Thursday, 2 June 2011

What if the Founders had been Hackers?

I can't think of a more democratic way to write a Constitution...
From Techdirt (see related post by Cloud to Street, which organized the conference, and article by Fast Company): 
Hacking Egypt For Better Democracy

from the not-just-the-outsiders dept

Having already covered how hackers from Anonymous have been taking part from afar in various middle east uprisings, it's probably worth noting that some other folks are doing some cool hacking projects as well, including a Hackathon for Egypt effort, that brought together hackers and activists to see if new technologies could be built that might be useful to implementing a more democratic system in Egypt. For example, some folks put together a platform for crowdsourcing the creation of a Constitution:
The conference's most intriguing result was a platform for crowdsourcing the new Egyptian constitution. The platform, which appears to have drawn inspiration from a similar project in Tunisia, allows users to simultaneously browse constitutional texts from multiple countries, propose articles and ideas online and to collaborate on compiling the ideas into a workable text. Owing to Egypt's special circumstances, the platform also contains extensive provisions for off-computer use--many Egyptians simply don't have regular access to either a computer or the Internet.
Who knows how effective these efforts will be (my guess is that, initially, they won't get much use), but it's still nice to see, and hopefully as we see projects like this grow, they'll become more effective and useful.

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