State of Alabama secondary Archives: on Technology

Al Gore: TV converts well-informed citizenry to well-amused audience

Our Founders’ faith in the viability of representative democracy rested on their trust in the wisdom of a well-informed citizenry, their ingenious design for checks & balances, and their belief that the rule of reason is the natural sovereign of a free people. The Founders made a special point--in the 1st Amendment--of protecting the freedom of the printing press. And yet today, almost 45 years have passed since the majority of Americans received their news & information from the printed word. Newspapers are hemorrhaging readers. Reading itself is in decline. The Republic of Letters has been invaded and occupied by the empire of television.

In the world of TV, the massive flows of information are largely in only one direction, which makes it virtually impossible for individuals to take part in what passes for a national conversation. Individuals receive, but they cannot send. They hear, but they do not speak. The “well-informed citizenry” is in danger of becoming the “well-amused audience.”

Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore May 16, 2007

Al Gore: Defend Internet freedom as ferociously as freedom of press

The Internet has the potential to revitalize the role played by the people in our constitutional framework. It is the most interactive medium in history. But the Internet must be developed and protected, in the same way we develop and protect markets-- through the establishment of fair rules of engagement and the exercise of the rule of law. The same ferocity that our Founders devoted to protect the freedom and independence of the press is now appropriate for our defense of the freedom of the Internet. The stakes are the same: the survival of our Republic. We must ensure that the Internet remains open and accessible to all citizens without any limitation on the ability of individuals to choose the content they wish regardless of the Internet service provider they use to connect to the Web. We cannot take this future for granted. We must be prepared to fight for it, because of the threat of corporate consolidation and control over the Internet marketplace of ideas.
Source: The Assault on Reason, by Al Gore May 16, 2007

Al Gore: Tech makes us a force of nature; obligation to use wisely

Mistakes in our dealings with Mother Nature can now have much larger, unintended consequences, because many of our new technologies confer upon us new power without automatically giving us new wisdom. Some of our new technologies overwhelm the human scale.

Our new technologies, combined with our numbers, have made us, collectively, a force of nature. And those with the most technology have the greatest moral obligation to use it wisely. And this too, is a political issue. Policy matters. The US is responsible for more greenhouse gas pollution than South America, Africa, the Middle East, Australia, Japan, and Asia--all put together.

Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p.247-251 May 26, 2006

Al Gore: Internet restores press integrity lost by 1-way TV dominance

Part of the problem with climate change has to do with a long-term structural change in the way America’s marketplace of ideas now operates. The one-way nature of our dominant communications medium, television, has combined with the increasing concentration of ownership--the vast majority of media outlets are owned by a smaller and smaller number of large conglomerates that mix entertainment values with journalism--to seriously damage the role of objectivity in America’s public forum. The propaganda techniques that emerged with the new mass media of the 20th century prefigured the widespread use of related techniques for mass advertising & for political persuasion. Today there are fewer independent journalists with the freedom & stature to blow the whistle when important facts are consistently being distorted in order to deceive the public. The Internet offers the most hopeful opportunity to restore integrity to the public dialogue, but TV is still dominant in shaping that dialogue.
Source: An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore, p.286-7 May 26, 2006

Al Franken: Mainstream media reports accusations as if they were news

[One Boston Globe reporter] was mad because of the way the media had responded to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth: "We've put a million stories in our wastebaskets over the years, because they don't check out. Today, we publish, or we broadcast, the mere FACT of the accusation, regardless of whether it's filled with helium. THAT'S what changed in our business. We served as transmission belts for this stuff without ever inquiring into its accuracy."

It was August 26. The book "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" had topped the best-seller list for 3 weeks. For weeks, political news coverage had been dominated by "the mere fact of the accusation." The mainstream media had finally begun doing what they should never have had to do--debunk the scurrilous charges that Kerry had not earned his military decorations in Vietnam. They never should have HAD to debunk these charges because the charges should never have been given any play in the first place.

Source: The Truth (with jokes), by Al Franken, p. 69-71 Oct 25, 2005

Al Gore: Assisted heavily with invention of Internet in 1989

In 1989, Gore introduced the National High-Performance Computer Technology Act, a five-year, $1.7 billion program to expand the capacity of the information highway to connect government, industry, and academic institutions. Signed by President Bush in 1991, the bill supported research and development for an improved national computer system, and assisted colleges and libraries in connecting to the new network. While Gore is not, as he suggested in 1999, the father of the Internet, he can credibly claim credit as the wealthy uncle who stepped up to provide funds at an important moment. In 1989, when few public officials grasped the profound changes that new information technology would bring, Gore saw them plainly. “I genuinely believe that the creation of this nationwide network will create an environment where work stations are common in homes and even small businesses,” he told a House committee in the spring of 1989.
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.217 Mar 3, 2000

Al Gore: Supported V-Chip; pushed TV execs for rating system

Gore made the entertainment industry one of his principal election-year targets in the values offensive. The new telecommunications bill he championed included a provision Hollywood had fought for years, the so-called V-chip to help parents electronically deflect shows and movies they didn’t want their kids to see. The law mandated the V-chip in most new sets and gave the industry one year to devise a “voluntary” ratings system to determine which programs would be blocked.
Source: Inventing Al Gore, p.305-6 Mar 3, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Alabama Politicians: secondary Archives.
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2016 Presidential contenders on Technology:
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Andrew Cuomo(NY)
Mayor Rahm Emanuel(IL)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)

Amb.John Bolton(MD)
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Jon Huntsman(UT)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Rep.Peter King(NY)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Secy.Condi Rice(CA)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Rep.Paul Ryan(WI)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
2016 Third Party Candidates:
Mayor Michael Bloomberg(I-NYC)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Jesse Ventura(I-MN)
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Page last updated: Mar 28, 2014