Half way down this page is the 8.5 x 14 sheet
(front and back) containing the most
remarkable quotes from the book Changing Maps.
I handed the sheets out
as I cycled from Edmonton to Ottawa
a quarter of a century ago, in a futile
attempt to give a copy of the book to Jean Chretien
(Canadian Prime Minister at the time).
 

 

 
What's the book about?
Three things:
 
deliberative democracy
(see the section on "public judgement"
on the 8.5 x 14 sheet below)
 
communitarianism
(see the section "on social cohesion"
on the 8.5 x 14 sheet below)
 
and civic journalism
(see the section "on the media"
on the 8.5 x 14 sheet below)
 
These are the three things
that society desperately needs
in order to function and thrive.
 
So...
given that we're even more screwed today
than we were back then,
I'm going to have to make another attempt...
 
...with this.
(an aerodynamic tricycle that looks like a clown car)
 

 
But before I attempt another futile trip to Ottawa,
I plan to simply cycle from Red Deer to Edmonton
a few times a year.
 
More on that
in my Youtube video #12 at about 11:50
into the video.
 
Please let me know what you think.
 
(Click on the sheet below to get a full-sized, printable pdf)
 

 

 
You might think that a book written more than a quarter-century ago might
have nothing to say to us who are living in an age of alternative facts, cancel
culture, and simplistic slogans from populist demagogues.
 
But think again. Here are some quotes from he first few pages. (just substitute the
word "internet" for "information society")
 
"[within] the complex, rapidly changing environment of the information society
...it becomes...more difficult to develop common perceptions, shared agendas and
images of the world within which people with different interests and values
can work together and innovate." p.11
 
"...it becomes more important, and more difficult, to develop common perceptions,
shared agendas, and images of the world within which people with different interests
and values can work together and innovate." p.11
 
"As the social fabric continues to fray, there is an increase in regional and racial
scapegoating, and extremist groups gain adherents." p.68
 
...and "Demagogues emerge preaching simplistic solutions." p.69
 
And that was all written back in 1995!
But it's now out of print!
 
In the meantime, here are some books that are somewhat easier to find:
 

 
Alexis de Tocqueville: Democracy's Guide.
Even though he was born nearly 200 years ago, he is widely considered to have written
one of the best books on the subject of democracy. For more info on him, check out
my Youtube video #6 at about 11:25 into the video.
 
Why Not Moderation? Letters to Young Radicals
Just like it sounds, it's a warning against political extremism on both the Right and
the Left. I talk about the book specifically in the video #6 above, but for a more
in-depth discussion on political extremism in general,
check out my Youtube video #3 at about 2:45 into the video.
 
Too Dumb for Democracy? Why we make bad political decisions
and how we can make better ones
.
The last third of the book is particularly valuable for looking at the actual
mechanisms of deliberative democracy. Published in 2019.
 
Democracy when the People are Thinking
by James Fishkin. It's an excellent and comprehensive book
on deliberative polling (a sub-set of deliberative democracy).
For more on that, check out Youtube video #8 at about 2:03 into the video.
 
The Wisdom of Crowds.
A massive bestseller in the business world from twenty years ago. But for our purposes,
it is the last chapter (which features James Fishkin from above) that is particularly
valuable for an understanding of how to fortify democracy.
 
My favorite quote in The Wisdom of Crowds:
"...most political decisions...involve values, trade-offs, and choices about what kind of
society people should live in. There is no reason to think that experts
are better at making those decisions than the average voter." (p.267)
 

 
If you agree with any or all of the above,
please consider contacting local media
and letting them know what I'm doing.
Thanks
 
my ph# 1-368-993-1839
my email wyddfa23@telus.net