Extreme Democracy: Politics And Networks

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This presentation was session 6 in a 12 part webinar series on the book Extreme Democracy. Extreme democracy is a political philosophy of the information era that puts people in charge of the entire political process. It suggests a deliberative process that places total confidence in the people, opening the policy-making process to many centers of power through deeply networked coalitions that can be organized around local, national and international issues. This seminar covered Politics & Networks: A discussion of the essays of Valdis Krebs (It’s the Conversation Stupid!: The Link Between Social Action & Political Choice), Ross Mayfield (Social Network Dynamics & Participatory Politics), David Weinberger (Broadcasting & the Voter’s Paradox) & Danah Boyd (Social Technology & Democracy). Pages 112 – 190

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Extreme Democracy: Politics And Networks

  1. 1. A Book & Concepts Discussion Series Paul Schumann – CenTexWFS Taylor Willingham – Texas Forums Jon Lebkowsky – Extreme Democracy
  2. 2. Tools <ul><li>The book as a guide </li></ul><ul><li>12 online interactive discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Extreme Democracy blog ( www.extremedemocracy.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Networking ( www.attendr.com/extremedemocracy ) </li></ul><ul><li>Documents </li></ul><ul><li>Texas Forums blog ( http://texasforums.wordpress.com ) </li></ul><ul><li>Survey ( http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=wSd6z99tHdPwJH_2fISs9Kvg_3d_3d ) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Politics & Networks <ul><li>It’s the Conversation Stupid: The Link Between Social Action & Political Choice: Valdis Krebs </li></ul><ul><li>Social Network Dynamics and Participatory Politics: Ross Mayfield </li></ul><ul><li>Broadcasting and the Voters paradox: David Weinberger </li></ul><ul><li>Social Technology and Democracy: danah boyd </li></ul><ul><li>The Calculus of Political Power: Mitch Ratcliff </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Calculus of Political Power <ul><li>“… although people who use the Internet for political activity tend to be more liberal, the right tends to produce more content.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Models of Political Behavior <ul><li>Atomized voter </li></ul><ul><li>Demographic voter </li></ul><ul><li>Social voter </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Who we know influences what we know and how we feel about it.” Valdis Krebs </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Krebs <ul><li>“Networks are better formed when they are not immediately necessary.” </li></ul><ul><li>“The election is a conversation not a data flow.” </li></ul><ul><li>Bose-Einstein condensate as a model? </li></ul><ul><li>Self interest or the good of others? </li></ul><ul><li>Are all nodes in a network equal? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Ecosystem of Networks Collaboration Reed’s Law, 2 N Value≈number of groups Event (Flat) 12 Creative Network Communication Metcalfe’s Law, N 2 Value≈number of links Random (Bell Curve) 150 Social Network Publishing Sarnoff’s Law, N Value≈number of subscribers Power-law (Scale Free) 1000s Political Network Weblog Modality Social Capital Distribution of Links Scale Network Layer
  8. 8. Mayfield <ul><li>At around 74% market share, it becomes more expensive to gain new customers than they are worth. What’s your experience? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the role of niche competitors in Power Law markets? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you explain this and what does it mean? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Letters: 6 degrees of separation (18% success rate) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E-Mail: 4 degrees of separation (1.6% success rate) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Online vs. Social Software <ul><li>Online Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Top-down </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Place-centric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topic-driven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centralized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Architected </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Software </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Botton-up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People-centric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>User-controlled </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Context-driven </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decentralized </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-organizing </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Social Networking Models LinkedIn Referral Private Weblogs Communication Conversational Meetup In-person Physical EverQuest Avatar Virtual Friendster, Orkut, Tribe.net Declarative Explicit Archetype Connection Method Network Type
  11. 11. Mayfield <ul><li>Institutionalized pluralism vs. Individualized pluralism? </li></ul><ul><li>“Participatory politics is a disruptive movement. Leveraging social software and the role of social networking, it provides citizens a role more than every four years.” </li></ul><ul><li>“It's time to put the demo back into democracy.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Broadcasting & the Voter’s Paradox <ul><li>“ Voting is gloriously paradoxical. Each person gets one and only one vote…When we vote, we are merely faces in the crowd…” </li></ul><ul><li>“… broadcasting isn’t simply a technological solution to a communication problem. It’s got economic, societal, political and governmental implications.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The biggest effect the Internet will have on broadcasting is on its dominance as a social metaphor.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Broadcasting is, in fact a poor paradigm for communication.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Broadcasting works against the ideals of democracy.” </li></ul><ul><li>“… it leads to a narrowing of opinion.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ A nation with only one opinion doesn’t need democracy. Yet that is almost where we are today.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ For something to grow big fast, you have to let it loose.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Democracy once again seemed to be something that we, the people, do.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Sociable Technology & Democracy <ul><li>Homophily </li></ul><ul><li>“ Usually the most tightly knit groups share much in common.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ While homophily is personally valuable, its impact on democracy can have dire consequences.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is easy to overestimate the success of a movement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is hard to rally diverse groups. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“… technology tends to increase the connections of like minded individuals more than increase the breadth of diversity.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Types of Communication Same Different Values Different Same Information Homophily Conversation Argument Deliberation
  15. 15. Uses of Technology in Democracy <ul><li>“People use available technologies in a creative way to communicate within their social network. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is developed to connect physical communities for broader support. </li></ul><ul><li>Technology is developed to help educate and empower.” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Questions <ul><li>“…how can disparate groups connect along an axis of commonality to be mutually beneficial in a way that will not spiral into a flame war?” </li></ul><ul><li>How can individuals see their impact on the whole? </li></ul><ul><li>Do we have any examples of how to handle diverse values and information that foster creativity? </li></ul>
  17. 17. danah boyd <ul><li>“ As we consider how technology can be used to engage people in democracy, it is important to encourage diverse groups to connect and affect one another without over whelming individuals. People must be able to find personal significance in the process. To be successful, technology must support people in negotiating their identity, relationships and community as part of the political process.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Next Week <ul><li>Strategy & the Political Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Democracy for the Rest of Us: The Minimal Compact & Open Source Government </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making Room for the Third World in the Second Superpower </li></ul></ul>

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