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Re: [govtrack] Personal Democracy Forum

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  • 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 1 of 12 , May 17 5:27 PM
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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 2 of 12 , May 18 7:49 AM
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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 3 of 12 , May 18 2:09 PM
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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 4 of 12 , May 18 2:30 PM
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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 5 of 12 , May 18 7:09 PM
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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 6 of 12 , May 19 6:41 AM
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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 7 of 12 , May 20 6:42 AM
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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 8 of 12 , May 20 6:55 AM
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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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