Random? Hell No! Why "Vermont's Energy Future" Conference Made Me Feel Like A Rat In A Cage
This past weekend has been extremely interesting.
I was a "random participant" in a deliberative polling conference held at the University of Vermont designed to involve residents of the State of Vermont in the issue of Energy.
Although participants were told that their selection was random - and technically, it might have been - I am beginning to suspect that very little about this poll or conference was actually random.
I think the conference was very cleverly engineered to have the maximum effect of stimulating civic engagement on the issue of Energy Policy in Vermont.
This is a good thing. We need to talk about Energy in Vermont.
I don't have the whole story - yet. I'll get it. Even though I feel like a lab rat, I'm going to run on the wheel until I figure a few things out:
Just how socially engineered was this "deliberative poll"?
Were there any hidden agendas? If so, why were they hidden?
Why did the state and the energy utilities spend around $500,000 on this unique weekend event?
Most importantly, what decisions do Vermonters need to make about our energy use and production?
I'm in the library now reading the academic papers of the Stanford and University of Texas research teams who designed this event, and I'm going to stay up all night following this trail.
There is a VERY big story here.