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Politics, Democracy, Technology and Learning
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This dialogue is primarily with California State Senator John Vasconcellos about the future of politics, the role of technology in the evolution of government, the role of government in the evolution of technology, and the role of learning in the evolution of both.

"The Gothic idea that we were to look backwards instead of  forwards for the improvement of the human mind, and to recur to the annals of our ancestors for what is most perfect  in  government, in religion and in learning, is worthy of those bigots in religion and government by whom it has been recommended, and  whose purposes it would answer.   But it is not an idea which this  country will endure." --Thomas Jefferson

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other".  John F. Kennedy, speech prepared for delivery in Dallas the day of his assassination, November 22, 1963

1991 - A Proposal to Assemblyman John Vasconcellos  If we could jump 20 years down the road and take an aerial view of the new politics one of its most obvious differences from the old would be the degree to which the "WE THE PEOPLE" part were actually engaged in doing it - indeed that the very idea of "political participation" had been transformed.

1994 - Virtual Nation - The Ethics of Interface - Fort Ord, Ca. Its signature difference will be the level of participation possible (granularity and frequency). Its foundational assumption that radically changing the quality of participation possible will effect the dialogue in ways reframing and rehashing issues can no longer address.  

1997 - Designing for Democracy Conference - Distributed Dialogue Processing (DDP):  (Note this item is comparatively conceptually complex) DDP is a  ground floor layer of communication infrastructure that provides the constituents in a  human system the means to engage one another in a contextually synchronized, situationally relevant, and low-overhead-to-participate, distributed dialogue. DDP provide a means for processing the experiences of such a constituency and maximizing the opportunity for each contributor to learn from the experiences of each of their constituents. DDP provides each constituent with the means to exercise their core capacity to make and articulate the kind of meaningful distinctions characteristic of participating in a Dialogue while also providing ‘owners’ / facilitators the means to see the aggregate patterns of constituent experience in relation to their areas of responsibility and to respond to them individually or in groups that dynamically constell around common interests or needs.

2000 - Bill Bradley for President Technology & Governance Proposal Outline The future of humanity is being significantly influenced in every way and at every level by technology – who has it and who doesn’t – what it could do in principal and what it will do constrained to the narrow economic interests of a few multi-national corporations. Given the enormous potential of technology prudence demands that we get conscious, beyond the marketplace’s invisible hand, to how and where to steward the technology’s stewarding of us.

2000 - The New Technology of Democracy If we were to start over today and envision a new democracy that was design-enabled by the frequency and quality of citizen participation that modern technology makes possible what would it look like?   How should California, situated as it uniquely is, right at the intersection between the evolution of technology and the evolution of democracy, be proactively involved in defining the role of technology in the evolution of governance and the role of governance in the evolution of technology? 

2000 - The New Technology of Democracy - Senate and Assembly Joint Committee to Prepare California for the 21st Century.  

2001 - A New Model of Democracy for the Cultural Creatives Brainstorming Meeting  Many people seem to prefer to get behind - show up - for their particular issues and crusades, and yet for various reasons choose to stay out of the mainstream general political processes. I am such a one. They, like the individual stock traders, are ever less interested in buying into someone or some entities ‘general’ program. They want to ‘invest’ their precious life-attention-time where it feels like they can make a difference and where it means something to them. What if we could offer them a way to participate in a constituency that isn’t asking them to generally do or believe anything?

"You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should be doing for themselves".  - Abraham Lincoln

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The role of Feedback in Learning Oriented Systems 

Miraculous Intersections - Learning to Learn

Vision Foundations

Self Esteem and Learning



2014 update: John Vasconcellos passed away on May 24 2014 -click here for an e-book of all my available dialogues with him

The dialogues presented here are abstractions from much ‘larger’ dialogues.  These ‘guided tours’ are intended to convey applications of the ‘mutually learning to happen’ orientation. Many who participated in the larger dialogue are absent here. Much of what some may have said may not have been chosen.  I acknowledge and appreciate everyone who participated in any way in any of these conversations (or in any other, more subtle, ways).  

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