Monday, October 27, 2014

Hong Kong activists unclear what to do next

"Protest leaders in Hong Kong have cancelled a vote on what the next step should be in their month-long street occupation, saying they hadn't properly consulted with the demonstrators before calling the referendum.
The two-day vote, which had been scheduled for Sunday and Monday, was supposed to have gauged support among protesters for counter proposals to offers made by Hong Kong's government following talks last week between student protest leaders and authorities.
'We admit that we did not have enough discussion with the people before deciding to go ahead with the vote and we apologize to the people,' the protest leaders said in a statement.
They also cited 'differing opinions regarding the format, motions and effectiveness' of the referendum."

I watched how the Denver Occupy movement worked and thought it was a definite time waster as they hashed out for hours items of minute concern, it seemed to me.  When you have to come to a consensus before you do anything, just expect to be jawboning for a long time, maybe even longer than your eventual actions.

crowdsourcing can be sabatoged

"However, the crowd was hopeless against a determined attacker. Before the first attack, our progress on the fourth puzzle had combined 39,299 moves by 342 users over more than 38 hours. Destroying all this progress required just 416 moves by one attacker in about an hour. In other words, creation took 100 times as many moves and about 40 times longer than destruction."

"While we take for granted the way in which social media scales-up our ability to mobilize crowds in unprecedented ways, we must confront the challenge of ensuring those mobilized crowds do not fall prey to mobs."

Life in general is like this. You can raise a child, send him to school and college, relish the outcome, and then some idiot shoots him in a robbery.  It sucks, but destruction is much easier than construction.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Crowdsourcing helps find missing boat

"On August 26th 2014, the Tunante II, a 12.5 meter-long yacht with four crew on board, declared emergency during a storm off the coast of Brazil. Within hours, the Argentinian and Brazilian governments pulled together a search & rescue force.
A Tomnod campaign request was submitted and approved, and a satellite tasking order was placed. As planes were forced to suspend their search due to bad weather, Tomnod loaded satellite images online so thousands of people around the world could scan each pixel of the South Atlantic Ocean looking for clues of the missing boat.
Renewed Hope
During the course of the search, both governments halted and resumed their active participation for various reasons. However on October 8th, an image was tagged on Tomnod which matched the description and projected location of the Tunante II."

Here's an example in which a mass of volunteers do a simple task to help someone in need.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

so how about that crowd-sourced Icelandic Constitution?

"Iceland’s recent experiment in redrafting its constitution has challenged the assumptions that a constitutional process needs to be exclusive and opaque. In 2013 the country came close to passing into law the world’s most inclusively and transparently written constitutional text. This experiment—sometimes dubbed the 'crowdsourced constitution'—should prove inspirational for people around the globe intent on writing, or re-writing, their own social contract.
The Icelandic constitutional process included three original features. The first one was a so-called National Forum—an upstream consultation of a demographically representative minipublic of 950 quasi-randomly sampled citizens. These citizens were gathered in a one-day meeting and asked to list the principles and values they would like to see embedded in the Icelandic constitution. They listed, among others, human rights, democracy, transparency, equal access to health care and education, a more strongly regulated financial sector, and public ownership of Icelandic natural resources."

Well, it almost worked.  And here's some ideas for the next country to try it.