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Re: Fwd: [govtrack] question about voting

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  • tay199
    ... current well known issues? For example, universal healthcare , internet neutrality . Check out Govit.com, bills are sorted by recently popular. You
    Message 1 of 21 , Jun 23, 2008
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      >> "What I meant was, "Is there a feed that is dedicated to the
      current well known issues?" For example, "universal healthcare",
      "internet neutrality"."

      Check out Govit.com, bills are sorted by recently popular. You can
      also sort by most votes.

      This gives a pretty good idea of what's important to the people
      visiting the site. However, more people would yield a better sample.


      >> "Is there a way to give a keyword and search across bills to get
      only the ones that contain the search criteria."

      You can search for keywords on govit. However, different bills use
      different keywords for the same thing.

      For example, some bill use "global warming" in their description...
      http://www.govit.com/pages/SearchPage.aspx?Search=global%20warming

      Other's use "climate change"
      http://www.govit.com/pages/SearchPage.aspx?Search=climate%20change
    • hsfrey
      Why must this wait for something revolutionary ? There are plenty of kludges out there that will let us get started, if we really want to do it. Why not a
      Message 2 of 21 , Jun 23, 2008
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        Why must this wait for something "revolutionary"?

        There are plenty of kludges out there that will let us get started, if
        we really want to do it.

        Why not a wiki, or a forum, or a listserve, or even the "track
        changes" option on WinWord.

        Mixedink seems to be WishWare.

        For an initial project, I'd like to see something to fix the
        preemption provisions of ERISA. And I already have a draft. <G>

        Harvey

        --- In govtrack@yahoogroups.com, "tay199" <tay199@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > "I'd actually like to see some new collaborative writing tools
        > developed to facilitate this. (mixedink.com is working on something...
        > I'd like to see some revolutionary ideas though...)"
        >
        > Ok, anyone have any "revolutionary ideas"?
        >
      • Josh Tauberer
        ... Well, go for it, by all means. :) But to add a sense of reality- Members of Congress have little interest in what ordinary people say, beyond what can be
        Message 3 of 21 , Jun 23, 2008
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          hsfrey wrote:
          > Why must this wait for something "revolutionary"?
          >
          > There are plenty of kludges out there that will let us get started, if
          > we really want to do it.
          >
          > Why not a wiki, or a forum, or a listserve, or even the "track
          > changes" option on WinWord.

          Well, go for it, by all means. :)

          But to add a sense of reality- Members of Congress have little interest
          in what ordinary people say, beyond what can be reduced to a single
          word. That's not entirely because they don't care, but largely because
          they can't open their ears to everyone. And it takes a lot of voices to
          be heard, considerably more than one can muster without a lot of
          experience in doing that. And there needs to be considerably more people
          involved than can coherently work together using a wiki, forum, or mail
          list. We're talking thousands if not tens of thousands for national issues.

          And that's just the technical challenge. The social challenges are much
          more difficult.

          A prototype using any technology might be informative, but I think only
          a creative technological approach could really work.

          > Mixedink seems to be WishWare.

          I know they had a coherent plan at one point.

          --
          - Josh Tauberer
          - GovTrack.us

          http://razor.occams.info

          "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
          falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
          Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
        • Harvey Frey
          Josh: So what you re saying is that the technical issues raised by tay199 are irrelevant, since there is no practical way to get the attention of any
          Message 4 of 21 , Jun 23, 2008
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            Josh:
             
                So what you're saying is that the technical issues raised by tay199 are irrelevant, since there is no practical way to get the attention of any congresspeople, short of arriving with large checks in hand.
             
                I don't know that that's necessarily so, since I've been asked, out of the blue, (just on the basis of my website) to help a congressman and later a senator draft legislation on the ERISA issue.
             
                Of course, neither of them paid any attention to what I wrote. <G>
            But I think that's because they were both republicans and not sympathetic to my more patient-oriented initiatives.  
             
                So, I wouldn't be completely pessimistic, given that we may have a new congress more interested in new approaches.
             
            Harvey
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 5:02 PM
            Subject: Re: [govtrack] Re: question about voting

            hsfrey wrote:
            > Why must this wait for something "revolutionary" ?
            >
            > There are plenty of kludges out there that will let us get started, if
            > we really want to do it.
            >
            > Why not a wiki, or a forum, or a listserve, or even the "track
            > changes" option on WinWord.

            Well, go for it, by all means. :)

            But to add a sense of reality- Members of Congress have little interest
            in what ordinary people say, beyond what can be reduced to a single
            word. That's not entirely because they don't care, but largely because
            they can't open their ears to everyone. And it takes a lot of voices to
            be heard, considerably more than one can muster without a lot of
            experience in doing that. And there needs to be considerably more people
            involved than can coherently work together using a wiki, forum, or mail
            list. We're talking thousands if not tens of thousands for national issues.

            And that's just the technical challenge. The social challenges are much
            more difficult.

            A prototype using any technology might be informative, but I think only
            a creative technological approach could really work.

            > Mixedink seems to be WishWare.

            I know they had a coherent plan at one point.

            --
            - Josh Tauberer
            - GovTrack.us

            http://razor. occams.info

            "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
            falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
            Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)

          • tay199
            So what do you guys have in mind? Is as simple as write-a-bill with wiki backbone? If so, this is very doable. ... tay199 are irrelevant, since there is no
            Message 5 of 21 , Jun 24, 2008
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              So what do you guys have in mind? Is as simple as "write-a-bill" with
              wiki backbone? If so, this is very doable.









              --- In govtrack@yahoogroups.com, "Harvey Frey" <hsfrey@...> wrote:
              >
              > Josh:
              >
              > So what you're saying is that the technical issues raised by
              tay199 are irrelevant, since there is no practical way to get the
              attention of any congresspeople, short of arriving with large checks
              in hand.
              >
              > I don't know that that's necessarily so, since I've been asked,
              out of the blue, (just on the basis of my website) to help a
              congressman and later a senator draft legislation on the ERISA issue.
              >
              > Of course, neither of them paid any attention to what I wrote. <G>
              > But I think that's because they were both republicans and not
              sympathetic to my more patient-oriented initiatives.
              >
              > So, I wouldn't be completely pessimistic, given that we may have
              a new congress more interested in new approaches.
              >
              > Harvey
              >
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: Josh Tauberer
              > To: govtrack@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 5:02 PM
              > Subject: Re: [govtrack] Re: question about voting
              >
              >
              > hsfrey wrote:
              > > Why must this wait for something "revolutionary"?
              > >
              > > There are plenty of kludges out there that will let us get
              started, if
              > > we really want to do it.
              > >
              > > Why not a wiki, or a forum, or a listserve, or even the "track
              > > changes" option on WinWord.
              >
              > Well, go for it, by all means. :)
              >
              > But to add a sense of reality- Members of Congress have little
              interest
              > in what ordinary people say, beyond what can be reduced to a single
              > word. That's not entirely because they don't care, but largely
              because
              > they can't open their ears to everyone. And it takes a lot of
              voices to
              > be heard, considerably more than one can muster without a lot of
              > experience in doing that. And there needs to be considerably more
              people
              > involved than can coherently work together using a wiki, forum, or
              mail
              > list. We're talking thousands if not tens of thousands for
              national issues.
              >
              > And that's just the technical challenge. The social challenges are
              much
              > more difficult.
              >
              > A prototype using any technology might be informative, but I think
              only
              > a creative technological approach could really work.
              >
              > > Mixedink seems to be WishWare.
              >
              > I know they had a coherent plan at one point.
              >
              > --
              > - Josh Tauberer
              > - GovTrack.us
              >
              > http://razor.occams.info
              >
              > "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
              > falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
              > Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
              >
            • Ralph Yozzo
              ... Doesn t this show that, if this is true, that any system that gives the power/voice/vote of many to a few or to one is not a good system. The one will be
              Message 6 of 21 , Jun 24, 2008
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                since there is no practical way to get the attention of any congresspeople, short of arriving with large checks in hand.
                 
                Doesn't this show that, if this is true, that any system that gives the power/voice/vote of many to a few or to one is not a good system.  The one will be the target of corruption.  Imagine the opposite.  A system where all 6 billion people were involved.  I'd like to see the lobbyists bribe 6 billion.  For once, bribery would be a good thing.

                On Tue, Jun 24, 2008 at 12:20 AM, Harvey Frey <hsfrey@...> wrote:

                Josh:
                 
                    So what you're saying is that the technical issues raised by tay199 are irrelevant, since there is no practical way to get the attention of any congresspeople, short of arriving with large checks in hand.
                 
                    I don't know that that's necessarily so, since I've been asked, out of the blue, (just on the basis of my website) to help a congressman and later a senator draft legislation on the ERISA issue.
                 
                    Of course, neither of them paid any attention to what I wrote. <G>
                But I think that's because they were both republicans and not sympathetic to my more patient-oriented initiatives.  
                 
                    So, I wouldn't be completely pessimistic, given that we may have a new congress more interested in new approaches.
                 
                Harvey
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Monday, June 23, 2008 5:02 PM
                Subject: Re: [govtrack] Re: question about voting

                hsfrey wrote:
                > Why must this wait for something "revolutionary"?
                >
                > There are plenty of kludges out there that will let us get started, if
                > we really want to do it.
                >
                > Why not a wiki, or a forum, or a listserve, or even the "track
                > changes" option on WinWord.

                Well, go for it, by all means. :)

                But to add a sense of reality- Members of Congress have little interest
                in what ordinary people say, beyond what can be reduced to a single
                word. That's not entirely because they don't care, but largely because
                they can't open their ears to everyone. And it takes a lot of voices to
                be heard, considerably more than one can muster without a lot of
                experience in doing that. And there needs to be considerably more people
                involved than can coherently work together using a wiki, forum, or mail
                list. We're talking thousands if not tens of thousands for national issues.

                And that's just the technical challenge. The social challenges are much
                more difficult.

                A prototype using any technology might be informative, but I think only
                a creative technological approach could really work.

                > Mixedink seems to be WishWare.

                I know they had a coherent plan at one point.

                --
                - Josh Tauberer
                - GovTrack.us

                http://razor.occams.info

                "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)


              • Josh Tauberer
                ... I m happy to host a wiki for this if there are people willing to maintain it. -- - Josh Tauberer - GovTrack.us http://razor.occams.info Yields falsehood
                Message 7 of 21 , Jun 25, 2008
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                  tay199 wrote:
                  > So what do you guys have in mind? Is as simple as "write-a-bill" with
                  > wiki backbone? If so, this is very doable.

                  I'm happy to host a wiki for this if there are people willing to
                  maintain it.

                  --
                  - Josh Tauberer
                  - GovTrack.us

                  http://razor.occams.info

                  "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                  falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                  Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
                • Josh Tauberer
                  ... I m just saying that something simple isn t very likely to have any real effect. There has to be real innovation somewhere. ... I m glad to hear that that
                  Message 8 of 21 , Jun 25, 2008
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                    Harvey Frey wrote:
                    > So what you're saying is that the technical issues raised by tay199
                    > are irrelevant, since there is no practical way to get the attention of
                    > any congresspeople, short of arriving with large checks in hand.

                    I'm just saying that something simple isn't very likely to have any real
                    effect. There has to be real innovation somewhere.

                    > I don't know that that's necessarily so, since I've been asked, out
                    > of the blue, (just on the basis of my website) to help a congressman and
                    > later a senator draft legislation on the ERISA issue.
                    >
                    > Of course, neither of them paid any attention to what I wrote. <G>
                    > But I think that's because they were both republicans and not
                    > sympathetic to my more patient-oriented initiatives.

                    I'm glad to hear that that happened. Maybe the problem isn't quite as
                    big as I thought.

                    --
                    - Josh Tauberer
                    - GovTrack.us

                    http://razor.occams.info

                    "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                    falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                    Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)
                  • Harvey Frey
                    The engine used by wikipedia is available for free for non-profit use at http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki. I had once thought of using it on my own
                    Message 9 of 21 , Jun 26, 2008
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                      The engine used by wikipedia is available for free for non-profit use at http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki.
                       
                      I had once thought of using it on my own website, but I think it's beyond my technical skills.
                       
                          A couple of others that looked attractive were Midgard Wiki and MoinMoin. An extensive comparison is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software
                       
                      I'd be happy to moderate (and I think it SHOULD be moderated, to avoid wikipedia-style edit wars) the discussion on ERISA and health care.
                       
                      As for a legislator willing to consider hoppering a bill to fix ERISA, I notice that Jean Shaheen, running in New Hampshire, has expressly made that part of her platform.
                       
                      Harvey
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 5:52 AM
                      Subject: Re: [govtrack] Re: question about voting

                      tay199 wrote:
                      > So what do you guys have in mind? Is as simple as "write-a-bill" with
                      > wiki backbone? If so, this is very doable.

                      I'm happy to host a wiki for this if there are people willing to
                      maintain it.

                      --
                      - Josh Tauberer
                      - GovTrack.us

                      http://razor. occams.info

                      "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                      falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                      Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)

                    • Ralph Yozzo
                      I would love to volunteer for technical tasks. Especially for web app programming, etc. As time permits. I ve installed a lot of wiki s, calendars, credit
                      Message 10 of 21 , Jun 26, 2008
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                        I would love to volunteer for technical tasks.  Especially for web app programming, etc.  As time permits.

                        I've installed a lot of wiki's, calendars, credit card/debit card processing for many clubs, etc.

                        the credit card/debit card processing is also free for nonprofits.

                        On Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 5:56 PM, Harvey Frey <hsfrey@...> wrote:

                        The engine used by wikipedia is available for free for non-profit use at http://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/MediaWiki.
                         
                        I had once thought of using it on my own website, but I think it's beyond my technical skills.
                         
                            A couple of others that looked attractive were Midgard Wiki and MoinMoin. An extensive comparison is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_wiki_software
                         
                        I'd be happy to moderate (and I think it SHOULD be moderated, to avoid wikipedia-style edit wars) the discussion on ERISA and health care.
                         
                        As for a legislator willing to consider hoppering a bill to fix ERISA, I notice that Jean Shaheen, running in New Hampshire, has expressly made that part of her platform.
                         
                        Harvey
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 25, 2008 5:52 AM
                        Subject: Re: [govtrack] Re: question about voting

                        tay199 wrote:
                        > So what do you guys have in mind? Is as simple as "write-a-bill" with
                        > wiki backbone? If so, this is very doable.

                        I'm happy to host a wiki for this if there are people willing to
                        maintain it.

                        --
                        - Josh Tauberer
                        - GovTrack.us

                        http://razor.occams.info

                        "Yields falsehood when preceded by its quotation! Yields
                        falsehood when preceded by its quotation!" Achilles to
                        Tortoise (in "Godel, Escher, Bach" by Douglas Hofstadter)


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