I don't think it's about ethics, but rather what works and doesn't work. Our system of democracy makes certain assumptions about an informed public, the role of the press and so on. If those assumptions don't hold, then the system is being used differently than what it was designed for.
Our system of democracy is based on choice. That is, I have the franchise, but there is no compelling reason - like a law - for me to exercise it; and, if I do, to exercise it as I see fit. This is the element of design that over rides all other assumptions. So I can choose not to choose and this fact has been indicated in every single election held in Canada. Ethics is all about choice.
Or, people are happy enough with the system that they don't see the need to bore themselves with such matters and would rather pursue their own interests.
Is that another way of saying what you said ?
Pretty much, but I am not sure "happy" is the correct term. Perhaps satisfied that the choice they make is as effective as it will ever be and thus, for some of those that choose not to participate, a sense of acceptance of the status quo.
You don't see government as being more complex than it was 30 years ago ?
No, it is always relative.
I do. There's always more legislation and more complex and nuanced programs to address a particular problem. We now have maternity leave, subsidized day care, and the list goes on.
Sure we do, but we also have much better ways of accessing or addressing the government which reveals so much more than was possible before. There is more specificity, which can lead to the appearance of complexity, but appearances aren't always everything.
I'm currently rereading 'Understanding Media', and yes he does envision the extent of social media and participation. That is his whole thesis, as he takes a very wide view of how content are consumed by new media.
If I hand you a folded telegram, it is clearly a message from another. But what does it say?
He didn't make analogies between the arrival of print and of television, in fact he said that they had the opposite effects ("explosion" versus "implosion").
In 'The Gutenberg Galaxy' written two years before 'Understanding Media' McLuhan makes a clear and convincing comparative analogy between the periods in which the print and electronic ages arose. The effects of each had similar outcomes on the societies of their days and are worth noting. Like disturbances on the status quo.
This is actually what you and I are doing on this thread right now, alebeit at an utterly insignificant level. McLuhan predicted that these interactions would be externalized, and that our whims would be captured by corporate interests.
Then I shudder when the day comes when a corporation can immerse me in the goose-bump experience of a warm sunbeam coming through a window on a cold winter's day. It will be one hellva way to sell a Coke.
Voting itself may not survive this change. I dunno either. What is clear is that people will be used to having more and more input on things in general.
Don't we already though? Our individual ability to correspond with another, with governments and institutions, are already over-loading the latter's ability to respond according to their own rules. It is amazing to see how much the simple email has replaced such correspondence or the ability to create and message those others compared to 30 years ago. And not just for urbanites either, this phenomenon is extended to rural and remote areas. A prospector can communicate real time from the remotest places on earth.
"And now I will finalize my input by clicking the 'post' button."
Me too! Except I'll click the "Add Reply" button since my medium is more accurate than yours.