Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth

In this BBC4 programme, Ancient Greece: The Greatest Show on Earth, Dr Michael Scott shows how theatre evolved along with democracy. It's well worth a look.
This also hints at how the performing arts and the media may benefit from Interactive Democracy: when people are engaged and empowered their appetite for these arts may also swell.
Some may balk at the power this gives to playwrights. I don't. It is merely one of many possible inputs into your decision on how to vote.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

GitHub: A New Form of Arguing

In the following TED Talk Clay Shirky points out that the organisational technologies used to develop open-source code could be used to enhance democracy. In particular he introduces distributed version control software, GitHub: "Build software better, together." This allows uncoordinated and widely distributed programmers to develop code together, without central control or hierarchy. He suggests GitHub could be used to write laws in an open source way.
This is different from my concept of Interactive Democracy, which I see as a way of deciding what the law should be without the exact wording of it, but the two could work together. First ID, then GitHub.
But, one question is, does it take trained lawyers to write laws, or should everyone be able to have a go? Whatever the answer, GitHub could be scaled to provide a solution. It may have access restricted to MPs, allow contributions by qualified lawyers, or by everyone. And even if access were restricted, laws under development could be viewed by all, providing a safeguard and an educational opportunity.