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NYC LOCAL: Wednesday 5 November 2008 Computers and Society Class: Dougla

From: secretary
Subject: NYC LOCAL: Wednesday 5 November 2008 Computers and Society Class: Douglas Rushkoff on the Net and the Republic
Date: 4 Nov 2008 14:36:04 -0500

  what="official Computers and Society announcement by Evan Korth"
  hour="class meets at 3:30 pm"
  edits="pdf attachment removed">

 Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 00:32:35 -0500 (EST)
 From: Evan Korth <>
 To:,ACM chapter 
 Subject: [Computers_and_society_announcements] Douglas Rushkoff, Wednesday, 
November 5th, 3:30

 The next Computers and Society talk is on Wednesday, November 5th from 
 3:30-4:30 in room 109 Warren Weaver Hall (251 Mercer).  It will feature 
 author, thinker and professor Douglas Rushkoff.  His talk is entitled, 
 "Open Source Democracy."  A flyer is attached.

 Following is the foreword, by Douglas Alexander, to his paper on the same 

 The internet has become an integral part of our lives because it is 
 interactive. That means people are senders of information, rather than 
 simply passive receivers of 'old' media. Most importantly of all, we can 
 talk to each other without gatekeepers or editors. This offers exciting 
 possibilities for new social networks, which are enabled - but not 
 determined - by digital technology.

 In the software industry, the open source movement emphasises  collective 
 cooperation over private ownership. This radical idea may provide the 
 biggest challenge to the dominance of Microsoft. Open source enthusiasts 
 have found a more efficient way of working by pooling their knowledge to 
 encourage innovation.

 All this is happening at a time when participation in  mainstream 
 electoral politics is declining in many Western countries, including the 
 US and Britain. Our democracies are increasingly resembling old media, 
 with fewer real opportunities for interaction.

 What, asks Douglas Rushkoff in this original essay for Demos, would happen 
 if the 'source code' of our democratic systems was opened up to the 
 people they are meant to serve? 'An open source model for participatory, 
 bottom-up and emergent policy will force us to confront the issues of our 
 time,' he answers.

 That's a profound thought at a time when governments are recognising the 
 limits of centralised political institutions. The open source community 
 recognises that solutions to problems emerge from the interaction and 
 participation of lots of people, not by central planning.

 Rushkoff challenges us all to participate in the redesign of political 
 institutions in a way which enables new solutions to social problems to 
 emerge as the result of millions interactions. In this way, online 
 communication may indeed be able to change offline politics.


Distributed poC TINC:

Jay Sulzberger <>
Corresponding Secretary LXNY
LXNY is New York's Free Computing Organization.

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