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danah boyd, back channel, Tocqueville,

I’ve been reading a combination of Tocqueville and the Federalist papers over the last few weeks. I’m fully convinced that these two documents need to be recast in terms of the web. While I’m a huge fan of openness, personal choice, democracy, and rights of individuals, a brief run through YouTube comments or a typical Twitter conversation calls into question the ideal that humanity aspires to the greater good. In order for democracy to flourish, appropriate constraints are required. danah boyd shares her painful experience in using a back channel during a conference. I posted on a similar back channel issue recently, arguing that speakers need to accept the reality that audiences now speak back. However, effective feedback should not be mob-like…and it certainly should be respectful.


  1. Would you cast the Federalist Papers as the anti-web manifesto?

    Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 5:59 am | Permalink
  2. gsiemens wrote:

    Hi Harold – I wouldn’t call the Federalist Papers anti-web. I would use it as an illustration of how people create – through debate and idealism – a system of governance…focusing on the needs of individuals/states/government…on how to balance power…how to structure administration, etc.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink
  3. OK – we’ll just call the Federalist Papers the anti-democracy, pro-elite, birth of the republican party manifesto, and leave it at that ;-)

    Thursday, November 26, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

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