radio + internet + letter to your senator = democracy in action

This project, reported by WNYC and npr’s On the Media is one of the best uses of web crowd sourcing I’ve heard about.

They ask listeners across the country to write their senator asking whether s/he placed a particular anonymous hold and then to submit the response. To date they collected 96 written denials and four “it’s none of your business!”. Step two is to reword the question and have residents of four states pose them in writing. Rather brilliant.

I also love the implicit claim to inequality in the “it is our privilege to keep secrets from our constituents” stance. This is what Gillian and I are writing about in our paper “Democracy and the Information Order.”

Author: Dan Ryan

I'm currently an Academic Program Director at I've been a professor at University of Toronto, University of Southern California, and Mills College teaching things like human centered design, computational thinking, modeling for policy sciences, and social theory. I'm driven by the desire to figure out how to teach twice as many twice as well twice as easily.

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