Sunday, August 12, 2007


So, this weekend, I was enlisted by my father to help interview/film/make myself useful at this forum thingy that I had never heard of, had no idea what it was about, and even when I was told what it was about, I didn't get it.
So, I'll try to enlighten you. The forum/conference/workshop/whatever you want to call it was We Are All Actors, a group, (which you would know about if you clicked on the link) was assembled to solve the issue of building a transparent, digital, illuminated database in which all of the government's spending records were stored and accessible to the public, thus enlightening we the general population of our government's true actions. No gimmicks. No lies. No forgery. No politics. Just money.
What do they(me/we) want to accomplish? Hm...that's the tricky part. We want the site to be navigable, but thorough, we want to be able to build a system of links that can take you from the least complicated/detailed section of a federal spending bill, and be able to find out who supports it, who got money for it, and who gave money to them to get in the position to support it influentially in the first part.
As you can image, this is infinitely complicated. Something much beyond the realm of my tiny teenage brain. But thankfully, and for a long time unbenoced to me, the workshop was filled with big intelligent brains of people who know what their doing. From Grady Seale, a website manger/developer for the New York Times, to Brad Fitzpatrick, the founder of Livejournal, to Joseph Smarr, Plaxo's identity Guru, to Dick Hardt, the CEO of Sxip/guy who apparently gives the best presentations in the world. These people are capable of doing what needs to be done, or at the very least, finding someone who CAN.
But as you can imagine, I knew none of this coming in. I had no clue who Brad Fitzpatrick was, or Dick Hardt, or anyone else. So, as you can imagine I was a bit...stunned when I found out who they really were. They seem normal enough, you know, super smart and whatever, but normal. I wasn't particularly intimidated by them or anything because I know that they work in the digital world that thus far has yet to impact me (though they do effect my father), but they were sort of interesting.
Honestly I can't really tell you why I bothered to go into what I think and thought of them, other than to let you know that there are people out there who have no clue what these people do and why they're so important, and therefore interact with them as normal, not super smart human-beings.

But, anyway, moving on.

The WAAA2007 workshop was very interesting, and it does strive to do something that could really revolutionize the people's role in government, thereby empowering "the people" to lobby for change, and as we all know, change is good.