The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Open Communication in an AI-Orwellian World

Open Communication in an AI-Orwellian World

I don’t care how rich and brilliant Jeff Bezos is, the last thing I want to visualize are his below-belt texts to his lover. It’s like Anthony Weiner redux. You just can’t unsee that. Or the hacked phone messages between Prince Charles and then-mistress Camilla. Remember those? If you don’t, your gag reflex thanks you.

Social Media’s Double-Edged Sword

With social media comes major PR pitfalls, but privileges too. Instant, unfettered communication to an expansive audience is what allowed Mr. Bezos to essentially end run The Enquirer’s dirty little secret by blogging the tabloid’s alleged extortionate letter. And we all know the Fourth Estate has been having a major Alec-Baldwin-level temper tantrum ever since Twitter pretty much upended their profession by enabling users to advocate and frame issues how they, not the precious press, chose to interpret them.

The RSF Post’s strength lies in its commitment to open, direct communication and creating a forum where all residents have a voice and can contribute their thoughts on local issues. This expressive freedom enables it to act as a check in our community and a gauge for what issues are resonating with our readers.

Last year one of those issues was densification. After our long campaign and endless content on the issue, we were extremely pleased the RSFA agreed to work on a Covenant bylaw ensuring large development projects must be voted on by all Covenant Members, not just the Board.

Of Playgrounds and Protective Covenants

Recently, our readers thanked the Post for being the sole source of information regarding the loss of the only public playground in the Ranch. But it was our readers we have to thank who initially brought this to our attention, as they had walked over to the baseball fields with their children and found that the play set was no longer there and didn’t know why. Improved and more direct communication would have helped here. And if you’re going to disassemble and throw away a $25,000 playset that’s only six years old and the wooden parts still under warranty (recently confirmed in writing by the manufacturer), it would have been helpful if it was coupled with a plan to replace it, and, if needed, relocate it, so there was little lapse in allowing children and families to enjoy it. We are grateful to the RSFA Board (a special shout out to Mike Gallagher) and the Trails and Rec Committee for quickly responding to this issue and putting it on their recent Board agendas. RSFA Manager Christy Whalen gave an update on the issue at last week’s Board meeting and kindly updated the RSF Post on the issue as well, stating: “Staff is researching structures and will provide recommendation to the Trails & Rec Committee soon. The goal is to get a replacement structure up ASAP — spring or summer. The Board and Committee are 100% on board with moving fast to get a replacement up expeditiously.” Now, if only we could really make it rain and throw in a toilet.

From Jane’s Lips to the Board’s Ears

And just as the Post has tried to keep its finger on the pulse of Ranch residents, our columnist Jane van Praag has acted as the Protective Covenant’s voice. As her readers are well aware, she has written extensively and consistently about the critical importance of adhering to the Covenant’s “bible” when it comes to the Ranch’s architecture and design. In her latest column, she explains how her PC prayers were finally answered when the RSFA Board sent two letters last week to the CDRC with recommendations to address the issues she’s been proselytizing about for, like, ever. The Board’s actions are indeed a blessing for all parties involved, as Jane writes, it “will bring universal joy to the Directors, management, staff, my colleagues and strangers on our streets, who are all sick of my constant haranguing about following the PC. Not wanting to be type cast, I’m certainly ready for a new role, too.” Can I get an Amen!

And to continue the religious theme, our high priestess of water, Marlene King, spells out our water bills for us so clearly in her latest column, you finally don’t feel like you need divine intervention to understand the costs.

Here at the RSF Post, we’d like to think we are the go-to source for our readers, whether it be about densification, playgrounds, the PC, RSF Connect, or our water rates. We try our best to communicate what’s resonating in our community right back to our readers. No filter. As always, if you have an issue you’d like to write about or have us write about, we are here to listen. As long as there are no personal attacks -- or compromising photos -- perhaps human dignity and our civilization will be spared.

PS: If you have a local business, the Rancho Santa Fe Post could be your platform to launch a new, targeted, cost-effective, digitally-driven ad campaign. We have advertising packages as low as $200. So get in touch to see how we can help.