Maybe it was the word “gerrymandering”, much like “periwinkle” being fun to say as it rolls off the tongue as it was around the 4th grade in elementary school where I learned of its magic. Wait a minute there, “magic” you say as how does this qualify with the sleight of hand performed by David Copperfield or the amazement Chris Angel brings? To me this opened a new door in my mind to “systems thinking” whereas one could assess a changing political landscape and dynamically adjust it within an allowable rule set for gain much a kin to playing chess. Here is where I learned to look at the big picture, yes in the 4th grade and 40 years later it’s still sits in my head like it was yesterday!
As a side note, while writing this post, went to Wikipedia and to my astonishment, dismay and outright horror found them calling my beloved epiphany nothing more than the “practice of political corrupting”, as it goes on to say “that attempts to establish a political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating geographic boundaries to create partisan, incumbent-protected, and neutral districts”. Hey wait a minute here if those folks want to be represented by the parties represented, then hey what’s the issue, as everyone gets what they want. However what I will concede here is the concept of geographies in political landscapes is sorely out dated given the rise of the socially connected world.
This brings me back to my main point as “gerrymandering” in the modern era is a fact of network driven life as in prior terms it related to physical “geographies”, whereas today these lines only exist in the virtual world and swing with the speed near that of light itself as electrons race down their information super highways seeking their intended targets as partisan boundaries are now redrawn at the will of the people, and not the slighted stroke of some incumbents government issued black ball point pen.
All well and fine to wax of a world order fit for Tom Cruise in the “Minority Report”, however its happening today as it’s no longer the manipulating partisan incumbent protecting their thiefdom as I learned in Miss Thorpe’s fourth Grade history class. Here it’s the likes of Google, Facebook and other new age media companies which will assist in “netmandering” which may be used to achieve desired electoral results for a particular party, or may be used to help or hinder a particular group of constituents, such as a political, racial, linguistic, religious or class group.
Also, yes I lifted the highlighted above directly from the “gerrymandering” definition just to demonstrate how well it fit the new catch phrase as I’ve come to call it “netmandering” as in say 20 or 30 years. Miss Thorpe’s great grandchild is all grown up and teaching fourth grade, some student will again have an epiphany moment as mine with any luck however this time their “big picture” will be far larger than mine and the word might not be the same, however the intent will assuredly be like in kind with any luck…