Jarvis on the Opinionless Man: an Institutional Myth?
Howard Greenstein chats with Jeff Jarvis in a video taken at the Personal Democracy Forum (PDF) below. As Howard notes on the Supernova Hub blog (Jeff will also speak at the Supernova Forum in Philly at the end of the month), when they talked about the Supernova theme of Peristroika, Jarvis noted “The Internet changes the structures we see, and as Susan Crawford said at the PDF hack around things. But there still is a power structure that can have an impact on us.”
Jeff, who is working on a book about “Publicness” recently published a post on his own blog called: “Myth of the Opinionless Man,” where he challenges closed and non-transparent government.
Jeff explains what he means at a high level before he further outlines what he hopes to achieve in Publicness and how this connects to the cases of ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal and ousted Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel.
Writes Jeff: “No, the opinionless man is an institutional myth, a fiction maintained by news organizations, political organizations, governments, businesses, churches, and armies. The opinionless man is meant to be an empty vessel to do the bidding of these hierarchies. But opinions and openness about them subvert hierarchies. Or to translate that to modern times, via the Cluetrain Manifesto, links subvert hierarchies. This is the age of links. So hierarchies: beware. One opinion leaks out of the opinionless man and it is shared and linked and spread instantly. The institutions treat this revelation as a shock and scandal — as a threat — and they eject the opinionated men.” More on his blog and in the video below.
Thanks Howard and Jeff for the share.