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Why Do This?
Reasons of Self
  • We are not truly ourselves online. Personality does not communicate itself in the same way through email or a discussion forum as it does through face-to-face, in-person discussion.

  • Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in online discussions where there is the choice between identifying one's identity or participating through the mask of anonymity. If one speaks openly, the fact that the entire dialogue will be frozen - with all of its imperfections - forever, can have an inhibiting effect. Anonymity, on the other hand, creates artificiality, which causes excess.

Reasons of Society
  • When people gather physically to discuss serious matters on which they disagree - even strongly - there is a humanizing effect. It comes from recognizing commonalities through a World's Greatest Mom coffee mug, or a missing limb and a Purple Heart, or a George Carlin t-shirt, or a John Deere hat with an NRA patch, or a labor union lapel pin, or a cross, or any of the thousand ties that join us, real person to real person.

  • It's not television that's the problem; it's the programming and the impact of its artificiality on actual life. It isn't the Internet; it's the World Wide Web, which offers easily accessible, attractive, and stimulating confirmation of any notion or bias one has and so both deceives and drains curiosity. It isn't the smart phone; it's using it to limit human contact to a select group and as a social barrier to in-person engagement.

  • Sensation-based reporting as a means of influencing public opinion works because the most viewed world wide web items get the most favorable placements in web searches rather than items with objectively better content. When the web browsing majority have clicked an item open, its ranking in search engines, like Google and Yahoo, goes up. As it appears in more and more search results as a frequently visited website, it grows in credibility and influence over the more useful material. In such a way are we manipulated: by encouraging us to manipulate ourselves.

Reasons of Culture
  • Most Americans remain center-left/center-right socially, culturally, and politically with moderates outnumbering extremists in both major parties. Meanwhile, we work among people with whom we disagree day after day without conflict. Neighbors get along fine no matter their social or political beliefs. Family is still family and dissenters are still tolerated at Sunday dinner.

  • And yet, the electronic portrayal of our situation is grim and apocalyptic. The money-making Internet players reward extremism and obfuscate or ignore content lacking the click triggers that enrich them or get them votes. Television coverage of people getting together over potluck to work through their differences puts less money in the bank than closeups of a couple dozen rioters with soundbites and camera-ready signs.

Reasons of State
  • Not a democracy but a federal republic, the United States of America nevertheless uses the democratic process to elect citizen-representatives and officials to public office, where they become free agents. After voting, the citizen has no control over the elected official, and no influence other than protest or persuasion.

  • Stick's contribution to the political process would be to serve as a public, non-partisan, idea-centric democratic process for civic dialogue that would display the informed will of the people around specific concerns and ideas for the benefit of both public officials and candidates for public office.

Reasons of Economy
  • A successful economy working through a meritocracy-driven free market system must value and reward proven ideas over ideologies or personalities.

  • Particularly in public finance, the mission of applying the best ideas to public concerns at the best costs, should not be compromised by ideological or political influence.