261 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2021
  2. Mar 2021
    1. There's a reasonably good overview of some ideas about fixing the harms social media is doing to democracy here and it's well framed by history.

      Much of it appears to be a synopsis from the perspective of one who's only managed to attend Pariser and Stround's recent Civic Signals/New_Public Festival.

      There could have been some touches of other research in the social space including those in the Activity Streams and IndieWeb spaces to provide some alternate viewpoints.

    2. Tang has sponsored the use of software called Polis, invented in Seattle. This is a platform that lets people make tweet-like, 140-character statements, and lets others vote on them. There is no “reply” function, and thus no trolling or personal attacks. As statements are made, the system identifies those that generate the most agreement among different groups. Instead of favoring outrageous or shocking views, the Polis algorithm highlights consensus. Polis is often used to produce recommendations for government action.

      An example of social media for proactive government action.

    3. The United States has no real answer to these challenges, and no wonder: We don’t have an internet based on our democratic values of openness, accountability, and respect for human rights. An online system controlled by a tiny number of secretive companies in Silicon Valley is not democratic but rather oligopolistic, even oligarchic.

      Again, a piece that nudges me to thing that a local-based IndieWeb provider/solution would be a good one. Either co-op based, journalism-based, or library-based.

    1. In this respect, we join Fitzpatrick (2011) in exploring “the extent to which the means of media production and distribution are undergoing a process of radical democratization in the Web 2.0 era, and a desire to test the limits of that democratization”

      Something about this is reminiscent of WordPress' mission to democratize publishing. We can also compare it to Facebook whose (stated) mission is to connect people, while it's actual mission is to make money by seemingly radicalizing people to the extremes of our political spectrum.

      This highlights the fact that while many may look at content moderation on platforms like Facebook as removing their voices or deplatforming them in the case of people like Donald J. Trump or Alex Jones as an anti-democratic move. In fact it is not. Because of Facebooks active move to accelerate extreme ideas by pushing them algorithmically, they are actively be un-democratic. Democratic behavior on Facebook would look like one voice, one account and reach only commensurate with that person's standing in real life. Instead, the algorithmic timeline gives far outsized influence and reach to some of the most extreme voices on the platform. This is patently un-democratic.

  3. Feb 2021
    1. Elections are only democratic if they are truly free and fair. This requires the freedom to advocate, associate, contest, and campaign.

      what makes a true democracy

    2. in which citizens trust one another and interact as political equals. In sustainable democracies, institutions of good governance--such as impartial judicial systems and vigorous audit agencies--induce, enforce, and reward civic behavior

      path to genuine democracy

    3. they must listen to their citizens' voices, engage their participation, tolerate their protests, protect theirfreedoms, and respond to their needs

      path from predation to democracy

    4. it must have more than regular, multiparty elections under a civilian constitutional order

      what is a genuine democracy

    5. lections are only democratic if they are truly free and fair.

      What does genuine democracy look like

    1. For example, the United Nations Gender Inequality Index combines several measures related to women’s progress toward equality. One of the measures used in the GII is “representation of women in parliament”. Two countries in the world have laws mandating gender representation in their parliaments: China and Pakistan. As a result these two countries perform far better in the index than countries that are similar in all other ways. Is this fair? It doesn’t really matter, because it is confusing to anyone who doesn’t know about this factor. The GII and similar indices should always be used with careful analysis to ensure their underlying variables don’t swing the index in unexpected ways.

      Given how the US Senate is composed and elected, why don't we mandate one male and one female from each state to better balance our representation.

      How might we fairly do this to ensure better ethnic and socio-economic representation as well?

  4. Jan 2021
    1. consent of the governed

      What is the word that describes "the principle that just government required the consent of the governed..?"

      • Democracy is only mentioned 12 times in this document 9 of which are in a list of student prompts written to question the legitimacy of democracy as an American principle.
      • There are 46 mentions of Republic.
      • Only 2 mentions of Federalism (so much for the old Republican party)
    1. But brand safety requires us to do two things: 1.) keep our ads away from hate speech and 2.) fund our news ecosystem. When you know your vendors are failing at both, can you afford to look away?
    2. We don’t know how many media outlets have been run out of existence because of brand safety technology, nor how many media outlets will never be able to monetize critical news coverage because the issues important to their communities are marked as “unsafe.”
  5. Dec 2020
    1. There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

      Not just in the US but increasingly seen around the world as part of the anti-intellectualism associated with the Wokeness.

  6. Nov 2020
    1. Facebook Inc. FB 0.73% is demanding that a New York University research project cease collecting data about its political-ad-targeting practices, setting up a fight with academics seeking to study the platform without the company’s permission. The dispute involves the NYU Ad Observatory, a project launched last month by the university’s engineering school that has recruited more than 6,500 volunteers to use a specially designed browser extension to collect data about the political ads Facebook shows them.

      I haven't seen a reference to it in any of the stories I've seen about Facebook over the past decade, but at it's root, Facebook is creating a Potemkin village for each individual user of their service.

      Not being able to compare my Potemkin Village to the possibly completely different version you see makes it incredibly hard for all of us to live in the same world.

      It's been said that on the internet, no one knows you're a dog, but this is even worse: you probably have slipped so far, you're not able to be sure what world you're actually living in.

    1. Between 1950 and 1973 GDP doubled or more. This prosperity was broadly shared, with consistent growth in living standards for rich and poor alike and the emergence of a broad middle class.
  7. Oct 2020
    1. However the political crisis within the state apparatus develops over the next month, American democracy is at death’s door. The serendipitous accident of the White House pandemic cannot restore health to a social and political system that is rotten to the core.
    1. Abandoning democracy and social solidarity, the Californian Ideology dreams of a digital nirvana inhabited solely by liberal psychopaths.

      And nearly twenty years later, isn't that roughly what we've got? (aside from the digital nirvana, which didn't work out so well.)

    1. The Twenty-Six Words that Created the Internet is Jeff Kosseff’s definitive history and analysis of the current fight over Section 230, the fight over who will be held responsible to forbid speech. In it, Kosseff explains how debate over intermediary liability, as this issue is called, stretches back to a 1950s court fight, Smith v. California, about whether an L.A. bookseller should have been responsible for knowing the content of every volume on his shelves.

      For me this is the probably the key idea. Facebook doesn't need to be responsible for everything that their users post, but when they cross the line into actively algorithmically promoting and pushing that content into their users' feeds for active consumption, then they do have a responsibility for that content.

      By analogy image the trusted local bookstore mentioned. If there are millions of books there and the user has choice when they walk in to make their selection in some logical manner. But if the bookseller has the secret ability to consistently walk up to children and put porn into their hands or actively herding them into the adult sections to force that exposure on them (and they have the ability to do it without anyone else realizing it), then that is the problem. Society at large would further think that this is even more reprehensible if they realized that local governments or political parties had the ability to pay the bookseller to do this activity.

      In case the reader isn't following the analogy, this is exactly what some social platforms like Facebook are allowing our politicans to do. They're taking payment from politicans to actively lie, tell untruths, and create fear in a highly targeted manner without the rest of society to see or hear those messages. Some of these sorts of messages are of the type that if they were picked up on an open microphone and broadcast outside of the private group they were intended for would have been a career ending event.

      Without this, then we're actively stifling conversation in the public sphere and actively empowering the fringes. This sort of active targeted fringecasting is preventing social cohesion, consensus, and comprimise and instead pulling us apart.

      Perhaps the answer for Facebook is to allow them to take the political ad money for these niche ads and then not just cast to the small niche audience, but to force them to broadcast them to everyone on the platform instead? Then we could all see who our politicians really are?

    1. We need citizens to be equipped to navigate the world around us. Because good journalism is great for democracy but a citizenry equipped to meet the challenges of democracy is necessary for democracy.
    2. On the right — that’s what democracy looks like. At City Bureau we believe the future of journalism looks more like this. It’s made of networks, it’s collaborative, it practices radical transparency and it equips people to be makers.

      This chart is very reminiscent of a similar chart I saw just this morning that was looking at the differences between unicorns and zebras within an economic framing.

    1. If everyone would subscribe to such a system and create good metadata for the purposes of describing their goods, services and information, it would be a trivial matter to search the Internet for highly qualified, context-sensitive results: a fan could find all the downloadable music in a given genre, a manufacturer could efficiently discover suppliers, travelers could easily choose a hotel room for an upcoming trip. A world of exhaustive, reliable metadata would be a utopia. It's also a pipe-dream, founded on self-delusion, nerd hubris and hysterically inflated market opportunities.

      Apparently this also now applies to politics and democracy too.

    1. What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.

      What if, in fact, we've only just found a local maximum? What if in the changing landscape there are other places we could potentially get to competitively that supply greater maxima? And possibly worse, what if we need to lose value to get from here to unlock even more value there?

  8. Sep 2020
    1. while a Minister’s view is always slanted on matters that affect his own interests, so that instead of promoting deserving persons he will fill the places with his own creatures, and will try to strengthen his own position by the number of persons whom he makes dependent on his fortunes;

      Here, we see a distrust of Democratic systems, commoners, and burgher-capitalism.

      The thread of logic is that people from lower classes - coming from positions of less power and wealth - are more susceptible to corruption as they attempt to shore up their own interests by surrounding themselves with flunkies and sycophants.

      The nobility, on the other hand, need no such false assurances.

  9. Aug 2020
    1. It's wishful thinking to believe that a group of people competing to advance their agendas will be universally pleased with any hierarchy of knowledge. The best that we can hope for is a detente in which everyone is equally miserable.

      The fate of true democracies.

  10. Jul 2020
  11. Jun 2020
  12. May 2020
  13. Apr 2020
    1. The tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) is an inherent weakness to majority rule in which the majority of an electorate pursues exclusively its own interests at the expense of those in the minority. This results in oppression of minority groups comparable to that of a tyrant or despot
    1. Direct democracy was not what the framers of the United States Constitution envisioned for the nation. They saw a danger in tyranny of the majority. As a result, they advocated a representative democracy in the form of a constitutional republic over a direct democracy. For example, James Madison, in Federalist No. 10, advocates a constitutional republic over direct democracy precisely to protect the individual from the will of the majority
    2. In the New England region of the United States, towns in states such as Vermont decide local affairs through the direct democratic process of the town meeting.[22] This is the oldest form of direct democracy in the United States, and predates the founding of the country by at least a century.
  14. Feb 2020
    1. an O’Byrne,assistant professor of education at the College of Charleston, wrote, “Power and money ultimately influence decisions made by democratic bodies. With growing unrest,citizens can use social media and current/new digital tools to make themselves heard. Ultimately this will be pushed back again by existing powerholders and nothing may ultimately change. The existing powerholders will continue to exert their influence, and citizens will be left to continue to voice their opinions by shouting into the cyberverse.”

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    1. socialists do not support capitalism, meaning they want workers to control the means of production

      Workers controlling the means of production sounds like co-operative industries. This paradigm is not antithetical to 'capitalism' in the sense that there is still private ownership of the means of production. I disagree with the statement that democratic socialists do not support capitalism.

      A good debate on this topic here - https://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/323/are-worker-cooperatives-socialist-capitalist-or-their-own-category

  15. Jan 2020
    1. power of the people is not only limited to the right of vote, but it extends further and provides us the right to participate in a democratic system by observing, suggesting and discussing, contemplating, questioning, negotiating and dissenting its system or function in various circumstances
  16. Dec 2019
    1. Madison’s design has proved durable. But what would happen to American democracy if, one day in the early 21st century, a technology appeared that—over the course of a decade—changed several fundamental parameters of social and political life? What if this technology greatly increased the amount of “mutual animosity” and the speed at which outrage spread? Might we witness the political equivalent of buildings collapsing, birds falling from the sky, and the Earth moving closer to the sun?

      Jonathan Haidt, you might have noticed, is a scholar that I admire very much. In this piece, his colleague Tobias Rose-Stockwell and he ask the following questions: Is social media a threat to our democracy? Let's read the following article together and think about their question together.

  17. Nov 2019
  18. Oct 2019
  19. Jun 2019
    1. In November last year, Gordon Brown suggested that an assembly might resolve the Brexit crisis. Last month, Damon Albarn, Rowan Williams and a number of other public figures wrote an open letter to the Guardian in support, and the idea now has this newspaper’s backing.

      Further, a group of Labour MPs tabled amendments to the Brexit deal that included a Citizens' Assembly on Brexit, and a host of other campaigning and civil society organisations have started looking at this as a potential solution. Devolved administrations such as the Scottish government are also increasingly interested in this model of deliberative democracy

  20. May 2019
    1. To win a majority in the country, Labour needs to win seats in the parts of the UK that backed leave. There is no route to 10 Downing Street that doesn’t run through areas that voted heavily to leave and heavily to remain.

      The difference between Labour and the Lib Dems/Brexit Party is that Labour is the only party that can realistically aim for government at the next GE. Given the current state of British politics, this means bridging the Brexit divide.

    2. I am yet to meet more than a handful of people who have changed their minds.

      If People's Vote was intended to change people's minds on Brexit, then there is no doubt that they failed disastrously by repeating the same mistakes on the 2016 Remain campaign. Labour can only succeed if it commits to taking a different, more democratic approach to Brexit

    3. Labour is urged to pick a side in this ongoing tug-of-war. That is a dead end for the party and for a very divided country.

      Labour's split in the 2016 referendum between Leave and Remain mirrors the UK's own split: most constituencies where Remain support was the highest voted Labour in the 2015 general elections, and yet, seven out of ten Labour MPs represent constituencies that voted Leave.

  21. Feb 2019
    1. Is the freedom of the individual served by neoliberalism? Centrality of the state for this freedom, which NL denies. “neoliberal thinkers deliberately sustain the fiction that ‘the market economy’ is a natural and spontaneous order that must be placed beyond politics … The question of how authority can be something other than domination and private power shaped the ideas and action of those who built the tradition of constitutional democracy in western societies from the 16th to the 20th centuries … basic needs were those that had to be met before the individual could practically enact the status of a free subject or person. It was such needs provision that made it possible for individuals to be both personally secure and to enjoy an equality of opportunity to develop as individuals free to discover their talents and gifts … the representation of market society as a spontaneous order is pitched to the punters while, within the tent of the doctrine’s initiates, it is fully understood that the state has to be both a strong state, and to be re-engineered in order to impose neoliberal institutional design.” YeatmanFreedom.pdf
    1. “Constitutional patriotism”—as understood by those who originally put forward the idea and as understood in this essay—designates the idea that political attachment ought to center on the norms, the values and, more indirectly, the procedures of a liberal democratic constitution. Put differently, political allegiance is owed primarily neither to a national culture, as proponents of liberal nationalism have claimed, nor to “the worldwide community of human beings,” as, for instance, Martha Nussbaum’s conception of cosmopolitanism has it. Constitutional patriotism offers a vision distinct from both nationalism and cosmopolitanism, but also from republican patriotism as traditionally understood in, broadly speaking, the history of Euro-American political thought.” (Müller)

      KCD2M33B

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    1. Agreeing that the Condorcet criterion is desirable is equivalent to saying that moderate candidates should always win.

      Yes, candidates who are moderate relative to the voters should always win.

      The goal of an election is to find the candidate who best represents the electorate. If the electorate is left-wing on average, the winner should be too. If the electorate is "strong on both personal freedoms and economic freedoms", then the winner should be too.

      Anything else is undemocratic.

  22. Jan 2019
  23. Nov 2018
    1. Entscheidend ist, dass sie Herren des Verfahrens bleiben - und eine Vision für das neue Maschinenzeitalter entwickeln.

      Es sieht für mich nicht eigentlich so aus als wären wir jemals die "Herren des Verfahrens" gewesen. Und auch darum geht es ja bei Marx. Denke ich.

  24. Aug 2018
    1. Are there, in other words, any fundamental "contradictions" in human life that cannot be resolved in the context of modern liberalism, that would be resolvable by an alternative political-economic structure?

      Churchill famously said "...democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time..."

      Even within this quote it is implicit that there are many others. In some sense he's admitting that we might possibly be at a local maximum but we've just not explored the spaces beyond the adjacent possible.

    2. The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western liberalism.

      Total exhaustion?

    1. But events in Europe unfolded more or less according to Fukuyama’s prediction, and, on December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union voted itself out of existence. The Cold War really was over.

      Or ostensibly, until a strong man came to power in Russia and began its downturn into something else. It definitely doesn't seem to be a liberal democracy, so we're still fighting against it.

    2. There would be a “Common Marketization” of international relations and the world would achieve homeostasis.

      Famous last words, right?!

      These are the types of statements one must try very hard not to make unless there is 100% certainty.

      I find myself wondering how can liberal democracy and capitalism manage to fight and make the case the the small tribes (everywhere, including within the US) that it can, could and should be doing more for them.

    3. Fukuyama’s argument was that, with the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union, the last ideological alternative to liberalism had been eliminated.

      "Last" in the sense of a big, modern threat. We're still facing the threats of tribalism, which apparently have a strong pull.

    1. I think it’s important for liberal Americans who do not come from a patriarchal religious background to hear our stories and to sit with that shock. Why? Because I remain convinced that if American civil society and the American press fail to come to grips with just how radically theocratic the Christian Right is, any kind of post-Trump soft landing scenario in which American democracy recovers a healthy degree of functionality is highly unlikely.

      I haven't directly experienced this patriarchal religious background to the extreme that the writer has, but I grew up in "Jesus Land" and know it exists. I suspect he's largely correct here.

  25. Jun 2018
    1. Epistemic democratic theories refer to the capacity of the populace, either through deliberation or aggregation of knowledge, to track the truth and relies on mechanisms to synthesize and apply collective intelligence.
  26. Apr 2018
    1. Hillman accuses all kinds of leaders – from religious leaders to scientists to politicians – of failing to honestly discuss what we must do to move to zero-carbon emissions. “I don’t think they can because society isn’t organised to enable them to do so. Political parties’ focus is on jobs and GDP, depending on the burning of fossil fuels.”
  27. Nov 2017
  28. Oct 2017
    1. Some interesting takeaways from this video ...

      Some democracies, like the US and France, started with principles and constitutions first. The rest of the world, had to build democracies out of pre-existing orders There's a strong debate about whether democracy and religion can co-exist. In the end, it seems to be most compatible when those pre-existing beliefs are abstracted and distilled for their most humanistic principles. For democracy to have a religious or cultural element, that religion or culture has to be a humanist interpretation Democracy without rights is not only imperfect, but susceptible to reversal or failure. In any aggregation of power, the power has the ability to construct, so fundamental irreversible rights of those who are not in power are essential to know that democracy is fair and complete. Democracies can evolve, just as the US did. They can evolve through the evolution of the rights of the citizens. Politics also follows social change -- politics is a trailing phenomenon. It requires social change and demand for rights for rights to be politically distributed. Politics that try to lead social change don't have the ability to sustain attack over long periods of time.

    1. The abuse is the free speech issue. Kicking Nazis off of Twitter reduces the platform of a small number of people who are using that platform to terrify and silence others. Leaving them on suppresses, in all meaningful terms, the voices of entire classes of female intellectuals, people of color, and any other subgroup the mob decides to turn it spotlight towards when that subgroup gets a little too uppity.

    1. Ethics

      I would be curious to see how the founders would have pictured and wanted an 'ethics' class to be like. It would be interesting to compare how they would be taught today and see concepts like democracy that are held equally but human rights and equality possibly have a large discrepancy.

    1. DEFCON, the world’s largest hacker conference, will release its findings on Tuesday, months after hosting a July demonstration in which hackers quickly broke into 25 different types of voting machines.

      ...

      Though the report offers no proof of an attack last year, experts involved with it say they’re sure it is possible—and probable—and that the chances of a bigger attack in the future are high.

      “From a technological point of view, this is something that is clearly doable,” said Sherri Ramsay, the former director of the federal Central Security Service Threat Operations Center, which handles cyber threats for the military and the National Security Agency. “For us to turn a blind eye to this, I think that would be very irresponsible on our part.”

  29. Sep 2017
    1. mainstream pundits with more legitimacy

      This is what is so hard about democracy in the modern digital age. Habermas tells us that democracy requires an open and free exchange of idea in a equally accessible public space. While the internet is not entirely open, free and equally accessible, it is very close. Yet, we have lost the ability to vet, validate and trust most information. What does that mean about democracy in the modern age?

  30. Jul 2017
    1. The backfire effect is getting turbocharged online. I think we’re getting more angry and convinced about everything, not because we’re surrounded by like-minded people, but by people who disagree with us. Social media allows you to find the worst examples of your opponents. It’s not a place to have your own views corroborated, but rather where your worst suspicions about the other lot can be quickly and easily confirmed.

    1. “The only way to save a democracy is to explain the way things work,” says Linus Neumann, a CCC spokesman and information security consultant. “Understanding things is a good immunization.”

      democracy and web literacy

    1. The GOP intends nation-wide voter suppression.

      • The House Appropriations Committee voted to defund the Election Assistance Commission, which helps states protect voting machines from hacking.
      • The DOJ sent a letter to all 50 states, essentially instructing them to purge voter rolls.
      • The White House commission on election integrity sent a letter to all 50 states, asking for detailed voter data including political party.
  31. May 2017
  32. www.tibetsun.com www.tibetsun.com