Wednesday, August 03, 2005
Thomas Friedman on Andrew Rasiej campaign
Check out Friedman's column in this morning's NY Times!
I began thinking about [under-performing U.S. networks] after watching the Japanese use cellphones and laptops to get on the Internet from speeding bullet trains and subways deep underground. But the last straw was when I couldn't get cellphone service while visiting I.B.M.'s headquarters in Armonk, N.Y.*snip*
A new generation of politicians is waking up to this issue. For instance, Andrew Rasiej is running in New York City's Democratic primary for public advocate on a platform calling for wireless (Wi-Fi) and cellphone Internet access from every home, business and school in the city . . . Mr. Rasiej argues that we can't trust the telecom companies to make sure that everyone is connected because new technologies, like free Internet telephony, threaten their business models . . . Message: In U.S. politics, the party that most quickly absorbs the latest technology often dominates. F.D.R. dominated radio and the fireside chat; J.F.K., televised debates; Republicans, direct mail and then talk radio, and now Karl Rove's networked voter databases.Importantly, Rasiej speaks of open-source-style peer production:
"One elected official by himself can't solve the problems of eight million people," Mr. Rasiej argued, "but eight million people networked together can solve one city's problems. They can spot and offer solutions better and faster than any bureaucrat. ... The party that stakes out this new frontier will be the majority party in the 21st century. And the Democrats better understand something - their base right now is the most disconnected from the network."I have been a close observer of Rasiej's campaign. I've donated money and given advice on tech policy. Rasiej is NOT batting 1.000! But at least he's on *our* team . . .
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