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Showing posts from December, 2011

Some Thoughts on The Net Delusion

Evgeny Morozov's The Net Delusion had been on my reading list since it debuted to much fanfare in early 2011.  I left the book with the impression that the author had painted the "cyber-utopians" he so carefully tears apart with too broad a brush by ignoring the nuance of others' arguments while fighting the propagation of substance-deficient general interest news media and politicians' sugarcoated information freedom platitudes.  While necessary at times and supportive of his points, at others it seemed unnecessarily antagonistic.  Overall, The Net Delusion makes clear how easy it is to ignore or obscure the root causes of socio-political problems when we place too much blind faith in the church of techno-evangelism.  Regardless of my inflated expectations and any criticism contained in this post, the book is a must-read.

The author begins by distinguishing cyber-utopians from Internet-centrists, noting that "cyber-utopianism stipulates what has to be done,…

The Farm Bill Hackathon

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This past weekend, a few dozen people gathered in NYC to hack the Farm Bill.  Hackathons are gatherings of developers, designers and policy experts to collaboratively develop solutions to specific problems.  This year's International Open Data Hackathon took place on December 3 with events all over the world focused on topics like transportation, exposing government data and much more.

Food+Tech Connect and Gojee organized the NYC event with the goal of engaging people with the farm bill by creating participatory apps, data visualizations and presentations to directly and indirectly affect our understanding of this important piece of legislation, renegotiated roughly every five years.  The bill affects everything from crop subsidization to federal nutritional programs to investment in farmers.  You can read more about the bill here, and find ways to get involved via Slow Food USA here.

I participated on one of the teams to build Meatlessly.com, a way to promote and enga…