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Re: [govtrack] Personal Democracy Forum

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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