The next time your child acts up in public, take heart – chances are, their behavior isn’t as bad as destroying a sand mandala created painstakenly over a period of days by Buddhist monks. The monks weren’t present when the young scofflaw climbed under the rope barrier protecting their artwork and performed a tapdance on top of it; otherwise they might have blown a gasket. I hope this kid got a serious time out. -andy
Archive for May, 2007
This weekend, my brother Eric married his fiancee Kim Noble in Philadelphia. I had the honor of being their best man, and their videographer shot footage of my toast at the reception following the wedding ceremony. And no, that’s not me at the very beginning; that’s the DJ introducing me. -andy
I just upload my 15,000th photo to my Flickr account. Not a bad picture if I should say so myself. -andy
Eli Pariser of MoveOn: While it may make sense from a business perspective for MySpace to not allow embedded videos from competitors like Revver, it doesn’t make sense from a democracy perspective.
Jeff Berman responds: This is a democratic platform and it needs to be, but democracies have rules. YouTube was built upon MySpace, and we generally don’t block them. But Revver monetizes their videos at our expense, though, and that’s problematic for MySpace.
Utah State Representative Steve Urquhart, founder of the political wiki Politicopia, spoke about the reasons he created his site, which allows the public to collaborate on debating and crafting policy. Some notes:
“The extremes dominate the political process and the core is rotting,” he said. The extremes have the money and the rock star status. Solutions evade us because this is at odds with democracy. “Democracy requires comprise – and that takes place in the middle, not on the extremes.” The bulk of Americans get discouraged and disgusted because they’re disenfranchised by the extremes. People of good will enter the system and get eaten alive. Imagine if everyone in this conference took over power in government. Within two years we’d be doing the same thing people in power do today. So it’s not a matter of changing people – it’s about changing the system.
So at first I launched a blog, then a wiki called Politicopia.com. I put up issues pages, as can anyone else, and we debate issues facing the Utah legislature. On one issue, the argument brought things to the right; on another one, to the left. But in both cases, the discussion moderated the policy outcome. What I want politicopia to become is some networking function, so it’s easier for people to talk directly to each other.
“We need to engage the smart mob in the middle, not the fringes.”
“The toothpaste is out of the tube.”
-Jeff Berman of Myspace on the need for political candidates to embrace voter-generated content
Personal Democracy Forum co-founder and digital divide activist Andrew Rasiej made a passionate case to revive the digital divide as a major policy issue. He asked how many people in the audience felt the digital divide was still a problem, and few of us did. Andrew went on to talk about poor Internet access in low-income schools and communities, and how inequitable access is hampering civic participation and democracy.
Rasiej then announced that the Personal Democracy Forum will launch an online petition to elect “the first tech president.” He’s challenging the public to sign onto the petition and forward it to presidential candidates to get them to sign on to these basic principles:
- Declare the Net a public good. Bring broadband to everyone.
- Wireless public spectrum must be available and expanded.
- We need to support Net Neutrality.
- Go from No Child Left Behind to Every Child Connected
- We need to create a connected democracy, where people can actually hear public hearings and participate. We need to use this to create transparency and accountability.
- We need a national guard of technologists to work during Katrina-like emergencies.
I’ll see if I can dig up more about the initiative. -andy
Tom Friedman returned to the stage to read excerpts from three new chapters he’s adding to the next edition of his runaway best seller, The World is Flat. I took some notes, though struggled a bit to keep up with his fast-paced reading. -andy
For the last hour or so, Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times has been interviewing Google president Eric Schmidt, and taking questions from the audience. Here are my notes, the vast majority of which are not verbatim quotes, so please don’t treat them as such. -andy