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Personal Democracy Forum

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  • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
    So, yesterday I attended the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC. Overall I give it an eh, but I think it accomplished pretty well what it set out to do. It s
    Message 1 of 12 , May 17, 2005
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      So, yesterday I attended the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC. Overall I
      give it an "eh," but I think it accomplished pretty well what it set out
      to do. It's just that I was hoping for something a little bit
      different. I arrived late (thanks to Amtrak delays) and left early, so
      it was quite an expensive few hours for GovTrack.

      The part of the conference that I attended can pretty much be summed up
      as "lots of people blog, and they blog about, and affect, politics." It
      was very retrospective.

      There was an interesting study (by Pew Internet and BuzzMetrics)
      presented about the correlation over time between what the bloggers of
      various types are talking about, what the mainstream media are talking
      about, and what message board posters were talking about. One thing
      that was interesting was how the Bush campaign, or conservative bloggers
      I forget which, apparently blogged more about 'Kerry topics' than Kerry
      bloggers did, toward the end of the campaigns last year. But, who knows
      how they defined 'Kerry topics.' This is all interesting for sure, but
      one needs to read the actual study to draw any conclusions from any of it.

      Doc Searls presented to the audience (quite a large audience by the way)
      why we should be talking about the Internet as a place rather than as a
      conduit for information exchange. Places, he argued, are seen as
      deserving free speech protection, while conduits are more easily
      regulated. This was the closest to the type of talk I was interested in.

      The problem was that he started his talk by waving around words from a
      completely different field, but one I'm quite familiar with:
      linguistics. He couched his talk in the notion that our thoughts are
      constrained by the words we have in our language. For instance, we're
      forced to talk about politics in terms of the metaphor of war because
      those are the words we have. It is true that we use war terminology for
      politics (the current 'battle' for the 'nuclear' option, for instance).
      This led to his conclusion that by reframing how we talk about the
      Internet (as a place), we can affect how people will think about it (as
      something not to be regulated).

      First off, that language constrains thought is called the Worfian
      hypothesis and it has never ever ever had any good supporting evidence
      that it is true. That is, no one has ever shown that our language
      constrains how we think. I agree with Searls that we can affect policy
      by how we talk about the issue, but this is not the case because of the
      linguistic reasons he mentioned at the start.

      Secondly, just as we talk about politics in terms of war, we talk about
      war in terms of games (winners and losers), or, wait, is it games in
      terms of war? He claimed that we talk about national issues in terms of
      a giant family. But, do we never talk about family in terms of
      politics? I'm sure many mothers and fathers have said "This is not a
      democracy" to their children. It's not fair to say that the metaphor
      behind politics is war any more than it is to say that the metaphor
      behind family is politics. We use the metaphors when we need them, but
      they don't define or constrain how we talk about things.

      Of course I would have like to see more discussion on forward-looking
      ideas, like Participatory Politics's Internet TV platform
      (http://www.participatoryculture.org/), integrating blogs and the
      Semantic Web, bluring the distinction between bloggers and the
      mainstream media (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Main_Page), and on.

      I do want to give props to the Sifry brothers. Micah was the face of
      the conference. David, who started Technorati (I can't say anything
      good about David/Technorati without the disclaimer that I won a prize
      from Technorati), made a very entertaining presentation.

      During lunch and after I did a little networking. I met a bunch of
      interesting people, but no one in the narrow realm of what we talk about
      on this list. (Jeff Mascott, who presented with me and Dan Bennett back
      in March, was there. Evidently someone from ParticipatoryPolitics was
      there -- I would have liked to meet him, but ah well.) The networking
      bit was a lot of fun for me. I hopped from table to table meeting
      people and talking about various things. (Pretty out of character for
      me to do that.)

      I'm looking forward to seeing what's on the agenda for next year's PDF,
      although I do hope the focus is, as I said, more forward-looking.

      --
      - Joshua Tauberer

      http://taubz.for.net

      ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
    • TML
      Joshua, you re probably right, but it sure is convenient for the likes of Frank Luntz, and others, to get people to believe this is so. In fact, the
      Message 2 of 12 , May 17, 2005
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        Joshua, you're probably right, but it sure is convenient for the likes
        of Frank Luntz, and others, to get people to believe this is so. In
        fact, the double-speak that constitutes much of public policy and
        utterances these days is almost an advertisement for it's efficacy.
        Unfortunately, in my opinion, the average American doesn't (yet?)
        perceive it as a technique and instead accepts its usage as if it were
        an intrinsic paradigm of linguistics...as it seems the audience you
        were in did.

        Tom
        _________________________________________________________
        ::: www.xmiinc.com :::

        On May 17, 2005, at 19:25, Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us wrote:

        >   This led to his conclusion that by reframing how we talk about the
        > Internet (as a place), we can affect how people will think about it
        > (as
        > something not to be regulated).
        >
        > First off, that language constrains thought is called the Worfian
        > hypothesis and it has never ever ever had any good supporting evidence
        > that it is true. 
      • John DeBruyn
        Hi Josh: Thanks for the report on the Personal Democracy Forum. I have been amused, ever since the internet got its wings, about the propensity of almost every
        Message 3 of 12 , May 18, 2005
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          Hi Josh:
           
          Thanks for the report on the Personal Democracy Forum.
           
          I have been amused, ever since the internet got its wings, about the propensity of almost every group that takes to the internet to fall back on the face-to-face conference rather than trying to accommodate a corresponding online which would embrace the internet to take full advantage asynchronous 24/7 communication and the everywhereness of the internet as a venue. 
           
          Perhaps the Gov Track group that congregates here to track with what new and in the works for Gov Track and collaborate with you in the development of Gov Track could brainstorm the prospects for holding an online conference of the sort you were looking for when you journeyed to NYC.
           
          Keep up the good work,
           
          John
           
          John DeBruyn Denver CO USA 
          -----Original Message-----
          From: govtrack@yahoogroups.com [mailto:govtrack@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf Of Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
          Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 5:26 PM
          To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [govtrack] Personal Democracy Forum

          So, yesterday I attended the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC.  Overall I
          give it an "eh," but I think it accomplished pretty well what it set out
          to do.  It's just that I was hoping for something a little bit
          different.  I arrived late (thanks to Amtrak delays) and left early, so
          it was quite an expensive few hours for GovTrack.

          The part of the conference that I attended can pretty much be summed up
          as "lots of people blog, and they blog about, and affect, politics."  It
          was very retrospective.

          There was an interesting study (by Pew Internet and BuzzMetrics)
          presented about the correlation over time between what the bloggers of
          various types are talking about, what the mainstream media are talking
          about, and what message board posters were talking about.  One thing
          that was interesting was how the Bush campaign, or conservative bloggers
          I forget which, apparently blogged more about 'Kerry topics' than Kerry
          bloggers did, toward the end of the campaigns last year.  But, who knows
          how they defined 'Kerry topics.'  This is all interesting for sure, but
          one needs to read the actual study to draw any conclusions from any of it.

          Doc Searls presented to the audience (quite a large audience by the way)
          why we should be talking about the Internet as a place rather than as a
          conduit for information exchange.  Places, he argued, are seen as
          deserving free speech protection, while conduits are more easily
          regulated.  This was the closest to the type of talk I was interested in.

          The problem was that he started his talk by waving around words from a
          completely different field, but one I'm quite familiar with:
          linguistics.  He couched his talk in the notion that our thoughts are
          constrained by the words we have in our language.  For instance, we're
          forced to talk about politics in terms of the metaphor of war because
          those are the words we have.  It is true that we use war terminology for
          politics (the current 'battle' for the 'nuclear' option, for instance).
            This led to his conclusion that by reframing how we talk about the
          Internet (as a place), we can affect how people will think about it (as
          something not to be regulated).

          First off, that language constrains thought is called the Worfian
          hypothesis and it has never ever ever had any good supporting evidence
          that it is true.  That is, no one has ever shown that our language
          constrains how we think.  I agree with Searls that we can affect policy
          by how we talk about the issue, but this is not the case because of the
          linguistic reasons he mentioned at the start.

          Secondly, just as we talk about politics in terms of war, we talk about
          war in terms of games (winners and losers), or, wait, is it games in
          terms of war?  He claimed that we talk about national issues in terms of
          a giant family.  But, do we never talk about family in terms of
          politics?  I'm sure many mothers and fathers have said "This is not a
          democracy" to their children.  It's not fair to say that the metaphor
          behind politics is war any more than it is to say that the metaphor
          behind family is politics.  We use the metaphors when we need them, but
          they don't define or constrain how we talk about things.

          Of course I would have like to see more discussion on forward-looking
          ideas, like Participatory Politics's Internet TV platform
          (http://www.participatoryculture.org/), integrating blogs and the
          Semantic Web, bluring the distinction between bloggers and the
          mainstream media (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Main_Page), and on.

          I do want to give props to the Sifry brothers.  Micah was the face of
          the conference.  David, who started Technorati (I can't say anything
          good about David/Technorati without the disclaimer that I won a prize
          from Technorati), made a very entertaining presentation.

          During lunch and after I did a little networking.  I met a bunch of
          interesting people, but no one in the narrow realm of what we talk about
          on this list.  (Jeff Mascott, who presented with me and Dan Bennett back
          in March, was there.  Evidently someone from ParticipatoryPolitics was
          there -- I would have liked to meet him, but ah well.)  The networking
          bit was a lot of fun for me.  I hopped from table to table meeting
          people and talking about various things.  (Pretty out of character for
          me to do that.)

          I'm looking forward to seeing what's on the agenda for next year's PDF,
          although I do hope the focus is, as I said, more forward-looking.

          --
          - Joshua Tauberer

          http://taubz.for.net

          ** Nothing Unreal Exists **


        • TML
          Yeh, but that assumes that internet interaction fulfills everything face-to-face interaction does. It ll be a long while (and a lot of bandwidth!) before the
          Message 4 of 12 , May 18, 2005
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            Yeh, but that assumes that internet interaction fulfills everything
            face-to-face interaction does. It'll be a long while (and a lot of
            bandwidth!) before the airports start closing.

            Cheers,
            Tom
            _________________________________________________________
            ::: www.xmiinc.com :::

            On May 18, 2005, at 10:49, John DeBruyn wrote:

            > Hi Josh:
            >  
            > Thanks for the report on the Personal Democracy Forum.
            >  
            > I have been amused, ever since the internet got its wings, about the
            > propensity of almost every group that takes to the internet to fall
            > back on the face-to-face conference rather than trying to accommodate
            > a corresponding online which would embrace the internet to take full
            > advantage asynchronous 24/7 communication and the everywhereness
            > of the internet as a venue. 
            >  
            > Perhaps the Gov Track group that congregates here to track with what
            > new and in the works for Gov Track and collaborate with you in the
            > development of Gov Track could brainstorm the prospects for holding an
            > online conference of the sort you were looking for when you journeyed
            > to NYC.
            >  
            > Keep up the good work,
            >  
            > John
            >  
            > John DeBruyn Denver CO USA 
            >> -----Original Message-----
            >> From: govtrack@yahoogroups.com [mailto:govtrack@yahoogroups.com]On
            >> Behalf Of Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
            >> Sent: Tuesday, May 17, 2005 5:26 PM
            >> To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
            >> Subject: [govtrack] Personal Democracy Forum
            >>
            >> So, yesterday I attended the Personal Democracy Forum in NYC. 
            >> Overall I
            >> give it an "eh," but I think it accomplished pretty well what it set
            >> out
            >> to do.  It's just that I was hoping for something a little bit
            >> different.  I arrived late (thanks to Amtrak delays) and left early,
            >> so
            >> it was quite an expensive few hours for GovTrack.
            >>
            >> The part of the conference that I attended can pretty much be summed
            >> up
            >> as "lots of people blog, and they blog about, and affect, politics." 
            >> It
            >> was very retrospective.
            >>
            >> There was an interesting study (by Pew Internet and BuzzMetrics)
            >> presented about the correlation over time between what the bloggers of
            >> various types are talking about, what the mainstream media are talking
            >> about, and what message board posters were talking about.  One thing
            >> that was interesting was how the Bush campaign, or conservative
            >> bloggers
            >> I forget which, apparently blogged more about 'Kerry topics' than
            >> Kerry
            >> bloggers did, toward the end of the campaigns last year.  But, who
            >> knows
            >> how they defined 'Kerry topics.'  This is all interesting for sure,
            >> but
            >> one needs to read the actual study to draw any conclusions from any
            >> of it.
            >>
            >> Doc Searls presented to the audience (quite a large audience by the
            >> way)
            >> why we should be talking about the Internet as a place rather than as
            >> a
            >> conduit for information exchange.  Places, he argued, are seen as
            >> deserving free speech protection, while conduits are more easily
            >> regulated.  This was the closest to the type of talk I was interested
            >> in.
            >>
            >> The problem was that he started his talk by waving around words from a
            >> completely different field, but one I'm quite familiar with:
            >> linguistics.  He couched his talk in the notion that our thoughts are
            >> constrained by the words we have in our language.  For instance, we're
            >> forced to talk about politics in terms of the metaphor of war because
            >> those are the words we have.  It is true that we use war terminology
            >> for
            >> politics (the current 'battle' for the 'nuclear' option, for
            >> instance).
            >>   This led to his conclusion that by reframing how we talk about the
            >> Internet (as a place), we can affect how people will think about it
            >> (as
            >> something not to be regulated).
            >>
            >> First off, that language constrains thought is called the Worfian
            >> hypothesis and it has never ever ever had any good supporting evidence
            >> that it is true.  That is, no one has ever shown that our language
            >> constrains how we think.  I agree with Searls that we can affect
            >> policy
            >> by how we talk about the issue, but this is not the case because of
            >> the
            >> linguistic reasons he mentioned at the start.
            >>
            >> Secondly, just as we talk about politics in terms of war, we talk
            >> about
            >> war in terms of games (winners and losers), or, wait, is it games in
            >> terms of war?  He claimed that we talk about national issues in terms
            >> of
            >> a giant family.  But, do we never talk about family in terms of
            >> politics?  I'm sure many mothers and fathers have said "This is not a
            >> democracy" to their children.  It's not fair to say that the metaphor
            >> behind politics is war any more than it is to say that the metaphor
            >> behind family is politics.  We use the metaphors when we need them,
            >> but
            >> they don't define or constrain how we talk about things.
            >>
            >> Of course I would have like to see more discussion on forward-looking
            >> ideas, like Participatory Politics's Internet TV platform
            >> (http://www.participatoryculture.org/), integrating blogs and the
            >> Semantic Web, bluring the distinction between bloggers and the
            >> mainstream media (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Main_Page), and on.
            >>
            >> I do want to give props to the Sifry brothers.  Micah was the face of
            >> the conference.  David, who started Technorati (I can't say anything
            >> good about David/Technorati without the disclaimer that I won a prize
            >> from Technorati), made a very entertaining presentation.
            >>
            >> During lunch and after I did a little networking.  I met a bunch of
            >> interesting people, but no one in the narrow realm of what we talk
            >> about
            >> on this list.  (Jeff Mascott, who presented with me and Dan Bennett
            >> back
            >> in March, was there.  Evidently someone from ParticipatoryPolitics was
            >> there -- I would have liked to meet him, but ah well.)  The networking
            >> bit was a lot of fun for me.  I hopped from table to table meeting
            >> people and talking about various things.  (Pretty out of character for
            >> me to do that.)
            >>
            >> I'm looking forward to seeing what's on the agenda for next year's
            >> PDF,
            >> although I do hope the focus is, as I said, more forward-looking.
            >>
            >> --
            >> - Joshua Tauberer
            >>
            >> http://taubz.for.net
            >>
            >> ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
            >>
            >>
            >>
            >> Yahoo! Groups Links
            >> • To visit your group on the web, go to:
            >> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/govtrack/
            >>  
            >> • To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            >> govtrack-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >>  
            >> • Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
            >> Service.
            >>
          • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
            ... Well, I wouldn t go so far as to say that there was double-speak on Monday, but in general, yeah. ... Well, there s something nice about meeting people
            Message 5 of 12 , May 18, 2005
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              TML wrote:
              > the double-speak that constitutes much of public policy and
              > utterances these days is almost an advertisement for it's efficacy.

              Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that there was double-speak on
              Monday, but in general, yeah.

              John DeBruyn wrote:
              > I have been amused, ever since the internet got its wings, about the
              > propensity of almost every group that takes to the internet to fall back
              > on the face-to-face conference rather than trying to accommodate
              > a corresponding online which would embrace the internet to take full
              > advantage asynchronous 24/7 communication and the everywhereness of the
              > internet as a venue.

              Well, there's something nice about meeting people face to face, and
              staging a real world event.

              > Perhaps the Gov Track group that congregates here to track with what new
              > and in the works for Gov Track and collaborate with you in the
              > development of Gov Track could brainstorm the prospects for holding an
              > online conference of the sort you were looking for when you journeyed to
              > NYC.

              That's a thought. I was in fact thinking about setting up a small,
              real-world conference at some point. But, at the moment I'm really
              waiting for there to be other related, semi-complete projects besides
              GovTrack for us to talk about.

              --
              - Joshua Tauberer

              http://taubz.for.net

              ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
            • Ed Summers
              ... How about irc://irc.freenode.net/govtrack for more interactivity. //Ed
              Message 6 of 12 , May 18, 2005
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                > That's a thought. I was in fact thinking about setting up a small,
                > real-world conference at some point. But, at the moment I'm really
                > waiting for there to be other related, semi-complete projects besides
                > GovTrack for us to talk about.

                How about irc://irc.freenode.net/govtrack for more interactivity.

                //Ed
              • Jeremy Dunck
                ... Agree, but I hear this is pretty good: https://www.gotomeeting.com/ Certainly cheaper than dragging your bones across the country.
                Message 7 of 12 , May 19, 2005
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                  On 5/18/05, TML <tlinder@...> wrote:
                  > Yeh, but that assumes that internet interaction fulfills everything
                  > face-to-face interaction does. It'll be a long while (and a lot of
                  > bandwidth!) before the airports start closing.

                  Agree, but I hear this is pretty good:
                  https://www.gotomeeting.com/

                  Certainly cheaper than dragging your bones across the country.
                • Joshua Tauberer / GovTrack.us
                  ... Do you mean as a general hang-out place or a place to have some sort of meeting/conference from time to time? I know I wouldn t end up in there without a
                  Message 8 of 12 , May 20, 2005
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                    Ed Summers wrote:
                    > How about irc://irc.freenode.net/govtrack for more interactivity.

                    Do you mean as a general hang-out place or a place to have some sort of
                    meeting/conference from time to time? I know I wouldn't end up in there
                    without a specific call for meeting -- it's just too distracting for me
                    to idle on IRC. But, as for a place for a meeting, I think that's a
                    good idea, if we want to do that.

                    --
                    - Joshua Tauberer

                    http://taubz.for.net

                    ** Nothing Unreal Exists **
                  • Ed Summers
                    ... either/or -- irc is a valuable collaboration tool for programmer types who aren t afraid of text, which is sometimes overlooked. It can be a time sink
                    Message 9 of 12 , May 20, 2005
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                      > Do you mean as a general hang-out place or a place to have some sort of
                      > meeting/conference from time to time? I know I wouldn't end up in
                      > there
                      > without a specific call for meeting -- it's just too distracting for me
                      > to idle on IRC. But, as for a place for a meeting, I think that's a
                      > good idea, if we want to do that.

                      either/or -- irc is a valuable collaboration tool for programmer types
                      who aren't afraid of text, which is sometimes overlooked. It can be a
                      time sink however.

                      A good thing about having an irc hangout place is that people can ask
                      questions and brain storm when they feel like it in real time.Then when
                      the time comes for a meeting people who have dropped in once or twice
                      know how to connect and set up a client etc...

                      I've found conversations in irc are much easier to follow than email
                      discussions which is sometimes like having a long distance conversation
                      over a bad line. irc logs can be archived and indexed as well.

                      //Ed
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