Ten times better than….what?
We are passing through several revolutionary influences all at the same time; globalization, information technology, demographic disequilibrium and climate change. Part of the revolution in information technology consists of Internet and the Social Media both of which provide great advantages but also potential risks and regression that are only just coming to light in their application to politics, marketing and promotion, to communications in general.
Almost every day, growers are faced with a plethora of new products, information and techniques, many of which overlap in their application and effectiveness. Who helps them choose the best cost/effectiveness at a time where technical advice comes mainly from agronomists employed by commercial supply companies, in the notable absence of independent publicly funded experimental stations and the ubiquitous availability of information on company websites, blogs and smart phones. There is much less time to study, to make comparisons between products and systems, to reflect on their application and effectiveness, to control fake news and dubious assertions. The Social Media can be particularly insidious.
An interesting observation is made by Federico Rampini in his book ‘Quando inizia la nostra storia’ (Mondadori 2018) from a passage by the late Jorge Luis Borges. Rampini writes that the Social Media has given all of us the right to speak (including hordes of ignorant people that before, spoke only at the bar after a glass of wine) without damaging the collectivity). It would seem that today we can all speak and have opinions valued at the same level as Nobel Prize Winners or the so-called informed elite!
Rampini writes that the revolutionary influence of Internet and the Social media is creating an era of chaos and change, similar to that experienced in the late 1400’s after the discovery of the PRINTING MACHINE by Gutenberg. This equipment enabled the printing and spread of the Bible and its translation from Latin, leading to the Protestant movement of Luther, effectively breaking the exclusivity of the Church as the collective religious interlocutor effected through Church services, preaching, imagery – paintings and sculptures. Other subject matter quickly followed.
Following the mass use of Internet, it would seem that we must be more responsible in resisting the temptation to retrace our steps backwards, by only privileging: visual images, tweets, slogans, oral comments, simple solutions to complex problems and superficial information often taken out of context (not referring to religious beliefs but to the type of communications). The power of the word is under attack. Fortunately growers are practical people; wrong opinions and fake news do not result in successful and profitable crops!
Finally, Rampini points out that when writing a book, the author is obliged to operate a series of filters and focus (subject matter, readership, research, bibliography etc.). Internet has no filters – it is just a container for everything: right and wrong, correct and false, good and bad. This can be dispersive and misleading etc. How does this effect politics: politicians and their followers?
In conclusion, company marketing, promotion campaigns and politicians should not sink to lower common denominators but to uphold quality of information provided together with proper comparisons and acceptable statistics. Growers should seek capable, well-informed and independently minded agronomists and technicians. See Quality of information (pdf) addressed to trade publications. Also the main Hortcom theme ‘Communications’ and the pdf discussion article ‘‘Quality of Information’. Ref: Rampini, Quando inizia la nostra storia, (Mondadori 2018) pp395, 396, 415.