“Wiki Government” — Beth Noveck Book Presentation


All of you fortunate enough to be in New York on Monday July 20th, here’s an event that’s not to be missed. The Markle Foundation is hosting a book presentation by Beth Noveck, Deputy CTO  for open government and leads President Obama’s Open Government Initiative. Beth will be speaking about her new book, Wiki Government: How Technology Can Make Government Better Democracy Stronger, and Citizens More Powerful. I think it’s a terrific book and have made multiple  copies to Sunlighters and others…That should tell you what I think of Beth and her ideas.

Here are the details: Date:      Monday, July 20, 2009 Time:     12:00 to 2:00 PM – Light Lunch will be Served Location:     The Markle Foundation 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 16th Floor Between 48th & 49th Streets, New York

Schedule: 12:00 PM:     Welcome and introduction by Stefaan Verhulst, chief of research, Markle Foundation 12:05 PM:     Beth’s presentation 1:00 PM:     Q&A session, followed by book signing

You can register by following this link. Space is limited, so I’d advise acting promptly on this opportunity.

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  • I’ll tell you what *I* think of Beth Noveck and her ideas: I haven’t encountered anything so alarming in my lifetime that constituted such a threat to democracy and civil rights since…I studied in the Soviet Union.

    While dressed up in new cyber-clothing and glamorous Web 2.0 rhetoric, her collectivist ideology reduces the role of the individual and indeed makes the group dominate him in a social construct online little different than such ideologies of the 20th century offline.

    Wikitarianism makes a big fanfare of “Here comes everybody” — but then in the case of these bureaucratic “democratic centralists,” doubles back and tells us that 10,000 people are too hard to manage when they all talk at once, and we need special cadres to speak for us as “experts”.


    Her blog is also a sterling example of the awfulness of online forums that grew out of the culture of geeks and gamerz, with their system of having players report on other players, turning them all into informants for online community or gaming companies, and then double-plus-gooding up the posts that were liked by the mods, and pushing down into the memory hole those they hated.

    Key to Noveck’s wikitarian notions is the right of only coders or bureaucrats like herself to “frame the issue properly” — the crowd isn’t sourced on the *framing* or selecting of issues, only called in to plus-up the results.

    Then the crowd is “managed” much like Putin’s “managed democracy” and steered along lines suitable to those in charge. It’s worse than a pseudodemocratic exercise because it actively undermines the real government institutions with their checks and balances and separation of powers, substituting them with an erstatz “open” mob-generated list of policies that in fact are culled out of the “double plussed” in response to precooked formulations.

    I have lots and lots of questions about how Wiki government works, that I’ve repeatedly asked on these website and blogs, which are all hat and no cattle. For example a typical “Gov 2.0” website that is supposed to be giving us “transparency” in government — the IT Dashboard — never tells you the names of any software programs, whether they are opensource or closed source, what consulting firms were used, etc. Fancy bar graphs and timelines are suppose to dazzle us into not noticing the basics.

    Ultimately, Noveck’s website with it’s little “Open Gov” slogan at the bottom of the post and the COMMENTS CLOSED right next to nearly every entry says it all.

  • q

    Oh gimme a break–another self-proclaimed expert writes a book and gets it . . . wrong.