Obama Invents Citizen Centered Government Communication
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
A model for government agencies and science organizations to replicate. From a Politico article on Obama's campaign pledge to use technology to enhance transparency, responsiveness, and citizen engagement:
The transition period between Election Day and Obama's swearing-in was just 76 days long, but in that time, it's fair to say that the Obama transition -- and in particular its website, Change.gov -- has made a serious down payment on these promises. Consider all the salient features of this dynamic, responsive and refreshingly open government website:
\n• Its central feature is a blog, written with a conversational style and with the authors of posts identified by name.
• The names and jobs of hundreds of members of the transition team are posted on the site.
• For the hundreds of groups lobbying the administration-to-be, Change.gov created Your Seat at the Table, where meeting topics, dates and documents delivered to the transition are posted for public viewing and comment.
• The site has launched discussion forums on several topics, including health care, the economy and community service.
• Participants in those forums can rate the comments made by others, and tens of thousands of comments are posted on the site.
• Transition staff, including top officials such as incoming health czar Tom Daschle, have posted video replies to those forums, using sites like YouTube.
• Site visitors have been invited to host local community meetings to discuss health care reform, and thousands have responded.
• The health care sector of the site even asks for participants in those local meetings to report back by uploading documents, photos and videos to the transition team.
• Open for Discussion -- a gigantic forum for people to post questions to the transition and vote for their favorites -- has gone through two rounds, with more than 5.7 million votes cast by nearly 125,000 people on about 86,000 submitted questions.
• The site features the Citizen's Briefing Book, where anyone can post or vote on proposals on any issue facing the administration. The highest-rated ideas will be gathered into a book that will be delivered to President Obama for his review.
Giving our solar system a "slap in the face"
- A stream of galactic debris is hurtling at us, pulling dark matter along with it
- It's traveling so quickly it's been described as a hurricane of dark matter
- Scientists are excited to set their particle detectors at the onslffaught
Bernardo Kastrup proposes a new ontology he calls “idealism” built on panpsychism, the idea that everything in the universe contains consciousness. He solves problems with this philosophy by adding a new suggestion: The universal mind has dissociative identity disorder.
There’s a reason they call it the “hard problem.” Consciousness: Where is it? What is it? No one single perspective seems to be able to answer all the questions we have about consciousness. Now Bernardo Kastrup thinks he’s found one. He calls his ontology idealism, and according to idealism, all of us and all we perceive are manifestations of something very much like a cosmic-scale dissociative identity disorder (DID). He suggests there’s an all-encompassing universe-wide consciousness, it has multiple personalities, and we’re them.
Firefighters in California are still struggling to contain several wildfires nearly one week after they broke out.
- Hundreds of people are still missing after three wildfires spread across Northern and Southern California last week.
- 48 of the 50 deaths occurred after the Camp Fire blazed through the town of Paradise, north of Sacramento.
- On Tuesday night, a fourth wildfire broke out, though it's mostly contained.
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