Posted by: networklearning | September 13, 2006

But seriously…this incredible universe of knowledge out there

Some choice exerpts from Al Gore, I want to hightlight and share, he was interviewed by Andrew Denton last night on the ABC. He spoke of the threat of climate change (Also in ‘TED talks’ video above).

What he said directly relates to the potentialities and importance of openly sharing knowledge to address problems collectively through the networked learning model…

ANDREW DENTON: How do we break that? How do we break that nexus between corporate interests and the way political decisions are made?

AL GORE: Well, I think that focusing on the role of money in politics is part of it. But I think that it’s really addressing one of the symptoms rather than the cure. I think that the larger challenge is to democratise the dominant medium, and fortunately, there are now new affordable digital video cameras and laptop editing systems, and young people particularly are learning how to use them. I have started a new television network called ‘Current TV’, and it’s on cable and satellite in 30 million homes in the US, and you can get a training course. We give a free training course to anybody in the world on how to make television. Then they stream the TV to us on the Internet, we post it, and let people vote on what they think the most compelling material is. Now, 30 per cent of our programming is made by the viewers. And if individuals in a nation or in a society are empowered to take part in the conversation, the key is having a meritocracy of ideas so that the people who are part of the conversation themselves decide which of the contributions from all these individuals merit more attention rather than less.


Example from


AL GORE: (Laughs) That’s truly ENOUGH ROPE! But seriously… The Internet allows individuals to get into contact with this incredible universe of knowledge out there, and it allows individuals to take part in the conversation. It has been that individuals find like-minded groups, and that’s not entirely bad, but the Internet has not become a main public forum. With television, it is possible for individuals to contribute short-form, non-fiction essays, if you will – here’s what I see in my world. Make it creative. The essays attracted an audience depending upon the excellence of the prose, the style of the writing as well as the quality of the ideas and in that same way, these televised expressions have to be compelling and attract their own audience, and as they do, what it can happen is the television medium can be the forum that it was intended to be so that we can once again have a conversation of democracy that is not dominated by Exxon Mobil financing these insipid ads for the virtues of carbon dioxide, but rather, individuals can make their own case…

AL GORE: It can seem to move very slowly, but when we aren’t noticing it, it can cross a tipping point and then shift into an entirely different gear and move with incredible speed. We have done that in our democracies in the past. We are close to doing that in reaction to the climate crisis. We will cross that tipping point when enough people internalise the truth of our situation. We have to disenthrall ourselves from the propaganda, from the advertising, from the falsehoods, from the illusions, and we have to see the reality of this new relationship we have to the earth…

and each other…


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