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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Citizen Journalism  
  The notion that ordinary people can make use of technological tools like cellphone cameras and the Internet to provide information.  

Can an ordinary individual influence a country?

"But what can a single person do to influence events of such magnitude and momentum?" One answer might surprise you. We'll shortly hand over these channels, on loan, to the Federation of Amateur Observation Special Interest Groups...

It may surprise many of you how much science relies on amateur observers, from bird-watchers, to meteor counters, to hobbyists with private weather stations. But now, with so many weird phenomena taking place worldwide, these amateur networks are truly coming into their own. It's privatte citizens, with sharp eyes and ready cameras, who are even now tracing patterns the big boys think they can keep secret from us..

We'll show them whose planet this is!

From Earth, by David Brin.
Published by Bantam in 1990
Additional resources -

This is a very early reference to this idea; when this novel was published, ordinary people had very little chance of having their individual two cents noticed outside of their usual social circle.

Today, of course, anyone can place their work and their thoughts before a global audience. You are viewing an example of citizen journalism; twenty years ago, someone without a professional organization behind him could scarcely have expected that fifty thousand people a day would come to read what he had to say.

See this related article - amateur innovators - this is your century!.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Earth
  More Ideas and Technology by David Brin
  Tech news articles related to Earth
  Tech news articles related to works by David Brin

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