[Vision2020] Open source and related concepts

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at verizon.net
Tue Apr 8 02:50:40 PDT 2008

On Monday 07 April 2008 22:18, Paul Rumelhart wrote:
> If this takes off, I'll be hoping to get some of the people on this list
> involved in the project.  It is basically what Vision2020 purports to
> want to be - a place where our vision of the future of our town can be
> expressed in a positive way.
> Any thoughts?

Yes. In British Commonwealth nations there is a history of formation and 
operation of shadow cabinets by members of a loyal opposition -- members of 
parties not in power who follow closely the activities of their 
counterparts who hold the actual offices of government.

I think the concept of shadow cabinets, or more generally, that of shadow 
governments, is a primitive underlying concept of the open source 
metagovernment idea contained in your post. With faster, denser, and more 
widespread communication networks today, a much more capacious, capable, 
and coordinated collection of alternate government entities, and frankly, 
other organizations of interest, could be cooperatively created and 
operated by enough sufficiently interested persons.

As with many organizations, getting in early may be a prerequisite for 
substantial influence and accomplishment. However, as the open source 
software model shows, there is more than enough work and opportunity for 
huge numbers of individuals.

The idea of interfaces and interactions among real individuals acting as 
shadow alternates to actual organizations, and on-line software simulations 
of various shadow-interest activities and data, information, and decision 
flows suggests high potential for efficacious efforts and substantive 
progress in citizen participation in public governance.

These ideas may appear fantasy-like to some, but after one notices that one 
can be legally liable for paying actual real dollars to the actual real 
Internal Revenue Service for financial transactions carried out inside the 
virtual world of Second Life, one can better appreciate some of the real 
potentials of various forms of near-future hybrid governance mechanisms.

Enthusiasm for the new, exciting, and potentially powerful needs to be 
mitigated, especially with respect to personal efforts, to those levels of 
effort that do not consume oneself to serious detriment to self and others.


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