Di-Elect

inspiration

Using the example of food waste, Max Liboiron states that “the journey from awareness to behavior change is a long and arduous one, and few make it. Even for those who change their behavior, the scale of the change is often too small to impact the problem at hand” (Liboiron). They proceed to explain under this claim that the amount of food waste produced does not produce a significant change to the overall state of the issue; the problem resides upstream.

design

The 2020 elections are coming up and candidates, both republican and democrat are campaigning to gain individual votes from the American people. Di-elect is an application that peruses the internet and flags any campaign material and analyzes/synthesizes it showing: presidents that have claimed what the ad is saying and where they ended, it shows their previous involvements good and bad, it shows the location of this candidate in real time, and where their next campaign spot is. This app is to be just as invasive as the ads themselves to help the American people choose the best candidate to be their president.

critique

This app values: giving power and education to the public beyond mass media, values the informed public, and values the integrity of political candidates. In order for this app to be successful, media campaigns must still be an avenue that political candidates use to engage the public, people must be interested in making informed decisions about the direction of their country, and some type of device that receives media information that is personal to the individual. This app is like something that may be available now, especially during the Trump era, but are not nearly as invasive as these.

takeaway

Considering that this app may not have an influence on the voting habits of the American people, the only mechanism that can change the outcome of national votes are the people and the main mode of communication with them is media. The campaign system is flawed, but that does not mean that there cannot be a grassroots effort to correct it. If the general public is not as informed as academics on the issue of food waste and unequal voting structures does not mean that the only way to correct it is to tackle the institutional reasons for this. The informed common person can be an avenue of change. Informed persons can choose to grow their own food decreasing the demand for food production; informed persons can make a more sound decision when they elect a public official – a decision that is more informed that manipulating campaign ads. The reason why individuals are not in the position to cause as much change to remedy a problem is that the solution to the issue is not as invasive as the advertisements that continue the broken system that harms our planet and the agency of the American people.

Liboiron, Max, 2014. Against Awareness, For Scale: Garbage Is Infrastructure, Not Behavior. Blog. Discard Studies: Social Studies of Waste, Pollution, & Externalities. https://discardstudies.com/2014/01/23/against-awareness-for-scale-garbage-is-infrastructure-not-behavior/.