Wired Magazine has a story this week about OutragedModerates.org, the website created by the second year St. Johns law student, and its new Download for Democracy project.
The Download For Democracy campaign offers: "PDF's of over 600 government memos, communications, and reports, all of which were obtained from mainstream media sources, respected legal or academic groups, or the federal government itself."
Ernie Miller writes in The Importance Of this week about The Living Room Candidate, the new exhibit at the American Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, which features over 50 years of political campaign commercials. While the commercials can be streamed for viewing, they can't be downloaded for annotation, commentary or parody.
Maybe I'm not the LAST person to see this, but just in case anyone else missed it, these are worth a look. Check out the Diebold Variations. The author has a blog called "Slouching toward Urschleim" here. This and the other parodies are courtesy of Rand Careaga/salamander.eps (c) 2004 (with other content liberally appropriated from a variety of familiar sources).
The importance of visual information representation for creating a central totem or icon around which a group converses is brought to the fore in this week's COPA decision (as well as the collective ritual of watching fireworks last night). Check out Susan Crawford's posting on her blog.
Last week, I attended the Sixteenth Annual Northrhein Westfalian Media Forum in Cologne, Germany to speak on a panel on the Internet and Opinion Formation. I was asked to present the "U.S. perspective" and then subject myself to grilling in German from: Dr. Wolfgang Schulz, Director, Hans-Bredow-Institute, Hamburg, Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel, Professor, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität zu Münster, Münster, Prof. Dr. Herbert Kubicek, Professor, Universität Bremen, Bremen, Florian Rötzer, Editor-in-Chief, Telepolis, München, Thomas Krüger, President, Federal Authority for Political Education, Bonn, Prof. Dr. Jo Groebel, Director, European Institute for the MEdia, Düsseldorf. What they REALLY wanted to talk about was...
“With half the population having an IQ below 100…with the issues confronting modern government highly complex, with ordinary people having as little interest in complex policy issues as they have aptitude for them, and with the officials whom the people elect buffeted by interest groups and the pressures of competitive elections, it would be unrealistic to expect good ideas and sensible policies to emerge from the intellectual disorder that is democratic politics by a process aptly termed deliberative" (Richard Posner, Law, Pragmatism and Democracy, p. 107).
I took Posner to the Peloponnese where I had a chance to read his persuasive paean to representative democracy. Despite his pragmatic adherence to an "unillusioned understanding of human nature" and a belief in practical decisionmaking that takes greater account of the real-world ends than procedural means,