Tag Archives: Emergent Democracy

An online game is like a country and citizens asks for democracy

Interesting article on nytimes. I particularly liked this part:

“Perception is reality, and if a substantial part of our community feels like we are biased, whether it is true or not, it is true to them,” Hilmar Petursson, CCP’s chief executive, said in a telephone interview. “Eve Online is not a computer game. It is an emerging nation, and we have to address it like a nation being accused of corruption.”

Also relevant this washingtonpost article Does Virtual Reality Need a Sheriff? Reach of Law Enforcement Is Tested When Online Fantasy Games Turn Sordid:

Rosedale said he hopes participants in Second Life eventually develop their own virtual legal code and justice system. “In the ideal case, the people who are in Second Life should think of themselves as citizens of this new place and not citizens of their countries,” he said.

Note that he is speaking about citizens developing legal code and not world-creators embedding a legal code into the programming code. Interesting times …

Below the beginning of the article from nytimes
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Problems with Beppe Grillo Blog

Beppe Grillo Blog is currently 66th on the Technorati list of top blogs. Pretty impressive if you think he only writes in Italian. However I see some problems with this blog I’ll try to describe here.
Every daily post has around 1000 comments. This is not a problem per se, of course, if people want to write a lot of comments to every your post, this is good, you probably write something that is very interesting.
So today I wanted to alert Beppe (or who read all the comments) about this article on groklaw, so I went to beppegrillo.it and try to leave a comment and, surprise, you cannot leave as signature a link to your blog but only an email address! This is really against empowering communication in a decentralized manner! In this way, if I want to be heard on the Web I cannot write on my blog but I must come back to beppegrillo blog and leave a comment there. I cannot have a Web identity independently of beppegrillo.it domain!
I think Beppe speaks often of “Direct democracy” that is achieved through his blog. Well, this is not at all something new. Instead Beppe Grillo is becoming a leader of a face-less, identity-less crowd that exist only by commenting on his blog. It is not very different from a Prodi or Berlusconi leader whose followers are anonymous identities (you might even have doubts they exist at all).
So, enough criticisms and let start with the (hopefully) constructive part: Beppe, please, invite people who flock to your blog to have their Web presence. Let commenters leave a link to their Web identity (a blog). Place a very visible invitation (in the menubar and on top fo the right column) for visitors to open their own personal blog, with instructions on how to do it. The message could be something like this: (in Italian) “Sono molto contento di vedere cosi’ tanti commenti ai miei post. Ma credo che la forza del Web sia nel fatto che ognuno puo’ dire la sua. Ti invito quindi ad aprire un TUO blog e a postare in esso le TUE idee. Potrai ovviamente linkare i miei post quando lo ritieni opportuno o lasciare commenti con link alle TUE riflessioni sul TUO blog. Io ho tante cose da dire ma sono sicuro che anche tu hai tante cose da dire, e non e’ affatto detto che quelle che dico io siano piu’ interessanti di quelle che dici tu. Quindi ti consiglio di aprire un tuo blog. E’ semplicissimo. Le istruzioni per farlo sono qui di seguito. (e nel seguito alcune semplici istruzioni su come creare un blog in splinder.com, blogger.com, …)”
Another comment I wanted to leave on his blog was about GNU/Linux. He speakes a lot about the power of the new technologies and Internet but a search for linux on his blog returns zero results. I wanted to suggest to Beppe to speak about this alternative in the domain of software. Anyway I hope that in some decentralized way, he finds this post and comments here, here you can leave a link to your web presence.
And Beppe, since you are so intripped (yes, this is not English) with the power of the Web, I’m confident you’ll be able to understand why I (try to) write in English even if I’m Italian.

UPDATE: a comment by Matteo lets me know that Massimo already wrote about it: crea il tuo blog.
“Tutto quello che pensi e scrivi lo ha gia’ pensato e scritto qualcun altro” – Anonimo

Nonsense: you can’t link to a candidate’s site

This is just insane! Links are “campaign contributions!” (via BoingBoing)
Seems that a US judge has ruled out that a link to the site of a political candidate is a contribution to her campaing and, since this is regulated in many ways, it may be the case that you cannot link to it! That’s weird. This is just free speech. Just as I’m free to tell my friend that I appreaciate Kucinich as US president, I must be free to express the same opinion on my blog. Otherwise, is the federal commision going to record every single conversations we do, monitor when we speak about candidates and count (monetarizing it) how much we “contributed” to a candidate campaign? … Beware, the enemy is listening. Don’t express political opinions! Even better, don’t think. Just swallow whatever bullshit they are throwing in your direction. I’m more and more scared thinking about who had the power to legislated about Internet.

Manifesto for the Reputation Society

I trust enough Hassan Masum that I’m recommending his new article Manifesto for the Reputation Society (written with Yi–Cheng Zhang) even if I didn’t have time yet to read it. It is published on FirstMonday, a very interesting online journal. I’m recommending it also because it cites a paper of mine, so I guess I get back some reputation as well ;-)
Too bad the content on FirstMonday is not released under a Creative Commons licence.
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GoogleBomb to stop genocide in Sudan

Jim is trying to organize a google-bombing of Sudan by getting folks to blog the word “Sudan” and link it to Passion of the Present, a site he’s helping organize to call attention to the plight of the residents of Darfur. Unlike John Kerry and waffles, or George W Bush and “miserable failure”, this google-bombing has a point – the Khartoum government has proven very sensitive to public pressure. If Google tells them the world is paying attention to Darfur, perhaps they’ll ease more of the restrictions making it difficult for food and aid to reach refugees in Darfur.(via Ethan)
I also want to add this attempt in the definition of googlebomb in Wikipedia that has probably more pagerank than my site, but wikipedia is temporariy locked for maintenance. TODO: remember to edit Wikipedia.
For Italian people, there is an Italian site about the situation in Sudan (no, I´m not affiliated with it).
You can also check who is participating with Technorati.

L’esperimento Caravita: Italian Blogger candidate for European Parliament

Beppe Caravita, an Italian blogger and open source supporter is running with the Italian Green Party for a place in the European Parliament. He posted his program on his blog. Since he is in my blogroll, in a sense I already voted for him, so I guess I’ll follow and support his campaign. For now I added his blog on the Emergent Democracy in Europe Wiki page.
But I really think he needs a wiki where to let us collaboratively write his program.

Genocide, Sudan and the blogosphere

Ethan’s attempt of using Blogs to Hack the Media is about increasing attention to news from the developing world:
“Blogs let us tell offline media what we want. When blog readers made it clear we wanted to know more about Trent Lott’s racist comments, mainstream media picked up the ball and dug deeper into the story. What would happen if we started sending an unambiguous message that we wanted to hear lots more about Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Central America? What sort of effort would it take to choose an important issue – say the Sudanese government’s involvement in Darfur – and get enough momentum in the blogosphere that CNN was forced to bring a camera crew to the region?”

In Sudan, just as you are reading this, a genocide could be happening.
In the 10-year anniversary of the Rwandan genocide,
the op-ed columnist Kristof asks on NY Times Will We Say ‘Never Again’ Yet Again?
“Yet right now, the government of Sudan is engaging in genocide against three large African tribes in its Darfur region here. Yet right now, the government of Sudan is engaging in genocide against three large African tribes in its Darfur region here. Some 1,000 people are being killed a week, tribeswomen are being systematically raped, 700,000 people have been driven from their homes, and Sudan’s Army is even bombing the survivors.
And the world yawns.
(…) The convention against genocide not only authorizes but also obligates the nations ratifying it to stand up to genocide.”

So in this case the goal is clear: Use your blog to tell mainstream media that you want news coverage of this possible genocide.

Boycott the Daily Me!

From Boycott the Daily Me! by Sunstein:
“For democracy to work, people must be exposed to ideas they would not have chosen in advance. Democracy depends on unanticipated encounters. It is also important for diverse citizens to have common experiences, which provide a kind of social glue and help them to see they are engaged in a common endeavor. A world where people only read news they preselect creates a risk of social fragmentation.”
This is my greatest fear about Trust-aware Recommender Systems (or in general systems that personalize user experience): that people will be exposed only to what they already approuve and like.
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