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Howard Rheingold on Congress, Digital Literacy, and Making Political Movements

BY Miranda Neubauer | Thursday, May 24 2012

From Congress to the classroom, digital literacy is a key skill that's often sorely lacking, Howard Rheingold, author of the new book "Net Smart: How to Thrive Online," said on Thursday's Personal Democracy Plus call — but there are ways to change that.

Rheingold derided "the degree of technological ignorance" in government and in particular Congress. "It's worse than ignorance," he said. "It's know-nothingness ... it's so endemic." During the fight over the Stop Online Piracy Act, members of Congress could often be heard pleading their ignorance of the Internet and its inner workings even as debating legislation that some said would alter the structure of the global communications network.

The call, moderated by TechPresident editorial director Micah Sifry, was recorded and is available online here.

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PD+ This Thurs 1pm: Thriving Online With Howard Rheingold

BY Micah L. Sifry | Tuesday, May 22 2012

I'm really looking forward to talking with author Howard Rheingold this Thursday on the next PD+ teleconference. His new book, Net Smart, is a concise and thoughtful guide to understanding and making the most of the ... Read More

Split by SouthWest: My SXSW 2012 Diary

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, March 15 2012

danah boyd and Alex Howard at SXSW 2012 (Photo by Micah L. Sifry)

PDM editorial director Micah L. Sifry spent last Friday through Monday at South by SouthWest Interactive, attending panels, keynotes and hanging out. Here's his report: SXSW is still a place where sessions packed with thousands of attendees cheer for the iconoclasts and the game-changers. It is also much more of a business networking conference than an internet futurists' playpen. In short, it has a split personality. Read More

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Beyond @Congressedits, Capitol Hill Looks for Entry to Wikipedia

As he recently told techPresident, the creator of Congressedits did not aim to make Members of Congress look bad, but said he hoped that they would recognize the importance of Wikipedia as a public space and engage more with its community. "If staffers and politicians identified as Wikipedians, that would be super. You could imagine politicians' home pages with a list of their recent edits, that they would be proud of the things that they are doing." On Capitol Hill, there is in fact interest in making that vision a reality, starting off with an initial conversation that could create a framework for more Wikipedians in Congress. GO

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In the Philippines, Citizens Go Undercover With Bantay to Monitor Public Offices

The Philippines, a country of almost 100 million, is considered among the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, despite a boost in Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index in the past few years (from 134th in 2010 to 94th in 2013 out of 175.) Corruption involves all levels of government, but benefits also from a mindset of tolerance, says Happy Feraren, the co-founder of Bantay.ph, an anti-corruption educational initiative that teaches citizens how to monitor the quality of government services, sometimes by going undercover. GO

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