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IlluminatedFederalBudget

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 1 month ago

Illuminated Federal Budget

 

 

A call for ideas in eight short acts

 

PDF Mindmaps: Act One Act Two Act Three Act Four Act Five Act Six Act Seven Act Eight

 

  • 1.BUDGETS Online
    • 1.1.Budget Text
      • 1.1.1.BREAK DOWN giant document
      • 1.1.2.SPONSORS of entries
        • 1.1.2.1.Contributions paid to Sponsors that might have affected the bill
        • 1.1.2.2.KILLING a bill by Anonymous tagging / political maneuvers
    • 1.2.Financing
      • 1.2.1.MEDIA coverage
        • 1.2.1.1.Gun Control
        • 1.2.1.2.War
        • 1.2.1.3.Financing is covered as a single issue like the others
        • 1.2.1.4.Finance suffuses all other issues and is not a separate issue
      • 1.2.2.TECHNOLOGY enabling citizens to find information
        • 1.2.2.1.Names of financial contributors
        • 1.2.2.2.Still nobody CONNECTING the dots
        • 1.2.2.3.Need A "dashboard" of RELATIONSHIPS
  • 2.BILLS and LEGISLATION
    • 2.1.COMMENTARY
      • 2.1.1.Individual
      • 2.1.2.Corporate
      • 2.1.3.Identify DUPLICATES
      • 2.1.4.VALIDATE authority and facts
        • 2.1.4.1.Some organizations or individuals are more studious than others
        • 2.1.4.2.Some are WELL FUNDED with good research and references, easy to validate
        • 2.1.4.3.Some are NOT EXPERTS so need closer look at claims
        • 2.1.4.4.Some individuals are EXPERTS and will cite affiliations / experience making it easy to validate
        • 2.1.4.5.The CONCERNED PUBLIC will provide claims that are easier to validate, or not in need of validation.
        • 2.1.4.6.CRANKS can APPEAR to be experts but are not, and can be hard to disambiguate.
          • 2.1.4.6.1.Accumulated EXPERIENCE will uncover them
          • 2.1.4.6.2.EXPERTS tend to know each other by contact through conferences and mutual visibility and these folks can disambiguate
          • 2.1.4.6.3.The ACADEMIC network can help identify them.
        • 2.1.4.7.No FORMAL LIST of experts to validate authority
          • 2.1.4.7.1.Can be politically difficult to have a list
          • 2.1.4.7.2.REVIEW process difficult...
          • 2.1.4.7.3.META commentary to on comments
            • 2.1.4.7.3.1.Meta comments outside expertise still need VALIDATION
              • 2.1.4.7.3.1.1.e.g chemistry; hard to validate authority of comments outside of local working knowledge.
            • 2.1.4.7.3.2.Meta-commentors can work out a consensus?
              • 2.1.4.7.3.2.1.Need credentials or reputation still to give weight to it
          • 2.1.4.7.4.Over time, with PERSISTENT IDENTITIES, people will learn from experience who is an authority
          • 2.1.4.7.5.MODERATION to keep it civil
    • 2.2.TOOLS to automate commentary
      • 2.2.1.WHO is doing this kind of thing? Anyone? Bueller?
      • 2.2.2.Is there a DESIRE/NEED for tools to make commentary easier?
        • 2.2.2.1.Not about legislators about REGULATORs
        • 2.2.2.2.Comments must be allowed and responded to
        • 2.2.2.3.Definite RULES about how comments
        • 2.2.2.4.On the state/city level there is in fact a need and desire (poor overworked staffers)
      • 2.2.3.Need to understand HOW the tools can/will be used
        • 2.2.3.1.By overworked staff
        • 2.2.3.2.Lobbyist is there to help the staff; so their work the staff takes credit
        • 2.2.3.3.Staff is NOT becoming expert; getting it from outside
        • 2.2.3.4.Tools can allow the staffers do their own job
        • 2.2.3.5.Will also help lobbyists, same reason easy access to knowledge.
        • 2.2.3.6.Only reason to have tools is to CHANGE the process as we have it now.
      • 2.2.4.A lot of debate occurs at the LAST SECOND
        • 2.2.4.1.Post-facto exposure but can it help realtime?
        • 2.2.4.2.Tools can expose the timing of the discussion.
  • 3.CONSENSUS on FACTS
    • 3.1.Some disagree on principle
    • 3.2.Some people simply think the facts are distorted
      • 3.2.1.Known advocacy so assume disagreement and look for/invent a problem
      • 3.2.2.Cherry picking data
        • 3.2.2.1.Fix by using non-partisan facts and sources
        • 3.2.2.2.External advocates
        • 3.2.2.3.Arguments still occur but they are visible
      • 3.2.3.FORUM for information instead of static reports
        • 3.2.3.1.visible discussion
        • 3.2.3.2.DATA plus COMMENTARY
        • 3.2.3.3.Wikipedia? yes and no.
          • 3.2.3.3.1.Not just developing facts describing argument and intent
          • 3.2.3.3.2.Make the argument front-page visible not hidden behind
            • 3.2.3.3.2.1.The goal isn't a conclusion but to make the argument clear. Different than driving to a conclusion.
            • 3.2.3.3.2.2.We don't normally get to see the arguments that led too the result
        • 3.2.3.4.Arguments made directly by the arguer, and not a possible misrepresentation by a third party.
      • 3.2.4.May not get people to agree but may disagree for good reasons
        • 3.2.4.1.Consensus (consensus wiki)
          • 3.2.4.1.1.Is it really driving to consensus? More it is a display of varying arguments.
          • 3.2.4.1.2.Another look; C for "common ground" where you find common base-line agreement even if they have different ultimate results/goals.
          • 3.2.4.1.3.Respect and value the dialectic itself;
          • 3.2.4.1.4.Once the base argument has been made, new people can jump in and refine, or note the common ground, using a new viewpoint
          • 3.2.4.1.5.With argument in play, an outsider can note the fallacies, perhaps.
          • 3.2.4.1.6.See also: BALLOT INITIATIVES
        • 3.2.4.2.Not ONE consensus, but perhaps a "true" statement of differing and incompatible viewpoints (agree to disagree)
        • 3.2.4.3.Transpartisan! Partisan, but across multiple viewpoints
        • 3.2.4.4.Not be accused of distorting facts because various viewpoints well represented
      • 3.2.5.need a TOOL
        • 3.2.5.1.Doesn't exist -- consensus wiki
        • 3.2.5.2.Might be hard, but it can be done
  • 4.CORPORATE AUTHORS in social media
    • 4.1.Employee posting PERSONAL OPINION that conflicts with corp stance
      • 4.1.1.Known to be part of corp
      • 4.1.2.MIXED MESSAGE about corp positions
      • 4.1.3.Generates confusion, e-mails
      • 4.1.4.Need to formalize an individual's PERSONA of posting
        • 4.1.4.1.Private opinion
        • 4.1.4.2.corporate mouthpiece
        • 4.1.4.3.internal expert
        • 4.1.4.4.One person may be part of several groups
        • 4.1.4.5.How to differentiate which aspect of their association they are representing
    • 4.2.Need way for corp to present OFFICIAL POSITION
      • 4.2.1.Corp account on social networks and post under that?
        • 4.2.1.1.TOS of many forums requires you to be a real person
          • 4.2.1.1.1.e.g. a valid birthday
          • 4.2.1.1.2.Not allowed to lie
          • 4.2.1.1.3.Can fake it, but how risk averse is the corp?
          • 4.2.1.1.4.In some technical views a corp IS a person (start date = birthday?)
          • 4.2.1.1.5.Friendster killed the corp accounts which may have promoted myspace
        • 4.2.1.2.Need both Corp official stance AND individual employee's position
        • 4.2.1.3.Legal issues with communications
          • 4.2.1.3.1.Who can say what when
          • 4.2.1.3.2.Who has authority to officially represent the corp
          • 4.2.1.3.3.Some conflicts of interest limit even what individuals can say privately
      • 4.2.2.Need to approach social systems and work with them about the corp needs
      • 4.2.3.Need to express official vs. personal opinions and relationships between them
      • 4.2.4.Z-Corp as an ACTOR; a FIRST-CLASS citizen of a network
  • 5.REPUTATION
    • 5.1.Getting distributed people to work together.
      • 5.1.1.Not in one room, but distributed around; hard to hash it out.
        • 5.1.1.1.One person writes
        • 5.1.1.2.Much re-writing
        • 5.1.1.3.No central editor!
        • 5.1.1.4.Can't even establish basic facts
          • 5.1.1.4.1.Isn't establishing facts easy?
            • 5.1.1.4.1.1.No; not just scientists in the process, but laypeople
            • 5.1.1.4.1.2.hard to establish the authority of references
          • 5.1.1.4.2.Existing databases?
            • 5.1.1.4.2.1.Yes, but not easy to access; rare, expensive
            • 5.1.1.4.2.2.Hard to get reliability data about an unknown reference
          • 5.1.1.4.3.Need some kind of reputation information, to qualify authorities,
            • 5.1.1.4.3.1.More than reputation at stake; not just that is sufficient
        • 5.1.1.5.No way to track issues
          • 5.1.1.5.1.New issues keep getting created by text changes. MOVING TARGET
          • 5.1.1.5.2.Some groups move faster, because of their structure / focus
          • 5.1.1.5.3.Old issues can blow up again
          • 5.1.1.5.4.No way to tell how much work is left
        • 5.1.1.6.Hard to tell who cares about what to be included in the discussion
          • 5.1.1.6.1.Not all points are "issues" to all contributors
          • 5.1.1.6.2.hard to know WHO to argue with about it; who cares, who to educate or convince.
          • 5.1.1.6.3.Likewise, hard for individuals to know where to go where their hot issues are being worked on
          • 5.1.1.6.4.One subgroup can hold up the rest arguing
      • 5.1.2.In meetings, not always the best idea dominates; often it is charisma, other aspects of character
      • 5.1.3.Case Study: Comments on stem cell research.
        • 5.1.3.1.Education; For some issues, people just DON'T KNOW
        • 5.1.3.2.Some issues are very emotional
          • 5.1.3.2.1.Researchers disguise some research not as human but as plant/animal
        • 5.1.3.3.Different types of authority with different influence
        • 5.1.3.4.Appeal to higher authority, not to logic.
        • 5.1.3.5.People can't necessarily express their opinions publicly; being supressed
      • 5.1.4.TOOL problems
        • 5.1.4.1.Specific needs, hard to customize current closed tools
        • 5.1.4.2.Expensive!
        • 5.1.4.3.Not existing even...
        • 5.1.4.4.Using writing tools to NEGOTIATE... misuse of tool; no proper tool on hand to help
        • 5.1.4.5.Tools will NOT solve decision-making problems or create consensus.
          • 5.1.4.5.1.Decisions are often emotionally driven, not based in logic
          • 5.1.4.5.2.Tool can increase the logic in a discussion, but it can't move it away from emotion
          • 5.1.4.5.3.Provides access to the information for those willing to use it
          • 5.1.4.5.4.Can help filter and reduce the clutter so you can find the relevant arguments for your own interest
          • 5.1.4.5.5.Can be illuminating to see the argument process between the groups as they seek consensus.
          • 5.1.4.5.6.Not just a TOOL, but a COMMUNITY makes a system work. The tool empowers the behavior, but it must be used in context of the right people.
        • 5.1.4.6.Not "one" tool -- but many.
        • 5.1.4.7.Multidimensional problems don't work with a consensus model, but may work with a market model.
        • 5.1.4.8.One need is a tool where you can create and access organizational/position papers
  • 6.ATTRIBUTION
    • 6.1.Using data without assigning credit
      • 6.1.1.Sure, the data source had citations that lead back to the org. Just not used.
      • 6.1.2.How to get credit for work done? Want to put out data, but also need users of it to be accountable.
      • 6.1.3.Sponsors (funding sources) of work will be unhappy about mis-assigned credit.
      • 6.1.4.Alternative COULD be for everyone to put out their own individual reports and stop providing source data for other reports.
        • 6.1.4.1.Too much noise
        • 6.1.4.2.Someone will aggregate anyway and Nobody gets credit in the end
      • 6.1.5.What if the report links back to the source material? Or if not directly credited, if it's easy to FIND the source data.
        • 6.1.5.1.Too much citation back-link gets ugly and cluttered
        • 6.1.5.2.Hard to get everyone on the same format
        • 6.1.5.3.Independent search is iffy... and cluttered
      • 6.1.6.What about, Collaborative document, where one group just adds to a continuing larger discussion (wiki)?
        • 6.1.6.1.Still need to work up consensus
        • 6.1.6.2.Endless citations/summaries can loop and fill up the discussion with noise.
        • 6.1.6.3.Still need a format to show source of funding To show credit
        • 6.1.6.4.One working model of summary and citation of work, is to be found in scientific documents.
          • 6.1.6.4.1.Constrained format
          • 6.1.6.4.2.Predefined method of citation
          • 6.1.6.4.3.Existing and well exercised
          • 6.1.6.4.4.Public policy is a bit different from scientific discourse.
          • 6.1.6.4.5.Some papers are targeted at a very broad, lightweight readership; not scientific at all (public use documents)
        • 6.1.6.5.Another model are blogs and trackback on the web.
      • 6.1.7.Credit for work can be illustrated and documented in annual reports and other communication directly with sponsors.
        • 6.1.7.1.The source problem is still, giving proper credit for data used in analysis.
        • 6.1.7.2.Not necessarily a problem of ethical behavior but of tools and mechanisms to make it easy?
      • 6.1.8.Some organizations do not have a press group, to get exposure in the media. These groups could interface with media and get quoted if...we have ...
        • 6.1.8.1.Contact information/ expert lists
        • 6.1.8.2.Citations can lead reporters to experts
        • 6.1.8.3.Another use for citation is to find a list of who shares an opinion? Who has said what?
  • 7.INFORMATION DISPLAY
    • 7.1.Or; Dang! That's an Ugly UI
      • 7.1.1.The information is there but hard to understand
      • 7.1.2.hard to track changes over time
      • 7.1.3.hard to tell who did what (it's there but hard to find) Hidden features!
        • 7.1.3.1.Sponsor... who put in the change?
        • 7.1.3.2.Committee... where it happened? Same as sponsor?
        • 7.1.3.3.Debate... relevant debate
        • 7.1.3.4.Pressure...lobby groups (advocates!)
      • 7.1.4.How to comment? Push the button!
        • 7.1.4.1.Like a blog; familiar, and still sucks?
      • 7.1.5.Viewing comments
        • 7.1.5.1.Long bills... forum-style comments can be huge
        • 7.1.5.2.Mouseover popups?
        • 7.1.5.3.Filtering and custom views of comments by varying criteria
          • 7.1.5.3.1.Find relevant comments e.g. by one organization
      • 7.1.6.Ease of use versus advanced capability
        • 7.1.6.1.Casual users for broad reach
        • 7.1.6.2.Advanced abilities for passionate, motivated users
        • 7.1.6.3.Ultimately Need both
      • 7.1.7.Is this even a necessary problem for us to address?
  • 8.REACHING an AUDIENCE
    • 8.1.Need to send an e-mail but hard to format the data so it's complete AND clear.
      • 8.1.1.Giant PDF is a hassle
      • 8.1.2.Reference to Thomas is cluttered and hard to navigate
      • 8.1.3.Copy-paste to web loses context
      • 8.1.4.Be nice to have the source info broken up into SMALL CHUNKS
        • 8.1.4.1.Legislation is already numbered and indexed (like the bible)
          • 8.1.4.1.1.The numbering changes over time
            • 8.1.4.1.1.1.Impose an external reference structure on it and work from that, to buffer the expected changes
          • 8.1.4.1.2.Inherent cross-referencing already in a bill, which can be hard to follow.
          • 8.1.4.1.3.Leg. is not meant to be read as narrative text, but is in legalese
        • 8.1.4.2.Have bill text intermixed with commentary
          • 8.1.4.2.1.Talmud and ref. bibles have commentary along with the text
          • 8.1.4.2.2.Tracking a bill through it's entire lifecycle? Or just pick it up once it settles down at some relevant level?
            • 8.1.4.2.2.1.It becomes important when earmarks are attached
            • 8.1.4.2.2.2.Reduce complexity by reducing the scope of attention
        • 8.1.4.3.Follow the links backwards, to see the various issues a group has commented on
    • 8.2.Quoting OTHER organizations is similarly hard
      • 8.2.1.Organizations have a desire to keep traffic internal and won't want to let users leave their site
      • 8.2.2.Allow orgs to keep a custom wrapper around all access to the common data
      • 8.2.3.Each org has their own unique format and language and website
        • 8.2.3.1.Need to be able to customize content presentation to fit in with varying needs
        • 8.2.3.2.Need live support so that when sites change and links break, that someone fixes it in a timely manner
    • 8.3.no good tools yet for this though PIECES exist
      • 8.3.1.Databases, of course
      • 8.3.2.Tools for Linking information in the databases
      • 8.3.3.Currently hard to know when you are done searching (have covered all relative information/links)
        • 8.3.3.1.If the fragmented, indexed, annotatable bill is known to be online, people will use it
        • 8.3.3.2.All relevant info will eventually be in one place
        • 8.3.3.3.Able to tie into individual sites, with custom formatting/filtering.
      • 8.3.4.Interface to show the pieces and comments and links
        • 8.3.4.1.can't make all decisions about UI now but can set commitments to usability and accessibility now.
        • 8.3.4.2.Need to architect for change; so we can adjust the interface over time and not lose data behind it.
        • 8.3.4.3.May ONLY be POWER USERS; people who want their existing access to be BETTER; but not targeting the casual user.
          • 8.3.4.3.1.Ordinary users may not want to read the budget
          • 8.3.4.3.2.External users may only want to read the interpretation or annotation of the budget
          • 8.3.4.3.3.However, we may be underestimating non-expert users; non-politicians (e.g. students) may have a need to find this information.
        • 8.3.4.4.Different CUSTOM interfaces to meet different needs
      • 8.3.5.Open-source tools can allow different audiences to customize for their needs
      • 8.3.6.We can already pull all house bills off the 'net and XML format them
      • 8.3.7.FSF has developed a system for commenting on changes in the license.
        • 8.3.7.1.A few people wrote the license
        • 8.3.7.2.A bunch of people comment on it
          • 8.3.7.2.1.The comments were effective in changing the content
          • 8.3.7.2.2.Even stupid comments proved useful, highlighting subtle overlooked elements.
          • 8.3.7.2.3.The ABILITY to comment helps people be a part of the process
        • 8.3.7.3.One programmer built a usable system to manage it

 

Saturday Breakout

PDF Mindmap: Breakout

  • 1.BUDGET and DISCOURSE (domain) connection
  • 2.IDENTITY & REPUTATION
  • 3.PRIOR INFLUENCE
  • 4.BARRIERS to participation
  • 5.How the existing process will be mirrored in our ARCHITECTURE
  • 6.Who are the CLIENTS of this information?

 

Next Steps

PDF Mindmap: Next Steps


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