Consent to be Governed: the test of Ferguson-inspired protests

We need this information about the non-participating members of the community. The journalists have the skills to obtain this data. Unfortunately, they do not yet have the incentive to get this data. While one or two dissenting opinions may support a publication of an article, we need an extensive survey across the entire community. If the evidence is going to make a difference in the government-by-data approach, then we need at least as much evidence of the non-protesting population as we have of the protesting population. The protesters have been so vocal that this sets the bar pretty high.

Media’s Ferguson Fable, a morality tale of dark data

The huge deployment of professionally trained journalists was largely wasted in redundantly covering the protest scene covered by amateurs, when they could have pursue the larger story of obtaining the opinions of all of those who were not participating. Perhaps they were seething that their government was prevented from providing the government’s usually effective service of protecting their property and putting out the fires. Perhaps the silent super-majority has always given consent to a local government that provided services when they need it: such as when their businesses are being robbed or their property is on fire. We didn’t learn this because everyone was busy independently confirming that the protesters on the street were very upset.