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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  September 1993, Week 3

COMMUNET September 1993, Week 3

Subject:

Re: Roles of Community Networks in X ?

From:

Nancy Willard ESD <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Communet: Community and Civic Network Discussion List

Date:

Tue, 21 Sep 1993 09:04:00 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (80 lines)

The question is how a community network could respond to an issue such as
health care.  I will givbe you some ideas on how we at Lane Online
envision contributing to such an issue:
 
1.  Health Care Information Services.  Where we will wrok with our area
health care providers (including alternative health care providers) to
provide information to the public that they can use to make their own
personal health care decisions.
 
2.  Health Care Issues Information.  Where we will provide information
from the government and others who are trying to address this issue on
both a local, state, and national issue.  We would also encourage any
public interest organization that is working in this area to present
their materials or to organize and synthesize the materials presented vy
others.
 
3.  Forums and Debates.  We are going to operate a program wqhere we will
ask people who are taking some knid of a leadership role with a
particular issue to "appear" online to present/debate the issue.  Forum
would be one presenter; debate would be more than one.  These Forums and
Debates will be moderated by a panel of community members.  Users will be
able to submit proposed questions/issues to be raised.  The nice thing
about this process will be that when a "leader" says something, the panel
will be able to take the time to go and research the answer before
forming the next question, but, using conferencing software, it will
appear as one seemless conversation.  This will defeat the "30 second
sound-bite answer with no follow-up questions" which seems to be the
standard for dialogue.
 
4.  Community Dialogues.  The Community Dialogues will be the place where
every person will be able to make their voices heard.  The dialogues will
also use conferencing software.  We plan to have Dialogue Hosts who will
monitor the conference and try to keep things on an even keel.  We have
looked at the example in Santa Monica where the flaming on community
conferences got out of hand and made them an unfreindly place for many.
We will not preview postings.
 
5.  Input forms.  We are planning to use Gopher and there is a way to
provide for input forms that a user can fill out from within Gopher that
will be delivered to a predefined mail box.  This could be used to
provide a way for people to express their views.
 
6.  Self-support Circles.  We will also establish private conferences for
people who are dealing with medical issues, such as a self-support circle
for
 
family of Altzimer's patients, or for those diagnosed with breast cancer,
etc.
 
 
I think that it is important to look at the issue of electronic
plebesites ver carefully.  In my opinion community networks should focus
on how to enhance our representative form of Government not supplant it
with some form of electronic direct democracy.  You might want to read a
copy of #10 Federalist Paper on ths issue of direct democracy.  There is
great danger with this technology because of the "aura" of accuracy.
I would hate to see this medium become used as a tool for the majority to
impose its will upon the minority (I live in a state where the residents
were recently asked to declare homosexuals "perverse and abnormal".)
There may be additional ways to use this medium to conduct community
brainstorming sessions that would not undermine our system of government
but would enhance its effectiveness.  Before you start preparing to
"flame" me for appearing to support the current way in which our
government system is working, let me hasten to add that my support is for
the system of government, not for the ways in which it is currently
functioning with many, but not all, elected officials paying for more
attention to the well-funded special interests rather than the needs of
the people they represent and the nation as a whole. :-0=[]  The figure
is me on a soapbox - probably ought to adopt it as my signature;-)
 
Nancy
 
 
Nancy Willard
Lane OnLine
P.O. Box 1914
Eugene, OR 97440
(503) 344-9125
[log in to unmask]>

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