Wednesday, October 3

Compassion and the internet

So yes, Buddhist monks are walking in Burma in red robes, their spirituallity burned on streets, tainted crimson.
In Dafour 200,000 people died since last spring, and there is no end in sight to that killing spree.
Iraq, ah - let's not even go there ...
There are lists on the internet to protest the Burmese government; it is like putting your digital signature on a useless cyber list in an illusionary attempt to create virtual change.
Signing internet petitions make no difference, they only make the bourgeoisie petitioner feel better for a day, or a couple of hours. A waste of time and effort in my view. None of you here who read and respond to this, have ever been to Burma, Dafour or Iraq.
So what do you really know? Little to nothing. And why do you even care?
Do you want ... justice? For whom - for you, for your self esteem?

Yes, I have an iota of compassion left for the peoples in trouble around the globe. But internet petitions are the ultimate failure to solve any conflict with satisfaction.
The internet just informs and entertains, is good for networking - but that's about all it can give. Right?


Madcap said...

I don't "get" the internet petitions either. Or maybe I do. They seem pretty useless and toothless from where I'm standing, unless there's something behind the scenes I'm missing.

Zee said...

you put it into delightful words, Madcap:

Anonymous said...

Hey Lukas! This is Caleb. I can't get a good picture of what you're doing out there from just this blog. Quit whining you incessant quacker. The more humans that die, all the better. Now, if we could just clean up those forests.

Zee said...

OK Caleb, the next post will be for you - so your intelligent but sometimes slow brain will follow suit.
No, I don't say this as an insult, it is just so, that much happened here since you have left, it actually would blow your mind. I probably should send you a personal e-mail about all the local gossip. I will do so, when I'll get to it.

_z. said...

zee, you have a beautiful soul... never discourage. there is little good left in this world.

i don't do petitions! be it internet of real physical one. signatures never change anything. words never change anything... words are cheap.

watch this though, we may be wrong:

Zee said...

I looked at that uTube link of the "AI" flick.
Pretty well done, I agree Mr. _Z ... almost convincing. I wish not to belittle Amnesty International's effort to push for a more humane world, all the power to them! But I still have no faith in internet petitions that can be erased by the stroke of a button. Perhaps REAL mail still makes a difference, who knows ....

Gary said...

Okay, just for the record, Amnesty has done research on the impact of petitions and found that sometimes they do have an effect, but almost always if there are other pressures also being brought to bear. Such as meeting the leaders face to face, lobbying through other leaders, getting the media involved etc.

We do know that generally, letters have more effect that petitions and hand-written letters are the best.

Not that I know everything, but I work with this stuff sometimes and know a little.

Zee said...

Yes Gary, I agree with you in principle.
What ticket me of was using e-mail petitions in the Burma situation, one of the most isolated countries in the world. How many monks have laptops and phone-lines, or even internet access?
I can imagine that internet-petitions have a certain effect in "western" countries if they can show lawmakers pro or contra voices for a very specific issue. That might work to a certain degree, if not for solely purpose to heighten awareness within the general population.