Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ACTV Localocracy panel

While watching the Localocracy Q&A panel (embedded above) I was surprised at how little faith some people have in the idea of crowdsourcing/"the wisdom of crowds."

For example, there were concerns about somebody stealing your identity and posting in your name. I thought Conor's response was pretty darn good-- Localocracy is as secure as in-person voting (anybody COULD walk up to the polls, give your name and address, and vote as you), and if you or any of your friends or neighbors notice that somebody has stolen your identity and is claiming to be you it is easy to resolve the problem (just tell the Localocracy team what happened and they'll sort it out).

They'll have to figure out how to scale that up, but that's not a hard problem to solve.

There were vague concerns that the political biases of the Localocracy creators might seep in and subtly influence things. Ummm.... no. Trust me, they'll be way too busy just trying to get the code working properly and figuring out how to make it a viable business; they won't have time to insert sneaky, very-hard-to-detect biasing techniques so their favorite pet issues get preferential treatment.

It also seemed like people couldn't wrap their heads around the idea that EVERYBODY was going to be "in charge." Watching the panel, several times I wanted to yell at the screen "if you don't agree with something or see some information that is wrong YOU get to fix it!" Doesn't everybody know about the success of wikipedia by now?

I hope it's just a generational thing, and that young people who have been exposed to the socially-self-controlled anarchy of Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia (and, for that matter, the entire World Wide Web) will have more faith in the power of people to organize themselves to try to make the world a better place.


Unknown said...

great comments Gavin. I've sent it out to the Twitterverse!

Conor said...

Great post Gavin, Thanks for the support.

Anonymous said...

AMHERST — Voters here are on the cusp of deciding the fate of a $1.68 million override at the March 23 town elections.
Proponents say the override will preserve essential town, school and library operations; opponents believe that town government is already rife with waste, and that now is the time for belt tightening. The override would add about $264 to the annual tax bill for a resident who owns a $334,600 home.
The Daily Hampshire Gazette and the Amherst Bulletin will help voters sort it all out, with an override forum slated for Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Town Room at Town Hall.
The forum is open to the public, and two panelists will field questions from the audience and from public at large via email and mail.
The panelists are Andy Churchill, override advocate and outgoing Amherst School Committee member, and Stan Gawle, override opponent and spokesman for Amherst Taxpayers for Responsible Change.
The event will be broadcast live on ACTV channel 17, and streamed live on actvamherst.com. A Webcast will be available on Wednesday at the ACTV Web site, and the event will be covered in the print edition of the Daily Hampshire Gazette and on GazetteNET.com.
The forum will be moderated by Gazette/Bulletin staff, and all questions from the public will be directed to the panelists by a moderator.
Questions for the panelists may be brought to the forum or emailed in advance. Send questions to noah@gazettenet.com, or call Bulletin editor Noah Hoffenberg at 585-5254 for more information.