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TechCrunch Launches CrunchGov, a Tech Policy Platform

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the series-of-tubes dept.

Government 24

An anonymous reader writes "TechCrunch has launched a project called CrunchGov, which aims to bring educated people together to work on tech-related government policy. 'It includes a political leaderboard that grades politicians based on how they vote on tech issues, a light legislative database of technology policy, and a public markup utility for crowdsourcing the best ideas on pending legislation.' They give politicians scores based on how their votes align with consensus on policy in the tech industry. 'A trial run of the public markup utility in Congress has already proven successful. When Rep. Issa opened his own alternative to SOPA for public markup, Project Madison participants came in droves with surprisingly specific legal suggestions. For instance, one savvy user noticed that current piracy legislation could mistakenly leave a person who owns a domain name legally responsible for the actions of the website administrator (the equivalent of holding a landlord responsible if his tenant was growing pot in the backyard). The suggestion was included in the updated bill before Congress, representing perhaps the first time that the public, en masse, could have a realistic shot at contributing to federal law purely based on the merit of their ideas.'"

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24 comments

tech crunch sucks my dog's asshole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41779975)

but that's not exactly news.

Re:tech crunch sucks my dog's asshole (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781107)

Why is this modded down? Just this morning, I saw MG Seigler feltching Michael Arrington's cum out of a beagle's asshole.

This should be good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780117)

There is no such thing as a politician that doesn't work purely for self-interest.

Re:This should be good (2)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780275)

It will be good until they start grading politicians. The problem is that not all interests in tech will be the same interests as the person grading them. It will become just another ideological ranting before it's done. We have a lot of them already.

What we need is not a grading system but a way to see the history of a politician's votes and any claimed reasoning for it. For instance, I'm for spending money on STEM programs but I wouldn't vote for a bill doing it if it meant funding abortions with tax money or raising taxes. There are other things that someone might find they cannot digest in a bill.

Re:This should be good (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780379)

...just another ideological ranting... but I wouldn't vote for a bill doing it if it meant funding abortions with tax money or raising taxes.

Hmm, somebody's putting their ideology before the horse...

Re:This should be good (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781073)

What is your point. Everyone has things they will and will not support. It's more like putting their "ideology" before their "ideology".

Suppose the bill said increases in NASA and Science funding but repealed all the banking regulations. You would be a fool to vote yes for it. Suppose a bill barred states from taxing the internet but at the same time, barred judges from considering any type of case involved with someone who has a concealed carry permit over the use of the firearm.

I can think of hundreds if not more of reasons why I would vote against something I supported if it meant someone I was against being passed. If you wouldn't, then I can point to a person who is behind a large part of the reason why the country is so screwed up right now. The government constantly tacks on unpopular legislation to popular legislation because they know it won't pass on its own. The process is called a rider or attaching a rider and it's more then common.

Re:This should be good (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781347)

Regulating a bank so it doesn't wreck the economy is not the same as interfering with a person's personal medical care which is nobody else's business. But yes, attaching unrelated riders is a bad thing. I guess we just have to vote for people who will make the proper changes to the rules. Unfortunately, the voters are going to stick with the devil they know, hopelessly expecting a bigger piece of the pie that will never come. That's the nature of corruption, and the politicians reflect that.

Re:This should be good (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781699)

a person's personal medical care which is nobody else's business

lol.. Nothing I said would interfere with that. It would simply stop from making it "public business" by taxing the public and the government (which is by nature public) paying for it. Big difference there. I don't really care what you do, just don't expect me to pay for it.

As for the rest, I think you are pretty much spot on.

Re:This should be good (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782055)

Do you like it when your HMO or insurance company decides what kind of medical care you receive? If not, then the government (taxpayer), through its medicare or 'Obamacare', shouldn't be allowed to either. It should only watch out for fraud. That's how to keep ideology out of the picture... if that's your real intention :-)

Re:This should be good (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41783615)

I actually have indemnity insurance so I don't have that problem.

But I consider that pretty brash, demanding that you are entitled to something more then someone is willing to give you. And it is not like the person doesn't have other options available. They can pay for the abortion themselves, go to a clinic like Planned Parenthood who BTW, has spent more money campaigning for democrats this year then the government gives them in a year (so much for ideology), or pay for the abortions themselves.

Even if the person doesn't live in an area with a high minority population (planned parenthood will not set up an abortion clinic in an area without a high minority population), they subsidize the costs of a private medical professional to perform the abortion. And yes, I still consider Planned Parenthood to be a racist organization bent on stopping minorities from reproducing in the same faith of their founder the eugenicists Margarete Sanger.

Re:This should be good (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41789997)

But I consider that pretty brash, demanding that you are entitled to something more then someone is willing to give you.

He's an idiot. Abortion is an elective, cosmetic procedure, like getting a facelift, or a new set of teeth. Why should we be paying for it?

Re:This should be good (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780991)

This. Especially with some of the political rants that Arrington (TechCrunch founder) has put up on the main page, I do have some worry that if this gains steam he may feel the desire to wield it to further his own personal agenda rather than the tech agenda as a whole.

Something like this is needed though, and I'm heartened to see it happening.

Re:This should be good (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781221)

Something like this is needed though, and I'm heartened to see it happening.

I'm all for a clearing house or one stop shop for the votes and reasoning's, stated positions, and stuff. I'm just against a grading system. It's not like this is the NRA and everything anti X is bad. There will be times where X is neutral and people or tech in and of itself can benefit from X or -X. Hell, even the concept of bringing X to the table can be seen as both good and bad. Look at the concept of Net Neutrality.

Something's wrong here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780183)

"TechCrunch has launched a project called CrunchGov, which aims to bring educated people together to work on tech-related government policy

That's like holding an intervention but not inviting the drug addict.

But whose side are they on? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780217)

For example, when "They give politicians scores based on how their votes align with consensus on policy in the tech industry.", are they going to grade them up or down for wanting to increase visas?

Re:But whose side are they on? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#41780477)

Are you implying that the interests of tech businesses and tech workers aren't exactly the same? The next thing you know, you're going to suggest a union or something. Socialism! Get the communist!

Re:But whose side are they on? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41782993)

Just removed TechCrunch from my list of favorite sites. Get political, lose a site viewer.

Crunch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780241)

The whole "crunch" thing is pretty tired at this point.

Rep Issa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780485)

The suggestion was included in the updated bill before Congress, representing perhaps the first time that the public, en masse, could have a realistic shot at contributing to federal law purely based on the merit of their ideas

I assure you that absolutely nothing Rep Issa does is purely based on merit. The suggestion, as incorporated, greatly benefits a lot of wealthy people in his district, probably more so than the average /. reader could ever hope to gain.

pipedream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780493)

> contributing to federal law purely based on the merit of their ideas.

Anyone who believes this does not understand the nature of decision making. "Merit" is a subjective term in the political arena. Even if you have objective criteria to evaluate solutions, those criteria will be subjectively weighted. Some criteria may even be prescribed negative weighting by someone who has differing values or interests (ie: evolution/creationism "debate").

I give it two years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41780663)

Then TechCrunch will get kicked out and everyone else involved will change the name to JoojooGov and it'll continue to be ignored.

Ego's a hell of a handicap (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41781111)

which aims to bring educated people together to work on tech-related government policy.

Super, more of the "we're the smartest guys in the room" who want to tell everybody else how they should behave. But with propeller beanies this time.

Guess what? There are people who are smarter than you. Even the smartest people can't forsee all possible outcomes. Millions of smart people making billions of decisions will always have a better outcome than the smartest central planner.

It's an information problem, but apparently even information professionals can't seem to see that. Ergo, anybody qualified to attempt this would refuse to.

And, let me guess, the CrunchGov group will refuse to take responsibility for any mistakes they're going to make, right? Good, so long as we have a well-aligned incentive structure, this will never devolve into corruption and greed.

Better suggestion: spend your time inventing the future, especially one which obviates the need for stupid politicians. See also: opportunity costs. Oh, right, those don't count in public policy.

This will be co-opted somehow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41781303)

Just like anything government related tends to get after awhile. . .

Asset forfeiture (1)

Dave Emami (237460) | about a year and a half ago | (#41782181)

For instance, one savvy user noticed that current piracy legislation could mistakenly leave a person who owns a domain name legally responsible for the actions of the website administrator (the equivalent of holding a landlord responsible if his tenant was growing pot in the backyard).

Actually, that can happen (at least in the US) due to asset forfeiture laws. The landlord won't be held criminally liable, but his property can be confiscated. The property itself will be prosecuted for aiding in the commission of a crime, fx. "State of Massachusetts vs. 123 S. Main Street." No, I am not joking. Even more bizarre things have happened, including a case (back in the 90s when I was following this more closely) where a car jointly owned by a married couple was seized when the husband was caught having sex with a prostitute in it. The wife had no recourse and received no compensation, even though she had no idea her husband was doing this. How easily this can happen varies from state to state; some states have better protection against it than others.

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