Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Smart Questions

There is a website and an organization called ‘dropping knowledge' (the lack of caps is their idea) on the Internet ( ) which is a global initiative that seeks to turn people's apathy into activity. I think bloggers are into that idea.

Everyone is invited to post questions on the organization's website that will be answered (or discussed) by a hundred people around a table of free voices in Berlin on September 9th . It's a pleasant change from inviting people to send letters to newspapers and other publications, in which they express little more than their own lack of knowing what constitutes an answer, or even an argument.

Bloggers might take note of this revolutionary proposal, but then – we are all so knowledgeable we have little need to ask questions of anyone. But I was tempted, and by delving deeply into the fringe areas of my own vast experience, I was able to drag out a piece of opinion that I could loosely re-frame into the form of a question. I await its appearance on the website with great anticipation and will no doubt check daily (nay, hourly) for votes of approval from other surfers who find it relevant and likely to change the world.

Because changing the world appears to be the hope of the organizers and questioners. A noble cause if ever there was one – the ashtrays are full on the one we have. A brief surf through questions already posted revealed a whole range of offerings – from "What is the meaning of life?" to "Why do I always pick such poor boyfriends?" Who knows? Perhaps the answer to that question will lead to vastly improved mating practices among human populations and eliminate some of the losers we see wandering about, slack jawed, with their fathers' shorts on, and their caps on backwards.

They do have interesting and provocative material linked to the website. Take a look. A reduction in the apathy among our revered citizenry can't do any harm – except perhaps to dictatorial corporations, governments, and other elites. We would do well to practice our knitting while waiting for the tumbrils to roll again. We haven't had a really bang-up, world shaking, first class revolution for almost a hundred years. The last one was against the entrenched power of a financial and political elite and lord knows we have enough of those.

If you're tired of being lied to by your ‘betters' it might be time to get off your fat, overfed butt, turn off the trash on TV, and look into sending a question of your own. You might just change the world.


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