Friday, October 21, 2005

think tank

I had this thought the other day, and I'm gonna share it with you now.

According to George Lakoff, there are far more Conservative Think Tanks than there are Liberal ones (I didnt confirm this). Whether this is a money issue, or an organization issue, he didnt say, and frankly, it's irrelevant to my thought. Which is this:

Why dont bloggers start forming Think Tanks.

After all, what is really necessary for a Think Tank. Money? Suits? Donuts? Unused Corporate boardrooms and a spare secretary or two? A cynical desire to destroy freedom-loving American workers for personal profit and power?
All you need are some people, some ideas, and a willingness to discuss those ideas, add new ones, or throw away untenable ones. And then, a press release or two. That's it.

It might be helpful if one of the think tank members was a Name, someone who might make those press releases more exciting to media outlets. It's not necessary though.

Imagine this: A group of bloggers set up a blog site, call it, oh, I dont know, "Bloggers For A Progressive America". Members post an idea, then other members comment on it (or even non-members). Eventually someone takes the original post and, with its comments, works it up into a position paper-like thing, and re-posts it. More commentary, more reworking, more reposting. Eventually, concensus is reached, a final draft for release is worked up, and the Media is informed (bloggers as well as traditional media). Maybe copies are sent to the Democratic Party, or other Liberal think tanks. Go ahead, blogwhore your thinktank, dont be shy.
At first, no one will notice, even with a Name blogger (unless maybe it's a really big name), but if you persist (and your ideas and/or presentation dont suck), recognition and discussion and, dare we say, Implementation of your Ideas may actually occur. Most bloggers started out as lonely voices in the crowd and some (in theory, the best) have risen to the top. Why should blogger-based think tanks be any better? David Brin theorizes a coming "Age of Amateurs" in which amateur groups take over the function of many of the things currently controlled by Professionals now (possibly due to budget cuts?). Why not Think Tanks also? And even if nothing ever happens as far as widespread recognition of your ideas, so what. Will that make any thoughts or insights your thinktank may come up with less valuable?
Start enough amateur think tanks, and something good and useful ought to come out of it, if only to get people more involved in issues and politics, and acting on that involvement, moving beyond mere talking. Talking is important, and everyone can do it, but eventually some of those talkers need to move up to something more.

Here's quote from coturnix, which, while it wasnt addressing my Idea, dovetails with it nicely:
While old Big Blogs are themselves centers of the Universe from which all opinion radiates, small blogs have a different strategy. Large blogrolls, lots of blogwhoring, commenting on each others blogs, linking to each others posts - those are all strategies to gain one's visibility, with a consequence of new knots forming. These new knots are much larger than knots of Big blogs. Several dozens of blogs in each knot keep linking to each other all the time, and the knots get bigger and bigger, connecting to each other, forming a really extensive web which only tangentially includes the Big Old Ones.
Anyway, that's my idea. I cant do it alone, but I can come up with it and hope that it makes it's way out there by osmosis. Probably it already exists, in some form I've never heard of. Or maybe I've seen it and just never recognised it. The important thing is to come up with a way to combat the Conservative think tanks, to fight their fire with a fire extinguisher (better metaphore, really, considering the destructive nature of what seems to be coming from Conservatives these days).
So I've thrown my thoughts out into the void, and now I'll watch, and wait for an echo.

1 comment:

rev. billy bob gisher ©2005 said...

ah, guess i wish I done thought a that.shucks, nice job there, run with it sport