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In Nothing We Trust

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the to-john-dillinger-and-hope-he-is-still-alive dept.

United States 910

Hugh Pickens writes "Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton write in the National Journal that seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business. Less than half the population expresses "a great deal" of confidence in the public-school system or organized religion. 'We have lost our gods,' says Laura Hansen. 'We've lost it—that basic sense of trust and confidence—in everything.' Humans are coded to create communities, and communities beget institutions. What if, in the future, they don't? People could disconnect, refocus inward, and turn away from their social contract. Already, many are losing trust. If society can't promise benefits for joining it, its members may no longer feel bound to follow its rules. But history reminds us that America's leaders can draw the nation together to solve problems. At a moment of gaping income inequality, when the country was turbulently transitioning from a farm economy to a factory one, President Theodore Roosevelt reminded Americans, 'To us, as a people, it has been granted to lay the foundations of our national life.' At the height of the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt chastised the business and political leaders who had led the country into ruin. 'These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men,' said FDR. 'Restoration calls, however, not for changes in ethics alone. This Nation asks for action, and action now.'"

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I believe every word of this ... (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771093)

... after all, if I can't trust Slashdot, who can I trust?

Re:I believe every word of this ... (4, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771401)

Ask not what Slashdot can do for you, but what you can do for Slashdot.

That's Nice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771105)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled arguments about Global Warming and Linux Vs. Windows

Re:That's Nice (0)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771173)

You forgot the trolling submissions about Gnome 3 vs Unity.

Re:That's Nice (1)

thomasw_lrd (1203850) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771595)

And the slashvertisements for the various mobile operating systems.

The Fourth Turning (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771115)

Discuss.

I trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771123)

In myself, in my family (to at least act as I know they will), and in my hometown.

I trust that the proletariat means well, perhaps not in "Andy Griffith" style, but that on the whole basic communities work given proper resources.

If not for the fact that secession has been effectively outlawed with mandatory military response, I'd consider seeing if New England could strike out on its own and see what came of it.

Re:I trust (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771457)

I'd consider seeing if New England could strike out on its own and see what came of it.

Probably the same thing that happened when they tried to go it on their own originally [wikipedia.org] .

Like it or not, humanity depends on each other to survive. That's one thing I've never understood about the libertarian philosophy of every man for himself...I don't see how the hell we could possibly have a first-world society based on that type of a world-view. Somalia should be a Libertarian paradise, yet how many people emigrate there from the U.S.? Seems that U.S. Libertarians are more attached to those things that are paid for with our tax dollars than they think...

Re:I trust (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771683)

I mean the 13 original states become their own nation, not that each city become it's own sovereign state like Singapore. They have access to the ocean, viable air transport, and are relatively self-sufficient. With economic ties to Canada, the remaining U.S. and to other nations as is viable, I think they'd have a chance to at the very least balance their own budget and work from there.

inb4 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771139)

"this isnt nerd news!, wheres mah new GNOME article?!? BAAAAAAAAAAAAW LINUX!"

Why is this here? (4, Insightful)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771143)

Hey, does anybody remember when there used to be tech stories on slashdot?

Re:Why is this here? (2, Insightful)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771193)

But those don't generate as much traffic for the advertisements...

I for one welcome our new corporate overlords

Re:Why is this here? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771491)

But Slashdot is losing traffic for years now. https://www.google.com/trends/?q=slashdot [google.com]

Most of you guys wouldn't believe how popular this site was 12 years ago. I used to keep a browser window open 24/7 with Slashdot in it. Today I come here maybe once every 2 days and still see it as a waste of time.

The end of Slashdot started with this article: here [slashdot.org]

"Normally I wouldn't consider posting this on Slashdot, but I'm making an exception this time"

Well that exception is lasting for 11 years now. And most moderators here have absolutely no clue about technology.

It took them 3 days to learn who Dennis Ritchie was and that he had died.

Just sad. I do have a 5 digit account and post as anonymous because I don't care anymore.

Re:Why is this here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771575)

Cel, is that you?

Z

Re:Why is this here? (1)

Luke727 (547923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771391)

Election season is here. Vote Ron Paul (he's still cool, right?) and don't forget to drink your Ovaltine.

Re:Why is this here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771441)

It's getting hazier and hazier every day...............

Answer :) Re:Why is this here? (5, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771461)

Why is this article here?

It's here because the robot grader gave it an A+.

"... Journal ... wrong ... big ... public-school ... disconnect ... solve problems ... ruin ... worth all they cost ... action ..."

Yup, with those keywords it's definitely /. material.

And now, ladies and gentlebeings, we now have an answer to the age old question, How good are robo-graders? [slashdot.org]

Re:Why is this here? (1)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771519)

I'm incredibly amused that my original comment has been modded "offtopic."

Thanks, media (5, Insightful)

elecmahm (1194167) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771195)

Yellow journalism (on both sides) is almost completely based around the idea of making us dislike and not trust our fellow humans. The more we can walk away from these inflammatory media sources, the better.

Re:Thanks, media (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771299)

Because slashdot and reddit are unbiased and in no wayh inflammatory.

Re:Thanks, media (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771583)

Good luck with that... from childhood (watching schoolyard fights), we've been addicted to drama, and it won't stop any time soon. My FB page (as little as I see it) is already swamped with political spam for both sides, each fervently proclaiming that the other guy is the locus of all evils... too bad neither side can go out of their way to list definitive good things about their own chosen side. I just block 'em all until after election season.

But when you think about it, the manufactured kind of drama (brought to you by CNN, Fox News, drudgereport.com, et al) isn't necessarily malicious in and of itself, but only serves to capture eyeballs, thus advertising dollars. The malice is just a side effect (and one that no one seems interested in alleviating).

Look at it this way: It is a mark of maturity to know that the only way to win such a game is to not play it at all.

Re:Thanks, media (5, Insightful)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771627)

Don't forget the indoctrination being performed for decades on the minds of people:

  1. Society owes you nothing;
  2. if you fail, it's your own fault;
  3. Don't blame others for being treacherous, just be smarter than them;
  4. Your coworker is not your friend, he's after your job;
  5. Anything has value only if it has commercial value;
  6. Merciless competition is the natural way, live with it;
  7. If you're not rich, you're useless scum;
  8. . . .

This is not the way our brains were programmed to work. Without a sense of community, we drown in misery. Without trust, there's no community. The USA is a few steps ahead of Europe in this stupid individualistic mentality. Don't expect your country to go anywhere with this.

And so another empire has fallen (1)

darojasp (910720) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771197)

Probably the American institutions have gotten to big for their own good. Perhaps we will see some states secede and finally US will become a collection of countries in a loose union similar to the EU

Re:And so another empire has fallen (4, Insightful)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771331)

And the EU is doing so well right now, right? We tried that, with the AoC. It didn't work.

Re:And so another empire has fallen (3, Interesting)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771681)

Actually the reason the EU is Not working is because of too much centralization. If they had never created the central bank, their equivalent to our Fed, and kept separate currencies, the EU would be in fantastic shape. The EU downfall is the same as our downfall - the damn bankers borrowing too much credit with nothing to back it up, and then printing money likes nuts to keep the edifice from collapsing (thus destroying the savings of the people).

Oh and one final thought: The fundamental basis of our Constitution, to quote the man who wrote it, is that the powers of the Congress are FEW and defined, while the powers of the Member States are many. It was always intended to be a union of strong states with most of the power close to the people, rather than ~1500 miles distant..... and last time I checked the 10th amendment was not repealed, so that is still true today.

Re:And so another empire has fallen (2)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771693)

And the EU is doing so well right now, right? We tried that, with the AoC. It didn't work.

No one is suggesting the Articles of Confederation. What is being suggested is that the Constitution be followed as it was intended.

Step 1: Admit that the "Necessary and Proper Clause" does not give the Federal Government unlimited power.
Step 2: Read the 10th Amendment.
Step 3: GoTo Step 1

Re:And so another empire has fallen (2)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771347)

Oh, you mean like it is described in the Constitution? That predates the existence of the EU by 200+ years? Good idea.

        Brett

Re:And so another empire has fallen (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771611)

Look into the history of the years between 1861-1865 if you want a solid example of why that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

I trust Slasdot less and less (0)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771215)

to supply me with news for nerds.

Sixty-nine percent (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771223)

Seventy percent of the populace may claim dissatisfaction but sixty-nine percent will happily vote for either Obama or Romney. Either they aren't really dissatisfied or they are just completely clueless.

Re:Sixty-nine percent (4, Insightful)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771279)

Way more than 69% vote for the Republicrats. (or is that Democans?) They may hate the bastards but they don't want the wrong bastard in office...

Re:Sixty-nine percent (5, Funny)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771617)

Yea. Given the choice of Lovecraftian horrors, I vote for Narlyhotep over Cthulhu every time. I know they say Narlyhotep is a dirty african socialist, but he just wants society to exist so we can worship at his yellow robed feet. And Cthulhu is basically running on the platform of "vote for me and I will eat you all". And don't even get me started on Azathoth, sure it claims to be a viable alternative, but then madness and all you can do is chant "vote Azathoth 2012!" whenever anyone expresses the slightest dissatisfaction with the status quo.

Re:Sixty-nine percent (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771695)

They may hate the bastards

And they trust none.

Re:Sixty-nine percent (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771445)

Seventy percent of the populace may claim dissatisfaction but sixty-nine percent will happily vote for either Obama or Romney. Either they aren't really dissatisfied or they are just completely clueless.

And...

Ron Fournier and Sophie Quinton write in the National Journal that seven in 10 Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track; eight in 10 are dissatisfied with the way the nation is being governed, only 23 percent have confidence in banks, and just 19 percent have confidence in big business.

A further report indicates that zero out of 535 lawmakers care about what those eight in ten think, given they own the army. Another interesting statistic shows zero percent of banks are overly concerned about the lack of faith that seventy-seven percent of the nation has, and a staggering zero percent of big businesses are worried, as they own the 535 lawmakers who in turn own the army.

A more curious finding is that a full ten out of ten banks and businesses believe the country is on the wrong track, too. Reasons cited include the continued stubborn existence of money in the hands of consumers as opposed to in the offshore bank accounts of the executives of each bank and business surveyed, the fact that the country's governing bodies even pay lip service to entities unrelated to banks and big businesses, and the appalling idea that the poor still have a voice in the country. They assure us, however, that they are taking steps to correct these problems.

Re:Sixty-nine percent (4, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771509)

It's the prisoners dilemma. Sure, if everyone votes out the republicans and democrats, it would be best. But if you're a democrat, a republican in office is likely a legitimately worse outcome for you. And if you're a republican, a democrat in office is about a 1% chance of being worse for you. So the temptation to vote for one of the more-likely-to-win options is strong. If you really want people to change their voting habits, you pretty much need to change the voting system (to ranked choice or the like).

Re:Sixty-nine percent (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771563)

Or are resigned to the fact that there's nobody else who might be elected and prefer one of those two over the other.

Re:Sixty-nine percent (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771691)

I've never had an easier time justifying voting for the lesser of two evils as I have this Presidential election. Why? Because I live in Wisconsin and over the last year have seen first hand what their game plan is if they get control of the Legislative and Executive branches. The state that once elected "Fighting" Bob Lafollette [wikipedia.org] is having it's collective bargaining rights dismantled, a slew of theocratic Christian bullshit shoved down our throats, bills introduced declaring single-mothers are abusing their children [chicagoist.com] , and the repeal of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act [huffingtonpost.com] , among many other repugnant things.

Democrats are just as owned by big business as the Republicans, but at least they're not trying to actively roll back civil rights in this country. I'll do damn near anything to prevent that shit from occurring on the national stage...

And yet (3, Insightful)

oGMo (379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771227)

They'll post every detail about their life on Facebook.

The political narrative lives on, apparently (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771229)

"These dark days will be worth all they cost us if they teach us that our true destiny is not to be ministered unto but to minister to ourselves and to our fellow men."

Says the man that introduced Social Security and the National Recovery Administration.

Re:The political narrative lives on, apparently (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771625)

You mean programs that minister to ourselves and our fellow men?

They have lost all trust, but they retain distrust (5, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771233)

People do not trust Their Party, but they still distrust The Other Party, so they will keep voting party-line.

So nothing will change.

Griping, or alienation? (5, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771243)

People complain about spouses and jobs which they in fact want to keep.

Might the same thing be happening here? People still keep their money in banks, shop at big businesses, and don't use any of the many tools for influencing the government. They still call 911 when there's an emergency.

Not natural (2, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771245)

The most remarkable thing about this abject collapse is that not a single facsimile of a leader who understands what is happening and has a glimmer of an idea what to do about it is in evidence. It's just not natural.

You can believe if you want that all 300 million citizens without exception are either STUPID or have no leadership skills whatsoever. But methinks Occam's Razor suggests that there is a powerful, sinister organization which is ruthlessly stamping out any leaders who even start to surface.

Re:Not natural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771321)

Pray do tell good sir, whom doth inherit this sinister title?

Re:Not natural (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771397)

Pray do tell good sir, whom doth inherit this sinister title?

The Spanish Inquisition!

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

With Apologies to Zaphod (1)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771437)

But methinks Occam's Razor suggests that there is a powerful, sinister organization which is ruthlessly stamping out any leaders who even start to surface.

"The President in particular is very much a figurehead - he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the people, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Barak Obama is one of the most successful Presidents the United States has ever had... Very very few people realize that the President and the Government have virtually no power at all, and of these very few people only six know whence ultimate political power is wielded. Most of the others secretly believe that the ultimate decision-making process is handled by a computer. They couldn't be more wrong.

Re:Not natural (4, Insightful)

gambino21 (809810) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771493)

Occam's Razor suggests that there is a powerful, sinister organization which is ruthlessly stamping out any leaders who even start to surface

I think it's more like a pattern of corporate owned media and politics, than any single sinister organization. Any leader to tries to spread ideas outside the accepted dogma is quickly attacked and/or ignored by the existing powers. The media had an extremely strong negative reaction to Wikileaks when it started gaining popularity because it went outside the normal power structures. The mainstream media also had a pretty negative initial reaction to the Occupy movement. They also had/have a significant bias against Ron Paul. Whether you agree with RP or not, I think it's difficult to deny that the media did a lot to marginalize him. [youtube.com]

Two Party Democracies are Bad (5, Insightful)

RichMan (8097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771247)

The first past the post democratice system essentially forces a 2 party system so you can "win" the election. If there are N parties then they split the vote N ways, any 2 parties in a N party system can combine and gain position. By reduction you get a 2 party system if it is irreducable or 1 a party system if reducable.

Two party democracies do not represent their populace. You can't divide an entire populace into box A or box B on all issues. The two party democracy staggers back and forth from side to side never doing real compromise and never meeting in the middle. Both sides make a mess.

Re:Two Party Democracies are Bad (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771537)

You can't divide an entire populace into box A or box B on all issues.

Who cares? All that matters is the guy I vote for will vote the way I want on abortion.

Re:Two Party Democracies are Bad (2)

Gordo_1 (256312) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771543)

Yup. For all the bluster I hear about the constitution and the institution of democracy in the US, I just can't bring myself to trust the system. The way things are going, it looks to me like in the next say 50 years we'll be essentially stuck in a 1984-style surveillance dictatorship in all but label. Kind of like China or Iran or Russia where they may let you vote in a new leader from time to time, but he's really part of the same machine that brought you the last one.

Unfortunately ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771249)

... you forgot how none of FDR's words actually did that much. WWII was basically what pulled the US out of the depression. Luckily, it looks like our leaders have figured that out too!

Re:Unfortunately ... (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771419)

... you forgot how none of FDR's words actually did that much. WWII was basically what pulled the US out of the depression. Luckily, it looks like our leaders have figured that out too!

We're going to start a war with Japan and Germany?

money is your god (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771263)

Money has replaced God, even in churches where the preacher stands in a 1000 dollar suit asking for cash

Money aint a score in some kind of game, you have a whole society who thinks "get rich or try dying" was a prophecy not a ignorant statement from an ex-drug dealer
you have entire TV culture based on how much you can earn (auctions/antiques/cars/houses/music), shows that glorify money, hell even some people here dont primarily choose their careers on what they will be doing, but how much its worth in cash and then openly mock Arts students and the like for their "worthless" choices while the best minds on the globe are figuring out how to get more people clicking on adverts for shitty companies with shit ideas.

may you get whats coming

Is there a point to this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771265)

Stop the presses- people don't trust the government! History tells us this is nothing new. Wait, but people don't trust religious leaders, that's got to be news. Nope...been that way since well before the forefathers of this nation.

This seems to be a smattering of data with some rhetoric about everything going haywire. The only thing happening is that people are waking up again. It happens periodically in our history. The only people worried are those in traditional positions of control.

no agreement... (5, Insightful)

AntEater (16627) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771269)

...other than to disagree. Of those 7, 3 are conservatives who believe that things would be just fine if we could undo the damage those liberals have created. Three more think that Obama is too conservative and has abandoned the very people who elected him. The other one is just sick of the other six.

Re:no agreement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771421)

It is so simple I do not know why it illuded me. We simply need a Roosevelt as Commander in Chief. Job done.

Re:no agreement... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771477)

Dear lord. A person expressing rational and balanced political views on slashdot. We need to get this person to a zoo or something where we can educate people about preserving its habitat.

Huzza! (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771287)

Statistics like that are almost enough to make you believe that people had finally worked out the practical applications of 'statistics' and 'empiricism'.

This pleasant feeling only lasts until the next barrage of polling about the existence of guardian angels or horoscopes or whether coffee enemas cure cancer; but so it goes.

In all seriousness, this article manages to have a very important point(trust is an extremely valuable asset in a society, far cheaper and more pleasant than the alternatives of investing in lots and lots of contract lawyers and prisons); but its pessimism masks the counterpoint that loss of trust isn't exactly some sort of mental pathology. If anything, continued trust in the face of getting screwed over is pathological. It is important to distinguish the trust-loss scenarios where paranoia is the problem(eg. violent crime, for most of us. It's available 24/7, anything messy that happens worldwide; but actual levels are deeply unimpressive by historical standards) and trust-loss scenarios where the problem is that they really are out to get you(If you trust banks, I have a loss-proof CDO tranche to sell you)...

Agreed (5, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771293)

I agree. I don't have any faith whatsoever in politicians, in businessmen/corporations, capitalism, the justice system, or - in particular - the media. It seems the sentiment of the day is a combination of "the end justifies the means" and "everyone for themselves".
North American culture (I live in Canada but we are much the same as the US) has become a celebration of ignorance, shallow interests, self-interest, denial of scientific fact, rabid support of political positions with little or no thought about what they mean, and a major drive to eliminate person privacy from our world. Corporations seemingly give politicians their marching orders and they go enact legislation that benefits the corporations at the expense of the people for whom the government supposedly exists. Companies who fail miserably are bailed out - and pay their CEOs massive severance packages using our money, then ship the majority of their jobs overseas by way of thanks. No one cares about the common man, its all a scrabble to get to the top walking on the bodies of those who get in the way. We fight wars based on lies for the benefit of corporations who supply the wars.
I think we have lost any moral compass - and modern religion is not going to provide that moral compass because it is seen as corrupt, power-seeking and backward in its attitudes. I think the world is far too cynical, but then I am trapped in that attitude as well.
I can't honestly think of a single politician in office today whom I believe is honest and working for the benefit of their constituents.

Re:Agreed (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771483)

Nothing but undeveloped, unevolved, barely conscious pond scum, totally convinced of their own superiority, as they scurry about their short pointless lives.

Pitch for Ron Paul coming 3... 2... 1... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771311)

BTW the biggest reason for Congress' incredibly low approval rating is probably gridlock, the two parties seem content to block whatever the other side proposes. But one thing they agree on (and disagree with Paul) is a large global military presence by the US and an active foreign policy. There's a reason for that, and it has to do with our economy.

Re:Pitch for Ron Paul coming 3... 2... 1... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771455)

There's a reason for that, and it has to do with their economy.

FTFY.

In case you have yet to notice, our economy hasn't been doing so well lately, all the while the military/prison industrial complex (and those who benefit from it) have been moving ahead full-steam.

Echo chamber effect? (3, Insightful)

Nematode (197503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771325)

I wonder how much of this is related to the decline of the old media as the "gatekeepers" of information and analysis.

When you're able to get all the information and opinion you want, pre-filtered for your ideological comfort, the echo chamber seems to foster a real information tribalism. Confirmation bias ends up adding to the idea that institutions are being run by the "others" -- whose motives are necessarily corrupt/selfish/based on ignorance. Just go to any political blog/aggregator and read the comments after a particularly big SCOTUS decision - those lousy conservative/liberal justices just serving their big business/labor masters, and we need an ideological clean sweep in the next election to ensure better outcomes next time around etc etc.

All politicians bad...except for my guy of course (5, Insightful)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771339)

When people say "I don't trust government" or "I don't trust religious institutions" what you usually find when you dig a little deeper is that what they REALLY mean is "I don't trust government from the other party or other states--but MY party/guy is great" and "I don't trust other religions/denominations/parishes by MINE is fine."

In other words, people express displeasure , but it's always for different reasons and against those they already opposed anyway--so no coherent third party ever forms and nothing ever changes.

Uncertainty leads to more...Uncertainty (2)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771341)

Could this not be a general consequence of a collective malaise permeating across all the developed world right now? Here we are the beginning of the 21st century, just starting out the second millennium (depending upon which calendar you follow)...nonetheless, we have crossed a psychological barrier in our human, or civilization's development. We expect more. Here we have the internet, instantaneous communication, global village blah blah blah... yet we also have signs of stagnation, threats of ecological apocalypse, rise of extremist views (not only religious mind you) but also a growing divide between the have's and the have nots'. Is this just a basic power struggle over increasingly limited resource? A temporary phenomenon brought on by protracted economic downturn? We may yet triumph through this great adversity. Crisis is the mother of invention after all. Solutions are all around us, but we need to maintain a cohesive vision for that entails.

So are we permanently losing a 'confidence' that we once had? Arguably no. There is a schism in the world however. It's one that has existed for as long as civilization. The thirst for power, political power, personal power, economic power...and ideology and religion. Ah, the boogeyman finally appears. No matter where you look, the world is now more secular that it has been in two thousand years, and it only grows more so. Traditional gatekeepers in society are becoming less relevant, while new technology is creating new forms of control. All of this creates a climate of fear, which leads to uncertainty and pessimism.

Can technology save us from ourselves? This is the question for the ages, a question that will be answered in our lifetime; consider the pace the world is moving in. Climate change, overpopulation, increase incidences of natural disasters, and even protracted economic chaos. Most of us will live in a world of more than eight billion people. The salvation for everyone lies in our collective ability to innovate, invent, new solutions to the same old problems. Life was not that much different two thousand years ago, it was just a whole lot more boring.

Re:Uncertainty leads to more...Uncertainty (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771517)

No.

Draw the Nation Together? (2)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771349)

"... But history reminds us that America's leaders can draw the nation together to solve problems. ..."

I would argue that is the source of the problems. Why can't we just admit that you can't bring 300+ million people together on how to spend 30% of the resources. Maybe cut that down to 10% and let the other 20% go back to smaller governing bodies. We need to "draw the nation together" to agree to separate a little bit.

Revolution (1)

poormanjoe (889634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771353)

Currently the only real political movement in America is Ron Paul's Revolution. Regardless of what you think of him, whether he will win or not, what media says, the simple fact is that it is the Revolution is the only real political movement in America.

Social contracts are for the plebes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771359)

Who is John Galt?

Ron Paul 2012!

News for Nerds? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771375)

I don't give a shit about us politics or us culture. This isn't in any way tech news.

wtf is this doing on here?

Re:News for Nerds? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771531)

I don't give a shit about us politics or us culture. This isn't in any way tech news.

I don't give a shit about your not giving a shit; "tech news" isn't the only news nerds care about. Don't like it, don't read it.

wtf is this doing on here?

I could ask the same of your post.

Yes, major events can pull the nation together (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771417)

It is called "Problem Reaction Solution", and it has been used over and over again to prevent the nation from being disenfranchised.

Country != Government (5, Insightful)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771425)

Our system of government is broken and dysfunctional. It's in need of reform. Left or right, nobody thinks this is working as designed.

Government is not the same as country. The american people are still mostly decent people trying to get around with bloated fat bureaucrats mucking up the works.

Our biggest problem is people in charge trying to brainwash us into believing only one political party has all good ideas. There's a word for that kind on blind faith. It's called religion.

Jew World Order (0, Flamebait)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771567)

It is all in the plan. The Talmud said the Jews should provoke arguments between gentiles thourgh deceitful means. Let them kill each other, and the Jews will be the only one to survive.

Jewish money ( backed by the Rothschild ) controlled both parties, via the media/socialism on the left, via the religion/zionism/israel on the right. Their lawyers and lawmakers have transformed America to be a highly litigious environment, where politically incorrect opinions will land you in hot water.

Is it about time to say NO? Is it about time to start thinking "out of the box" solutions? The truth are ALWAYS politically incorrect, and the solution to the problem we are facing are politically incorrect.

Think about a peaceful world without Jews and Niggers. Think about it.

Re:Country != Government (1)

tist (1086039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771671)

Recognize this?
"...whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness"

The Greatest Generation (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771429)

Tom Brokaw wrote about "The Greatest Generation". They were good for good's sake. Their only flaw was that they were too trusting of the succeeding generation's ethics.

The Founding Fathers of the United States saw all of this. People were just as selfish, greedy, and evil then as now. The US Constitution was the most brilliant governmental framework of all of human history. The Fathers did their best to build in self-protection for that framework, but over the years various branches of the US government have openly subverted the Constitution. The government has been giving itself more and more power over the people, rather than being a function of the people.

The problem is: We the People have been too passive. Simply voting in a new batch of the same people is not going to fix the problem. Now that money controls media and exposure (and advertising) politicians are corrupt by definition. IE: to get into politics, you MUST be evil to work the system. No truly good person would ever be able to navigate the complex mess of campaigning and winning. You have to tell lies to get elected even if you have enough money to buy enough advertising.

My hope is in the Internet's ability to allow We the People to collaborate and take control back.

My first suggestion is that we need "The People's Lobby". The People's Lobby will be a non-profit organization that will both lobby Congress AND sue and sue and sue them to do their sworn jobs and represent the PEOPLE, not corporations who can't even vote. A dollar a year per person in the US would be enough to make it happen.

Story? (0)

DSS11Q13 (1853164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771433)

Is there a story under all this fear mongering somewhere?

This is a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771439)

Perhaps instead of blindly trusting in God, Government, the Liberal media, Google, Apple, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Fox News, Obama, or inherent market efficiencies, people will start to think for themselves.

Yeah, well, everyone needs a good laugh on Monday.

Either... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771451)

our government and our leaders are intentionally doing ill-will, or they are cowards for doing what is easy instead of what is right. It's not an excuse. We as a people need to stand up for what is right.

Maybe we're all not in a position of power to do something 'immediately', but for those of us who are, they should do something. For those of us who aren't, we shouldn't give up simply because it seems hopeless. We can still maintain that a utopian society is still possible.

We've had so much technological progress. We should be better off than in the past. If the economy fails, so what? Does that mean society has failed? Can someone really tell me what the word "economy" means anyways? Because if everything somehow failed, I'd still have hope that somehow humanity would work things out, even if it means moving to another way of doing things. We have more than we had many generations ago, so why would we be hindered?

Such pessimism! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771485)

No, I'm not happy about the direction the country is taking. I'm not happy w/ my 410k as a prospect for retirement, I'm not happy w/ talks of cuts in national progrmas that so many depend on. I don't like that big business executives are rewarded for leading us into difficult time. And I don't trust ANY politician. We've lost our leaderships and instead have only the crumbs offered by corporate america. However, I do still beleive in the decency of most americans and I think we just need the right person to motivate us and give us some clear goals and to lead us in reaching those goals. Not just subsidising big business and letting them skim the cream off the top. I want someone I can respect as a man/woman, husband/father, friend, mentor and human being in office.

Trolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771497)

What happened to news for nerds? Since the departure of cmdr taco, I've seen more and more political-troll "news" stories come through here.

Did we EVER have trust? (4, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771513)

I don't recall any moment in history when Americans trusted institutions like the banks or the governments. Which is why they killed-off the central bank in the early 1800s (sadly it came back in 1913), and wrote constitutions to limit government power. Americans fundamentally don't trust giving power to strangers.

Scared Politicians (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771521)

I'm a US citizen and have voted in every major election since 1984.
I come from a US military family. Dad was a pilot in the USAF.
I'm a law-in-order guy.

I really disliked the made up invasion of Iraq, but I didn't speak out at the time. For that, I am sorry. Invading Afghanistan did make sense, but now we need to leave to let them deal with their own issues. They want our help (money), but aren't interested in our education bias and beliefs that women/girls are just as equal as men/boys. That is a long held culture/religious belief. We aren't going to change it in 10 years. Good enough - we need to take our money and leave. Until the citizens of Afghanistan choose to change, we can't help or get our wish list.

I really dislike the government watching everything in the name of preventing terrorists acts. Monitoring telephone, Internet traffic for everyone without a court order is bad. Any organization doing it needs to be held accountable to the fullest extent of law. FBI, NSA, telecommunications companies and even google, twitter, facebook, etc. - there are thousands of other companies doing this.

I really dislike having the freedom to travel impacted by organizations who are trying to prevent every possible failure from happening. It is a lost cause and the impact to our society is 100x worse than a few downed planes. The terrorists have already won since we sheep have given up so much of our freedoms. I say that everyone should be allowed to carry a 12inch knife blade on an aircraft if they like. I bet we are more polite.

President Bush started this out of fear. A scared country like the USA is bad for the entire world. We need to be open and honest, not secretive. Our welcome to all visitors was our main strength.

President Obama has been scared into retaining AND expanding the monitoring, watching, surveillance, and he's left his promises behind. It is sad. Our elected officials don't stand for freedom anymore.

Being afraid of what might happen is foolish. Our minds can come up with millions of terrible scenarios. That is not a waste of time for a small group of experts, but the rest of the country needs to not be impacted.

Don't get me started about religious beliefs that are harmful to entire segments of our population. Religion has no place in US politics. That goes for abortion, science books and gay marriages. Whether religion makes sense in other countries like Iraq or Afghanistan is not my concern.

In the next Presidential election, there isn't any candidate who I can vote for with a clear conscience. This is sad.

I will vote for the least scared politician.

Scary (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771523)

23% still have confidence in banks?

Re:Scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771621)

That's simply not true, or lets say there are different degrees of distrust. In my country, Argentina, there is REAL distrust in banks and people simply don't have the money in banks, they take it out each month (what is left anyway) to buy dollars and keep them on a security box, safe, or whatever. People buy apartments/houses in cash, etc...

So, does this mean (3, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771539)

It's time to refresh the tree of liberty?

Dripping with Bias (-1)

plastick (1607981) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771541)

This is a biased anti-religion article. Typical.

Theological point of view (-1, Flamebait)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771555)

Doubt this will survive at my default +2 for very long...

The Christian point of view is that the breakdown of the family has led to the breakdown of society, and the mistrust, cynicism, and cheating that we see. The Catholic view, in particular, is that the breakdown of the family has come from no-fault divorce and especially contraception. As even a secular business journal has admitted [businessinsider.com] , Pope Paul VI's 1968 predictions in Humanae Vitae were spot on, regarding contraception leading to immorality.

By separating procreation and pleasure in sex, the pill has enabled "free love", which at minimum leads to emotional hurt, which leads to cynicism, mistrust, and the propensity to hurt others.

Not all of them (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771557)

51% still trust Fox News with their lives, and the other 49% would die for the Huffington Post.

What we are seeing ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771609)

... is a competition for the 'market share' of people's allegiance to social institutions. All of the so-called leaders want to win the hearts and minds of the general public so as to leverage their self importance. The reality of this situation is that people can only join so many organizations.

People are poorly informed fools (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771615)

People are always dissatisifed with how things are going lately, because they haven't got a clue how things are going or what to do about it. It's just how they feel at the moment that determines things... and there's always something new to be outraged about.

The truth is that we've got an uninformed and unengaged electorate who picks a bunch of people to run things, then immediately starts complaining about them. And whose fault is it if you don't like the politicians? It's the voters. Nobody wants to tell the people that they're the ones to blame for all of the stuff they bitch and moan about (as people would rather hear pandering lies about Washington insiders and evil big business), but they are.

You replace the current crop of voters with a group that actually bothers to get informed and refuses to tow the party line, and you'll see things change real fast. Without that, there's no particular reason for anything to change. After all, politicians want votes. If you vote for it, you're encouraging more of it.

reds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771631)

Here come the socialist anti-capiatist idiots in 5-4-3-2...

End Relgions (0)

MikeDataLink (536925) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771637)

The best thing we can do is to eliminate religions. All of them. Religions have been responsible for stoping progress, scientific discoveries, medical improvements, etc., while at the same time being responsible for the deaths of millions.

"Science flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings."

Sharing with others is a liability... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771655)

I mostly agree with this phenomenon myself. Anyone with an advanced IQ already feels oppressed. The problem with intelligence is that it's rare. Thus the majority tends to oppress the intelligent minority. It's turning to the point where these people no longer need to be as friendly because of technology. They never *wanted* to be friendly, but they had to in the past.

Lets see here.... If I have a 200+ IQ in this country. I get to look forward to life of misery. Everything I can naturally do with exceptional performance, is limited because someone else thinks it's not "fair" or it's too "dangerous".

I can safely drive at much higher speeds with better reaction time and coordination. But you ban me from doing so.
I can write an entire software project by myself... But you convinced everyone that I need project managers, security and controls, business analysts, etc so you give me only user-level privileges.
I can exist in a world without stealing, plagiarism, adultery, etc. But you impose these restrictive rules on *me* so that other people who should be shot, can instead function in society with me.
Even though I have self taught myself more about dentistry and medical care than most 2nd year med students, you force me to pay big $$$ to have someone else prescribe what I should be allowed to consume. Even though I know how to prescribe my own basic medication.
I cannot buy a decent and cheap performance vehicle because everyone else decided that a poor handling vehicle with no power and fading brakes was the best choice.
I cannot responsibly consume any substance that gives me euphoria even if I still make 7 figures and pay more than most of you make in taxes.

Smart people are already learning that society is a liability. Even though we provide all their technology, healthcare, and education, we must be restricted from enjoying our lives because a bunch of people dumber than us think they need a "fair" playing field. Of course "fair" is me giving up all my natural strengths, in exchange for watching you waste the life my restriction brings you. You slowed me down for nothing and that's why I don't want to share my findings with you anymore.

Government has become too large to grasp (2)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771657)

Our government is so large that it becomes frustrating to the common person to sort it out. Throw in a political class which is adept at maneuvering the public so that this political class avoids being the focus of attention.

As in, the news is replete with stories about how I should be concerned about how much other people have and how they spend it. Yet I am not supposed to think the same of those in government. Where there the press should be bullying the politicians on how they spend OUR money instead they join right in and do endless stories about how other people spend THEIR own money.

A government which takes every care away from you in life so you don't have to think fully expects you not to. Unfortunately far too many people buy into that.

It's not who we trust (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771659)

The problem is not in whom we trust. The problem is the "United", "one nation", "indivisible" part. Centralization breeds corruption. We didn't used to be so centralized. If we didn't like some law, we used-to-could move. But that didn't happen so often anyway because there used to be competition.

Why quote FDR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39771703)

Quoting him is not exactly smart. Many would argue that FDR was a horrible president. His "reforms" resulted in a fundamental change of relationship between Americans and their government and it could easily be argued that he was one of the key figures who started this decline in the first place.

Belief in (g)od not God. (1)

jameskojiro (705701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771705)

I think the problem is not enough people beliving in (g)od as a concept vs. Beliving in "God" as an "Proper Noun".

(g)od as a concept is the belief that there is something "better than humanity" or "something just beyond our reach that we should strive for".

Instead we have too many people on one side beliving in God as a Proper Noun and expect "him" to take care of them, and the other side wanting to place government in the role of a "Proper Noun God" that takes care of their every whim.

Instead of looking to take care of ourselves, we expect some sort of "God" to take care of us be it Jesus or the State. This causes stagnation and loss of self determination which leads people to vote for the tyrants who will "take care of them". Those same tyrants will "take care of them" but not inthe way they masses that put them in power hoped for.

We have lost our way as a society and look for the "easy way out" which is to be expected as laziness has served us humans well through evolution pressure. However, as long as we are not too lazy to take care of ourselves it will eventually work itself out, but not after copious amounts of blood are shed as the wheel of history repeats itself.

Getting back to the basics (1)

joellandoe (2482790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39771717)

We go through periods of economic expansion and contraction, which cycles tend to be dynamically unstable (remember popping realestate bubbles, debt bubbles etc). If society can't create sufficient active dampnening mechanism to reduce the magnitude of economic ups and downs, then people WILL find their own way to dampen the affects on them and their smaller community of family and friends using more passive means like: sharing the cost of shelter, going on a diet, etc.
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