With all of the political chaos going on in the US, there’s been quite a lot of political engagement, particularly with people going to “town hall” meetings between the representatives and their constituencies. Well, I went to one the other day, here in Vallejo, for Congressman Mike Thompson.
I should have brought knitting.
It was like going to the most horrible, boring, irrelevant church service ever, except they didn’t even have singing.
Dear Politicians: do not tell us the same old schtick. We have this thing called “the internet?” It tells us all of these things. It’s how we knew where to track you down. We do not need for you to tell us these things. We know them. We want to ask you questions. We want to know what you are going to do. We want to know that you hear us, which means you need to actually listen to us.
Of course, at least the congressman had the guts to meet with us (in the Vallejo Senior Center, which is why there’s a permanent Bingo board behind him). This is unlike Senator Dianne Feinstein, who apparently doesn’t meet with you unless you cough up a bunch of cash. And I guess he was interesting enough, if you’re used to listening to the radio or watching TV – you know, low-bandwidth information consumption.
To put this into context: I either read my news or I listen to podcasts … and the podcast app I use lets me turn up the playback speed, so I can adjust it so the information comes at me way faster than having to listen to someone’s natural speaking voice. This is me: I consume information rapidly. Listening to a speaker drives me crazy unless I have something to do, and playing games on the phone isn’t quite enough to make me OK with the hard chairs and the repetitive information.
Representative democracy. Bleh. It’s either doomed or it’s entirely irrational. (Go read those articles, please – yes, the author is probably a liberal, but these are about political science rather than policy.)
Lesson learned: politicians are a low-bandwidth form of information delivery, and deliver information which can be easily consumed elsewhere, and they choose places with hard chairs. Oh, and they don’t want you to bring signs.
On a totally different note, we’ll be off to the Tri-Cities area of Washington State next week for interviews. We’ll be off sometime the following week to Seattle for interviews. And my current client has apparently realized that I’m seriously going to be going somewhere, so they want me to come and and do some work and, oh, would I be available to support them remotely through to the end of the year at least.