‘We the People’: Five Years of Online Petitions
In the first 12 days of the site’s existence in 2011, any petition receiving 5,000 signatures from the public was guaranteed a White House response – and 44% of archived petitions submitted during that time met this requirement. The White House quickly raised the threshold to 25,000 signatures and at that level just 9% of petitions met the condition. In mid-January 2013, the threshold was raised once more to 100,000 signatures and only 2% of petitions from that time onward have met the threshold.
5. Be calm when the unthinkable arrives.
Every utopia, whether it remains on the page or takes shape in brick and mortar, reveals the anxieties and disappointments of its author(s).
The vampire that I play is the vengeance of my sex upon its exploiters.
And these two issues compound each other: proximity raises the stakes of negotiations, and scale makes negotiation that much harder.
Most gatherings in unmonitored spaces are generally just a lot of people dancing. Dancing and laughing. Building friendships and building character.
My sense is that these people, through sheer quantity of experience, have learned that communication, no matter how open, transparent and disciplined, will always break down at some point. Conflicts are ultimately unavoidable, and feelings will always be hurt.
And the only thing that can save you and your partner, that can cushion you both to the hard landing of human fallibility, is an unerring respect for one another, the fact that you hold each other in high esteem, believe in one another — often more than you each believe in yourselves — and trust that your partner is doing his/her best with what they’ve got.
What we’re going through isn’t new at all: these are the birth pangs of the better world that we’ve nurtured in our hearts for 40 years. But pulling the country through these perilous times and safely to the other side of this will demand the best of us, just as it demanded the best of those who came before us. A lot of us are already intuiting this, and feel in ourselves the rising sense of determination and purpose the moment calls for.
But the nerd myth — outcast, bullied, oppressed and lonely — persists, nowhere more insistently than in the embittered hearts of the little Mussolinis defending nerd-dom.
There are no abstract parallels to draw here, our era is simply a continuation of America’s centuries-old racial crisis, an ongoing tension that occasionally explodes.
The fear of love may be motivated by a range of factors: a squeamishness around hope, a self-hatred which makes someone else’s love feel eerie, or a fear of self-revelation which breeds a reluctance to let anyone into the secret parts of ourselves.
Write-up from another Fellow in my program!
This is where Blue Ridge Labs shines as an incubator: by virtue of being embedded in the Robin Hood Foundation, and because the fellowship included subject matter experts, we had phenomenal access to the players in this space. You say you want to talk with the woman who runs the A2J program at the New York State court system? How about Tuesday?
todo: try this
A friend and I came up with a game called Raconteur. You pair up with another Raconteur at a party and talk to everyone you can. You score points by getting people to disclose something about their lives. If you dominate the conversation, you lose a point. The two raconteurs communicate using hand signals and keep a tally on a sheet of paper or in their minds
SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: —
Recognizing the influence of my subconscious mind over my power of will, I shall take care to submit to it a clear and definite picture of my CLEAR PURPOSE in life and all minor purposes leading to my major purpose, and I shall keep this picture CONSTANTLY BEFORE my subconscious mind by REPEATING IT DAILY.
If you find yourself constantly looking for other people to tell you how awesome you’re doing, consider if you’re shortchanging your own growth and development.
We must learn to recognize, and love the madness we find within ourselves so that we might better hold and heal the madness we encounter in the world.
When Voss analyzed the transcripts of his most unlikely hostage negotiation victories, he discovered that the turning point frequently occurred right after his team took the time to listen to the captor’s argument, summarized that argument back to the captor, and then got the captor to say, “That’s right.”
“We craved accurate information about what kinds of policies worked,” Faber said. “Data-driven journalism and infographics help policymakers, request-for-proposal writers, and decision-makers understand how to make better and more cost-effective interventions.”
We need intermediaries that can move from delivering “facts” to exposing and amplifying patterns; and leverage those patterns to move from information to intelligence.
These cases play out at the bottom of the court system, where underfunding and a large caseload mean that many judges are under pressure to try to move things along quickly.
We are making a strategic decision to focus directly on the impact of our users, both organizations and individuals. […] Once we add in what this focus will give us room to build, the platform will be an exceptionally powerful place for the ecosystem of change-makers to work together to build a better world.
In the 1950s and ’60s, American economic growth democratized prosperity. In the 2010s, we have managed to democratize financial insecurity.
“If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods, eviction was shaping the lives of women,” Desmond writes. “Poor black men were locked up. Poor black women were locked out.”
We take huge pride in giving to charities with low overhead without knowing a damned thing about whether theyʼre any good at what they do.
We cannot continue to see our goal as acquiring more and more wealth, or as consuming more and more goodies, and leaving behind us an even larger heap of waste.
“This is a huge untapped market on the one hand, and we have an overproduction of lawyers on the other. So we’ve got the supply of lawyers, we’ve got the demand of work. We just need an entity that could bring the cost down to connect the two. And I think this is it.
It is the rare company that impacts generations that follow. They influence the way people-not-yet-born use products-not-yet-made in a future-not-yet-realized. It may seem more like science fiction in this realm, but there are founders that aspire to that type of of runway and horizon. They seek to influence a time that they may not be around to experience.
The on-demand economy is more complicated than merely applying a clever business model to different service sectors. None of the many startups that adopted Uber’s business model has managed to make it work as magnificently as Uber.
The USPS already has a large footprint, with more than 30,000 locations across the country, including small towns and rural areas; nearly 40 percent are in places without any bank branches.
Don’t go because you want to do something virtuous. Go because you want to do something difficult.
Interfaces to public systems should not merely be data collection fields that hide a larger policy machine, but a glimpse into the machine itself, with the wires and gears exposed, so that a citizen can more fully understand, navigate, and influence, the systems they live in.
Mission Asset Fund formalizes the informal loans arranged through lending circles by making sure all the participants sign a contract or promissory note and reporting every payment to national credit bureaus.
I love that at least three ideas were specifically related to addressing destructive commenters!
Developer Roberto Tyley created a tool that forces trolls to donate to charities related to topics like women’s rights, racism, or refugees before they’re able to comment on articles about those topics.
“Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of evolution,” writes Harvard theoretical biologist Martin A. Nowak, “is its ability to generate cooperation in a competitive world,” adding, “Thus, we might add ‘natural cooperation’ as a third fundamental principle of evolution beside mutation and natural selection.” It bears noting that the popularity of “individual selection theory” during the latter half of the twentieth century coincided uncannily with the heyday of market culture and its ethic of competitive individualism.
While Op artists studied the science of perception, scientists have in turn looked to Op Art to ask questions about visual processes. Though their experimental techniques differ radically, their conclusions are often the same: The human visual system is not a mirror for the outside world
We understand other people by projecting ourselves onto them. But we also understand ourselves by considering the way other people might see us. Data from my own lab suggests that the cortical networks in the human brain that allow us to attribute consciousness to others overlap extensively with the networks that construct our own sense of consciousness.
We have these two problems: amplification without correction, and misaligned incentives.
Stephen Hawking 💕
“They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought,” Dr. Hawking said in his famous robot voice, now processed through a synthesizer. “If you feel you are trapped in a black hole, don’t give up. There is a way out.”
From there, the golden rule becomes one hour of practice for every minute of the pitch.
The culture war and partisan realignment are over; the policy realignment and “border war” — a clash between nationalists, mostly on the right, and multicultural globalists, mostly on the left — have just begun.
Strategies for bringing entrenched stakeholders on board. Most relevant at design agencies, or folks working inside bigger companies!
The faulty logic of the IP metaphor is easy enough to state. It is based on a faulty syllogism – one with two reasonable premises and a faulty conclusion. Reasonable premise #1: all computers are capable of behaving intelligently. Reasonable premise #2: all computers are information processors. Faulty conclusion: all entities that are capable of behaving intelligently are information processors.
I started reading a lot more about a year ago, and retention is something I think about a lot. Maybe you think about it too?
In that case, there’s a clear distinction between when the CEO was internally-referencing or externally-referencing. “At times you'll see leaders—especially green CEOs or founders—who are very external. They talk to their board, investors, peers and direct reports seeking validation and get pulled along,” says Halim. “Alternatively, some CEOs are internally motivated because everyone has told them from the start that they can’t or shouldn’t do something.”
"In other words, Facebook’s news section operates like a traditional newsroom, reflecting the biases of its workers and the institutional imperatives of the corporation. "
I don’t want to be defined by my mental illness, but I don’t want it to be a part of myself that I have to hide either. I’m made up of so many other things that making just one of them the focal point would really be a disservice to myself.
When Musk and Altman unveiled OpenAI, they also painted the project as a way to neutralize the threat of a malicious artificial super-intelligence. Of course, that super-intelligence could arise out of the tech OpenAI creates, but they insist that any threat would be mitigated because the technology would be usable by everyone. “We think its far more likely that many, many AIs will work to stop the occasional bad actors,” Altman says.