- Emergent Democracy
Mostly by Joichi Ito
Version 1.31 April 29, 2003
Proponents of the Internet have committed to and sought for a more intelligent Internet where new democratic methods could be enabled to help rectify the imbalance and inequalities of the world. Instead, the Internet today is a noisy environment with a great deal of power consolidation instead of the level democratic Internet many envisioned.
In 1993 Howard Rheingold wrote,
We temporarily have access to a tool that could bring conviviality and understanding into our lives and might help revitalize the public sphere. The same tool, improperly controlled and wielded, could become an instrument of tyranny. The vision of a citizen-designed, citizen-controlled worldwide communications network is a version of technological utopianism that could be called the vision of "the electronic agora." In the original democracy, Athens, the agora was the marketplace, and more--it was where citizens met to talk, gossip, argue, size each other up, find the weak spots in political ideas by debating about them. But another kind of vision could apply to the use of the Net in the wrong ways, a shadow vision of a less utopian kind of place--the Panopticon.
Since then he has been criticized as being naive about his views. This is because the tools and protocols of the Internet have not yet evolved enough to allow the emergence of Internet democracy to create a higher-level order. As these tools evolve we are on the verge of an awakening of the Internet. This awakening will facilitate a political model enabled by technology to support those basic attributes of democracy which have eroded as power has become concentrated within corporations and governments. It is possible that new technologies may enable a higher-level order, which in turn will enable a form of emergent democracy able to manage complex issues and support, change or replace our current representative democracy. It is also possible that new technologies will empower terrorists or totalitarian regimes. These tools will have the ability to either enhance or deteriorate democracy and we must do what is possible to influence the development of the tools for better democracy.
In the dictionary definition, democracy "is government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system." In the words of Abraham Lincoln, democracy is a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Rome and most democratic nations since then have chosen a republican form of representative democracy. Direct democracy does not scale and because the uneducated masses were considered unfit to rule directly, those who were more "fit to lead" were chosen to represent the masses. Representative democracy also allows leaders to specialize and focus in order to formulate opinions about the variety of complex issues, which need to be resolved where an uneducated and uninterested population could not be expected to directly understand all of the issues.
The failure of democracy to scale is also not complicated to understand. The founding fathers of this country, the "egalitie, fraternitie and libertie" of France and most other liberals that moved society toward freedom and liberty in the 1700's could not have been expected to visualize the growth of populations, radical evolution of science, vast increases of technology and incredible increases in mobility of information, money, goods, services and people. Nor could they know or visualize the topography of countries such as the United States, Canada and China, or continents such as Africa, Northern Europe, Russia or Latin America. They laid out such vast topography to the best of their ability on grids that bore no resemblance to the reality of the environment or to the huge increases in scale of population commerce and government. In the main, they did not foresee a need for the right to self-organize -- to adjust scale and degrees of separation as such increases occurred. (Dee Hock)
As the issues facing government become larger and more complex, new tools are enabling citizens to self-organize more easily. It is possible that such tools will enable democracies to scale and become more adaptable.
A democracy is ideally governed by the majority and protects the rights of the minority. For a democracy to perform this properly it must support a competition of ideas, which requires critical debate, freedom of speech and the ability to criticize power without fear of retribution. In a true representative democracy the power must be distributed into multiple points of authority to enable checks and balances.
Competition of ideas
A competition of ideas is essential for a democracy to embrace the diversity of its citizens and protect the rights of the minority, while allowing the consensus of the majority to rule. The competition of ideas process has evolved with the advancement of technology.
For example, the printing press made it possible to provide more information to the masses and eventually provided the people a voice through journalism and the press. Arguably, this has been replaced by the voice of mass media operated by large corporations. As a result, there is less diversity and more internalization of the competition of ideas.
Critical debate and freedom of speech
The competition of ideas requires critical debate that is widely heard. Although we have many tools for managing such debate, increasingly there are barriers to our engaging in it at all.
If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.
That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. (Thomas Jefferson)
As the notion of intellectual property continues to grow in scope, more and more of what was one part of common knowledge is becoming the property of corporations. As the infrastructure for communication becomes more tuned to the protection of property than the free spreading of ideas, the capacity for critical debate is severely constrained.
Even though ideas are not subject to copyright, increasingly draconian copyright protection legislation limits the scope and meaning of fair use and even the flow of innovation, thereby having the same effect as if ideas were property owned and controlled by corporations. It includes the code inside of the computers and networks, which controls the transmission or reproduction of information. It includes the spectrum allocation, determining whether it is shared by individuals or allocated to large corporations broadcasting protected intellectual property.
Democratic or otherwise, rarely, very rarely, does any concentration of power or wealth desire to see subjects well informed, truly educated, their privacy ensured or their discourse uninhibited. Those are the very things that power and wealth fear most. Old forms of government have every reason to operate in secret, while denying just that privilege to subjects. The people are to be minutely scrutinized while power is to be free of examination. (Dee Hock)
In addition to the legal and technical ability to speak and engage in critical debate, citizens must be allowed to speak without fear of retribution. In the increasingly sophisticated world of databases and systematic profiling of individuals, the protection of those citizens and whistleblowers willing to question power must be assured. The powerful are increasingly able to threaten the weak, and this power must be countered by an increase in the ability of people to manage their identities, which are more and more defined by the profiles created by electronically collected information.
It is essential to understand the difference between privacy and transparency. When the powerful collect information to control the weak and hide behind secrecy, this is an invasion of privacy and is the basis of a surveillance-based method of security.
In one of the earliest critiques of the ID card proposal (January 1986) Professor Geoffrey de Q Walker, now dean of law at Queensland University, observed:  (Simon Davies)
One of the fundamental contrasts between free democratic societies and totalitarian systems is that the totalitarian government [or other totalitarian organization] relies on secrecy for the regime but high surveillance and disclosure for all other groups, whereas in the civic culture of liberal democracy, the position is approximately the reverse.
Steve Mann presents the notion of sousveillance as a method for the public to monitor the establishment and provide a new level of transparency. This has been the role of the press, but with its strong orientation toward positive feedback, the media has tended to focus on less relevant issues, which get an inordinate amount of attention. One such example was the media's fascination with Gennifer Flowers and her claim that she had had an affair with President Clinton.
Weblogs and other forms of filtering coupled with many of the capture and transmission technologies discussed by Mann may provide a better method of capturing and filtering relevant information while suppressing irrelevant information where the privacy damage exceeds the value to the public.
An example of weblogs exceeding the ability of the mass media to identify relevant information is the case of Trent Lott. The national media covered briefly his racist comments during Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party. After the national media had lost interest, the weblogs continued to find evidence of Lott's hateful past until the mass media once again took notice and covered the issue in more depth.
The balance between what is relevant and not relevant is exceedingly difficult and important and culturally biased. Mechanisms to check the filtering mechanism for corruption and imbalance are necessary. It will be a variety of checks and balances and the combination of a diversity of methods that may provide us with the balanced view.
Polling and direct democracy
Direct democracy - the government of the public by itself - has always been said to be impossible on a large scale because of the technical difficulty of such direct governance and the fact that the complexities of involved in running a large state requires a much deeper understanding of the issues, specialization, and a division of labor. Representative democracy, wherein elected representatives of the people are chosen through a voting mechanism, is considered by most to be the only possible way to manage a large democracy.
As the voting mechanism becomes more organized and the difficulty of participating in the critical debate increases, we find that elected representatives represent people who have the power to influence the voting mechanism and the public debate. These groups of people are often minorities who have more financial influence or the ability to mobilize a large number of motivated people through religious or ideological means. The extremists and corporate interests dominate many democracies, and the silent majority have very little input in the selection of representatives or the critical debate.
A variety of groups have been successful in polling the silent majority and amplifying its opinions to provide support for moderate politicians on policy issues. One such group - Peaceworks - operates in Israel and Palestine through polling, by telephone and the Internet, the average citizens who are in favor of peace and amplifying their opinions by then publishing the results in reports and the mass media. This method of bypassing the traditional methods of influencing representatives is a form of direct democracy, which is becoming increasingly popular and important as technology makes such polling easier.
Generally, polling, as a form of direct democracy is very effective for issues which are relatively simple and about which the silent majority have an opinion that is under-represented. For more complex issues, such direct democracy is criticized as populist and irresponsible.
To address this issue, Professor James S. Fiskin has developed a method of polling called deliberative polling. Deliberative polling combines deliberation in small group discussions with scientific random sampling to increase the quality and depth of the understanding of the participants while maintaining a sampling that reflects the actual distribution of the population rather than the distribution of political power. Deliberative polling has been used successfully to poll people about relatively complex issues such as tax policies.
It is possible that there is a method for citizens to self-organize to deliberate on and address complex issues as necessary and enhance our democracy without any one citizen being required to know and understand the whole. This is the essence of an emergence, and it is the way that ant colonies are able to "think" and our DNA is able to build the complex bodies that we have. If information technology could provide a mechanism for citizens in a democracy to participate in a way that allowed self-organization and emergent understanding, it is possible that a form of emergent democracy could address many of the complexity and scalability issues facing representative governments today.
In complex systems the role of the leader is not about determining the direction and controlling the followers, but about maintaining integrity, representing the will of the followers and influencing and communicating with peers and leaders above. The leader becomes more of facilitator and a custodian of the process than a power figure, and is often the catalyst or manager of a critical debate or the representative of a group engaged in one. The leader is often the messenger delivering the consensus of a community to another layer or group. Indeed, some leaders in a representative democracy act in this manner. And as leadership becomes necessary to manage the development of an opinion or idea about a complex issue, information technology could enable quick and ad hoc leader selection and representation of that opinion or idea in a larger debate.
In the study of complex systems, the idea of emergence is used to indicate the arising of patterns, structures, or properties that do not seem adequately explained by referring only to the system's pre-existing components and their interaction. Emergence becomes of increasing importance as an explanatory construct when the system is characterized by the following features:
When the organization of the system, i.e., its global order, appears to be more salient and of a different kind than the components alone;
When the components can be replaced without an accompanying decommissioning of the whole system;
When the new global patterns or properties are radically novel with respect to the pre-existing components; thus, the emergent patterns seem to be unpredictable and nondeducible from the components as well as irreducible to those components.
In the book Emergence, Steven Johnson writes about harvester ant colonies, which exhibit an amazing ability to solve very difficult problems including geometry problems. The following exchange is from an interview with Deborah Gordon who studies ants.
She says, "Look at what actually happened here: they've built the cemetery at exactly the point that's furthest away from the colony. And the midden is even more interesting: they've put it at precisely the point that maximizes its distance from both the colony and the cemetery. It's like there's a rule they're following: put the dead ants as far away as possible, and put the midden as far away as possible without putting it near the dead ants."
Johnson explains that there is no ant in charge. The ants' solving of such problems is emergent behavior that comes from their following very simple rules and having several ways to interact with their immediate surroundings and neighbors.
The human fetus develops into a higher level of order through this principle of following a set of rules and interacting with its immediate neighbors. When the first cell divides into two, one half becomes the head side and the other the tail. The next time it divides, the quarters determine whether they are to be the head or the tail, and they become the head of the head, or the tail of the head, and so on. This division and specialization continues until in very short order the cells have created a complex human body. The liver cells know to turn into liver cells by sensing that their neighbors are also liver cells and reading the DNA code to understand exactly what it is supposed to do. There is no omniscient control, but just a huge number of independent cells following rules and communicating with and sensing the state of their neighbors.
In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs argues that urban planning in America tends to fail when top-down plans to change the nature of neighborhoods are implemented. Most large projects designed to increase the quality of ghetto areas by building large apartment projects have not succeeded in their aim. Conversely, neighborhoods that have thrived usually have done so in much more of an emergent way. She argues that the interaction between people on the sidewalks and streets creates a street culture and intelligence which is much more suitable for managing neighborhoods in cities than central control, and that instead of bulldozing problems in the city, planners should study neighborhoods which work and try to mimic the conditions that produce the positive emergent behavior.
Weblogs and emergence
The Power Law
In a widely distributed and linked paper, Clay Shirky argues that weblogs are exhibiting a sort of order now because the community is still small, and that as the community increases in size, the order that is being exhibited will fragment, as it did for such online communities in the past as Usenet news groups, mailing lists and bulletin boards. In his paper, "Power Laws, Weblogs, and Inequality," he shows that an analysis of inbound links for weblogs shows a standard power law distribution. The power law distribution is a distribution where the value of any unit is 1/n of its ranking. The second place weblog has 1/2 of the inbound links of the top ranking weblog, the third place weblog having 1/3 of the inbound links and so on.
This power law distribution can be counter-intuitive. At the beginning of the World Wide Web, people hoped that ease of setting up a web page would dramatically increase the number of people publishing their thoughts, and that this would lead to a diverse and decentralized system. What happened instead was that portals and search engines ended up with much of the traffic and an attention economy was created, one in which the scarce resource was attention. Attention translated into traffic to a site. People go to portals first to help them find what they are looking for. Then, they go to the mega commerce and news sites, which provide high quality information and products. Very few people end up on the smaller sites. This attention economy created a value in traffic, which is purchased from more popular sites in the form of banner advertisements and links. This business is the primary form of income for most search engines and portal sites today.
Shirky argues that the top ranking weblogs will eventually become mass media and the weblogs on the tail end of the curve will have difficulty gaining any attention. As a result, these weblogs will appear as nothing more than local conversations with friends. He explains that it will continue to get harder to displace the high-ranking sites, and his power law distribution data of weblogs supports his claims.
Many bloggers reacted negatively to Shirky's analysis. Despite the power law in the portal space, many of the high-ranking sites were not well known. I argued that there were many local maximums and that a two dimensional power law analysis did not capture the more interesting aspects of the weblogs.
Ross Mayfield proposed an alternative view of the political economy of weblogs. Mayfield points out that not all links have equal value. He explains that there are three different types of networks developing among weblogs.
The first one, the political network, follows the power law and is similar to a representative democracy where weblogs receive links from thousands of other weblogs, and these links represent something akin to voting. The weblogs which are on the top of this power curve have a great deal of influence.
The second network is the social network. The social networks are the traditional weblog form. The Law of 150 is a theory that people can maintain an average of 150 personal relationships. The Law of 150 is a bell-shaped distribution where some weblogs receive more attention than others, but the distribution fairly represents the quality of the weblogs.
The third network is the creative network. The creative network is a flat network of a production-oriented network of close associates with deep trust and dense inter-linking. It is said that 12 people is the optimum number for holding a dinner conversation or a tight team.
The Strength of Weak Ties
In "The Strength of Weak Ties" Mark Granovetter  describes the value of weak ties in networks. Strong ties are tight ties inside of small groups such as families or academic departments. Weak ties are ties between people, which link these small communities. Granovetter does a study of job hunting and shows that people are more likely to find jobs through their weak ties than their strong ties.
It is the ability of weblogs to operate at all three of Mayfield's clusters that make them so powerful. A single weblog and even a single entry in a weblog can have an operational purpose, a social purpose and an impact on the political network.
Many bloggers begin their weblogs to communicate with their strong tie peers. They will mostly link to and communicate within their small group. At some point they will discover some piece of information or point of view which resonates with the next level, the social level. Their social acquaintances will pick up those entries that they find may be interesting to others in their social network. In this way, a small group focusing on a very local area can occasionally provide input that triggers a weak tie connection carrying the piece of information to the next level. If the piece of information resonates with increasingly more weblogs, the attention to the source will quickly increase, since the information will travel with a link back to the source. The source will then be able to continue to participate in the conversation, since it will be aware of all of the links to the piece of information.
In this way, the positive feedback system of weblogs is able to identify information important at the political level by passing information across the weak ties.
Noise in the system is suppressed, and signal amplified. Primarily the 12 peers read the operational chatter at Mayfield's creative network layer. The social network layer scans the weblogs of their 150 friends and passes the significant information up to the political networks. The political networks have a variety of local maxima which represent yet another layer. Because of the six degrees phenomenon, it requires very few links before a globally significant item has made it to the top of the power curve. This allows a great deal of specialization and diversity to exist at the creative layer without causing noise at the political layer.
An interesting example of the local maxima is the network of pro-war weblogs conducting a cross-weblog debate with the anti-war weblogs. Each local maximum represents the aggregate of a network of weblogs of each opinion finally linking to each other at the maximums in a heated cross-weblog debate with relatively low noise and a high quality critical debate.
The brain and excitatory networks
Peter Kaminski makes the following observation.
For a couple years now, I've been working on the hypothesis that the process that governs the way our brains think, described by William Calvin as the "emergent properties of recurrent excitatory networks in the superficial layers of cerebral cortex," scales up in self-similar fashion to the way people work together in groups, and groups of groups -- an ultimately, up to direct democracy.
Calvin's theory is that the cerebral cortex is made up of columns of neurons, which are tightly interlinked. These columns resonate to certain types of input. When they get excited, they excite neighboring columns. If the neighboring columns also resonate to the same pattern, they also excite their neighbors. In this way, the surface of the cerebral cortex acts as a voting space, each column of neurons being excited by a variety of different patterns (ideas) choosing to resonate with a certain one and then exciting their neighbors. When a significant number of the columns begin to resonate to the same pattern, the thought becomes an understanding. There are inputs into various columns from the sensory organs and output to other organs which act based on the understanding.
Calvin's model of how we think shows that the brain uses emergence and the strength of weak ties and a neighbor excitation model for resolving thoughts. The structure of the brain is very similar to Mayfield's ecosystem. One of the keys is that the columns only excite their neighbors. This self-limiting factor is also one of the factors that Johnson describes in creating the emergent behavior of ants. Weblogs are also limited by the ability of individuals to read only a limited number of weblog entries per day and the tendency to read not primarily the weblogs with a high political ranking but the creative and social weblogs of interest. This dampening feedback is essential in maintaining the volume of interaction in the important zone of maximum emergence between completely random noise and completely useless order.
Another very important aspect of understanding the relationship between the components of the network and the nature of emergent behavior in human networks is the issue of trust.
Francis Fukuyama, in his book Trust, says that it was the nations that were able to create a layer of trust larger than the family unit and smaller than the nation which were able to build large and scalable organizations. In Germany, it was the guilds, in Japan it was the iyemoto (feudal families which allowed new members) and in the US it was a variety of religious groups.
Toshio Yamagishi distinguishes between assurance and trust. Yamagishi argues that in a closed society, people do not trust each other's trustworthiness, but rather are assured that people will behave because of the inability of the individual to escape from the community and the fear of punishment. In open communities where people are free to come and go, trust and trustworthiness are essential in creating collaborative organizations. Yamagishi provides data showing that closed societies such as Japan have a lower percentage of people who trust others than open societies such as the United States where trust between individuals is necessary.
Yamagishi has conducted an experiment using an electronic market where participants buy and sell items from each other and the participants are able to lie about the quality of the items that they sell. In the closed market scenario where participants' reputations were tracked and they were unable to change their identities, the quality of the transactions are naturally high. In a completely anonymous system, the quality was low. When participants were allowed to change their identities and only negative reputation was tracked, the quality started high but diminished over time. When the participants were allowed to change their identities and only positive reputation was tracked, the quality started low but increased over time and approached the quality of transactions in the closed network.
As networks become more open and complex, the closed networks which rely on the ability to punish members and the ability to exclude unknown participants becomes extremely limiting. The dynamic open networks, which rely on the ability of members to trust each other and identify trustworthiness through positive reputation management, are scalable and flexible. Links between weblogs, the ability to view the histories of individuals through their weblogs and the persistence of the entries enhances greatly the ability to track positive reputation. Trust and reputation build as the creative, social and political networks harbor mutual respect recognized and illustrated through linking and reciprocal linking, particularly in blogrolling behavior and secondarily in the linking and quoting. Another factor in maintaining a high level of trust is to create an ethics of trustworthiness. Trustworthiness comes from self-esteem, which involves motivation through trusting oneself rather than motivation through fear and shame.
After the Internet bubble a great number of talented programmers and architects were no longer focused on building components for large projects, which were often doomed by the basic top-down nature of hastily built business plans concerned more with investor appeal than anything else. These talented programmers and architects are now more focused on smaller projects to build the tools and design the architecture for themselves instead of imagined customers in imagined markets for investors imagining valuations and exits. These toolmakers are using the tools to communicate, discuss and design the infrastructure. They are sharing information, setting standards, and collaborating on compatibility. The community of toolmakers for weblogs and associated technology is a vibrant community, similar to the Internet Engineering Task Force during the early days of the Internet, when independent programmers were first allowed to write networking software and enter the domain previously controlled by the large hardware companies and telecommunications firms. The weblog developer community initially developed tools for itself, but now is significantly impacting and influencing mass media, politics and old-school business networking. This gives hope that we may discover how to scale the weblog network in a way that will allow bloggers to play an increasingly important role in society.
Where are we today?
There are several million weblogs on the Internet. However, the tools are still difficult to use for many people and most people still do not know about weblogs. Weblogs are still primarily an American phenomenon, although the trend is growing rapidly in other countries.
Every day new tools, features and styles of weblogging are invented, announced and discussed. A variety of new developments are on the horizon.
One of the aspects of weblogging that has increased their value over traditional web pages is the frequency and speed of the discussion. Recently, a group of bloggers including myself have begun to organize "Happenings" which involve a live voice conference, a chat room for parallel conversation and moderating the voice conference and a Wiki (A Wiki is a tool that provides an ability for a number of people to create and edit common web pages very easily.) to provide a space to collaborate. Weblogs by nature are approximately as fast as email, but instant messenger, chat and voice provide another faster and more personal level of communication as the speed of an issue increases to "escape velocity."
With more wireless mobile devices, mobile weblogging, or "moblogging" is beginning to increase in popularity. People are posting photos and text from mobile phones and other mobile devices. As location information becomes available to the mobile devices, moblogging will be a way to annotate the real world, allowing people to leave information in locations or search for information about specific locations. Although moblogging has privacy issues, its ability to contribute to Steve Mann's vision of sousveillance is significant.
All of these new developments are components, which are being tied together with open standards and a community of active architects and programmers. A dialog, tools and a process to manage this dialog is emerging.
This paper was written using this process. A variety of people were engaged in conversations on weblogs about democracy, weblog tools, critical debate, the war, privacy and other issues discussed in this paper. As these ideas began to link to each other across weblogs, a group of people resonated with the idea of emergent democracy. I asked people to join me in a telephone call and we had an initial voice conference call of about twelve people where we identified some of the primary issues. Ross Mayfield called it a "happening."
We scheduled another call, which included 20 people and many of the people from the first call provided tools to support the happening, including a Wiki, a trackback weblog, which tracked entries in different weblogs about emergent democracy, a chat, and a free conference call bridge. The second happening was able to move the discussion to the next level of order where I was able to organize some of the thoughts into the first draft of this paper.
I posted the draft of this paper on my weblog and received a great number of comments and corrections, which sparked another email dialog about related topics. Much of this feedback has been integrated into this version of the paper, which is my version of a dialog that a community of us are having on the Internet and could not have been written without this community or the tools.
== Conclusion == x
The world needs emergent democracy more than ever. Traditional forms of representative democracy are barely able to manage the scale, complexity and speed of the issues in the world today. Representatives of sovereign nations negotiating with each other in global dialog are very limited in their ability to solve global issues. The monolithic media and its increasingly simplistic representation of the world cannot provide the competition of ideas necessary to reach consensus. Emergent democracy has the potential to solve many of the problems we face in the exceedingly complex world at both the national and global scale. The community of toolmakers should be encouraged to consider their possible positive effect on the democratic process as well as the risk of enabling emergent terrorism, mob rule and a surveillance society.
We must protect the ability of these tools to be available to the public by protecting the commons. We must open the spectrum and make it available to the people, while resisting increased control of intellectual property, and the implementation of architectures that are not inclusive and open. We must work to provide access to the Net for more people by making the tools and infrastructure cheaper and easier to use.
Finally, we must explore the way in which this new form of democratic dialog translates into action and how it interacts with the existing political system. We can bootstrap emergent democracy by using the tools to develop the tools and create concrete examples of emergent democracy. These examples can create the foundation for understanding how emergent democracy can be integrated into society generally.
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 Special thanks to all of the people who participated in the happening, sent me suggests and commented on my weblog regarding this paper. These people include: Clay Shirky, Ross Mayfield, Pete Kaminski, Gen Kanai, Liz Lawley, Sébastien Paquet, Flemming Funch, Adina Levin, Edward Vielmetti, Greg Elin, Stuart Henshall, Jon Lebkowsky, Florian Brody, Mitch Ratcliffe, Kevin Marks, George Por, Dan Gillmor, Allan Karl, Rich Persaud , George Dafermos, Steve Mann, Karl-Friedrich Lenz , Toph, Chris Case and Howard Rheingold.
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