THINKING OUTSIDE THE VERTICAL LINE
Anyone who has spent time reading online is familiar with the comments section. Some online publications have removed these in a cheerful way. They try to sell you enthusiastically that it is an unnecessary appendage and that sharing through social media somehow promotes constructive dialog. In reality they want to promote a point of view or narrative and they don’t want this narrative or message compromised in the comments below.
America has a propaganda problem and removing the comments section only furthers and enables those who engage in it. My advice is that you should never trust a publication without a comments section. For me it runs counter to everything I believe is good.
Everything good for me means; listening and being able to adjust your worldview if the circumstances call for it. This is relevant for everyone.
Why, because no one is God; no one person encapsulates the entirety of human logic or perspective. We can all benefit from the logic, reasoning and perspective of others. We live in a world dominated by individuals of limited intelligence and perspective, of which we are a part.
Perhaps we could continue into the future placing unfounded merit in the hope of Individual Intelligence as we were obliged for the last untold thousands of years.
Let us attempt to progress instead. So today rather than discussing if we should remove the comments section I would like you to consider how we might improve the comments section and why we should.
What is a comments section? Why is there a comments section. A comments section is simply a place for anyone to voice an opinion or perspective as it relates to the article published above. When people read a story they naturally have thoughts, questions and perspectives. So why not utilize this?
As with everything I do now, I approach issues in terms of Individual Intelligence vs. what I conceive of as a Collective Intelligence. Collective Intelligence for me is our greatest hope for the human species.
Back to Individual Intelligence, what is Individual Intelligence? Individual Intelligence is a process where the intellectual workings take place within the individual. Individual Intelligence is a place where all the pieces of the puzzle are laid out. There may be outside influences (other people) who contribute pieces to the puzzle; at the end of the day though, we each own our conclusions or beliefs. We say, “this is what I think”. This is the world as I see it.
So what about that comments section? Well for starters the comments section in unlike anything known to man before this technological age. We can carry on conversations on topic matter in real time regardless of our geographical location.
The issues you see, is not a question of if we should have a comments section or not. The issue is; are we utilizing this new form of conversation powered by our new technology to the fullest.
To this I answer no.
Why, because we are content, we are accustomed with a world dominated by Individual Intelligence and we allow this archetype to form the model of our interactions, online and offline.
If we were to adopt a Collective Intelligence and model our interactions from this, how would the comments section differ?
From here I can only give you directions. These are areas for us to explore and consider in creating a new and better environment. An environment inspired by the hope of a Collective Intelligence.
Permanence would be an improvement. You must view every contribution within a comments section as relevant to the goals we seek to achieve. Every comment should be viewed as energy spent and ground covered in our effort to see a clearer picture of reality. In this sense letting a lively comments section simply be replaced with this weeks “new” whatever it is, is a loss.
Organization would be an improvement, Again, viewed as energy spent and ground covered; why have duplicate or repetitive comments How do we mover forward in the conversation? How to we prioritize? How do we collaborate? How do we present?
These are just a few observations. When and if the world embraces a Collective Intelligence there will be a new environment and framework to build, new ideas and plenty of work to be done.
The first step is recognizing the futility that our acceptance and dependence on a world dominated by Individual Intelligence confers upon us.
We know what we are dealing with if only we take the time to see it for what it is. It is thousands of people tying to speak at once. Thousands of people wanting to be heard, to be relevant. Thousands of people using anger, wit or sarcasm to promote a point of view. Thousands of people committing time and resources that in the end produces very little.
What is it that that vertical line of comments does for us? Why do we keep coming back? Is it hope? Is it therapy? Is it entertainment? Is it just a release? Why do we participate?
What is it we hope to achieve, perhaps we should start there.
Please read my Essay, Viable for perhaps a better picture of what my be our beat hope for a truly brighter future.