Thursday, 15 March 2018

If They Happen to be Australians

Since the invitation to this digital forum was sent out into the political world early on Sunday evening, the most important policy landscape for voters has become much clearer.

Advocates of an enlightened approach to democracy always have a clear agenda.  They are acting in the best interests of everyone and everything.

Sometimes, it may seem they are acting mainly for the benefit of Australians, at least if they happen to be Australians.

The advocates of enlightened democracy are conscious of many issues relating to mental health in South Australia, especially if they happen to be South Australians themselves.

As you may recall, my name is David Latnem.  I was here on Monday for the discussion on mainstream news and mental health

As the Executive Director of the Institute of Media Psychology and Mental Health at the Enlightened Nations Study Centre, I have long raised concerns that dominant policy agendas in Australia are mainly for the benefit of Australians, particularly wealthy Australians.  Unfortunately, those agendas are to the detriment of most other people.

The most enlightened approaches to mental health and societal wellbeing, not just in Australia but all around the world, begins with one simple question:

Why are you here?

Dangers to mental health often involve social issues.

How well do you get along with your family, your neighbours, your colleagues and everyone else?

What sorts of individuals do you consider to be your friends, and why?

One of the main purposes of this forum is to determine how best to use independent, confidential, digital means to convey a sensitive approach to tackling serious societal problems. 

All serious societal problems are a threat to mental health.  This applies both online and in the physical world.

Social media is often used for detrimental purposes.  Mental health and ethics are inextricably linked.

Anyone inciting violence should be treated as a criminal.  It is not worth communicating with such persons without proper training.  They have serious mental health issues and therefore need specialist attention.

Many aggressive falsehoods are purveyed online to incite violence.  Rational people are not violent.  They never provoke responses from irrational people.

Unreasonableness often arises when emotions arise.  Maintaining equanimity is always a good idea.

Unfortunately, the commercial media, and even public media, rarely displays equanimity, even when reporting the news.  Equanimity is considered boring by unreasonable persons.

Why, then, do so many media executives seek unreasonable audiences?

The reason, of course, is that advertising mostly appeals to unreasonableness. 

The executives of public broadcasters are pressured by politicians to match that unreasonableness.

After all, politicians usually rely on unreasonableness themselves when seeking to attract voters, or merely to maintain power and control, and fear.  This has been evident in the South Australian state election campaign.

Are you addressing frequently ignored problems, such as abuses of the mental health and intelligence of voters by viscously ambitious political candidates?

When politicians deliberately act to erode mental health, they often forget that they are also eroding public health.  Their spitefulness makes them forget that they, too, are members of the public.

Whether supervising large or small numbers of people, it is necessary to ensure no-one is acting suspiciously like a demagogue, a psychopath or even a petty thief. 

Digital technology is revolutionary in its social consequences, most of which are not yet known.  Executives of technology companies have a responsibility to monitor the negative social consequences arising from their profitability whilst simultaneously protecting the privacy necessary for positive social consequences. 

Social media has, in many ways, become the media.  It has also become the dominant means for distributing information and disinformation.  It is eroding human rights.  It is also assisting people to stand up for their rights.

Creativity is meant to help individuals and societies to find better ways to improve mental wellbeing. 

In a free and fair democracy, policies are meant to express fair and effective approaches to mental wellbeing.  They are meant to be solutions to a wide range of social, environmental and economic problems.  Solving those problems fairly improves mental wellbeing.  There is no doubt about that.

Understanding mental health, and overcoming barriers to its achievement, requires a landscape view, a portrait view and a reflective, still life approach. 

No single perspective is ever sufficient when looking at complicated situations.

Yet complicated policy responses are usually a sign either of incompetence, immorality or corruption.  At the Enlightened Nations, of which Australia is not yet a member, we work with member nations to assist with the simplification of all sorts of excessively complicated situations.  Clear analysis then becomes possible.

Why is Australian society seemingly unwilling to become more enlightened?

Are the answers mainly political?

Is unenlightened Australian thinking a consequence of the continuing unenlightened media dominance by a few large companies or is unenlightened thinking in Australia an indication that the widespread, unenlightened culture is now dominating social media, too?

At the Enlightened Nations Study Centre, our research interests mainly involve comparative assessments of dignity in and between societies, including dignity in health care.

For relatively enlightened Australians, that dignity obviously includes:

1. Maintaining advances in Australian and world democracy

2. Informing the South Australian public in the public interest

3. Accessing the Adelaidezone in the future

When dismissiveness, pushiness, intrusiveness, brashness and bullying are extensive, even amongst politicians, something is very wrong with society, even if it is, relatively speaking, a democracy.

Australia has very rude politicians.  Those politicians have very rude staffers. 

Australia has many very rude media personalities.

Rudeness is not the same as blunt honesty.  It is a form of sharp, emotional violence.

Everyone needs an effective anti-bullying strategy.

Everyone needs the skills with which to prevent bullying, harassment and other forms of violence, in safety.

Indeed, everyone needs the skills with which to hold governments to account to protect public safety and public health.

If you happen to be a South Australian, what is your historical knowledge of political Adelaide?

I am sure you have already been asked to show you are comparing policies properly before the state election.  Indeed, that is the sort of activity this forum is attempting to encourage in the minds of all South Australian voters, even when political parties are rudely unco-operative.

Rudeness is undignified.  I never co-operate with rude people.  They are unworthy of my time.  They will certainly never have my vote.

How have you been using your media literacy to improve mental health, and mental health services?

How have you been using your knowledge of media psychology to improve mental health, and mental health services?

How have you been using media psychology as part of your approach towards monitoring possible injustices?

Do you experience nostalgia when thinking about important announcements for Adelaide?

Do you experience nostalgia when thinking about Adelaide's economy as it was five years ago?

What are the mental health problems and/or benefits of nostalgia?

My digital performance here, earlier in the week, was mainly attended by season ticket holders.

Have you subscribed to one or more series of season tickets here?

Have you heard about those subscriptions through the mainstream media?

Have you heard about quality mental health policies through the mainstream media?

I hope you will be here tomorrow for the other presentations in this forum.  Unlike the mainstream media, the enlightened presenters here have no difficulty at all in knowing who and what are worthy of attention in the public sphere during election campaigns, and at other times.

It seems that most efforts of most political candidates during this state election are devoted towards making a name for themselves and their parties, rather than doing anything worthy for the public.  They are certainly not supporting quality policies for South Australia.

As the Enlightened Nations is based in the Adelaidezone, I am a voter in South Australia even though I am also a citizen of Nilkawt.  Are you a Nilkawtian, too?

If you are not a Nilkawtian, you will probably not yet be aware that that the people of Nilkawt have a reputation in the Enlightened Nations for acting right on cue, even when working undercover in other societies, and in the United Nations. 

Nilkawtians always act peacefully, even when flirting.  They respect the moral integrity of social and political boundaries.

You may be wondering if any South Australian politicians have been surreptitiously swapped by the Nilkawtians over the past few weeks. 

How do you usually tell the difference between a genuine South Australian politician and a fake one? 

How has the South Australian media been helping or hindering you to make that distinction?

What sorts of discussions have you been having on that matter on social media and/or on public transport?

The questions asked of political parties on Sunday were straightforward.  They were the sorts of questions any political candidate should have been able to answer quickly, without referring to notes or the faceless policy automatons in their HQs. 

If political candidates lack the ability to compare policies, then their political candidature, in a democracy, is fraudulent.  They lack competence and they lack respect for the public at large.

I am often involved in addressing the skewing of wealth and the darkness of hypocrites, especially if those hypocrites happen to be Australians.  I am also often involved in warning the public about the non-democratic influences within South Australian democracy.

What are your own policy proposals to improve mental health and wellbeing in South Australia, and how have you been attempting to have them implemented?