Open Source Living: Interactive Democracy

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We continue our discussions with media thinker Douglas Rushkoff, our Thursday weekly guest for the month of March. Today we discuss the way that both the tools of interactive media and the ethos of open source living have affected the democratic process.


Douglas Rushkoff

Comments [15]

Mark VIctor from Queens

As far as our constitution goes, the Founders made it difficult to amend for a reason (2/3 of the federal legislature, 3/4 of the states). They wanted to avoid too much "open sourcing" and change without good deliberation. I would call it a "limited open source" document. We can amend our constitution, but it takes time, debate, and a lot of commitment -- a very good thing.

Mar. 27 2008 11:09 AM
Leslie from hudson, ny

I think John McCain was heroic - there's no doubt about it. But I'll suggest again that since Jeremiah Wright has become such an issue, let's actually look at the man's sermons. We've seen a recent video but let's watch or read the entire sermon. I bet we'll find that his sermons were intellectual, emotional, radical, filled with racial pride (not anit-white sentiment), and hope.

Rev. Wright's name should not be used as just a bad word with the assumption that Obama shoud disown him. He's far more complex than that and has apparently touched many people. Let's examine him in more depth.

[Moderator's Note: Please remember to keep comments on topic to the discussion that takes place on the air. Thanks.]

Mar. 21 2008 10:16 AM
Rick Eyre from Sydney, Australia

Re: the length of Youtube videos. Recently Youtube set a limit of 10 minutes for all uploaded videos, but those accounts that already had permission to upload longer videos than 10 mins are still able to do so. Including, presumably, BarackObamaDotCom.

See the Youtube FAQ

Mar. 20 2008 05:28 PM
Jim from NJ

Leslie what Obmama said was,"I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother". Interesting that Obama couldn't get up and freely walk out of the church when Rev Wright said "inexcuable" comments. Yet, John McCain, despite years of solitary confinement and toture, would not disown his country for the chance to walk out of his prison. That's all the larger context that's needed, yo.

Mar. 20 2008 03:02 PM
Jim from NJ

It is interesting Leslie wants everyone to forget Rev Wright. Leslie, I would think, is eager to have a "converstation" that Obama reference in his speech but, wants to have a on her terms, anyone not wanting to talk about what she wants to talk about need not join the
"conversation". That's facist thinking

Mar. 20 2008 11:04 AM
Mike from Park Slope

Political communication is polarized because digital information is transmitted in bits? Really?

That was a pretty useless segment.

Mar. 20 2008 11:03 AM
Richard Lee from The Slope

The Obama campaign posted a complete 37 min version to Youtube, and when I played it for my wife and daughter last night (all the way through, so I guess we count) the counter showed 1.7 million hits. Who are all these people with an attention of more than 5 mins?

Mar. 20 2008 11:00 AM
Leslie from hudson, ny

Even with the speech, Obama has not protected himself from uncomfortable questions. Quite the contrary, he has posed some uncomfortable questions and opened up a new discussion that will inevitably open himself up to uncomfortable questions. I mean, he'll have every day until between now and then end of his career to answer questions in interviews and debates. And I'm sure Brian will continue to bring it up.

Mar. 20 2008 10:59 AM
Alvaro Donado from Montclair NJ

the ability to go back and review an entire speech or other item that mainstream media will "sound-bite" is an amazing tool for individuals who cherish making up their minds based on as much information as possible.

Also - the you-tube count of Obama's speech doesn't count the people that have viewed the speech in other sites like

Mar. 20 2008 10:57 AM
Liz from brooklyn

How could you believe that anything a political candidate says or does is not calculated to give him every advantage and protect him from uncomfortable questions?

Mar. 20 2008 10:55 AM
Mark Dzula from Inwood, NYC

How do you see new media affecting education as a social/political institution? What do students need to learn to participate?

Mar. 20 2008 10:53 AM
Leslie from hudson, ny

It is interesting that Brian is devoting yet more time to the Rev. Wright via this discussion. Obama's speech was a moment of grace in this "talk-down-to-the-electorate" political landscape and stroke of genius as a way to respond to the firestorm. Please don't try to keep this issue alive even when your show is on other topics.

Mar. 20 2008 10:53 AM
Jim from NJ

The internet does not force anyone to be any more open minded to dissenting opinions. In fact it make the segragation of the populace by political bias even more extreme through the use of RSS feeds, podcast subscribtions, blog of nothing but like minded individuals, in this way duplicating the model of mainstream media and cable news.

Mar. 20 2008 10:51 AM
jawbone from Parsippany, NJ

I realize this is about the medium of the message, but the opening quote from Obama's speech was interesting in that he said some "could" do certain things--and his campaign had done one of those things: His campaign, per Sean Wilentz link below, had played the "race-baiting card" against the Clintons (yes, both) by saying things which were both accurate and not racist as being such a thing.

Dangerous game to play, in old media or new.

Mar. 20 2008 10:49 AM
Derek Tutschulte from Brooklyn

Do younger people feel more enabled to get the job done? They grew up with all this cool stuff. Are they more optimistic?

Mar. 20 2008 10:48 AM

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