Ross Mayfield rants about the problems of direct democracy and the difference between emergent democracy and direct democracy. This was one of the points that I had difficulty making during the Harvard Law School class. Rojisan and I talked about it last night too. Emergent democracy IS NOT the same as using technology to scale direct democracy. Emergent democracy is about leadership through giving up control, activating the people to engage through deliberation and action, and allowing emergent order to grow from the grass roots. It's the difference between a couch potato clicking the vote button and a group of people starting their own Dean coalition group.

That's the difference between the Dean Campaign and what just happened in California. They may both be symptoms of people unhappy with the current regime, but they are very different types of democracy.

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You had difficulty explaining the difference, yet you made it quite clear with this short post. Perhaps the Harvard Law School students are pretty daft. ;)

Maybe it's a digression, as what just occurred in California could be defined as an act of democracy in action (regardless of how you feel about its outcome).

Nonetheless, people tend to forget (or maybe don't realize) that the United States is a constitutional republic, not a democracy. That's how George Bush Jr. managed to get into the White House despite the fact that more U.S. citizens voted for Gore. Bush got (or was given by Supreme Court fiat) more electorate votes.

This guy took a shot at Joi. Or did he?

http://www.antiventurecapital.com/venturecapitalresource.html

Your trackbacks aren't working: Read timeout 500.

As there's no discernable difference between the activities that you say Emergent Democracy cultivates and those things that got the recall started under Ted Costa's leadership except leisure time, it appears that you're crying crocodile tears for the defeat of a Democratic Party office-holder.

That's basically just sad, like John Vasconcellos' childish reaction today. You both need to rethink this question after you calm down.

Emergent democracy is only going to emerge as groups and movements begin to really internalize the implications of pushing advocacy and policy within the networked society.

All poltical advocacy and campaigns are currently conducted by organizations (c-3, c-4), the people and staff of those organizations are still tied to self-interest, governance and ownership orf the organization entity. These organizations are merely exploiting the network nature of society for their own aims. They are not generally adopting the broader agendas of network participants.

The samples of truely grass roots self-organized teams plotting campaigns, attracting resources of talent, skills and funding and leading in a new direction are very rare. Succesful network advocacy campaigns are even harder to find (The geeks are not making the proper connections with the political wonks.) Poltical wonks still have not seen "wins" so they are resistent to let go of the limited resources they control to untested network-centric advocacy efforts.

"Emergent democracy is about leadership through giving up control, activating the people to engage through deliberation and action, and allowing emergent order to grow from the grass roots."

YES...However, we are all way to excited about the possibilites and not building the nuts and bolt tools groups need to influence policy. We are not selling groups like the AARP, civil rights or unions that they should "free up" resources to serve network-centric campaigns.

the Dean campaign is unique in that they are linking netowrk connectivity with strategy. They walked down thois path because they were the underdog with no resources. (vs. Kerry, Gephart, etc) In Calfornia the recall was pushed by 1.7 million in proivate funds used to exploit the connectivity to achieve the ends of the major donor.

What we really need is more focus and on connecting the resources that we do have more creatively and scaling self-organizing involvement of out core activist. We also need to invest in strategies that counter balance the network destructive self interest forces that pull coalitoins apart. (a task that could more be easily accomplished in connected world but one that is by no means assured.)

Emergent versus Direct could perhaps be summarized as a group of people who are actively interested in working for an outcome versus a group of people who say "Since I have to make a choice, I guess I'll pick that one."

Of course, along some intellectual trails, validating only "activists" or "the concerned" as legitimate participants leads back to paths such as "only property owners can vote" and "only Communist Party members can make political decisions".

So I think the concept of Emergent Democracy needs a bit more work.

Sorry for the multiple entries... There is something definitely not working right though...

Yeah. Working on it. Trackbacks only show up after a rebuild... Sorry.

When my copy of MT tries to ping you, it gets an error 500 and figures it didn't work, hence it retries if the entry is subsequently updated. Hence, I've got four trackbacks showing where one would probably suffice.

Looks like a firewall issue on your end.

No, the problem with trackback isn't a firewall thing. It has to do with the fact that Joi's site has so many pages to rebuild.

As for emergent democracy, the problem is that 'emergent' mechanisms aren't really suited to winning an election. They may improve debate about specific issues, but they won't make much difference as regards turning an election around.

The reason is that most people vote the way they were going to vote anyway. Elections in most places are mostly predictable and inevitable. There are only a few places or groups (called 'swing constituencies' or 'swing groups') where the campaign will actually make a difference to the outcome.

If you want to win a swing group or constituency, you don't do it by having an open-ended, cereberal discussion of the issues. You do it by understanding the voters' concern, addressing a simple message to them, and controlling the agenda of the debate. I wrote a rather long paper (see the section "The Practitioner's View") which investigates these topics.

Whilst 'emergent democracy' and blogging isn't likely to have much impact on electoral politics, it does have something to offer on helping inform politicians' and bureaucrats' decisions about everyday issues.

here is what was said about joi ito:
quote
Joi Ito 
This guy appears to have very little of interest to say to entrepreneurs. Mostly a vanity site comprised of travel journal entries, movie reviews, and other stuff of personal interest only. I'm not sure why it's listed on Venture Blog as a venture capital oriented site.
end quote

1. yes, mostly a vanity site, with groupies.
2. mostly travel journal entries.
3. listed as venture capital oriented site because of joi ito's own businesses he promotes to his groupies.

hth

Elections in most places are mostly predictable and inevitable.

Gee, they were all saying the Davis Recall was unique. They musta been lying.

But if elections are all so predictable, why did Davis spend $50M each cycle on ads? If you're right, that was a big waste of money.

As you say, the Davis Recall was pretty unique.

Obviously enough, a large number of voters didn't vote according to party alleigances in this election. In most elections, they do, and that is what makes the outcome pretty predictable.

When you think of it, it isn't surprising. Who could possibly resist the idea of having the Terminator for governor? Especially when the other guy's name is 'Gray'?

Now, if Yoda had been on the ballot, there would have been some hope.

I personali think that Emergent Democracy my work fine
as long as original country is divided into districts
and each of the districts elects their own representative
which will form the ruling council for the country.
Naturally, there must be supervising authority or
party which coordinates ellections, make sure that all
cadiidates are selected on specific merits and requirements, costitution is adhered to and the resources
are equally divided beetween the states. Elections would
take place one year before previous term expiry so that
the new represetative would, on commercial bases, advertise
and interview and select their own cabinet members.

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