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August 4, 2008 [ More archived home pages here ]

The Process Of Democracy

The above image, Explosive Flame is also available as a Desktop Background

Today's song is I'll Be Doggone by Marvin Gaye, released in 1966.

I watched a C-Span video Saturday night about the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas Debates. It was very informative because I know very little about the actual situation of those years.

I followed as best I could the statistics and opinions presented in that video that showed how inconclusive those debates were on the actual election of representatives for the Illinois 1858 Legislature. In comparing how elections were managed then the election races of today look tame by comparison.

I was struck by the conclusions of the two concepts of Democracy as presented by Douglas and Lincoln:

  1. That Democracy is a process whereby the 51% or more majority decides what is best for everyone (Douglas).
  2. or

  3. That Democracy is the best means to insure the Bill of Rights is a set of Natural Laws that cannot be infringed upon in any degree by the majority. (Lincoln)

I thought a lot about those two perspectives. In the end I side with Lincoln's view.

In the modern era, we don't have Presidential Debates in the form of the 1858 Debates between Lincoln and Douglas. Just to be clear, those two men in 1858 weren't running for President in those debates. Still, we have moved over the years since to have debates that are really collections of sound-bites. Who's got the best "come-back" as one example.

Our candidates rarely debate in terms of the Bill of Rights. Maybe we as a nation moved to the process side of Democracy long ago and can't get out of that mode easily?

But I'll be doggone if Democracy isn't an explosive flame, an eternal flame -- after all.


I added the link on my YouTube page to the 1969 Perry Como song, Seattle. This website receives lots of visits from the Seattle, Washington region every day. It is a beautiful metropilitan area.


My Newbound, Inc. partner, Marc, sent me a link to pictures of the new Large Hadron Collider.


This article about the Congress is timely. Even though we will be electing a new President in November, all the House Representatives and many of the Senate offices up for election will be filled by the same people now holding those seats! You can't have much change with that realization.


Found on the web links for August 3, 2008 [ Link since removed ]


Here is today's Digital Insight.

Stalemate of a Thought (Created in August 2000)

The cognitive process we call thinking can be characterized in three forms. One, where almost no consideration at all is made for anything except what the present emotion urges us to do. Those situations are best reserved for "true" emergency circumstances, when time is of the essence.

The more common form is where a certain amount of time is spent on deliberations using more logic than emotion. In that form it is the goal to be "right" from the perspective of argument, should one arise.

The remaining consideration of thought is more rare and unusual, hard to define in concise terms. Its appearance is marked by deep thinking for prolonged periods of time as every legitimate input is regarded and either kept for future reference or discarded outright as preliminary conclusions are reached.

It is the ultimate conclusion that suffers delay in this form, near the end, yet an intense amount of hesitancy remains as the final few questions remain unsolved. It's as if a mind that is often the shining example of clarity is now surrounded in a fog of improbable outcomes as the answer lies just out of reach. Using my own words, I quote a portion from that page's narration:

"Sometimes a thought just can't be completed although all the inputs are there."


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