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robertogreco : estherdyson   6

future shock - bookforum.com / current issue
“Fixing government” for Newsom and Brand means getting rid of its vast bureaucracy. But if the Tea Partiers, steeped in Ayn Rand, want to dismantle government bureaucracy because they hate government, Newsom and Brand want to dismantle it simply because they have the tools to do it. And this is where Newsom’s tract moves beyond mere callow publishing opportunism into a broader, more pernicious rejection of progressive ideas. The purely formal urge to overhaul government along notionally digital lines is a manifestation of what I call “solutionism”—a tendency to justify reforms of social and political institutions by invoking the easy availability of powerful technological fixes rather than by engaging in a genuine analysis of what, if anything, is ailing those institutions and how to fix it.

Solutionists are not interested in investigating the subtle but constitutive roles of supposed vices like bureaucracy, opacity, or inefficiency in enabling liberal subjects to pursue their own life projects. Solutionists simply want to eliminate those vices—and the institutions that produce them—because technology permits them to do so. In his discussion of bureaucracy, for example, Newsom doesn’t even bother with the standard Weberian explanation that bureaucracy is a decidedly modernist institution for minimizing nepotism and introducing some fairness and neutrality to public administration. Instead, he simply views bureaucracy as a consequence of inadequate technology, concluding that better technology will allow us to get rid of it altogether—and why shouldn’t we?

“Our government is clogged with a dense layer of bureaucracy,” he complains. “It’s like a clay layer, a filler that serves only to slow everything down. But technology can get rid of that clay layer by making it possible for people to bypass the usual bureaucratic morass.” In a very limited sense, Newsom is right: Modern technology does allow us to bypass “the usual bureaucratic morass.” But to fail to examine why that morass exists and simply proceed to eliminate it because we have the technology is to fall for a very narrow-minded, regressive, and (paradoxically enough) antimodern kind of solutionism.
evgenymorozov  gavinnewson  scathing  review  book  solutionism  california  technology  government  bureaucracy  democracy  stewartbrand  californianideology  via:migurski  books  teaparty  clayshirky  timoreilly  dontapscott  kevinkelly  estherdyson  longnow 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Thinking about social objects – confused of calcutta
"And that’s part of the reason I share some of the things I do via twitter: The music I listen to. The food I’m cooking or eating. The films I’m watching; the books I’m reading; the places I go to. Sometimes what I share is in the immediate past, sometimes it’s in the present, sometimes all I’m doing is declaring my intent. Because, paraphrasing John Lennon, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

When we share our experiences of sights and sounds and smells, we recreate the familiar imaginary places we share with others. We use these digital objects as the seed, as one dimension of the experience to flesh out the rest of that experience. So we take the sound or image or location or even in some cases the smell, and we extrapolate it into a rich memory of that particular experience. Which is often a worthwhile thing to do, for all the people who shared that “imaginary place” with you."
imaginaryplaces  constructedreality  jprangaswami  socialobjects  estherdyson  lifestreams  twitter  facebook  flickr  linkedin  socialnetworking  internet  future  web  search  action  thoreau  nicholasfelton  visualization  communities  interaction  relationships  conversation  sharing  augmentation  folksonomy  hashtags  metadata  place  meaning  experience  context  sharedspace  sharedexperience  music 
october 2010 by robertogreco
Hurry Up and Wait - The Slow Issue - GOOD
"“The slow movement imagines itself to belong by rights to the cultural layer”—a slow-moving layer of society—“but it’s still in the layer of fashionable activism,” he says. “An earthquake is rapid and shocking, it seems, but the underlying forces are geologically slow. So it’s actually our perception of pacing that’s odd, not pacing itself.”"
design  futurism  brucesterling  goodmagazine  slowness  culture  slow  estherdyson  johnmaeda  julianbleecker  jamaiscascio  alexanderrose  creativity  environment  trends  ideas  2010  future 
january 2010 by robertogreco
It's Time to Reboot America. | Rebooting America
"The Personal Democracy Forum presents an anthology of forty-four essays brimming with the hopes of reenergizing, reorganizing, and reorienting our government for the Internet Age. How would completely reorganizing our system of representation work? Is it possible to redesign our government with open doors and see-through walls? How can we leverage the exponential power of many-to-many deliberation for the common good?"

[full contents available for download here: http://rebooting.personaldemocracy.com/files/Rebooting_America.pdf ]
e-democracy  personaldemocracyforum  culture  democracy  internet  socialnetworking  government  policy  politics  davidweinberger  douglasrushkoff  howardrheingold  danahboyd  clayshirky  craignewmark  estherdyson  yochaibenkler  books  research  us 
august 2008 by robertogreco
"Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age," Future Insight, Aug. 1994
"we constitute the final generation of an old civilization and, at the very same time, the first generation of a new one...Next, of course, must come the creation -- creation of a new civilization, founded in the eternal truths of the American Idea."
via:preoccupations  cyberspace  1994  history  internet  manifestos  knowledge  civilization  change  generations  classideas  society  estherdyson  alvintoffler  cyberculture  online 
july 2008 by robertogreco
The Coming Ad Revolution - WSJ.com
"This does not mean that traditional online advertising will go away, just that it will become less effective. Value is being created in users' own walled gardens, which they will cultivate for themselves in real estate owned by the social networks."
advertising  ads  dopplr  future  facebook  privacy  publishing  socialmedia  socialnetworking  estherdyson  online 
february 2008 by robertogreco

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