Never work with small children and animals, as the adage goes. But what about the general public, can you really work with the population at large?

The Internet and social media has allowed members of the general public unprecedented access to the general public itself, as well as to the rich and famous who have hitherto been protected from meeting too many not of their kind. You only have to look at examples of the trolling of well known people by insignificant losers to see this phenomenal change in access and communication media.

You can’t trust the public as a whole with anything important – and I say that as a member of the general public. They’re not qualified and can’t be trusted to take decisions that are to the benefit of society. I’m not being anti-democratic here. It’s why we elect officials by the democratic process, so that – in theory at least – they take the tough decisions on our behalf, the decisions that benefit the community at large – the community that elected them – rather than specific individuals.

As a 2016 example of why you can’t trust the public, you only have to look at the poll to name a new, official scientific vessel. Some wise-ass suggests Boaty McBoatface and the public flock to it like a shiny new toy. Hilarious, if it wasn’t such a classic example of the public will.

I don’t mind general elections, even the first past the post ones. It’s referendums that make me nervous, because then you really are looking at an aggregate of individuals voting, almost without exception, in their own personal interests, and every single vote counts. Clever chap, that Maslow.

 

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