Saturday, 24 March 2018

The Public

The word "public" is often ill defined.  There are many publics.  Who are your publics?


How do you think about the public sphere and publishing and broadcasting and journalism and entertainment and policy debates?

What is the place of public interest journalism in an enlightened democracy?

How is an enlightened democracy undermined by social media?

How is an enlightened democracy improved by social media?

What is an enlightened democracy?

Who are the public in an enlightened democracy?

Who are the public in other types of socio-political systems?

Have you ever made a sentiment analysis of your publics?

Has anyone ever made a sentiment analysis of you, with or without your permission?

How inclusive is your public?

Does your public include future generations?

Does it include vegetarians and meat eaters?

Does your public have a particular sense of humour?

Public interest broadcasting has a very important role to play when its main focus is factual reportage.  That sort of reportage is likely to contribute to the improvement of economic and social policies, for example.

What is your knowledge of public interest broadcasting?

Have you ever broadcast anything in the public interest?

Even if your image(s) or voice(s) rarely, if ever, manifest themselves elsewhere through broadcasting, how do you prefer to enlighten the world?

Public interest print journalism is a quaint concept in the 21st century.  Yet many expressions of the public interest have historically been printed.

Have you ever been a publisher?

Have any words or images of your own ever been published?

What is publishing in the 21st century?

What is the best way to reach your public(s), and why?

Identifying "the best" of anything requires knowledge, time and imagination.  How do you conduct research into "the best'?

For example, what is the best news?

What is the best art?  What is the best science?  What are the best experiences in life?  What is best practice in any field of endeavour?

What is the purpose of social media if not to help people ascertain their most urgent priorities?

Your priority, at present, may be to take a virtual tour of this ethereal theatre in order to locate your imagination.  That is understandable.

You are free to choose whether to pursue the ephemerally interesting, if that is your preference.  But what are you doing here if seeking out the ephemeral is your main desire?

Is your public ephemeral?

How do you know when your social media activities are worthwhile?

How do you usually respond to social media changes?

How do you use soft skills through social media?

How do you usually demonstrate soft power through social media?

Do you usually consider your social media activities to be public or private?

How do you focus your attention?

What do you choose to focus on, and why?

What are your priorities, and why?

Do you consider your public to be a throng or an assortment of unique individuals?

How do you usually regard groups, collectives, crowds and audiences?

Your audience may be small but it may mainly consist of truly attentive persons. 

How do you usually assess your audience?

Do you consider audiences and publics as the same or different?

Do you have an attentive social media audience of some description?

How do you ascertain attentiveness?

Although there are differences in tastes, behaviours and opinions in all societies, some societies make it easier for people to express themselves comfortably whereas others do not.

How do your tastes, behaviours and opinions distinguish you from other people?

Does your public follow you in their tastes, behaviours and opinions, or do you follow them, or other people?

How do you prefer to supply enlightening briefings to your public(s), and for what purpose?

In many parts of the world, very few people have the freedom to supply truly enlightening briefings to anyone, except for very narrow, scientific purposes.   To have scientific freedom often requires money, several other resources and an attentive audience.

How do you express your cultural values?

Where did those values originate?

Is at least one of your publics interested in science?

Most people lead cluttered lives, emotionally if not physically.  They may have cluttered surroundings or cluttered finances or cluttered social lives or cluttered careers or difficult dilemmas to consider.

But much clutter is wasted when thrown away, thereby causing pollution.  The most necessary task for everyone, therefore, is to organise clutter so that it will be much more useful, today and well into the future.  This is obviously a research task.

How do you unclutter knowledge?

How do you unclutter your mind if not by organising your thoughts, your surroundings, your relationships, your finances and your long-term plans?

How do your publics help or hinder your uncluttering?

How wasteful are your publics?

Social media performances are often cluttered.  They may even be wasteful.

Does any sort of public ever applaud you?

Is any sort of public ever appalled by you?

Most people are either overly tidy or excessively untidy.  Both types of people are likely to lose their imaginations from time to time.  Where is yours at present?  Is your imagination held by a particular public for its own benefit?

Although being tidy and well-organised can seem like a good idea, it can turn people into robots if it becomes obsessive.  That is not a good idea.

Robots do not have humane imaginations.

Rigidly methodical people do not have humane imaginations.

There is no point in being methodical if a sense of purpose becomes inhumane or non-existent. 

Are your priorities humane?

Is your public humane?

How do you value the Earth through your economic, political and/or artistic actions and interactions?

How well aware are you of the risks associated with possibilities and inevitabilities?

It is probably impossible to insure yourself against certainties.

Are you aware of the values upheld by your ancestors, and why they upheld those values?

Do you consider your ancestors to be a public?

Do you ever make decisions based on your family history and cultural heritage?

How well planned and organised have your investigations into your various publics been?

Who has taken notice of your research, and why?

Who has ignored your research, and why?

The provision of public interest journalism requires humane imaginations.  It also requires considerable affection towards the best aspects of local communities and local environments.  

What are the main features of your local public?

What are the main features of your national and international publics?

If you seek to widen your public further, why is that?

Are you mainly seeking attention or do you have something worthwhile to offer the world?

The main problem with the way social media sites are managed is that the people running them know very little, if anything, about psychology.  This especially applies in relation not only to the developing minds and brains of young people but also to the significant concerns of highly educated, mature people who worry about inadequate privacy and inadequate data rights.

Those worries have obviously been based on good reasoning, and good evidence.

Protecting the public interest involves protecting good reasoning and good evidence from unwarranted interference.

How do you believe public interest journalism, anywhere in the world, could become suitably sustainable?

Has public interest journalism ever been both independent and sustainable?

It has usually been funded by activities not in the public interest.

How do you act in the interests of your various publics?

How do those publics act in your interests?

How can you prove you are working in the public interest yourself?

How can you prove you are sufficiently enlightened to do so?