1x11: Internet of Thugs

Jeremy Garcia, Stuart Langridge, The Invisible and Inaudible Ghost of Lunduke, and Jono Bacon present a new Bad Voltage, in which we discuss:

  • Our new series, Breaking Down The Bullshit where we delve into the current buzzwords and trends and determine if they are all hype or have substance. In this show, we discuss the Internet Of Things: crock of doo-doo or the future of technology?
  • Jeremy reviews the Withings WS-50 Smart Body Analyzer and we discuss it and the notion of measuring your body to get fit
  • Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media joins us to discuss print media, free culture, publishing, the Internet, privacy, and where the future is taking us
  • Jeremy and Jono saw Lawrence Lessig keynote recently, and we all discuss whether his ambitions of ridding governments of corruption is in any way possible
  • We talk about Bad Voltage community goings-on, on the forum, the chat channel, such as selfie contests, gaming servers, Bad Voltage apps and more!

Download the show now!

I would have never expected the guys to get ahold of Tim O’Reilly.

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Lawrence Lessig’s Keynote at SCALEX12:

I found a TED Talk by Lessig where his message is much more concise and a bit more entertaining: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mw2z9lV3W1g ( 18 min )

His message is very important IMHO: Our escalating battles for a free and open Internet (and society) are mostly futile until we address the root cause problem of systematic undermining of democratic governments by special interest money.

I agree with Jono and Jeremy that it is hard to resist a sense of helplessness and resignation when confronted with this problem, especially with no clearly visible road-map to a solution. I suspect that many of us are increasingly feeling that way.

Lessig acknowledges the rise of this sense of resignation in his TED Talk but points out that our forefathers overcame bigger challenges, [ e.g. slavery, civil rights, gender discrimination ]. He offers more of a road-map in this TED Talk.

[note: this Lessig TED Talk is clearly focused on political problems in the USA, but has global implications due to the USA’s disproportionate influence on the Internet and Western societies, deserving or not, IMHO]

The results of the whole system of elections reminds me of a quote by Albert Einstein: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Another observation that I heard was that the American public must be a bunch of self loathers. They complain and complain about how bad congress is, but yet they re-elect around 90% of it. Reminds me of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy when the giant robot landed saying “Take me to your lizard.” It came from a planet where lizards were elected into office by the people and the people all hated it. When asked why they voted for the lizards in when they hated the lizards the answer was to the effect that ‘if they didn’t, the wrong lizard might get in’.

Hey Team,

Great show! Sad @bryanlunduke couldn’t make it… Also, I’m trying to work with @MetaNova on a date to do a beta test of the game server. Once that’s done we can setup a date for you guys to announce on the show.

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“…why they voted for the lizards in when they hated the lizards…”

In the first 10 min of Lessig’s talk, he uses a hypothetical and humorous ‘Lester-land’ to illustrate how the current political system in the USA, following rational incentives, results in:

  1. special interest money pre-selecting the candidates that even make it to the General Elections [“none of the above” is not a voting option in US elections, although frequently requested]

  2. how candidates elected to office, regardless of their initial intents, are driven to listen primarily to the special interests to the detriment of the individual citizens

Money has always been a factor in US politics, but this problem has dramatically intensified since the 2010 Supreme Court ruling on “Citizens United”. That ruling opened the flood-gates of money from special interests such as Corporations and Super-PACs.

Lawrence Lessig is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, formerly Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, and founder of the Center for Internet and Society. He believes that the “Citizens United” ruling can effectively be neutralized, and campaign finance reformed, through legislative statute.

Great show, guys! I truly wish the USA could prohibit the money, lobbying and financing of campaigns, but that’ll never happen. I think we can only do a limited number of things, one of which being voting and taking part in local politics, which are important. I hesitate to mention that we did a two hour session on the “Internet of Things” last Friday. My question was whether the light bulb in the fridge could tell us if it really goes off when the door is closed.

Awesome, @dankles! Would be great to know ready for our next recording and then we can announce it. :slight_smile:

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