C-c-an y-y-ou h-h-ear m-m-e n-n-ow?-?
: More on the echo chamber of the conference.
It was a good day and I’m glad I came but file this under feedback: Next year, they need to try harder to get more views (not just the left) and, more important, more perspectives (not just from the U.S.).
Pedram Moallemian of The Eyeranian, who unfortunately couldn’t attend the conference, due to a scheduling snafu, says:
You want to see how the digital world is causing a literal revolution around the world? invite 5 Iranian bloggers from Iran to do the “teach-in”. I promise the attendants will learn plenty more. Bring a Chinese decedent who is publishing an on-line opposition magazine. Or an African activist that uses the web to learn about and spread the latest news on HIV prevention in her ailing land (the only “African” representative here was a white “American”).
And read Matt Welch’s sage view of the conference. On this issue:
Which brings me to a minor point. Trippi especially, but also some panelists (which have also included good ol’ Doc Searls, and Cam Barrett, Dan Gillmor, Halley Suitt, Mitch Ratcliff, and MoveOn.org’s interesting Wes Boyd), have used quite a bit of the “we,” and “us” and “you.” As in, “you really made this Dean campaign possible,” etc. (not a direct quote). The idea being (though I’m caricaturizing here), there’s just something about Cluetrain bloggy techism, insurgent populist campaigns & left-of-center political positions that go together like peas & carrots. Maybe that’s true, but I honestly suspect that it’s not. One of the best moments so far came when Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman made the point that some of the more active use of his site has been by dog owners, so they can have their “pug meetups,” and chihuahua festivals & whatnot. (Also, he said the fastest-growing sector now are Heritage Foundation groups.) Point is — this groovy tech business is allowing normal folks from wherever the hell to do what they like, and what they like is not going to necessarily lead logically to what some visionary Silicon Valley folks find to be of pressing concern. Which is banal and obvious, of course, but I wasn’t really expecting to blog about this stuff, so lay off!…
Not to say that this has been boring or not useful — to the contrary. But rather that I’d like to see some real tension, some cheap insults, mild fisticuffs, things of that nature. Though we all sure hate partisanship & all, the dirtier truth is that political conflict fuels real productive interest, and forces people to answer uncomfortable questions. I want to see Jarvis mudwrestling with Larry Lessig, Richard Bennett snorting at Doc Searls, Atrios biting Andrew Sullivan’s neck, Tony Pierce telling Barrett that he’s the worst Cam-girl he’s seen. Obviously, I have a lot of bad ideas.
The technology is owned by no one.
: See also Tim Oren quoting Esther Dyson on the echo.
: More on my dinner with Pedram, Matt and others later…