Although very few (just 3%) sent letters asking others to take part politically, roughly one in ten sent emails or made phone calls asking others to get involved, and 15% did so in person." (Pew Internet Report p27) Figure 2 Figure 2. Pew Internet& American Life Project (August 2008).
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Power, Politics and the Internet
However, a politics without politics does not mean a politics without control or administration. As O'Reilly writes in his essay: "New technologies make it possible to reduce the amount of regulation while actually increasing the amount of oversight and production of desirable outcomes." Thus, it's a mistake to think that Silicon Valley wants to rid us of government institutions. Its dream state is not the small government of libertarians – a small state, after all, needs neither fancy gadgets nor massive servers to process the data – but the data-obsessed and data-obese state of behavioural economists.
Al Gore: Climate of Denial - Rolling Stone
This new type of governance has a name: algorithmic regulation. In as much as Silicon Valley has a political programme, this is it. Tim O'Reilly, an influential technology publisher, venture capitalist and ideas man (he is to blame for popularising the term "web 2.0") has been its most enthusiastic promoter. In a recent essay that lays out his reasoning, O'Reilly makes an intriguing case for the virtues of algorithmic regulation – a case that deserves close scrutiny both for what it promises policymakers and the simplistic assumptions it makes about politics, democracy and power.
Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?
In addition to making our lives more efficient, this smart world also presents us with an exciting political choice. If so much of our everyday behaviour is already captured, analysed and nudged, why stick with unempirical approaches to regulation? Why rely on laws when one has sensors and feedback mechanisms? If policy interventions are to be – to use the buzzwords of the day – "evidence-based" and "results-oriented," technology is here to help.
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The NASPA Journal of College and Character on the topic of, The Internet and College Students' Motivation to Vote stated the following" The results illustrate that not only politicians, but educators should be cognizant of this civic engagement process.
Slaves of the Internet, Unite! - The New York Times
The Pew Internet and American Life Projects reported, "Just over one-third of Americans (36%) are involved in a civic or political group, and more than half of these (56%) use digital tools to communicate with other group members.