Open Source Policy

Dear President Obama,

Wouldn’t it be great if instead of sitting behind a desk, or even at a table with a team of “experts”, and writing policies and plans that are difficult at best to understand, let alone accept, if you followed the examples of the Open Source and Open Content philosophies and actually let us as a community, the biggest think-tank ever, pitch in and help write them?

A group concesus is always right more often than any individual within that group.

Simply create a piece of legislation, and then open it up to us, the people, to edit, tweak, simplify & fix it before it is sent on to congress. Perhaps then some of them wouldn’t be met with such opposition. Not to mention that it would be easier for us to get behind, because it would literally be from us. We would have a bigger stake in it because we would be a part of it. It works for Wikipedia and Google. It works for OpenOffice.org, Mozilla, Gimp, MySQL, and many others. It seems to me that it would work for policy too.

Maybe it is too late for the Economic Stimulus Plan, but in the future, I urge you to consider this as a viable course of action.

Some might say that this is a fairly radical idea. But actually isn’t it the most honest interpretation of a government OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people?

Sincerely,
The Arachnerd & Friends

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3 thoughts on “Open Source Policy

  1. I agree, except for one point. I think the only time this will work is with the stimulus plan.

    I think it would work w/ stimulus plan b/c it is such a unique moment in history. Transparency seems to be the buzzword of the moment, and what could be more transparent. Plus, this is a HUGE project. Coming up with a framework and letting the public & pundits poke holes in it could help catch unforeseen consequences.

    I don’t think it would work in other instances though. We have a Republican form of gov. for a reason. No matter who says the U.S. is a democracy, they are wrong. The general public is too dumb or too busy running the day-to-day operations to be consulted on every issue facing government. So… we send people to Washington w/ our proxy.

    Also, it could have been an Obama PR coup. Imagine a president openly seeking input from all (even his detractors).

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