Germany... but I do have to sleep and watch SMASH at some point without interruption. (see how easily we can get distracted on line)
I connect with my family, even the grandkids, from three thousand miles away. The kids are more interested in the technology than any real communication, but I would be missing them growing up if I didn't FaceTime with them.
Of course there is the parental worry that who else are their kids are facetiming with and why. It's all so instant and though a little less anonymous, still being able to connect with anyone, anywhere, anytime is not the same as wanting to or even being allowed to... or being able to.
And as for permission. That is an interesting concept when one is connected. Who am I allowed to connect with? Do I have a right to total privacy? Do the network’s corporate interests have a right to sensor me or what I look at? Is it their network? It is anybody's network? Is the network a 'Commons'? And if it is, is it national or international?
And should everyone, even if you are too poor to afford the network, have a right to connect?
FISA court rulings certainly muddy the waters of this issue on a whole other level.
What, for example does one do with information found on the network that reveals criminal behavior? Can I even read or watch it?
What if it is criminal behavior of my network carrier? Or my government? What if we found proof one Presidential candidate planned and successfully stole an election from the rightful winner... in China, or Venezuela or here in the Untitled States? What is our duty as citizens of this country or citizens of the world?
We may have to start clarifying or even re-defining words like Citizen and Commons, Rights and Freedom.
There is also the good side of Law & Order. How do we fight cyber-theft? The Banks have no answer when identity theft occurs.
What of patent rights and copyrights? Should I be able to pass on an electronic book I just read? I shared plenty of paperback books with family and friends over the years.
How do I feel about our hyper-connected future?
Let's start, like Al Gore is encouraging us to, by asking questions. Then maybe when we understand the questions we can begin to answer them together and share the results.