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O'Reilly Giving Away Open Government As Aaron Swartz Tribute

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Books 87

jones_supa writes "The classic hacker book publisher O'Reilly is releasing their book Open Government for free as a tribute for Aaron Swartz. The book asks the question, in a world where web services can make real-time data accessible to anyone, how can the government leverage this openness to improve its operations and increase citizen participation and awareness? Through a collection of essays and case studies, leading visionaries and practitioners both inside and outside of government share their ideas on how to achieve and direct this emerging world of online collaboration, transparency, and participation. The files are posted on the O'Reilly Media GitHub account as PDF, Mobi, and EPUB files."

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Hacker Book Publisher? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648641)

The classic hacker book publisher O'Reilly

I wonder how O'Reilly feels about being labeled this way?

Re:Hacker Book Publisher? (2)

vlm (69642) | about 2 years ago | (#42648739)

The classic hacker book publisher O'Reilly

I wonder how O'Reilly feels about being labeled this way?

If you think they're unhappy, just wonder how 2600 feels...

Re:Hacker Book Publisher? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649241)

People who read O'Reilly books have better than average change of understanding the real meaning of the word "hacker."

Re:Hacker Book Publisher? (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about 2 years ago | (#42649947)

I wonder how O'Reilly feels about being labeled this way?

Well http://shop.oreilly.com/category/series/hacks.do [oreilly.com]
So, profitable, would be my guess.
Anywho, I prefer the term Zen or Organic programming to hacking, I'll just go ahead and mark you down on my list as a convert.

Re:Hacker Book Publisher? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650691)

I wonder how O'Reilly feels about being labeled this way?

Getting nervous that their terrorist agenda will be discovered... No wait that's not punchy enough. cyber-terrorist, yeah.

Re:Hacker Book Publisher? (1)

dickplaus (2461402) | about 2 years ago | (#42651251)

The classic hacker book publisher O'Reilly

I wonder how O'Reilly feels about being labeled this way?

hacker, not hack

LOLOLOLOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648675)

I pissed in Aaron Swartz's mouth and ass.

Re:LOLOLOLOL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650291)

Mod parent up for being absofuckinglutely ill arious!! :)

Fuck Aaron Swartz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648701)

Seriously, I don't give a shit about this imbecile. He was a heavy coke user and mentally unstable. I don't care.

--

Marcan, professional asshole [mailto]

Re:Fuck Aaron Swartz (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649035)

how do u kno he was a heavy coke user? not that i doubt it and i think he was a spoiled entitled faggot but i would love to find out more...

Re:Fuck Aaron Swartz (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42649477)

That's totally untrue. He was a light pepsi user.

change the voting system (0)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#42648831)

The US, at least, is ran by a partisan duopoly. This could change if we moved to a pluralistic voting system! Anything else is just a secondary issue.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648935)

In those pluralistic systems you still end up usuaully with duopoly coalitions. So in the end you still get the same thing.

Re:change the voting system (3, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#42649061)

The US already has a plurality voting system [wikipedia.org] . I suspect you meant "proportional representation [wikipedia.org] " in which case the US would be run by 4chan [wikipedia.org] . It's far easier to get a bunch of pranksters to vote in support of something silly than it is to get a bunch of serious activists to agree on the right solution to complex problems.

For example, banning fracking would protect our water supply, but doom our energy supply. Fixing energy by supporting renewable power sources threatens jobs in fossil fuel extraction and transport. Protecting employment requires supporting expansion opportunities. Fracking is an expansion opportunity.

Everything is more complex than everyone thinks. Changing voting systems will not settle more disputes. It will just transfer the disputes from discussion into law, so problems are even harder to fix and people will (rightfully) have even less faith in the government.

Re:change the voting system (5, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42649309)

Everything is more complex than everyone thinks.

No it's not. The fact that they have you tricked into believing that is proof as to how well the Duopoly is at keeping it's power. There are a LOT of problems, the majority in fact, that the country has no partisan disagreement about. But the political parties are not interested in those problems. They are only interested in problems that they can disagree on, and win political points on. Gun control, Abortion, Climate change, fracking. All this stuff is just to distract you from what they're not doing and focus you in on their arguments.

Kids are starving in this country. I know it's hard to believe, but children go hungry every night. Is there political disagreement on that? Are we going to have a political argument on sunday morning between a Democrat and Republican on weather a 5yr old should have FOOD? No? Then why the hell are kids still starving? We have troops in every country on earth practically. Would there be any disagreement on withdrawing troops from, lets say, Germany? I know the Keiser could rise from the dead any minuite... but how about we shut down just 2 or 3 bases and use that money to feed kids that are starving. Or for cancer research... or AIDs... or maybe, just maybe, we could just NOT speand the money so the country isn't bankrupt for the kids that don't manage to starve to death before their 20th birthday...

Yes, this country has some intractible, impossible to solve problems... fortunately it has far far more problems that are easy. Lets start focusing on easy to solve, high impact problems. And stop focusing on shit that gets the current office holders re-elected.

Re:change the voting system (3, Interesting)

HuguesT (84078) | about 2 years ago | (#42649895)

In this country, many people go without health insurance, because premiums are too high. As a result, people get sick every day but don't go and see their doctor because they can't afford it. The US has the best quality health care in the world! why can't sick people get affordable treatment?

This should really be an easy, high impact problem to solve, right?

Re:change the voting system (1)

UltraZelda64 (2309504) | about 2 years ago | (#42650481)

The last thing this country gives a fuck about is its own citizens' health. Time and time again, it's been proven that there are much, much more important things to worry about... like putting people in jail for every reason imaginable, and increasing its own power over its citizens through elimination of our freedoms and rights.

Re:change the voting system (4, Insightful)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42651221)

The US has the best quality health care in the world!

That should be "had", you lost the #1 spot about 40yrs ago, although your still among the leaders in medical research.

This should really be an easy, high impact problem to solve, right?

Yep, many other countries manage to provide better care with a lot less money and have been doing so for decades.The irrational fear of the word "socialism" is the root cause of the problem in the US, it creates a blind spot that prevents Americans from even contemplating the measurably superior systems that exist in very similar nations such as Australia.

Re:change the voting system (2)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 years ago | (#42657153)

The US has the best quality health care in the world!

That should be "had", you lost the #1 spot about 40yrs ago, although your still among the leaders in medical research.

It really depends on what you measure. For the average person you're absolutely right. For somebody with the money to pay for healthcare and good sense in using the current system the US is as good as any place else on the planet, and sometimes better.

Some observations as somebody who has had a fair bit of exposure to the US healthcare system (I care for somebody with some serious chronic and from time-to-time acute conditions):

1. There is not universal health insurance. That means that for the average person the US healthcare system sucks, period.

2. Those who have insurance lose it when they're out of work, or may need to change doctors from time to time due to the dictates of insurance negotiations, and so on. The latter actually helps to control prices, but all of this is bad for continuity of care and prevention.

3. The entire system is super-expensive for everybody. That means that even those with insurance or wealth end up being a bit limited in what they can afford compared to elsewhere.

4. The way payment works creates perverse incentives for providers. That means that people might not get good advice (unnecessary procedures, etc). When you pay people for procedures you tend to get more procedures, unless people go against their doctor's advice (which doctors don't like, and patients are hesitant to do). Plus, ignoring a doctor's advice can be bad for you sometimes, and how is somebody to tell.

Bottom line is that in the US everything is there for the taking, more or less, but people don't get steered in the right direction, or they often can't afford it. However, if you can get past the cost and the bad advice, the actual delivery of treatments/etc is probably the best in the world.

BTW, I'm all for reform. The whole US-healthcare-is-bad thing is just misleading because it doesn't distinguish between the aspects of the system that work REALLY well, and the parts that are, frankly, abysmal. Then reformers don't understand why their reforms aren't popular - and that is because the system isn't completely broken to begin with.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 2 years ago | (#42657245)

Just one other point that might help to clarify things.

If you need a bypass operation, then in a US hospital you'll probably get a bypass operation that is as good as one you'll get anywhere - certainly above average. If you need really exotic surgery chances are you'll actually do better in the US than just about anywhere else.

On the other hand, if you need to be able to pay for a bypass operation, or you aren't sure if you need one or not, you'll probably get better advice/costs/insurance just about anywhere else.

In the US the execution of individual elements of healthcare is top-notch - probably in the running for #1 overall. The problem is all the stuff that happens in the 99.9999% of your life that you aren't actually on an operating table or having a test performed.

Re:change the voting system (1)

t4ng* (1092951) | about 2 years ago | (#42651225)

The US has the best quality health care in the world!

Sorry to nitpick since I agree with the rest of what you wrote, but this is not true by a number of measurements. The most recent survey of health care by the World Health Organization placed the US somewhere around #32 in the world. That's below all those socialized health care systems in the world that lobbyists for hospitals and insurances companies keep trying to convince Americans are hell-holes where you go to die in a waiting room!

Re:change the voting system (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#42651577)

Many people in this country go the ER regularly for a cough, and never have to pay. But I went to the ER twice in 3 days for a life-threatening condition, and was told nothing was wrong (take a pill) and forced to pay more than I could afford. Our healthcare system is backwards in so many ways.

My wife can't get pregnant. The reason is unknown. Our only option will likely be a $20,000 procedure that our employer's plan won't help with (because infertility isn't covered). Individual plans offered in my state cost hundreds of dollars per month more than our group plan, and the little extra coverage they offer isn't worth the cost.

But I have to pay extra for someone's free birth control pills. I have to pay for the needless ER visits. How is that reasonable or fair? We are good people. We don't abuse the system. But we get the shaft.

I want to stop employer group plans (if everyone participated in individual plans, their costs would go down while providing choice). I want to be able to shop for plans across state lines. I want to stop paying for procedures people don't need, while also paying out of pocket for procedures that help us have a family. This is why I never liked the ACA; it is a huge bill with huge implementation costs while providing little value to people like me.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 2 years ago | (#42652773)

The solution is to eliminate the tax benefit for corporations to provide health care for their employees.

Really. Why the fuck should the HR asshole at my company decide which health plan I am allowed to buy?

Eliminate 'subsidized' employer-based health plans and just pay people more and let them choose their own.

Re:change the voting system (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | about 2 years ago | (#42654275)

"Just pay people more..." Oh, hahahahahahahahahahaha! They take away a benefit, you ain't gonna see jack, the company will give it to the execs and the stockholders.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about a year ago | (#42668517)

You're nuts. The healthcare subsidy/tax deal is a huge amount of money. It won't just disappear under a rug in the executive suite. The change in employee budgets would insure that couldn't happen. People will absolutely need the extra money to buy their healthcare. It would equivalent to an across-the-board pay cut for every employee everywhere, so just plain couldn't be gotten away with.

Also, the idea is no more frivolous than the notion, hehe, that you're gonna get good health care by the gubmint raising your taxes. Get real, dude.

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42653239)

My wife can't get pregnant. The reason is unknown. Our only option will likely be a $20,000 procedure that our employer's plan won't help with (because infertility isn't covered). Individual plans offered in my state cost hundreds of dollars per month more than our group plan, and the little extra coverage they offer isn't worth the cost.

There is another option: adoption

I want to stop paying for procedures people don't need, while also paying out of pocket for procedures that help us have a family. This is why I never liked the ACA; it is a huge bill with huge implementation costs while providing little value to people like me.

What's in it for me, huh?

You sir are a typical Slashdot libertarian, a selfish prick!

Re:change the voting system (1)

babybird (791025) | about 2 years ago | (#42654953)

To the best of my understanding, as expensive as the fertility treatment is, adoption is even more expensive. I think I remember reading that the average U.S.-based adoption costs around $40,000, and overseas adoptions run about $120,000. If someone can't afford a $20,000 fertility treatment, they're probably not going to be adopting anytime soon.

Of course a modern conservative or Ayn Rand-ian libertarian could make the argument that no one is "entitled" to have kids if they can't conceive naturally, but that's just being petty.

Re:change the voting system (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#42663097)

If someone is entitled to government help for birth control, and for the children they irresponsibly conceived, then I (as a responsible adult who pays more in taxes than I receive in government benefits) should be able to purchase insurance that helps me raise a family.

Remember, I'm not saying that I'm entitled to taxpayer-funded benefits. I'm saying I should be able to get insurance that doesn't suck.

Re:change the voting system (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#42663027)

There is another option: adoption

This is one of the most insensitive statements you can make to someone struggling with infertility. Thanks, asshole.

Re:change the voting system (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42737759)

Why? Sounded like a decent plan to me...

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42655743)

In this country, many people go without health insurance, because premiums are too high. As a result, people get sick every day but don't go and see their doctor because they can't afford it. The US has the best quality health care in the world! why can't sick people get affordable treatment?

This should really be an easy, high impact problem to solve, right?

It is,
most western countries have solved it. The solution comes somewhere along the line of, maybe we shouldn't try to profit so much from making people feel better and healthy.

Re:change the voting system (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 2 years ago | (#42651743)

When you equate starvation with hunger, you eliminate all credibility for any of your statements. Stop saying stupid things if you want to persuade.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#42652631)

A perfect example of my point.

Gun control, abortion, climate change, fracking, hunger, and troops in Germany are all important issues to somebody. The issues rarely center around "is this a problem?" but rather "what's the best way to fix it?" and that's what nobody can ever agree on.

Sure, a five-year-old should have food, but who's going to pay for its production and transportation? Should the government pay, or should we let private charities stretch their budgets just a bit further? If it's on the government's dime, should we shut down other programs to do it? What if those other programs are also important? Surely we don't need such a silly thing as military bases in Germany?

Those bases in Germany are no longer for protection against the Kaiser, but rather are part of our NATO obligations to have rapid deployment to anywhere in the vicinity. They also serve as rest stops for troops in active deployment in the Middle East, safely outside the range of most threats. They provide a nice place for recuperation, and are also within road and rail transportation from active locations. Keeping those bases open may actually be saving money in the long run, because our air travel needs are reduced.

Unfortunately, I have yet to find any "easy" problems at the Federal level. When you think you've found one, play Devil's advocate for a moment, and think about why your solution hasn't already been done. Figure out why someone good of heart and sound of mind would oppose your plan:

  • Drone surveillance is obviously an invasion of privacy (unless its use is regulated, and it does provide an opportunity to improve police efficiency).
  • Syria obviously needs help (though it's not really clear which side should get the help, or how aid could be administered, or which side (if any) is less inclined to cause more bloodshed later).
  • America obviously should pull out of its Middle Eastern conflicts (miraculously without leaving any weapons, ammunition, vulnerable informants (or their families), or hard feelings, yet still leaving a peace-loving effective local government in place).
  • A major government labor project, such as building a Death Star, would create STEM-sector jobs for millions of unemployed (and disrupt international relations, start a new Cold War, and drive government debt even higher, with no source of funding).

As I've said many times [slashdot.org] , every issue is more complicated than everybody thinks. There is always someone on the other side on the issue, not because they're evil, but because they have a different perspective. Every politician (and, I think, most humans) would love to have every child fed, every war ended, and every wish granted... but there is rarely a clear blueprint for how to solve any of those tractable, possible problems without just making more problems for the future.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 2 years ago | (#42659061)

You just spent half an hour typing up a list of what we can't do. Now spend 5min typing up what we CAN do and you'll have your boat pointed in the right direction. I don't even think you believe half the shit you just wrote, you just wrote it to disagree with me. THAT's the problem. STOP IT. Find points in my argument you agree with and lets move forward. Politics does not have to be adversarial. Stop trying to force it into being so.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 2 years ago | (#42660837)

I agree that the five-year-old child needs food, and will need a job eventually. Let's set your tax rate at 100%, and in 13 years force you into retirement. We can do that.

I also agree that we shouldn't have active military bases in Germany. Since you'll be out of a job in a decade or so, we'll go ahead and make plans to drop you in Europe as the sole military presence. We'll even give you an old WWII hand grenade. When the protesters in Greece or Spain decide to launch a bloody coup, you will be the one to step in to help restore peace. Good luck with that, but you can die happily knowing how much money you saved the United States!

I guess what we can also do is ignore the opinions of others and our past commitments, and just hand more pork to our favored groups. As long as everybody agrees, we can all close our eyes, stick our fingers in our ears, and push forward.

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42737917)

Drone surveillance is obviously an invasion of privacy (unless its use is regulated, and it does provide an opportunity to improve police efficiency).

It's always an invasion of privacy. Don't be like a TSA supporter.

Syria obviously needs help

Fuck Syria.

America obviously should pull out of its Middle Eastern conflicts

Absolutely. The consequences? Who cares? Not really our problem. Not much would happen.

For the record, I know those were just examples...

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42654815)

So, you definitely have a point. But it does not really answer the question of whether a direct democracy would really work. Someone gave us this link :
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority [wikipedia.org] ... and I see the point, but skimming the article I can find no example that this will really happen. I mean, if it really was so bad, would it not likely be an example of it being tried and going horribly wrong ? I am worried, oh so worried, about all the idiot opinions out there getting a hold in real politics. I am not saying you are wrong about the current system focusing you on their chosen stupid battles, I agree, but that does not mean we wouldn't find some other stupid battles in another political system. And definitely there would be "interest groups" (both in the open and hidden) pushing their agenda in such a system.

Also, I believe direct democracy has a lot of other problems, like people do not have time to really understand issues before voting. In fact, many do not even find the time to vote what comes down to one bit of information once every 4 years. Also, there are some secrecy issues, which maybe should be just shunned, but as it is now, they cannot just be given to all people as then everyone else would know too, and they also cannot be ignored as they often have some impact on other issues.

Re:change the voting system (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42649755)

I suspect you meant "proportional representation" in which case the US would be run by 4chan. It's far easier to get a bunch of pranksters to vote in support of something silly than it is to get a bunch of serious activists to agree on the right solution to complex problems.

Bullshit. Proportional representation systems are in place around the world, and generally work better than ours does. The problem with the US is not that there are too many silly alternatives. It's that there are not enough serious alternatives. Arguably, there are not any real alternatives at all. Proportional representation would fix that.

Everything is more complex than everyone thinks.

Therefore we must never change anything, even if the change has been tried many times and shown to be workable.

Re:change the voting system (1)

babybird (791025) | about 2 years ago | (#42655005)

Bullshit. Proportionatation systems are in place around the world, and generally work better than ours does. The problem with the US is not that there are too many silly alternatives. It's that there are not enough serious alternatives. Arguably, there are not any real alternatives at all. Proportional representation would fix that.

There are a lot of things in place around the world that generally work better than what we have, but bringing those things here by themselves would probably not make a significant difference. It would likely just shift around the pieces on the board for a while. Our problems seem to be more to do with our national culture than any particular system. Americans today are so tolerant of ignorance and corruption that we often fail to recognize them as such, or worse, even admire them and put them on a pedestal.

Therefore we must never change anything, even if the change has been tried many times and shown to be workable.

I facetiously feel the same way sometimes about some arguments I hear, often by strict constitutionalists. The document was created to adapt to changing needs, so I don't understand the almost religious zeal some people express that we should go back to it without updating anything as though the last 230 odd years never happened. I think we should follow the founders' example instead, and borrow all the best known ideas and adapt and adopt them to work for us. But this would require a cultural maturity that our country seems not to have.

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649825)

The US already has a plurality voting system [wikipedia.org] . I suspect you meant "proportional representation [wikipedia.org] " in which case the US would be run by 4chan [wikipedia.org]

But it's hard to believe even 4chan could do a worse job than the current U.S. House of Representatives.

Re:change the voting system (1)

profplump (309017) | about 2 years ago | (#42651443)

At the very least I suspect 4chan could pass some legislation. It might be to put pedobear posters in every post office, but simply by doing *something* they'd be way ahead of the last congress in terms of effective governance.

Re:change the voting system (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about 2 years ago | (#42650301)

For example, banning fracking would protect our water supply, but doom our energy supply.

[citation needed]

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650355)

I think the POTUS said it best today...

The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_president-obamas-2013-inaugural-speech-full-transcript_1791180

Re:change the voting system (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 2 years ago | (#42651677)

Yet Obama is part of the system that gives us two elite political parties. He has not hinted that he has considered any action that could upset the two-party system we have.

Have you wondered why neither of these parties has ever killed the other, in their long history? The reason seems clear enough: it is easier to defend power when you share it.

Re:change the voting system (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42651771)

Yet Obama is part of the system that gives us two elite political parties. He has not hinted that he has considered any action that could upset the two-party system we have.

Nothing in his quote says anything about not being a elite political system and was exactly my point. I think it actual highlights the secret society that is the US government and how our leaders are elected. It is not popular vote and his quote clearly states that and is the definition of a republic.

Re:change the voting system (1)

ThorGod (456163) | about 2 years ago | (#42651115)

I mean a system where voters rank all of the candidates according to their preferences. There are different ways to implement such a system, but they are all premised on individual voters having more than one vote to cast. An example would be an election with 10 candidates, and every voter has 10 votes to cast. A voter may assign all 10 of his/her votes to a single candidate. Or, that same voter could assign 6 to his/her most preferred candidate, and 4 to his/her second preferred candidate. Such a system allows the individual voter many more options than the standard one-vote per voter system.

There exist case studies of moving between voting systems. Australia's one such system, but I mention that system as an example and not an endorsement of a specific system.

Re:change the voting system (3, Informative)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42651643)

banning fracking would protect our water supply, but doom our energy supply

Doom is a strong word, "dent" is more descriptive of the reality. The problem with fracking in the US is that the frackers are not bound by law to tell anyone what chemicals they are pumping into the groundwater. They get a free pass on oversight because the formulas for the liquids are classed as trade secrets. Is it too much to ask for some evidence that fracking has more benefits than costs to society? - Are you personally willing to drink the stuff they are pumping?

Protecting employment requires supporting expansion opportunities. Fracking is an expansion opportunity.

Blind faith in corporations is just as dangerous as blind faith in government. If the job on offer is an overall detriment to society why would you want to support it's creation? How about creating a few jobs to oversee what these people are pumping into the groundwater?

Everything is more complex than everyone thinks.

No, the rule here is so simple even a CEO can understand it - don't shit in MY drinking water. However it's impossible to apply that simple rule to fracking because the relevant information is legally withheld from society.

Wrong question (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648835)

how can the government leverage this openness to improve its operations and increase citizen participation and awareness?

Why would they want to. all government's are a racket run for the benefit of those inside police politician's etc.

(roman_mir, banned again)

Re:Wrong question (1)

blue trane (110704) | about 2 years ago | (#42648889)

The benefit is more social than economic for the politicians themselves usually, since they're mostly rich before they got into office. We, the people, control that social reward. We can withhold our attention from them when they are greedy, selfish, short-sighted, patronizing, hypocritical...

Re:Wrong question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650631)

You forgot to mention corruption and the marriage of corporation and government.

Oh of course you did, roman_mir, you adore filthy businesses and autocracy, as long as that autocracy has a guise of purely private gain.

Missed the boat. Any headline that asks quest... (1)

MickLinux (579158) | about 2 years ago | (#42650999)

You really missed the boat. Whenever an artle headline asks a question, the answer can be given in a single word.

The book asks the question, in a world where web services can make real-time data accessible to anyone, how can the government leverage this openness to improve its operations and increase citizen participation and awareness?

No.

the problem with open government (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648857)

...is that no government really wants "openness." Governments are generally a macro-version of the MAFIAA, or software publishers, where we get to see what's on the surface and intended for our consumption. Who would want exposed all the lobbying efforts and back-scratching that goes into most fatally flawed pieces of legilsation?

Noble gesture (2)

demon driver (1046738) | about 2 years ago | (#42648861)

Whatever might have been not to like about Aaron Swartz as a person, fact is that he's a victim of excessive persecution. A persecution resulting from a jurisdiction that is slave to the economy, an economy this time impersonated by the content industry. Nice and noble gesture of O'Reilly.

How to fix the broken system: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649711)

The Trillion Dollar Coin: What You Really Need to Know [marketoracle.co.uk]

The “experts” in the corporate media ridicule the idea of the coin (government printing its own debt free money) and say that nothing like this has ever been done before. That would not be accurate either.

In fact during our colonial days, our government did fund its operations by issuing colonial scrip. Our colonies were flourishing at this time and because the government was printing its own money, there was no need for income taxes. (By the way, it is not a coincidence that the Federal Income tax was instituted just before the Federal Reserve Act because the bankers know that the government would need the revenue to pay for the interest on its money supply and debt.) The colonial governments would issue this colonial scrip to pay their debts. There were some colonies that printed too many and suffered inflation, but most were judicious in their creation. Once the British bankers became aware of this colonial prosperity and how their debt based money system was being bypassed, they petitioned King George to forbid the colonies to issue their own currency. Since the bankers controlled the monarchy then, much as they control our government today, their wishes were granted. This quickly resulted in not enough circulating money to facilitate economic activity and the colonies quickly entered into a deep depression. It was this economic depression that was the driving force for the American Revolution.

Another time that the U.S. government printed its own money was during the civil war. The bankers tried to extort interest rates from Lincoln of 24% to 36% to finance the war.

“I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”

Abraham Lincoln

Instead of acquiescing to the bankers, Lincoln courageously started printing Greenbacks to finance the war saving the nation huge future interest payments. In fact the Greenbacks were so popular with the people that a political party formed called the Greenback Party. In the end, we all know what happened to Lincoln.

Re:Noble gesture (1)

bitt3n (941736) | about 2 years ago | (#42650701)

Whatever might have been not to like about Aaron Swartz as a person, fact is that he's a victim of excessive persecution

I dream one day we'll live in a country where each citizen is subjected to exactly the right amount of persecution.

A "Foo"? (1)

lysdexia (897) | about 2 years ago | (#42648867)

I’ve read many eloquent eulogies from people who knew Aaron Swartz better than I did, but he was also a Foo and contributor to Open Government.
Have a missed something, here?

Re:A "Foo"? (1)

lysdexia (897) | about 2 years ago | (#42648881)

Sorry, first sentence should have been quoted.

Re:A "Foo"? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648971)

It means that Mr T pitied him.

Re:A "Foo"? (5, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42649669)

I pity the foo that can't get into a bar.

Re:A "Foo"? (1)

grcumb (781340) | about 2 years ago | (#42654203)

I pity the foo that can't get into a bar.

At last, we arrive at the quux of the pwoblem.

Muddling the issue (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about 2 years ago | (#42648913)

Is this going to be more muddling of a complex issue where people contend that swartz was "stealing what the taxpayers had already paid for" because some percentage of the research of JSTOR was funded with grants? are we really going to let people in this thread make that extreme oversimplification of the issue yet again here?

Re:Muddling the issue (1)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 2 years ago | (#42649075)

Could muddle it in a different direction and wonder why taxes are being spent on something people have to pay for.

When Obama finally replaces Bush... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42648999)

I can't wait for our government to reverse itself once Obama replaces Bush. We'll stop having FOIA requests denied, we'll close Gitmo, we'll stop sending troops overseas, and the abomination of "extrajudicial killings" of US citizens will finally end.

Re:When Obama finally replaces Bush... (3, Insightful)

alexgieg (948359) | about 2 years ago | (#42649707)

the abomination of "extrajudicial killings" of US citizens will finally end.

As a non-US citizen that never went to the US, I'd like to propose something even more radical: ending the abomination of "extrajudicial killings" of non-US citizens too. It'd come a long way towards making most non-US citizens out there start ignoring, or even liking, the US again.

Re:When Obama finally replaces Bush... (1)

ffflala (793437) | about 2 years ago | (#42650377)

As a non-US citizen that never went to the US, I'd like to propose something even more radical: ending the abomination of "extrajudicial killings" of non-US citizens too. It'd come a long way towards making most non-US citizens out there start ignoring, or even liking, the US again.

Something tells me that you probably wouldn't like the "intrajudicial" killing of non-US citizens all that much, either...

Leverage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649059)

Leverage is a noun, not a verb. It is a naming word, not a doing word. It is the name given to the action of a lever. Any time you are tempted to use the noun leverage when you're actually seeking a verb, try substituting "use".

Re:Leverage (0, Offtopic)

Desler (1608317) | about 2 years ago | (#42649105)

Main Entry: 2leverage
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): leveraged; leveraging
Date: 1957
1 : to provide (as a corporation) or supplement (as money) with leverage; also : to enhance as if by supplying with financial leverage
2 : to use for gain : exploit

From here [merriam-webster.com]

FAIL.

O'Reilly ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649085)

Am I the only one who thought this was something to do with Bill O'Reilly of Fox News?

Re:O'Reilly ? (1)

Ultracrepidarian (576183) | about 2 years ago | (#42649277)

Yes.

Article Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649265)

When I first read it, I though it was Bill O'Reilly. Somehow that didn't seem right.

LOL transparency (0)

buck-yar (164658) | about 2 years ago | (#42649447)

“But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what's in it....” - Nancy Pelosi

Re:LOL transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42649837)

You should turn off Fox News and then Google to find the context of that statement. It does not mean what you think it does.

Re:LOL transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42652221)

because google always tell the TRUTH

Re:LOL transparency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650413)

Politics in sound bites, awesome. Simple minds I suppose. BTW I disagree with it too, but could we quit reducing our arguments to talking points?

Why not all of them? (3, Funny)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#42649559)

If O'Reilly really wanted to honor Swartz' memory, shouldn't they release all of their books for free? Isn't that closer to what he was after?

Releasing just one book, in his name, while still planning to charge everybody for everything else in their catalog, sounds more like a publicity stunt.

Re:Why not all of them? (1)

HuguesT (84078) | about 2 years ago | (#42650053)

Frankly the O'Reilly books are a bit passé these days. Look at the state of their C++ or Python books, either totally out of date or a joke. Exhibit A: the 60-page book [oreilly.com] on Scipy and Numpy, arguably the most important recent topic on Python, the one that makes it a real, pedal-to-the-metal competitor to Matlab.

Re:Why not all of them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650263)

If O'Reilly really wanted to honor Swartz' memory, shouldn't they release all of their books for free? Isn't that closer to what he was after?

No.

"Remember there are no stupid questions, just stupid people." - Mr. Garrison

Re:Why not all of them? (4, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | about 2 years ago | (#42650583)

If O'Reilly really wanted to honor Swartz' memory, shouldn't they release all of their books for free? Isn't that closer to what he was after?

That depends.

Are most O'Reilly books publicly funded project, funded, bought, and paid for by our government dollars, designed to be disseminated to to the public at large?

Releasing just one book, in his name, while still planning to charge everybody for everything else in their catalog, sounds more like a publicity stunt.

Granted this is a self-serving publicity stunt, but considering that you didn't know what the kid had hacked into, then at least, this "stunt" will probably educate some of the public, at least one can hope.

Re:Why not all of them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650803)

I think part of the idea is that this book is one that O'Reilly made, not just published. It would be up to the respective authors of all of O'Reilly's books to release them if they want to. Publishers don't own the copyright of the books they publish, after all. Authors do.

Re:Why not all of them? (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | about 2 years ago | (#42654813)

True, book copyrights tend to be in the author's name. It almost seems odd to me since I'm so used to seeing music copyrights in the label's name. Odd how the RIAA has made the normal seem odd, although I like some of the music under their control anyway.

Knowledge is Power (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#42649647)

This is the Information Age. More Information means More Power. Openness equates to giving the public more power. Governments will be as secretive and/or obfuscatory as possible. Just look at the legal system. You shouldn't have to study all laws and every legal finding (case law) just to effectively represent yourself in court. By making the information system overly complex, even to a point where each court has different procedures for evidence submittal, more power is removed from the common person -- One must trust someone else's knowledge to even stand a chance of defending themselves from their government (that should scare the crap out of everyone).

"Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler."
- Albert Einstein

Yet, we go the other route when it comes to the laws that rule us? That's Insanity! (Hint: look up what Einstein says about Insanity)

I'm sorry. This "Open Government" has so very little chance of success. It would give citizens more information, thus more power and control over their governments. It is so rare for a government to give back a power once they've taken it for themselves that historically the only way for citizens to get the powers back is via revolt. Consider the PATRIOT Act. These powers were said to only be needed temporarily, the PATRIOT act was supposed to have expired by now. We were panicking and seemed to be under immediate threat, so the government used our fear to take powers, and they have not given them back, nor will such infrormation control ever be relinquished by them. FTWA [wikipedia.org]

On May 26, 2011, President Barack Obama used an Autopen to sign a four-year extension of three key provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act while he was in France: roving wiretaps, searches of business records (the "library records provision"), and conducting surveillance of "lone wolves" — individuals suspected of terrorist-related activities not linked to terrorist groups. Republican leaders questioned if the use of the Autopen met the constitutional requirements for signing a bill into law.

And yet, the citizens have no similar investigative process for government officials. There is a huge disparity of information / power here...

These are just a few examples of how our own government shies away from public knowledge and tends toward secrecy and obfuscation, there are many others at nearly every turn of any nation's pages of history. The more secrecy and bureaucratic obfuscation, the less transparency, the less accountability, the less control the people have over their government, and the more power the government has over the public. In the Information Age, such control of information wields even greater power.

I know that a nation's fate doesn't have to be the same as all other nations who have embraced secrecy and avoided accountability, but I don't see any modern nation veering from the course to avoid assured destruction; Instead they accelerate. Note, however, that although "Open Government" has hardly any chance to succeed at all, it does have the best chance of success now than it ever has before.

As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master.

- Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declaration of Rights" (from Sid Meir's Alpha Centauri)

Re:Knowledge is Power (1)

Paleolibertarian (930578) | about 2 years ago | (#42654201)

Interesting. But what we most need is NOT a better government. What we need is less government and eventually no government at all.

ffs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650005)

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, just build a pyramid to the idiot already.

free seems to be CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 unported (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42650383)

You know editors, you could try to tell us technical shit like this. It's kinda important.

Oh I forgot, so such thing as editors here...

Increased paricipation and awareness (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 2 years ago | (#42651801)

With the state of the US today, increased paricipation and awareness will be used to increase the amount of goodies grifted from Uncle Sugar. The individual should be founded in solid principles before being invited to mess in the affairs of others.

As the creator of the Wikipedia PACER article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42654215)

I have 2 words to say about all this, that all have been ignoring:

1. PACER (well, actually CM/ECF, unless they've renamed it finally)
2. SPARQL

Everything else is just about useless without access to legal data. As Aaron Swartz can't tell you.

And as for you, Aaron, may you rest in Peace. You hacked the system, and the world will never be the same. God bless you.

a nice gesture, but Swartz's chapter is not good (1)

sbma44 (694130) | about 2 years ago | (#42657931)

I have great respect for Aaron's accomplishments and the depth of thought he brought to most problems, but his contribution to Open Government isn't his best work. In particular, its nearly-complete dismissal of transparency as a meaningful intervention suffers from a failure to consider likely counterfactuals. Transparency's impact is probably greatest through deterrence. It shifts equilibria. Aaron's view of it -- at least the one expressed in this chapter -- was ploddingly instrumentalist. Virtually any policy is going to be unsatisfying when viewed through that kind of lens.

I'll admit that my opinion on this is shaped by both personal and professional considerations, but I really do think that Aaron got this one wrong. More here, if anyone's interested: http://www.manifestdensity.net/2013/01/18/how-transparency-works/ [manifestdensity.net]

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