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[ba-unrev-talk] A caveat about democracy

We bandy about the word "democracy" a lot, blissfully unaware of the
fact that it comes in many flavors. And qualities. A new book reviewed
by The Economist claims that "democracy and liberty are not the same;
that policymakers and the public overlook institutions and patterns of
behaviour that embody liberty, while exaggerating the virtues of those
that build democracy; and—most important—that democracy has spread so
far that it is now eroding liberty."    (01)

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displayStory.cfm?Story_ID=1621699    (02)

And on another front is the looming world water shortage,    (03)

http://www.economist.com/agenda/displayStory.cfm?story_id=1621254    (04)

Quoting from this article, "But the United Nations complains, in a
report published this week, that most of the promises of action made at
such gatherings go unfulfilled and that politicians do not take the
issue seriously enough."     (05)

Just two issues here, one concerning our spiritual needs and another our
bodily needs, out of hundreds. Clearly, one can't stay abreast of
important strains of thought in an ever-complexing society without the
assistance of digital tools. Which brings up the question, what kind(s)
of digital tools? And what changes will they permit in the manner of
developing our thoughts and human-values-oriented discussions?    (06)

And on the subject of values, prominent among the arguments for war
against Saddam is the concern for the Iraqi people now suffering under
his yoke. And then, suddenly, we learn that British foreign minister
Jack Straw is quite content to leave the Iraqi regime in place as long
as the country rids itself of its WMD. How sickening the cynicism that
abounds.    (07)

H.    (08)