You say you want an eRevolution/Well you know/We all want to change the World

e-Government, e-Society and Jordan: Strategy, theory, practice, and assessment by Michael Blakemore and Roderic Dutton provides a thourough and balanced look at the process of implementing and e-Government and how that would impact society.

Though eye-opening, this article raise more questions than it answered.


Blakemore’s and Dutton’s choice of “consumer” to represent “citizen” is the perfect metaphor for our society and how it operates on a daily basis. We are much better at being consumers than we are at being citizens. Our lives have been twisted into an entrancing and nauseating barrage of goods and services. Capitalism has created a terrible beast that might not stop until it eats itself. I applaud their exhaustive efforts in trying to work out how to implement an e-Government but I think we first need an e-Revolution. Online communities are growing strong and individuals are empowered like never before. The whole world witnessed a popular revolution take place on live TV. Grass Roots movements are gaining traction. One voice resonates louder and touches more people with the amplification of the internet. A revolution organized and executed through the internet is alot more possible than a functioning e-Government.

—————————-

I’ve had very limited experience with eDemocracy with the exception of a few meaningless online polls. I am very wary of voting online for any serious election. For screaming as loudly as our country does about democracy, we sure have terrible percentages of people voting in local and national elections. It’s an insult to democracy and makes us look like hypocrites. I’m not sure the model of eVoting i’m aware of would be effective in resulting in higher voter participation or be completly secure from tampering. I do believe we’re on the cusp of a public uprising. We are becoming more empowered by innovations and new technologies and have witness popular uprisings in Eastern European countries result in positive change. The power of the internet as a community organizer and energizer combined with an empowered public could equal forced change through civil action.

There were a couple points i specificall wanted to comment on. First, in “The Net and the Future of Politics: The Ascendency of the Commons” Michael Hauben mentioned an article that was “critical of modern journalism failing in its role as a public forum to help raise the needed questions of our society.” I believe this may no longer be true. The impact of bloggers on Katrina coverage and the Bush National Guard forgeries cannot be underestimated. Individuals who have no prior political power are forcing change. It’s a wonderful time for a single loud voice to be heard. From that single voice, a nation can sing…(mental note: propose commercial concept where i teach a nation, no, a ‘whole world’ to sing, in perfect harmony, a song of change). Ok, I was getting a bit idealistic there, but I do believe bloggers and independent journalists are doing a good job. The mainstream cable and network news outlets are absolutley untrustworthy on both sides of the political spectrum. It really is an atmosphere of Infotainment as News. It’s appalling. There are a few good debate shows but overall, the news has turned into cotton candy with blood on top.

My second comment about the reading was sparked from this comment:

“As people connect to the discussion forum when they wish, and when they have time, they can be thoughtful in their responses to the discussion.”

The discussion will need to be closely monitored. There are always trolls or other folks intent on disturbing the process. I was really inspired by the concepts and ideas introduced in this reading but can’t help but think it’s too idealistic.

Brian G.

Advertisements
Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: