Friday, September 30, 2005

Ignorance is a form of self-harm

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
- Aldous Huxley, novelist (1894-1963)

Governments routinely ignore facts which may affect legislation that could impact our lives for two reasons. One is that they have not been fully apprised of the facts and their implications. The second is because they are influenced by lobbyists for major business interests.

The first reason results from the situation where we do not have channels set up to funnel information from those who do studies to those who make decisions. Studies by university academics, for example, often fail to reach decision makers in government because the professors have no motivation to go to the effort required to make their new inforamtion available to the public. The except to this is when a study has been sponsored by a major pharmaceutical company or industry with lobby interests.

The second reason exists because, to a great extent, industrialists control the legislation and policies adopted by governments. This is the case because ordinary voters have little interest in learning about wht their governments do. To some extent, voters know little because the information that they need to know is not available to them through the media.

A Turning It Around program would eliminate the second reason for government ignorance by teaching children to be aware of what information is available and encouraging them to participate in the activities of their governments.

A TIA program could also alleviate the first reason for government ignorance by giving new information new channels to reach the public, thus to government representatives.

No one benefits from ignorance, but many may be harmed.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to teach children to become participating adults instead of ignorant spectators and complainers.
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