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TED.com: "How the Internet Will (One Day) Transform Government."

By: Clay Shirky

Video: Here:


As of Sept. 27, 2012: 110,966 Views

Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government
Sept. 27, 2012: 110,966 Views

Video: Here

[TED.com] June 2012 - "The open-source world has learned to deal with a flood of new, oftentimes divergent, ideas using hosting services like GitHub -- so why can’t governments? In this rousing talk Clay Shirky shows how democracies can take a lesson from the Internet, to be not just transparent but also to draw on the knowledge of all their citizens.
Clay Shirky argues that the history of the modern world could be rendered as the history of ways of arguing, where changes in media change what sort of arguments are possible -- with deep social and political implications."

Bio: Here

Watch his videos and Follow the links...

Clay Shirky Wikipedia.com

The Administration's Policy Path:

Beth Noveck: Demand a more open-source government
Sept. 27, 2012: 120,958 Views

Video: Here

[TED.com] June 2012 - "What can governments learn from the open-data revolution? In this stirring talk, Beth Noveck, the former deputy CTO at the White House, shares a vision of practical openness -- connecting bureaucracies to citizens, sharing data, creating a truly participatory democracy. Imagine the 'writable society' ...
A lawyer by training and a techie by inclination, Beth Noveck works to build data transparency into government."

Bio: Here

Other Sources:
Beth Simone Noveck Wikipedia.com

The Book: Wiki Govenment: How Technology Can Make Government Better, Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful
Published: April 30, 2009

Publisher: For those who don't know, the Brookings Institute Use to stand for something Until it was hijacked by the Powers That Be in 1952...this is a good read also.

Beth's Initiative at the White House (If you dare...)

Article by Beth Noveck: Open Data – The Democratic Imperative July 5, 2012

B.O. Commitment to Open Government: Statues Report
(Note: Document is not dated. Possibly created in Sept-Oct 2011; pg. 17)

PLEASE READ MY COMMENT BELOW: Detailed Answers Are Strongly Encouraged.

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Git is incredible. It is the tool that can enable crowdsourced

involvement with government. Git and GitHub do not interface with government -- they can be used to manage the data that people engage government with.

That video is not about a dictated structure or process of government. It is about empowering everyone. Take this example usage to mind.

But first, know that the power of Git is that changes made downstream don't automatically get merged upstream -- whole discussions about a change can be had about the change that are completely separate from the changes themselves. Just because Git supports a non-hierarchical structure, does not mean that you can't be hierarchical. In fact, Git supports hierarchies just fine. What should get you excited is that you can get involved with government. Now, for that example.

A representative's staff starts posting proposed legislation on GitHub about something really specific. Anyone can immediate see the posting. Someone sees a phrase that is really bad and submits a pull request of changes that make the phrase more clear. The representative's staff sees the pull request and asks some questions. The original author responds and the staff brings the representative in for review. At any time, the changes can be immediately accepted or denied. And the results can then flow upstream as needed. It doesn't have to be a single monolithic change to the structure either. It can start off small for only certain documents. In this way, the staff and the constituents are directly involved in helping the representative manage things.

This idea is also prevalent for other data like mind maps or any other structured data.

Sounds like a direct

Sounds like a direct democracy aka mob rule ploy. Thank God we live in a republic governed by a Constitution, now if everyone could just remember that shit wouldn't be as bad as it is now.

You think we still live in a

You think we still live in a republic? Its an oligarchy. If you don't see this, please review the history of the United States and the causes of the wars that have occurred. As General Smedley Butler stated: War is a racket. It is a racket designed to benefit of the elite few. The war drums which are now being beaten to attack Iran have been beaten by the same group, for the same reasons since this country began.

Hardly mob rule

This is the mob (i.e. We the people) collaborating on the laws by using a process where the merit of an idea stands above the popularity.

Not necessarily a mob rule ploy...

judging from the article, it seems to be more focused on government transparency than the electoral process.

I don't play, I commission the league.

It is difficult to imagine

It is difficult to imagine that a system developed to produce an operating system could also be used to develope a system of governance.

With an operating system, there is a common desire for that system to operate in a stable and efficient manner. This is an asset for software developement. In a democracy, everyone wants the money to flow to themselves. This is not an asset for government, it is the flaw that brings all democracies to the ground.

Take what Shirky says with a grain of salt

If the name Clay Shirky sounds familiar, that's because you may have watched the handiwork of Project Veritas doing undercover exposes that uncovered noteworthy stories like deceased people voting in the primaries.

In the same vein, Project Veritas recorded Shirky discussing partisan journalistic tactics and saying "So we are all in this room insiders. We are the most elite news... us chardonnay-swilling news junkies... Elites are perfectly comfortable with there being information about how they make their decisions and what their biases are, as long as that only circulates among other elites." To me it matters not which side of the spectrum partisan divide investigative journalism pursues so long as the affairs pertain to public matters and not the paparazzi trash that invades individual privacy and prints in tabloids. In the case of Project Veritas, so far they have pursued public sector agencies, unions, and public institutions and therefore have been labeled right-leaning. Does this matter? Let's have journalists uncover corruption on both sides if it be.

use for campaign

maybe use this tool for the campaign next time?? That might solve the whole top-down approach and conflicts with the actual ground work.

You can only submit things that work though like someone below mentioned....maybe a constitutionality clause? maybe a troll detector? Something to ponder this winter.

Legislation should be on

Legislation should be on github. As early as possible.

Just call it like i see it,

Better socialism is better than dirty fascism. It does not take away that government is immoral in of itself but at least it would be working more efficiently for the majority (socialism/democracy) than for the few (fascism and crony capitalism). However, never mistake that only capitalism is the moral and prosperous theory of human life to date.

sorry but if kony taught us anything

it's that the majority of people online are idiots more used to thinking emotionally than intellectually. Connect a load of those idiots and let them have a say on my life? No thanks.

Where's my opt out?

If I understood him

If I understood him correctly, this would be a very bad idea, especially with the tax code the way it is. Right now almost 50% of the population doesn't pay any federal income tax. If they don't understand economics and free markets, they would vote for all the entitlement programs if they can make the rich pay for it. The reason they vote republican and democratic is because they don't understand free markets. The idea is to get rid of as much government as possible. Free markets do not work when the government can use force.

Could you elaborate on what you understood?

What he is describing is using technology to change the transparency of government. Anyone can clone(fork) anything on GitHub, however, if you want your changes to get back into where you cloned it from, you have to make nice with the original author and explain your changes. This is empowering.

I'm all about it.

There's not a business in this country that hasn't been changed by computers & the internet.

I love it.

Let's build a new operating system & reboot.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” - Mark Twain

This guys missed the biggest

The difference. The open source coders WANT openness and transparency. What planet does he live on that has politicians in democracies OR in small towns(like the one I live in) that WANT openness?
Actually, this talk will help numerous political groups and people begin an all out war against this concept.

Jackson County Georgia

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson

And you think

they would be effective in silencing it if it's indeed better for the people?

You can't resist an idea whose time has come...

it'll take

physical resistance to get something like this going.
I do like it though.

By the way, this Linux and the concept of this technical computing architecture is whats going to eat Apple alive via the android O/S.
Linux, Unix, android are the best computing systems on earth, except the Mainframe of course.

Jackson County Georgia

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson

Can we have a serious discussion

on what we really want a government to do?

I see so many comments parroting the fact that we aren't a democracy and we are a constitutional representative republic. What does that mean?

Representative: Yes, that's true, but in the context of our revolution, we needed a representative to go speak for us. It was not even possible until the telephone to do it directly and not practical until the internet. Now it's not possible for the only reason that we just don't have the appropriate internet tool built yet. I see this as a minimal roadblock.

Republic: Yes, we want the rule of law to decide what is lawful and not. We don't want mob rule, nor do we want a monarchy (or any derivative). As we've seen by so many web based and open sourced projects, I think it's entirely possible to coordinate a mass of input to boil an issue down to the merit of it. I, personally, would love to see every law and regulation be vetted on its merit as viewed by those who can make the best case for/against it.

Constitutional: This is a definite requirement however I don't see this stopping us from doing things a little different. We just need to ensure the Constitution is derived from and works for the people and that we follow its rules.

So, it could be assumed that this should be the only considerations in play to design something different. The problem is that so far, it doesn't address the real problem. That problem is that whether influenced by the media, religion or simply ignorance, there are opinions that go counter to real solutions. We have to remove (or at a minimum, we have to minimize) laws that originate from corruption, greed or impatience.

Isn't that the easiest problem to solve via some web based tool? We have many sites where rankings on quality, importance, validity and accuracy filter only the best to the top. We could do this too.

So, am I suggesting to replace our current government with some web site? Well, do we need that? I don't think so. We have the power over our government but we just don't have the collective will or drive to pursue that method en masse.

What if we put together a site where the merit of ideas floated to the top, the result was suggested government recommendations and the people felt they had an opportunity for genuine influence on it. When an idea reached it's conclusion, it could be presented to our representatives as exactly what the people wanted. I would put money down saying that such a 'people's law' would have nearly as much support as we've ever seen.

This is something that can be done and can make some serious changes. What does everyone think?

TwelveOhOne's picture

Also, make it easy to repeal, difficult to pass

Good ideas. Additionally, it would be great to pass an Amendment which stated that to pass a law, requires a 90% vote. To repeal a law, requires a 20% vote.

Soon, we would all stop committing three felonies a day.

Combined with that Amendment (or perhaps a separate one) should be that any citizen has "standing" to challenge any law on the books. That is one way they keep unconstitutional laws: by not using them against people who have the means to fight back.

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You pretty much said in another way what I suggested below. And, yes, that would be constitutional as long as long as Congress actually voted on the law(s).

Oh, brother, was this ever a yawn!

So boring..typical programmer talk. He needs to make his presentation more oriented towards people who don't understand "code".

His point was so belabored that I about fell asleep. Finally, in the end, I got what he was saying (I think).

Unfortunately, it is NOT the goal of politicians to be tansparent. Their goal is to receive a 1,000 page bill from their lobbyists & lobbyist's attorneys from the powers-that-be (the Federal Reserve, the banking & corporation interests), go to lunch, have a cocktail, then, come back and vote on something they haven't even read. Disgusting, but I don't know how we change it, if we don't get control of the MEDIA.

Still, this concept would only be usable in an ideal world, and we definitely do not have an ideal world and never have had one. In fact, the powers of corruption will fight tooth and nail to keep the little people's fingers out of their business. Remember, after all, what Diane Feinstein said about you and me regarding the Banking Bailout. She said, "We know better. THEY don't."


That's exactly what he is saying! That THIS is how we change it. We use this sort of collaborative system/tool, made possible by the Internet, to let "the people" craft the 1,000 bills, not the lobbyists.

I think this could be a huge win, actually. One, it gets people involved, which is really the crux of the problem. Two, a politician would have to face the public whose law they rejected in favor of another version...


it gives the people an outlet to exercise their Constitutional right to petition the government.

I don't play, I commission the league.

And three and four

it brings awareness to the people of the problems and it provides a platform for the facts to take their rightful place ABOVE popular opinion. In this manner, the truth becomes essentially indisputable because if it was disputable, those new facts should easily counter the current result.

This guy

looks like a bald Tom Hanks and he sounds like Jeff Bridges, Little off topic but I thought this the entire time.

"How can our data strengthen our democracies?"

That quationed is put forth Here.

I would Like to discuss how we can change the word "democracies" with "Republic" and still strive for this form of Transpancy?
(Simply Editing doesn't count.)

We should get a head of the government before the government gets ahead of Us. (Obama is moving fast, and in his next four years I think he may be making some changes... just a hunch.)

Please: Reply to this Comment or any comment under it ONLY so it my stay at the top.

~Good Night, And Good Luck~

Well, don't think of the

open source world as a "Democracy", and perhaps the speaker is simply uneducated as to the true meaning of the word.

In practice, programming open source is like living in a type of Republic and there is a fundamental guideline that must be followed by anyone submitting code, the code must work! If you submit code that the programming language cannot parse, your work is rejected.

Likewise, if this were applied politically, law submitted for consideration would have to pass one basic test, is it constitutional. If not, it would be out of the scope of the project and therefore rejected.

In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
-Eric Hoffer

It's fascinating to

think of the possibilities for creating laws this way.

I think the answer to the question of how to remain a republic while having this level of transparent democracy is simple. You merge them.

In a republic the power of the final vote/decision rests with an individual - the elected representative. What this technology allows is for uncoordinated collaboration to produce something complex and useful.

To see how this model might be transferred to law use the open-source Linux software as an example. Linux has several distributions or versions. These versions are all Linux at the core, that is, based on Linux originally, but they branch off like tree branches from a trunk. Some versions work well for different hardware devices, or software configurations, or maybe security considerations. Popular branches, or distributions, attract more people to support, contribute to and improve upon them. Unpopular ones will languish and die on the metaphorical vine.

The result of this ongoing complex and collaborative process is different usable distributions of Linux which can be explained to a potential new user in terms of pros and cons for which distribution might suit them better.

An elected representative could be thought of as the end-user in this analogy. The creation of a core law could be collaboratively formed and result in different versions each with its own pros and cons. The elected official could then decide on which was most suitable to become law, or perhaps craft something entirely different. But at least this way, the citizens have a much more dynamic, possibly more democratic, way to participate in the law creation process.

EDIT: Can you imagine the edits libertarians would have made to the Patriot Act? LOL

I have a link

I have a link to a searchable US Constitution:

And nowhere in it is "democracy" mentioned, in any form, but "Republic" has several mentions.

Is everybody still writing in Dr. Paul? Can we get the Johnsonites to flip-flop and be writer-inners? I could be persuaded to flip-flop to Johnson, if it would be a more effective way to keep the Obamas (the Hussein and RMoney, who is just the Hussein in whiteface) out of the White House.

Freedom is my Worship Word!