Things we’ve been reading recently

Things we’ve been reading recently

  • 25% of Estonians electoral votes are cast online. Laws have been updated to address the issues of privacy, security and trust, without reverting to isolation and protectionism.
  • Manuel Arriaga, author of the excellent Rebooting Democracy discusses the possibility of a “Citizen’s Chamber” as an additional political entity in Foreign Policy. “Being able to affect how things are run in our neighborhood is great, but how much of a victory is that if we have so little control over our national governments? We should focus on reclaiming some real political power at the top levels of government. The question is: how might we do so? Only citizen deliberation can ensure that the public will speak in a way that is, not only empowered, but at the same time representative, reasoned and well-informed.”
  • More on citizen juries from ABC’s Big Ideas podcast, ABC’s Future Tense (they obviously feel there’s a democratic deficit down under… and who can blame them?) and some thoughts from Ed Mayo
  • Social media, like Twitter and Facebook, has the effect of tamping down diversity of opinion and stifling debate about public affairs. It makes people less likely to voice opinions, particularly when they think their views differ from those of their friends – How Social Media Silences Debate
  • “It is important that we acknowledge that a political act, even if it requires limited effort, has relevance for the individual, and, as such, carries worth. […]  the Internet has fundamentally changed how people understand politics, and, consequently, it is forcing us to broaden our understanding of the ‘political’, and of what constitutes political participation.” in  Don’t knock clickivism
  • Taking hope from this Open letter from global CEOs to world leaders urging concrete climate action – signed by 43 companies and 20 economic sectors, with operations in over 150 countries and territories, who together generated over $1.2 trillion in revenue in 2014.
Ed Dowding

<p>Technologist and entrepreneur, Ed specialises in social collaboration systems. His work has included building risk analysis services for the insurance industry, and from 2005 to 2010 he developed an SMS alert system which quickly grew into a full emergency management service for London local authorities and blue-lights.</p>

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