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Group Notes


This page is for everyone. Collaborative notes: yeehaw!


Act I, Morning


Some key ideas:


  • dialogue, public deliberation, discussion
  • meaning-making, annotation
  • tracking funding sources/campaign finance/follow the money
  • public agency/empowerment
  • baseline: (what is the baseline for how people access the transparent federal budget currently? what tools exist now? what are current legislative processes?)
  • problem definition



Mark Strama (video): Campaign finance is part of every issue, though it's not reported that way by the media.


Hunter: perhaps not a Transparent budget, but an Illuminated budget to help organize the design questions which involve getting collaboration from the people who will put annoation in.


Josh: Engineers want the problem to solve, and they're frustrated right now because we don't have one yet. It's not a data problem. We need to get ideas up on the web in an organized way.


Betty Sue: We need to remember that not all of our audience is familiar with web tools. We need to define terms and teach people.


Kevin: Meaning Making:

Previous tools: the Westlawn Annotation Model; and Bloomberg has a model for providing users with the next piece of information that they need (using predictive software). Consensus is not the way to approach a multidimensional problem. A market is the way to approach something where you create more value the more it is divided (derivatives, futures, etc). Markets might be a way to approach building something where you want to display a fractal portfolio of attention and agency., which, btw, mirrors the way the Midrash circles around a Torah text; I've bought into Maimonides at 25 percent on this issue and Asher Lev 45 percent on this part, etc. A design principle could be where disagreements add value. thats how markets work. It's the opposite of consensus but it's how the most efficient allocation fo resources, the market system, works.


Links to Connect the Dots-type tools (moved to ExistingResources)


Act II, Afternoon

Volunteers read scripts, group discusses.

(Bob, the script author's disclaimer: scripts were meant to stimulate discussion as opposed to reflect reality accurately)

{we need a link to the mind map images from the acted scenes here}

{we need a link to the scripts here}


(Discussions following each script: last script to earliest)

Scene 8:

Greg: The people who will be using this way of accessing the content of legislation and comments are going to be power users - people who already do this and this tool will be helping them do it better. Tehre is no use designing for the casual user - they are too rare.

Kathy: We need to design for large organizations who will want to use content from our site on theirs because they want to keep traffic on their site.

Laura?: "You're underestimating users, becuase I know a lot of students who are looking for this kind of information now. You need to make it useable for people who are my age."

Josh: xml.house.gov - I can already pull house bills off the web with separated paragraphs...New version of open source license (?): comments on comments, heat maps, 10,000 comments, as well as IBM and their lawyers and power struggles. One programmer created this novel interface that allowed people to see the discussion. "it was really easy for me to chime in"


missing lots here...


Scene 4:

Linda: Far right groups dominate the stem cell issue, but don't understand the biology and science behind it, so in many ways it's an education issue. In Missouri, the legislature prevented the use of tobacco money for human health issues because they were afraid of it being used for stem cell research...Also, some groups suppress people's opinions and issues are dominated by a vocal minority.

Hunter: Often the people who dominate discussions are the most articulate and fastest-reacting, but wisdom isn't always correlated with those qualities. We need to lower the barrier for participation on online discussions.

Kevin: We cant' expect to create a tool that creates an intelligent discussion, but we can hope to facilitate more intelligent discussions.

Betty Sue: An ancillary tool could facilitate moderated discussions for specific groups to drive to consensus for that group.

more comments from silona and james that i didn't catch...


Scene 3:

Linda: We poll scientists, get their opnions online, cite sources, link to the references, then document the percentage of consensus we can achive, like 90% and say "here is the 10% we can't agree on."

Joseph:By linking to videos or documents directly that could show a source more materially than a simple cite does would be something we could do now.

Talmud as user interface for consensu wiki

Hunter: the goal is to make the discussion clear, whereas trying to build to agreement is a different thing. Most of the people are disabled by never having heard good arguments on topics.


Scene 2:

Corporation having an identity in a social network, as an 'actor', with the ability to name 'agents' to participate for them in community environments.

Kevin: There are a number of use cases embodied in that script.


Scene I:

Baseline info regarding legislative realities:

  • Legislators' staff struggle to do their jobs in terms of processing citizen input and finding information relative to a bill or issue.
    • Greg: Lobbyists basically do the staffers' jobs for them and do the research, write the bill, and give it to the staffer who gives it to the legislator who bring it to the floor.
  • Kathy: After a bill is passed there is a regulatory process that follows to implement the legislation. That is part of hte budgetary process.




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