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June 12, 2012

Report from Personal Democracy Forum

By Rob Kall

I've been attending the Personal Democracy Forum, in NYC. This is my fourth year covering it and I have to say it's become one of my favorite conferences. Why? It always brings incredible voices, faces and information. Go to the link above for the schedule and archived videos. There is awesome content there.

::::::::

I've been attending the Personal Democracy Forum, in NYC. This is my fourth year covering it and I have to say it's become one of my favorite conferences. Why? It always brings incredible voices, faces and information.  Go to the link above for the schedule and archived videos. There is awesome content there. (twitter hashtag to follow is #PDF12 )



I'll be writing articles and doing interviews based on my attendance. If you can, you should seriously consider attending next year, if you use the internet for politics, activism or government. 

Presenters this year included protesters, experts in transparency, internet campaigning, internet freedoms and SOPA and PIPA,  shared economy, demographics and data, malware as weapons (flame, Stuxnet) International trade, privacy.
Make sure to read below about how visual memes are used in China to evade censors. It seems that memes should also be used more for all activism. They are incredibly powerful. 

Actually, as I write this report, I'm listening to an expert on internet security-- Christopher Soghoian. 
Here are some notes from his talk:

5% of the world uses Internet explorer 6, which is 10 years old and has many security flaws. Firefox also has had many security flaws. Google Chrome seems to be the most aggressively updated for security-- automatically.  (I use chrome almost all the time.)

Computers that don't auto-update are much more likely to get infected. Then they turn into Zombies, which are used as parts of bot-nets-- millions of infected computers used to send out spam and worse. 

And here are some notes from other talks, panels and conversations:
Van Jones had this to say about Occupy: "Occupy Wall Street is the most important thing that's happened in this country in the last decade." He said that in response to an accusation that he'd been attempting to co-opt occupy for the Democrats. I have to say that his response, which this was a part of, was convincing. I'll have the rest of the respons in a full article later this week. 

Here are some more notes. 

The conference opened with a three way conversation between Andrew Rasiej, one of the meeting co-founders, Senator Ron Wyden and congressman Darrell Issa, talking about SOPA, PIPA and TPP. I'm particularly interested in TPP-- the Trans Pacific Partnership, which I believe is the most under the radar, dangerous Trade Agreement ever. Wyden agreed to be on my radio show to discuss it. 

More notes;

Leslie Harris, president of CDT

Leslie Harris - Center for Democracy and Technology

The internet is threatened by a sweeping censorship, aimed at a growing threat to the american way of life-- the internet.

Advocacy has always mattered for the open internet. 

We did not get the internet we have today by code alone. 

It takes more than a moment to make a movement. 

Depending on outcome of the election, it's possible we'll have to deal with the end of net neutrality. 

Need a politics more welcoming to women

Nee dot grab our passports and leave the republi of Nerdistan

We do have to set a positive vision for the internet-- then an agenda that captures the imagineation of the electorate-- one that they can envision themselves, for their future and the future of their children.  The hard part is we to get beyond no. 

No is the right strategy for SOPA. We have to be prepared to grapple with the issues that affect all intent users and 

Answers will not always be as easy as "hands off."

We must articulate a common set of ethics for the internet community and be welling to step up and call out those who step out of line. 

We need to work out our place for the global internet freedom. When we (in the US) 

quoting an Indian "The world is waiting to cherry pick from the USA's worst practices"

Susan Crawford

captive audience book Nov 2012

@scrawford

America's being left behind

China's going to have 300 Million on fiber to the home

US we have a 2nd class, monopolist wired network w

Alexis Ohanian one of the founders of Reddit

The Hero the Internet Needs

You. The internet has actually shown the power that all of you have. 

World WIde web is an incredible level playing field--- the purest meritocracy the world has every seen. That is power. It is the power of ideas to spread simply because it is good. 

Who would want to stop this.   Lamarr Smith 

The strength of word of mouth has gotten so much stronger, faster, further"

All the great ideas, all the great genius, all the talented people whose ideas could not spread because of some gatekeeper-- all of the things that we've missed out on that could have been with a connected, open internet. 

Please, find your Gothams, alert your Batmen and women and 

Yochai Benkler

Attention Backbone of a form we've never seen before in mass media. 

Presented a history of the waves of content sources on the web that fought SOPA and PIPA

Jaron Lanier

author, You are not a gadget

Partner architect at Microsoft, worked on early parts of the internet and technologies

How not create a new cyber-plutocracy

Democracy requires openness, fluidity, freedom of speech. But they are not enough. it needs a strong middle class. In new world, if there isn't a bell curve distribution of clout"  

What is middle class clout? Where does it come from, how might it be created?

With the rise of capitalism and the rise of markets, a certain information sy stem raised before the internet-- economic-- 

In fluid systems you see vortexes rise up and down--- up, see gilded age, down see race to bottom and sinking. 

Struggle to not sink-- created an artificial pond that would create a little bit of constancy, reliability and clout for a middle class person-- tenure, taxi medallion, getting into a union, getting a traditional IRA and Mortgage copyright. 

All of these things were mechanisms that created an artificial blockage

We need material dignity-- low pass filter

when you have these little levees set up you start being able to accumulate a little wealth so you don't have to earn money every day. 

the only real, ultimate immunity is middle class clout. That's the only way to balance power. 

Ted Nelson-- came up with first concept of hypermedia, of widely connected computers-- he called it Hypertext. 

Had idea of sending universal micro payments to all the people that value came from. 

If you can create a kind of monetization that's really fluid, egalitarian, open--- 

how can we institute universal micro payments

A world where our data is broken apart between open data and vaults. 

Jaron Lanier afternoon conversation

There are a lot of moving parts in thinking about the future of economics and democracy. 

If we had made a more Nelsonian design we would not have the middle class in such trouble. 

the original idea of networking,from 1960s through the seventies, there wouldn't be copies, no copy function. 

Think of any network design where there's actually money involved. You're not making a copy. It's a mirror, like an app in apple story. 

If you don't have copies then your an have backward links and micro-payments. 

We're making unnecessary copies. It's a carbon sin. 

Not only paper is going away but the very abstract concept of the copy is going away (talking about an experience in the 70's with sponsor, Xerox)

The idea of the backward link was battered". 

This idea of losing provenance as the same idea as democracy and freedom"

The thing about the one way link is it's more viral. It does spread faster. 

In order to have a pure information economy that supports a middle class there simply has to be 

the key thing is a sort of a levee structure that can create wealth 

This is the idea of software swallowing everything as Mark Andreas recently put it. 

We tend to think of 

the truth is society can survive the destruction of the creative classes. But those are only the canaries in the coal mine. Vehicles can already drive themselves-- teamsters, taxi drivers. When the vehicles start driving themselves, those people will storm the doors and try to kill us. And we must have the vehicles drive themselves because people are such bad drivers and the carbon footprint 

Three D printing is going strong, soon, instead of ordering something from apple you'll download a file. China will be out of business. 

Google exists because we threw away backwards linking. 

The thing about micro payments is it has to be multigenerational, with always back links. 

A very messy incremental step towards what we could have done-- that's all we ever get in civilization. 

we should be monetizing more and more and recording more and more. 

You have to change the social contact motivation for each person in the node. 

You can't make prohibitions work" 

I don't think people's habits are bad. I just think their expectations are low. 

If you turn into a utopian you become useless. 

Think of it as a cumulative buildup of a multitude of royalty streams you've accumulated over time. It would be an incremental fluid system that would give you a pension. 

If you're in the lower part, if you have to spend more, that obliges you to make a living with something that has not been virtualized" 

I believe that there will be a part of the economy that will remain physical in the long term. 

Google could turn into an HP in 20 or 30 years and that would be a disaster

The right way to balance power concentrations is with a strong middle class rather than other power concentrations. 

Even getting spy information will cost--

think of money as an early information system

In a sense money exists in part because of the co-op problem. 

There are limits to politics simply because people are ornery. 

MOnday EVeryone's the media panel

Joaquin Alvarado

transactional identity. 

If you were a Chicano in Oakland in the late seventies early eighties, you had to do appropriation and hybridity to represent your community

communities create technologies, not technologies create communities. 

There are enormous news desserts out there that we're really not engaging in. 

Collaborative Economics and the American Dream Panel

half of workers couldn't come up with $2000 in a month, for an emergency. 

Van jones asked about his efforts to coopt Occupy wall street. 

peer to peer lending

zopa, prosper  are sites for funding

banks won't lend to people but crowd sourcing enterprises will. 

Democratization of the access to capitol is a huge opportunity. 

Shelby Clark-- renting cars to strangers

able bank-- challenge of getting people to bank without a branch, even though you neter visit it. 

Leslie Harris, president of CDT

Leslie Harris - Center for Democracy and Technology

The internet is threatened by a sweeping censorship, aimed at a growing threat to the american way of life-- the internet.

Advocacy has always mattered for the open internet. 

We did not get the internet we have today by code alone. 

It takes more than a moment to make a movement. 

Depending on outcome of the election, it's possible we'll have to deal with the end of net neutrality. 

Need a politics more welcoming to women

Nee dot grab our passports and leave the republi of Nerdistan

We do have to set a positive vision for the internet-- then an agenda that captures the imagineation of the electorate-- one that they can envision themselves, for their future and the future of their children.  The hard part is we to get beyond no. 

No is the right strategy for SOPA. We have to be prepared to grapple with the issues that affect all intent users and 

Answers will not always be as easy as "hands off."

We must articulate a common set of ethics for the internet community and be welling to step up and call out those who step out of line. 

We need to work out our place for the global internet freedom. When we (in the US) 

quoting an Indian "The world is waiting to cherry pick from the USA's worst practices"

Susan Crawford

captive audience book Nov 2012

@scrawford

America's being left behind

China's going to have 300 Million on fiber to the home

US we have a 2nd class, monopolist wired network w

Mark Surman

Mozilla

Reihan Salam

Alexis Ohanian

one of the founders of Rddit

The Hero the Internet Needs

You. The internet has actually shown the power that all of you have. 

World WIde web is an incredible level playing field--- the purest meritocracy the world has every seen. That is power. It is the power of ideas to spread simply because it is good. 

Who would want to stop this.   Lamarr Smith 

The strength of word of mouth has gotten so much stronger, faster, further"

All the great ideas, all the great genius, all the talented people whose ideas could not spread because of some gatekeeper-- all of the things that we've missed out on that could have been with a connected, open internet. 

Please, find your Gothams, alert your Batmen and women and 

Yochai Benkler

Attention Backbone of a form we've never seen before in mass media. 

over three dozen experimental action sites

Jaron Lanier

You are not a gadget

Partner architect at Microsoft, worked on pros

How not create a new cyber-plutocracy

Democracy requires openness, fluidity, freedom of speech. But they are not enough. it needs a strong middle class. In new world, if there isn't a bell curve distribution of clout"  

What is middle class clout? Where does it come from, how might it be created?

With the rise of capitalism and the rise of markets, a certain information sy stem raised before the internet-- economic-- 

In fluid systems you see vortexes rise up and down--- up, see gilded age, down see race to bottom and sinking. 

Struggle to not sink-- created an artificial pond that would create a little bit of constancy, reliability and clout for a middle class person-- tenure, taxi medallion, getting into a union, getting a traditional IRA and Mortgage copyright. 

All of these things were mechanisms that created an artificial blockage

We need material dignity-- low pass filter

when you have these little levees set up you start being able to accumulate a little wealth so you don't have to earn money every day. 

the only real, ultimate immunity is middle class clout. That's the only way to balance power. 

Ted Nelson-- came up with first concept of hypermedia, of widely connected computers-- he called it Hypertext. 

Had idea of sending universal micro payments to all the people that value came from. 

If you can create a kind of monetization that's really fluid, egalitarian, open--- 

how can we institute universal micro payments

A world where our data is broken apart between open data and vaults. 

Jaron Lanier afternoon conversation

There are a lot of moving parts in thinking about the future of economics and democracy. 

If we had made a more Nelsonian design we would not have the middle class in such trouble. 

the original idea of networking,from 1960s through the seventies, there wouldn't be copies, no copy function. 

Think of any network design where there's actually money involved. You're not making a copy. It's a mirror, like an app in apple story. 

If you don't have copies then your an have backward links and micro-payments. 

We're making unnecessary copies. It's a carbon sin. 

Not only paper is going away but the very abstract concept of the copy is going away (talking about an experience in the 70's with sponsor, Xerox)

The idea of the backward link was battered". 

This idea of losing provenance as the same idea as democracy and freedom"

The thing about the one way link is it's more viral. It does spread faster. 

In order to have a pure information economy that supports a middle class there simply has to be 

the key thing is a sort of a levee structure that can create wealth 

This is the idea of software swallowing everything as Mark Andreas recently put it. 

We tend to think of 

the truth is society can survive the destruction of the creative classes. But those are only the canaries in the coal mine. Vehicles can already drive themselves-- teamsters, taxi drivers. When the vehicles start driving themselves, those people will storm the doors and try to kill us. And we must have the vehicles drive themselves because people are such bad drivers and the carbon footprint 

Three D printing is going strong, soon, instead of ordering something from apple you'll download a file. China will be out of business. 

Google exists because we threw away backwards linking. 

The thing about micro payments is it has to be multigenerational, with always back links. 

A very messy incremental step towards what we could have done-- that's all we ever get in civilization. 

we should be monetizing more and more and recording more and more. 

You have to change the social contact motivation for each person in the node. 

You can't make prohibitions work" 

I don't think people's habits are bad. I just think their expectations are low. 

If you turn into a utopian you become useless. 

Think of it as a cumulative buildup of a multitude of royalty streams you've accumulated over time. It would be an incremental fluid system that would give you a pension. 

If you're in the lower part, if you have to spend more, that obliges you to make a living with something that has not been virtualized" 

I believe that there will be a part of the economy that will remain physical in the long term. 

Google could turn into an HP in 20 or 30 years and that would be a disaster

The right way to balance power concentrations is with a strong middle class rather than other power concentrations. 

Even getting spy information will cost--

think of money as an early information system

In a sense money exists in part because of the co-op problem. 

There are limits to politics simply because people are ornery. 

MOnday EVeryone's the media panel

Joaquin Alvarado

transactional identity. 

If you were a Chicano in Oakland in the late seventies early eighties, you had to do appropriation and hybridity to represent your community

communities create technologies, not technologies create communities. 

There are enormous news desserts out there that we're really not engaging in. 

Robert Bluey conservative blogger

Collaborative Economics and the American Dream

half of workers couldn't come up with $2000 in a month, for an emergency. 

Van jones asked about his efforts to coopt Occupy wall street. 

peer t peer lending

zopa, prosper 

banks won't lend to people but crowd sourcing enterprises will. 

Democratization of the access to capitol is a huge opportunity. 

Shelby Clark-- renting cars to strangers

able bank-- challenge of getting people to bank without a branch, even though you neter visit it. 


As I type, Jessica Beinecke is talking about how her using the Chinese version of twitter had  her answering questions about her boogers-- she calls it booger diplomacy. Actually, 

'OMG ! Meiyu  because a place where  young Chinese could come to learn about US culture. The project has generated, in 10 months, over 10 million video hits. She emphasizes that this is about sharing culture, getting people to participate. 

Now,  'OMG! Meiyu which is available on YouTube is being shown in classrooms in China.  You have to watch some of the youtubes 

Jessica answers qustions from young Chinese-- about latte, dating, vacays, and... boogers. So she calls her work, for the Voice of America, booger Diplomacy.

Next week, I'll be covering the Take the American Dream Conference. 

An Xiao Mina

Memes are the street art of the censored web. 

WeiWei

Sunflower seeds represented him. You can't censor sunflower seeds. 

In a censored environment, the greater the censorship, the more important the meme. 

Memes have become a powerful way for activists to build community and be heard. 

Li Taintian   human rights activist was disappeared. 

@litiantian

Grass mudhorse

Meme culture. 

Ai Weiwei @aiww

Expressing yourself needs a reason, but expressing yourself is the reason

@anxaiostudio

anxiaostudio.com



Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 


To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.


Follow Rob on Twitter & Facebook. His quotes are here

Rob's articles express his personal opinion, not the opinion of this website.


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