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Infancy of Booleans

  • Upside: A question of mine was asked of Republican strategist Ed Gillespie. You can see it here (scoot to 24:52).
  • Downside: It was a question that I thought was stupid and deleted (but the Google Moderator apparently saw/selected it first)

Background:I keep my eye on the citizentube project, and spotted that they were gathering questions to ask of Axelrod and Gillespie, so I asked my first question, 「What are the most important campaign issues for 2010? How many of these were apparent in 2008?」. After awhile, I read the description of the event more carefully, and saw that the event is theoretically focused on the impact of technology on our democratic process. I then went to ask what I think were much better questions:

  • As technology provides new ways for people to communicate and eliminates economies of scale for older media (like newspapers and television), how does the digital divide affect politics? Will it increase political and cultural polarisation in the US?
  • Does a more intimate engagement with voters because of new communicative technology make our democracy more of a direct democracy and less of a representative one? If so, is that a positive or negative change?
  • Are sites like Wikileaks and Twitter the future of news? How will the editorial, fact-checking, and fairness roles/responsibility of news be met by these new media?
  • Is media doing its job in our democracy? How has that role shifted over the last 50 years, and how will it change in the future?

Many of these questions were well-received - they were among the top vote-getters (partly because I got them in so early), and I decided to delete my first question after awhile because it really had no relevance to technology. To my surprise, it was selected (over all my other questions, despite being deleted). I don't think the voting process really had any relevance to what was asked (unless the panel with Arianna Huffington included it - I can't (yet) find video online for that). (Update: w00t! - my question on Wikileaks/Twitter made it into the panel discussion too. See here for the video, 29:18 is my question) - it spawned a pretty interesting discussion.

Post second spotting, I'm now pretty happy to have gotten two questions in (even if one of my two was relatively uninteresting).