My feeling is that, if we are serious about consulting, meaning people would actually retain FRE and fund a Konsultation directed at a real problem, then in addition to crowd sourcing, we should make the theoria part of the process. This would include funding a small group of FRE agents to go to the site of the disaster and conduct a group myStory not unlike what Barbara Jo, Bill and I did at the Miami River in 1997.
In Timaeus, Plato writes about Solon and his voyage to the Nile River delta, where he learned from Egyptian priests and the keepers of ancient records about Greece’s defeat of the Atlantans, a story that had been forgotten by the Greeks themselves. Solon returned to Greece to tell the story of its own history. Solon was a practitioner of the Greek institution of the theoria. Theoria, or θεωρία in Greek, is the root of both the word theory and of tourism. Interestingly, the word translates to English as “to consider, speculate, or look at.” The theoria was a group of trustworthy people or an individual, theoros (θεωρός), literally “spectator,” who would be dispatched to distant lands by the community, in search of the truth. Solon lived in a time, not unlike ours, that was awash in rumor and myth, stories of gods and sea monsters. The theoria’s job was to go to these faraway places, investigate, and report back to the community in… you guessed it …the public square.
When considered in this context, the work of FRE can be regarded a prototype of a new, theory-based tourism, or secular electrate pilgrimage.