Posted by: danielharan | June 8, 2007

Can you sign my petition?

There’s a lot of people with a thirst to change the world. Giving them tools they find credible is the only way you move them to action. Signing petitions just won’t cut it.

On top of the amazing depiction of what is taking place, there’s a simple message: raise a fuss, contact your politicians, make them know that you care and that you want them to do something. I am trying to convince myself to believe this could work, although i admit that i’m feeling very disillusioned with our political structure.

That’s a very common reaction for activists to hear. Many try to convince you that your letters and petitions will, in fact, make a difference. The net result is that most people take in the information, feel paralyzed, do nothing and end up even more depressed. Information alone won’t change the mind of a politician, let alone most people. That’s fairy-tale thinking.

danah boyd is incredibly smart, thoughtful, caring and informed. The quote is from her entry on The Devil Came on Horseback, a documentary about the genocide in Darfur. I honestly can’t fault her for being disillusioned with her political system, and I wouldn’t dare try to argue that point with her. If people like her can’t really use the message of the activists, rabble-rousers and documentary filmmakers, there’s a problem with the message.

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