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The Coming Digital Presidency

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the your-vote-counts-as-much-as-they-want-it-to dept.

464

Ranjit Mathoda writes "Marc Andreeson, the cofounder of Netscape, met Senator Barack Obama in early 2007. Mr. Andreeson recalls, "In particular, the Senator was personally interested in the rise of social networking, Facebook, Youtube, and user-generated content, and casually but persistently grilled us on what we thought the next generation of social media would be and how social networking might affect politics — with no staff present, no prepared materials, no notes. He already knew a fair amount about the topic but was very curious to actually learn more." As a social organizer and a lover of new technologies, Mr. Obama could be expected to make good use of such tools in getting elected, and he has done so. What may not be as obvious is that Mr. Obama appears to have a keen interest in using such technologies in the act of governing. And whether Mr. Obama becomes president, or Mrs. Clinton or Mr. McCain do, these new tools have the potential to transform how government operates."

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A bit presumptuous, no? (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868866)

A bit presumptuous to assume that, with Democrats fighting like cats and dogs among themselves now, the "Coming Digital Presidency" won't actually feature a 72-year-old man who probably thinks YouTube is a new type of waterpark ride.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (3, Interesting)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868946)

I agree, it sure looks to me like McCain is going to be our next president. Obama's preacher is a racist, a white person voting for him would be like a black person voting for a white man whose preacher is a Klansman.

Hillary is just plain unlilkeable, taking votes away, even Democrat votes. Most Republicans hate her (because of her husband, who IMO was a good President esp. in comparison to our present Oil Baron Traitor in Chief) and won't vote for her, and I for one don't like her because her husband gave her the job of instituting national health care like the civilized world has and she botched it.

Myself, I'll be voting either Green or Libertarian, depending on who's on the ballot in Illinois. Mine will be a protest vote against our Corporate-owned government. We, the people, have been left out of the loop for far too long.

That said, there are a lot of seventy two year olds who ARE computer literate; I've met some. I gather there are a few on slashdot with low UIDs. I don't know about McCain but judging someone's computer literacy by their age is pretty ignorant.

BTW, I turn 56 next week. [kuro5hin.org]

-mcgrew

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (4, Insightful)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869092)

Pretty silly to impute the remarks of another onto a candidate. Do we even need to look at the things the religious right has said that John McCain embraces? Remember back in the last election when McCain wanted nothing to do with them?

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869140)

I was thinking the exact same thing. The only problem is, what is everyone else's reaction?

Personally I think nothing has changed. Almost everyone who liked Obama before they heard the preacher still likes him. And everyone who didn't like Obama before still don't like him. I doubt a huge segment of the population has changed their minds about any of the candidates.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869602)

Personally I think nothing has changed. Almost everyone who liked Obama before they heard the preacher still likes him. And everyone who didn't like Obama before still don't like him. I doubt a huge segment of the population has changed their minds about any of the candidates.
That maybe true, but it's the undecideds that the candidates are after, not those that have made up their minds. Sure, it's possible to make someone change their minds, but people are stubborn.

Of course, that's all for the general election. Right now, the only ones really campaigning are going after "super delegates". In order to get them, each is trying to look more "electable" than the other. Because of this, little gaffes matter much more.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

electrictroy (912290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869742)

I changed my mind.

I prefer McCain, but also thought if Obama became president I'd be happy with that. But then I learned Obama's been attending a "hate whites" church for the last 15 years, and now I'm not so sure. It would be like if I attended an all-white, segregated, anti-black church ever week for many years, and then claim I'm not racist. Even if I'm telling the truth, you can't hear those words week after week after week without some of it absorbing into your psyche.

Now I'm putting my support behind Billary - a 90s-style presidency with the Clintons back in charge.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (2, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869162)

Pretty silly to impute the remarks of another onto a candidate.

It is, but all's fair in love and politics. The Left tars the Right for years for associating with its round of the religious right. So, its entirely fair for the Right to hit the Left back on its associations with racist organizations. If Republicans are the party of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, as the left likes to say, then certainly, it is fair to paint Democrats as the Party of Louis Farrakhan and Reverend Wright.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (5, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869390)

Not really. Robertson and Falwell seem to have a lot of sway with many high ranking Republicans. And they actively and successfully affect policy. Farrakhan and Wright have had little or no affect on policy. They also hold no influence within the Democratic party. At worst Wright might affect one Democrat, while the religious right affects the entire Republican party.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (2, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869402)

Falwell

Falwell doesn't hold sway with anyone right now, because he's dead. :-)

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869476)

The Republican candidate announced:

Send me five million votes by Friday, or I will die -- Fallwell spoke to me this morning and told me that.

Facts (1, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869722)

Except the facts are that Republicans actually embrace rightwing bigot preachers, while all we have here on "the Left" is a preacher who occasionally gets angry at the facts of America's killing innocent people and institutionalized racism. Hell, Pat Robertson ran for president as a Republican, and got millions of Republican votes. That's a pretty definite association. And every Republican president or candidate for it has sought and received Robertson's and Falwell's enthusiastic endorsement - not just sat in their church once in a while.

There's no connection between Obama and Farrakhan, excpet they're both Black. I guess it's easy to make that mistake if you're a racist who says any one Black person's actions are shared by every Black person.

Not "all's fair in love and politics". I'd hate to see your lover if you really think that. And that kind of attitude is exactly why we have a faithy Republican regime that is stopped by nothing decent in pursuing power and the flood of money it can steal behind fake "Christian" posturing.

Just because Republicans have lowered American politics to divisive attacks irrelevant to facts, but playing on the worst impulses of Americans doesnt' mean we all have to accept it. Not when there's an alternative.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869320)

Any candidate who hangs out with loony-toons religious preachers loses my vote, I don't care what his party is.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869632)

Yeah, it's just one pastor after all, it doesn't reflect the beliefs of the followers of the religion (called ironically the "United Church of Christ" despite the fact that it's a small fringe Christian denomination).

Oh, wait. The UCC not only supported Wright in his hate-speech, they've had him speak in their central conferences. This would be like the Pope supporting a racist priest.

Sorry, Wright's remarks weren't a one-off random thing that Obama just happened to be snoozing through. They're the actual beliefs of Obama's religion.

He can't just duck out of that one. He's belonged to the church for 20 years, he's been hearing this type of stuff for 20 years. If he wanted to distance himself from Wright, he had his chance years ago.

Also remember the sermons are not new. They're several years old. Obama could have distanced himself from Wright years ago but he did not.

Anyone who votes for Obama after Wright's remarks is an idiot.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1, Flamebait)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869098)

Myself, I'll be voting either Green or Libertarian, depending on who's on the ballot in Illinois. Mine will be a protest vote against our Corporate-owned government.
So essentially you'll be voting for McCain then? Good luck with that.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (3, Insightful)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869214)

No, he'll be voting for a Green or Libertarian candidate.

I've been voting since 1976 and only rarely wanted the candidate that I voted for to win more than I've wanted the the competition to lose. In the last election Kerry didn't interest me at all, but I voted for him anyway because I liked Bush a whole lot less.

Maybe it's time to vote for the candidate that we actually want. Only then will the third party candidates have a chance at winning.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869710)

third party candidates have a chance at winning.
You are delusional.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869234)

"So essentially you'll be voting for McCain then? Good luck with that."

Yes, because we all know that a vote for anyone except the two major partiews is a wasted vote and that if you don't vote for the lesser evil you're effectively voting for the greater...

BULLSHIT. You've drunk so deeply of the two party Kool Aid you can't see a way out. Vote for what you actually want, vote for what actually represents you and maybe, just maybe, America can get away from the clutches of its bought and paid for political class that seem so determined to screw over the very people they're put there to serve.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869378)

Who is responsible for George W. Bush becoming President?

A. George W. Bush

B. Al Gore

C. Karl Rove

D. The Supreme Court

E. The State of Florida

F. Ralph Motherfucking Douchbag Nader and all the idiot hippies that thought he was a good choice

The Dems need solidarity like the Reps need souls. Else we're going to have another bullshit fiasco of an election.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (2, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869484)

"Who is responsible for George W. Bush becoming President?"

The electorate.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

CrashPoint (564165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869546)

The Dems need solidarity like the Reps need souls. Else we're going to have another bullshit fiasco of an election.
You'll repeat that "OH GOD THE OTHER GUY MUST LOSE NO MATTER WHAT" garbage again in 2012. And 2016. And so on. And in so doing, you'll be more responsible for producing more Bushes than a thousand Naders ever could.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869296)

This is a disingenuous argument put forth by people who want the corrupt two-party system to continue. You might as well argue that Democrats in Texas and Republicans in California should stay home on election day, since there's no chance whatsoever that their vote will make a difference in the election.

People should vote for whomever they want, and if they think the major difference between the two parties is how they want to screw the country over, they shouldn't be mocked for choosing a third party.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (2, Insightful)

NobleSavage (582615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869606)

his is a disingenuous argument put forth by people who want the corrupt two-party system to continue
If you want end the "currupt two-party system then you have to change our electoral system, in particular winner take all congressional seats. See Duverger's law [http] Until that changes, a vote for a 3rd party is a wasted vote.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869124)

Also, the idea that McCain can't understand the value of the Internet as a campaigning force because of his age is slightly patronising, and entirely add odds with what we know about the rise of the 'silver surfer'.

Everybody is a racist (1, Troll)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869254)

Obama's preacher is a racist, a white person voting for him would be like a black person voting for a white man whose preacher is a Klansman.

That's silly. Everyone knows someone that is a racist, and really, truth be told, we are all probably racist on some level. Faulting Obama for knowing someone who is a racist is like faulting someone for watching TV. It's just that common. Granted, I'd use it in a political debate on slashdot because I'm a troll that way, but the reality is, we're all a bit racists and we just have to confront that rather than pretend that listening to a bit of hip hop every now and then makes us culturally better. It's not how we think when we see people that matters as much - that whole approach is catholic guilt applied to race. But, its, do we judge people on the merits of their ideas, not the color of their skin.

Honestly, I don't care if the Obamas don't like white people in their core, and crack "cracker jokes" over family outings, so long as they run the country well when they are in there. I mean, if Obama is hanging out in the office saying "I gotta deal with these toothless white trash" so long as he balances the budget, gets the economy on track, and brings peace to the country, then, who cares?

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

lazy-ninja (1061312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869284)

Wait, so you wont vote for Obama because his Preacher is racist? I don't see that as being him, or as affecting his ability as a president.

Have you heard or read his speech on race? Its amazing.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869294)

Man, people sure are quick to write off Obama after the preacher thing. Did you not listen to his speech on the matter? It was probably the most well thought out speech on race from a politician ever. Also, listening to his preacher in context (not just the out of context Youtube clips) is important if you want to get the full story.

Also, people aren't judging McCain by his age, but by his stated dislike of computers. He still prefers handwritten memos to email for instance.

Hillary would never get votes from people who never vote Democratic anyway, so it's not exactly a major blow to her that die hard Republicans will never vote for her.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (5, Insightful)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869312)

I agree, it sure looks to me like McCain is going to be our next president. Obama's preacher is a racist, a white person voting for him would be like a black person voting for a white man whose preacher is a Klansman


Agreed! There is no way in hell I would vote for Obama's preacher for President.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869598)

I agree, it sure looks to me like McCain is going to be our next president. Obama's preacher is a racist, a white person voting for him would be like a black person voting for a white man whose preacher is a Klansman


Agreed! There is no way in hell I would vote for Obama's preacher for President.

LOL!
Right on target...

He's Not a Racist (5, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869620)

Obama's preacher isn't a racist. He went too far with "God damn America" (in one speech), but what he said was "God damn America so long as it's killing innocent people all the time", which is actually what any decent preacher who believes in damnation (they're all supposed to) would have to say. Because that's what the religion says.

There's absolutely no equation of Obama's preacher to a klansman. Klansmen are sick bastards joining a secret society with an unbroken tradition of universal hate (except for worshiping an imaginary idol of a White supremacy that almost ripped the country in half and destroyed it). Klansmen are murders, arsonists, rapists, and traitors, who demand the genocide and enslavement of the entire world, except a few people who look like them (but women are property).

Obama's preacher is a guy who sometimes shouts about racial and social injustice, and demands... that America stop killing innocent people, stop persecuting the Black community, face the fact that Hillary Clinton isn't in touch with the hardest problems many Americans face because of their race. Sure, he can get jerky and obnxious about it, and even be wrong about some of the injustices - and even more wrong failing to admit how much persecution of American Blacks is perpetuated inside the Black community, not by "Whitey". But he's got a right to be wrong. Hell, he's a preacher - he stands up every week to insist people do things because an imaginary supernatural force says so - his whole gig is unprovable, so he's going to be wrong sometimes. But what does he demand we do about it? He demands that we are compassionate, that we take care of one another, that we're honest about how we hurt each other, and that we do better.

Not what we reject from klansmen, even if we disagree with him, or offended by him.

Meanwhile, George Bush has sent us to war in Iraq and against "Terror" by invoking his own crackpot Christian ideas of Israel's sacrificial role in the "Rapture". He claims "God" told him to invade Iraq. He's actually lying, stealing and killing people in Jesus' name. McCain has relentlessly sought the endorsement of some of the most sick "Christian" preachers in America. Like Jerry Falwell before Falwell just died, even though McCain had earlier rejected Falwell as a crazyman when Falwell was endorsing Bush against McCain. But after Falwell and Pat Robertson blamed "gays, feminists, abortionists, the ACLU" [youtube.com] for making "God" send us the 9/11/2001 attacks, McCain eagerly pursued their endorsements and kneeled at their feet. McCain went after endorsements [google.com] from "reverends" John Hagee [google.com] and Rod Parsley [google.com] , who preach crazy "Left Behind" hatred of anyone not fitting their definition of "Christian" - like Catholics, whose church he says is a "whore", a direct agent of the devil. Hoping for those other people to burn alive in the streets, endorsing the widespread massacre of "sinners" by gangs of "Christians" trying to score their way into heaven when the Rapture leaves them behind for not having been sufficiently hateful in the "near-End Times". These people want global murder, actual apocalypse, and will pressure a president who listens to them to hand out nukes to maniacs in the Mideast to "bring it on".

Even the popular Billy Graham, who's had the ear of every president since Nixon, is a racist and antisemit who used to laugh it up with Nixon (and surely the rest, but off-tape) about what to do about the "problem" with those non-WASPs.

Clinton isn't much better, worshiping for years with "The Fellowship" (or "The Family") [google.com] , a gender-segregated prayer group that's mostly secret, but includes some of the most crackpot Christians to ever hold the highest offices in the country.

As for Obama, there is no reason to think that he agrees with even the occasional borderline nutty rants of his longtime preacher. As he explained in a speech last week that practically everyone who isn't committed to hating and ignoring Obama has said is one of the most important discussions of race in America in the past 30-40 years, he's like most churchgoers - they don't agree with everything their preacher says, but share the main message, so they stay. I mean, most preachers insist their congregation come to church every Sunday, as a core message, but that doesn't either compel their congregants to either always attend, or drive them away to another preacher they'd agree with more.

This whole "Obama's preacher" flap is a contrived attack over practically nothing. It served to provoke a demonstration of Obama as a reasonable person who's nowhere near defined by his church, but who values it as a way to practice his faith. Compared to the actual comparisons, whether crazy ones like to klansmen or to real hate cult rulers like Farrakhan or Hagee, or reasonable ones like the preachers who've had the ear of other candidates and presidents, actually influencing policy that's destroyed many lives, Obama's preacher is a pussycat.

If you actually think about these issues, instead of letting some hugely expensive presidential campaign push your buttons with cropped soundbites and misleading video sequences, you can see that America's got a lot of loose cannon preachers, and Obama's doesn't mean that he's a racist or anything like that. But you'd have to think about it, for yourself. Probably use the Internet to learn the facts and get some context. Which means you'd actually deserve an intelligent, decent president like Obama. Or you can just have faith in the lies, and deserve what we've had for so long, that's sending us all to hell.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869676)

mcgrew is that really you? sad to see you have swallowed the racist smear hook, line, and sinker i'd wondered how k5 would take it but had not gotten around to checking oh well

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869018)

You should be aware that Ted Stevens is 84 and (as far as we know) not running for President.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869046)

A bit presumptuous to think that anyone who is eligable to collect social security doesn't know how to use a computer??

Seriously, though... (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869190)

Presumptuous? Possibly. Statistically likely? Certainly.

Re:A bit presumptuous, no? (1)

prennix (1069734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869638)

The preachers words will be quickly forgotten. These squabbles in the primary aren't that notable; and as soon as the Dems have a nominee the game changes completely.

Added bonus (5, Funny)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868870)

One nice effect of being a digital President: on the Internet, one rarely has to flee under sniper fire.

But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868954)

i wonder if it is a crime to headshot a president in halo 3?

Re:Added bonus (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868960)

How dare you make a cheap shot at such an experienced female politician! hahah

look how easy it is to pretend it is news to plug the candidate you want.

Barrack Osama Hussein bin Obama

Re:Added bonus (1)

Pavan_Gupta (624567) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869218)

Wrong.

Re:Added bonus (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868966)

...on the Internet, one rarely has to flee under sniper fire.
You must not spend a lot of time on Usenet.

Re:Added bonus (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869038)

You must not spend a lot of time on Usenet.

Ah, that only happened when you 'misspoke'.

Re:Added bonus (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869526)

Yes, the three remaining non-binary users of Usenet shoot at each other with real guns all day long.

Also, they ride unicorns.

Re:Added bonus (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869290)

Don't they have the Internet in Bosnia?

Re:Added bonus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869326)

And as an added bonus, the dumbass things they say get memorialized on YouTube.

Along with the dumbass things a bunch of idiots who created YouTube logins say about the dumbass things they say.

I'm only partly joking too, YouTube brought to light the crazy things that Obama's pastor has been saying. Which proves that, liberal or conservative, Christians are just plain freaking CRAZY.

I'd prefer crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869562)

over blowing up buildings, churches, mosques, border lines, markets and Embassys.

That's cool, and yet not (2, Interesting)

KeithJM (1024071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868888)

I really like the idea of a presidential candidate who is interested in technology and bright enough to find ways to apply it to reaching a goal. On the other hand, I really don't like the idea of whitehouse.gov becoming a government-run myspace which encourages people to give the government even more personal information about themselves. I guess my problem is that I find this an appealing characteristic in a candidate, but a scary characteristic in a President. How inconvenient.

Re:That's cool, and yet not (4, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869698)

On the other hand, I really don't like the idea of whitehouse.gov becoming a government-run myspace which encourages people to give the government even more personal information about themselves.

How about one which encourages government officials to give people information about themselves? [slashdot.org]

He's talking about doing basically the opposite of what you (and others) seem to be assuming. And it is one of the cooler ideas I have seen in awhile -- one which none of the other candidates seem to have caught on to.

Digital Presidency (3, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868900)

Dugg for education and healthcare policy.
Burried for tax hike

Yes, I'm looking forward to digital democracy.

The future of the online social president... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868910)

prez2008 has thrown a hamburger at you! Do you wish to throw one back? [yes][no]

Facebook Apps (4, Funny)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869082)

John McCain has requested that you join the Sith in the Jedi Vs. Sith War.

Re:The future of the online social president... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869114)

/me slaps prez2008 around a bit with a large trout

Mark Andrees*e*n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868914)

It's an *e*, not an *o*. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Andreessen [wikipedia.org]

Re:Mark Andrees*e*n (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22868982)

Give the editors a break on this one. There is an almost subconscious desire for geeks to write "Mr. Anderson." It is almost impossible for most geeks to see "Mark Andreesen" without desiring to make a couple of changes.

What's the REAL significance of any of this? (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868926)

My initial thought (however cynical it may come across?) is: Is this really just another plea of "Hey general public, I'm Obama and unlike the other candidates, I'm hip and in-touch with the current generation! Vote for me!" ?

The candidate I saw leveraging the power of the Internet the most, early in this election, was Ron Paul -- and it looked like most people just used it to smear the guy. EG. "Nobody but spammers and a few computer geeks with loud mouths care about him!"

Yes, the future of politics has much to do with the Internet as a communications medium. Unfortunately, the majority of people using it as a "primary" source of information and content is the younger generation. Folks (like my parents and all of their friends) who are retirement age voters, by contrast, generally pay NO attention to a speech given over YouTube, or what a candidate posts on a FaceBook or MySpace page. And the 40-something and 50-something crowd? It's a "mixed bag" right now. Some are very "net-savvy", while a good percentage of others write it off as "the computer stuff my kids are into".

I think you've got to let a few more election years come and go in this country before the MAJORITY of voters will really be "on-board" with the Internet as their information source, vs. traditional media like television, newspapers and radio.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1, Interesting)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868996)

The candidate I saw leveraging the power of the Internet the most, early in this election, was Ron Paul -- and it looked like most people just used it to smear the guy. EG. "Nobody but spammers and a few computer geeks with loud mouths care about him!"

Ron Paul is a cautionary counterexample; It's all very well building up grassroots support on the Internet, but if your grassroots comprises a mishmash of troofers, stoppers, lunatics, antisemites, conspiracy theorists, naive libertarians, politically vacuous "fuck the system" types, and a spattering of basement-bound non-voting teenagers and various other subcultures and social outcasts entirely ill at ease with Middle America, then it's (as we kept trying to tell them) not going to be enough.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869118)

So then it's not ok to build grassroots support on the Internet :)

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (3, Informative)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869146)

Ron Paul is a cautionary counterexample; It's all very well building up grassroots support on the Internet, but if your grassroots comprises a mishmash of troofers, stoppers, lunatics, antisemites, conspiracy theorists, naive libertarians, politically vacuous "fuck the system" types, and a spattering of basement-bound non-voting teenagers and various other subcultures and social outcasts entirely ill at ease with Middle America, then it's (as we kept trying to tell them) not going to be enough.
Pardon me, but I really must call bullshit on this characterization. I realize that this impression of Ron Paul's support is what you were SUPPOSED to believe, but having been a part of the revolution first hand, I'm here to tell you that it's all a bunch of crap. You'd have exactly the same level of accuracy by saying that all of Obama's supporters are teenage muslim fundamentalist spear-chuckers.

The truth is, the internet is simply far too easy to marginalize. THAT is the cautionary tale. To win in politics you need the support of CBS, Fox News, CNN, the New York Times, and the like. Forget YouTube. It may as well actually be a water slide for all the impact it actually has on anything - today.

The political realm is still well in the hands of the digital immigrants. Perhaps in another iteration or two we'll get to see the impact of what those digital natives can do, but I some how doubt it. Until the mass-media can find a viable way of controlling the tubes, they will always be dissonant against its message. And frankly folks, Joe Sixpack still doesn't trust what he reads about online more than he does the idiot box.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869194)

And frankly folks, Joe Sixpack still doesn't trust what he reads about online more than he does the idiot box.

Quite. People on the Internet != People. I guess that Ron Paul this year and Howard Dean four years ago forgot this. Obama, on the other hand, seems to have been able to square that circle, by tapping them up for squillions of dollars, whilst remembering that there's more to getting elected than being loud over my intertubes.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (2, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869534)

And frankly folks, Joe Sixpack still doesn't trust what he reads about online more than he does the idiot box.
I don't know what planet you live on, but around here it seems people will believe damn near anything they see on TV if it gets repeated enough.

=Smidge=

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869630)

Um, yeah. That's what I said. :)

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869718)

You tripped over the OP's admittedly rather tangled syntax. That's what he was saying--that Joe Sixpack trusts the TV more than the Internet.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869544)

"spear-chuckers"? You do realise, don't you, that the term "spear-chucker" is about as offensively and insultingly racist as you can get? You might as well quote the GNAA troll!

The political realm is still well in the hands of the digital immigrants

What, pray tell, is a "digital immigrant?" Ok, never mind, I know how to use wikipedia, although unfortunately the term "digital immigrant" is slashdotted (504 gateway timeout). No matter, Google works too.

The term is bullshit. I didn't grow up with computers, computers grew up with me [kuro5hin.org] . YOU are the immigrant. I've been around computers since before you were born. I used to get my electric bill on a hollerith card.

Your "digital natives" call me up asking for help with their computers!

I know all about young people. I used to be one. I was conceitedly naive, too, just like every young person who ever lived was.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869696)

Pardon me while I step off of your lawn...

You can disagree with the term if you'd like, but the norms basically follow the conclusion. People like my sons will be FAR MORE adaptive to new computer technology than my parents ever hoped to be. The same can likely be said comparing me to my grandparents. And while we're at it, I didn't just make this stuff up. Go slam the author, if you're so inclined, but this belief is fairly widely held.

Your experience may differ, but since the terms 'digital native/immigrant' are generalizations, that's to be expected from time to time.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869096)

I see the information flowing in the opposite direction. Instead of just the general public using the internet as a source, as they do today, it may be just as powerful for the government to use the internet to get information. And I don't mean googling for citizen information. I'm thinking forums and wikis where the public can propose bills. Or a social network of representatives linked to their constituents. Or a site where anyone can provide feedback to every proposed bill.

If the government were to leverage the internet correctly as a tool, a lot more people would become tech savvy enough to use it.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869100)

The candidate I saw leveraging the power of the Internet the most, early in this election, was Ron Paul

What did the campaign do to "leverage the power of the Internet"? As I saw it, it was all grass-roots, and backfired because they went on an all-out moronic spam attack. That's neither positive nor something Ron Paul can take credit for.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869160)

How much of the Ron Paul support on the internet was organized by the campaign itself though(I don't know...)? If it was mostly his supporters doing the organizing, it's a bit of a stretch to give him and his campaign credit for having internet savvy(and the sheer volume of Ron Paul stuff compared to other candidates doesn't really do anything to demonstrate savvy to me, just effort).

Obama's organization has certainly done a better job engaging people over the internet than Clinton or McCain.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

STrinity (723872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869376)

The candidate I saw leveraging the power of the Internet the most, early in this election, was Ron Paul -- and it looked like most people just used it to smear the guy. EG. "Nobody but spammers and a few computer geeks with loud mouths care about him!"
And racists. Don't forget the racists.

Re:What's the REAL significance of any of this? (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869388)

My initial thought (however cynical it may come across?) is: Is this really just another plea of "Hey general public, I'm Obama and unlike the other candidates, I'm hip and in-touch with the current generation! Vote for me!" ?

That would be a particularly dumb thing to do! Geezers show up to the polls in droves, whippersnappers stay home. If you're young (unfortunately for me I'm not) you can change that fact.

"By the people". (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868958)

"By the people".

Before socializing over the internet I used to socialize with my peers: people like myself. Naturally, environment of study or my work was also environment for talking about politics and stuff that matters.

In the beginning the user base of Internet was very close to that circle. With the rise of the internet the user base of it became more and more wide, including more or less all people. The society became reflected fully on the internet.

Social networking site are business companies who are oriented on mass consumptions, mass reading and advertisement for the masses. The people you are likely to meet on those sites, the people who most likely to vote on those sites are most likely NOT people from your circle, not people who share your educational and professional experience.

That is why I developed an aversion to sites like digg.com. That is why moderated sites like slashdot are much better.

Watching social networking sites, like livejournal.com, or myspace.com, one inevitably sees what the American society looks like, what the majority looks like, how easy is to brainwash this majority with propaganda.

"By the people"?

Digital Presidency? more like FARKING SPAMMER (-1, Troll)

trelanexiph (605826) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868964)

Barack Obama's e-mail comapaigns are run by Blue State Digital described to me by a high-level Democratic Party official as "woefully incompetent"

Barack's Take on Honoring Unsubscribe Requests [centernetworks.com]
His e-mails are also opt-in with no confirmation, allowing a spammer to abuse his mail server and deluging anti-spammers in abuse. [google.com]

Because of these, and other issues, the AHBL has blacklisted Barack Obama's campaign, and Blue State Digital.

Barack = Spammer, end of story.

Ooh, and I own the AHBL (disclaimer)

Re:Digital Presidency? more like FARKING SPAMMER (4, Informative)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869106)

You have GOT to be kidding. You're actually using a Google search of news.admin.net-abuse.email for "barack obama" as some kind of "evidence" of something? news.admin.net-abuse.email is the preferred home newsfroup of every k00k, forger, impostor, sock-puppet and whack-job on Usenet. It's the home of countless flame-wars, ridiculous accusations and general raving stupidity. My god, I wear a tinfoil hat AND a condom when I read that group. If that's the best you've got, then you should just go back under your bridge, troll.

Re:Digital Presidency? more like FARKING SPAMMER (0, Troll)

trelanexiph (605826) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869530)

So, you completely ignore the first article which is evidence of can-spam non-compliance (failure to honor removal requests in a timely fashion), and seek to discredit a post based on one URL used as evidence. Here's a thread with samples. [google.com] Direcmag [directmag.com] New York Times [nytimes.com] . Legitimate information is legitimate information regardless of the source. Your point is well taken however regarding the signal/noise ratio on NANA*.

Re:Digital Presidency? more like FARKING SPAMMER (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869240)

What the fuck is AHBL? Ass Hat Black List?

That's what it sounds like to me.

Which is why Obama won't have my vote (0, Flamebait)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22868984)

What may not be as obvious is that Mr. Obama appears to have a keen interest in using such technologies in the act of governing


I'm assuming Barack is not interested in setting up a facebook group for just members of Congress. I'll bet he will introduce legislation regulating these applications.

I am not interested in a nanny state. I want to be in charge of raising my children, not the Government.

Re:Which is why Obama won't have my vote (3, Informative)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869362)

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/technology/ [barackobama.com]

Protect Our Children While Preserving the First Amendment
[...]
Obama values our First Amendment freedoms and our right to artistic expression and does not view regulation as the answer to these concerns. Instead, an Obama administration will give parents the tools and information they need to control what their children see on television and the Internet in ways fully consistent with the First Amendment.
[...]
Safeguard our Right to Privacy
[...]
To ensure that powerful databases containing information on Americans that are necessary tools in the fight against terrorism are not misused for other purposes, Barack Obama supports restrictions on how information may be used and technology safeguards to verify how the information has actually been used.
[...]
Protect the Openness of the Internet
A key reason the Internet has been such a success is because it is the most open network in history. It needs to stay that way. Barack Obama strongly supports the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet.

Re:Which is why Obama won't have my vote (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869646)

From his website [barackobama.com] :

Open Up Government to its Citizens: The Bush Administration has been one of the most secretive, closed administrations in American history.... Obama will integrate citizens into the actual business of government by:
  • Making government data available online in universally accessible formats to allow citizens to make use of that data to comment, derive value, and take action in their own communities....
  • Requiring his appointees who lead Executive Branch departments and rulemaking agencies to conduct the significant business of the agency in public, so that any citizen can watch a live feed on the Internet as the agencies debate and deliberate the issues that affect American society....
  • Lifting the veil from secret deals in Washington with a web site, a search engine, and other web tools that enable citizens easily to track online federal grants, contracts, earmarks, and lobbyist contacts with government officials.
  • Giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days before signing any non-emergency legislation.
  • Employing technologies, including blogs, wikis and social networking tools, to modernize internal, cross-agency, and public communication and information sharing to improve government decision-making.

In other words:

I'm assuming Barack is not interested in setting up a facebook group for just members of Congress.

No, that's exactly what he's going to do -- maybe not Congress, as he can't really control them, but at least the White House. Maybe not Facebook, but something at least as open and public.

Re:Which is why Obama won't have my vote (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869750)

I am not interested in a nanny state.

Hear, here! Is he opposed to the legalization of my two favorite pastimes, hookers and reefer? No? Then I'll vote against him. A vote for a man who would have you in prison is a stupid, stupid, stupid vote.

I should move to Holland. Maybe I will when I retire (and it ain't that long from now)

Moderation (3, Interesting)

symes (835608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869004)

A nice idea but to stop the inevitable trolling you're going to need some decent moderation. But then you'll probably get risk averse moderators taking down potentially inflammatory comments who will then be criticized for stifling free speech. And then when the people who might want to join in hear that free speech is being stifled over at opengov.com they'll come to /., and similar sites, in their hoards to moan about how repressive their government has become. Flame wars will be inevitable. /. will seize up, I'll have to go back to work. It's just another no-win situation.

SAY NO TO THE GAY AGENDA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869014)

God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!!!

Re:SAY NO TO THE GAY AGENDA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869610)

Be careful, Mr Troll, iinm the first asshat to say that went to prison and his fat, too much makeup wife divorced his mammon-worshiping ass.

We live in a Republic (5, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869060)

I find the entire idea of creating a wired democracy to be revolting. The best government is seen in its effects and not heard. I don't want to think about government or politics in my day to day existence and would much rather just have the professionals that I elect get on with the business of governing competently. I don't want big crusades - I've had enough crusades with Bush. When I elect a President and a Congress, I don't want them asking me my opinion every 30 seconds. I want to know that they thought through the issues and made the best decisions they could, kept the army in powder, the navy afloat, the planes in the air, the satellites working, the bridges up and the roads in good repair. If it turns out that they do something that I politically don't agree with, I can -actually live with that-, so long as they bring a general air of competence to the table.

Re:We live in a Republic (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869736)

so long as they bring a general air of competence to the table.

You must be new here.

Seriously though, I agree that government should not be seeking feedback from the electorate in the manner you describe. I believe the optimal "wired democracy" situation would bring transparency to government. I want all the candidates to be twittering their status - webcasting their meetings - if they meet with lobbyists, I want to know about it, and hear what they had to say. I posts from cabinet meetings. If they want a place for comments, well so be it. What I want is transparency!

Overlords and fingers (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869078)

What, no "I for one welcome our new digital executive branch overlords"???

Most presidents have had a full complement of 20 digits, along with 2 hands, 2 feet, ..... *groan*

Re:Overlords and fingers (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869656)

In soviet Russia, digital executive overlords branch YOU!

Will that do? Or do you need a beowolf cluster of Natalie Portmans running Linux as well?

Not quite (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869740)

Only Old North Koreans need beowolf clusters of Natalie Portmans running Linux.

Presidential Executive Order # 32873666 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869122)

By the authority invested in my family pedigree, I, George W. Bush, do hereby declare the U.S. Federal Government legislative and judicial branches subordinate to the Executive Branch.

Criminally Forever,
George W. Bush [needlenose.com]

Making the body politic a mob. (4, Insightful)

bstarrfield (761726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869152)

This US is a republic, not a popular democracy. The American founders were well deeply concerned with the possibility of mob government - hence (for example) the Senate, the Electoral College, and our system of checks and balances. (Yes, a gross simplification, but this is my lunch break.) The Founders were afraid of the mob for good reason. So should we.

The idea of using Facebook, MySpace, and Digg as instruments of government is, in some ways, breathtakingly foolish. Reading the content on Digg - full of conspiracy theories, slander, and bigotry - seems reminiscent of the chants of a mob, not the (theoretically desired) reasoned vox populi.

The anonymity of the Internet, combined with the speed of activity on the Web, seems to lead in many cases to an amplification of our baser instincts. Do we want our political leaders receiving input from commercial Web sites, with no means of identifying who or what is promoting certain causes?

For months Digg was filled with article after article promoting the merits of Dr. Ron Paul, the coming Messiah who will Redeem America. After Dr. Ron Paul, savior, left the race we have the new and exciting stage of articles promoting the merits of Senator Obama, the Messiah who will Redeem America. True, their could be an upswell of support from individual users, but are we perhaps seeing an organized campaign(s) manipulating Web 2.0 sites for their own purposes? With anonymity of site users, who can tell?

I've watched as the social media sites race to extremes. The load, most obnoxious writers gain the most attention; well reasoned arguments are often more dull and are ignored. Debates on sites such as Daily Kos revert on a daily base to name calling, ad hominen attacks, and sheer bloody-mindedness. Is this how we want our leaders to be influenced? In many cases on Daily Kos you'll see the same author online throughout the entire day, every day writing "diaries" and defending their positions. Who the hell are these people? How can they afford to avoid work to write their blog entries? Are those who use FaceBook a representative sample of the population, or the young, hip, and independently wealthy?

Social Media sites dramatically lower the costs of individual citizens involvement in the political process. That's a Good Thing. Yet if we don't anticipate and accept the manipulation of those sites by external agencies and those with far too much time on their hands, we're bloody damn fools.

Re:Making the body politic a mob. (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869474)

I agree with many of your points, but I also believe the American founders would have been greatly troubled by trying to centrally govern such a large and populous country as America has now become. The system they created was much more tuned to the size of the country at the time. You could actually know your senator. You could actually, in person, meet with the president to express a grievance. You were much more likely to be able to run for representative or mayor yourself.

Now that our population has scaled up, this is much more likely. One option is to go back to federalism, but that genie has gotten far to fat to fit back in the same bottle. Even if we did, states like California and New York would still have most of the same problems.

I'm not saying use of the internet is necessarily a good way to change things, as you'll still have the mass of population to deal with online (and then some, if you consider those that wouldn't actually care enough about their issue to take the time to get off their ass).

Re:Making the body politic a mob. (2, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869666)

That isnt that bad of an idea...

We have unfair representation when compared to prior representative-"voting citizen" ratio of our countrys past.

One way to fix that would be to have 5000 congressmen. But that would cost too much! That is, if we force them to be in House/Senate. Our technology could easily get each and every congresscritter a t-1 to their house and have net-voting. GPG is the PKI that's free to use, therefore congresscritters could post messages with GPG, and conduct publically accountable voting. Aww, no more voice votes.

Since voting could be done from any congresscritter T-1 (ip checks would not allow GPG signed messages from other IPs), it would also allow collaboration if they choose to meet.

And doing this method would eliminate a "central" point of government. I say that cause Washington DC would be easy to bomb, either by air or sea. It's pretty darn close to the shore. How would you disable a government that meets virtually across the whole USA? We in the tech community would agree that eliminating a SPOF would be a good idea.

Digital Presidency... HA! (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869170)

Seriously, do we really want our commander in chief preoccupied with MySpace and Facebook? It's entirely likely that they'll just pass off those tasks to other government employees. Then, of course, in that case, do we really want to be PAYING the salaries on these employees? Small, unobtrusive government is the way to go - the less they know about and use these types of applications and services, the less control and say they have over how we use them.

Re:Digital Presidency... HA! (5, Funny)

ZeroPly (881915) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869230)

My thoughts exactly. We need a real president with real priorities. While Obama was playing around with his Facebook page, Hillary was low-crawling through a hail of sniper fire, on a tarmac halfway around the globe. I heard that she was dragging along an 8 year old girl while signing an autograph with her other hand.

What do you want? (2, Insightful)

microbox (704317) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869396)

I don't understand this highly negative reaction. People are disenfranchised with the government, so surely it's a good thing that the government wants to find better ways for people to have a voice? It's really a question of communication, not control. That is, unless you believe this is a veiled way for government thought police to get into your brain. (Dons tinfoil hat.)

Your reaction reminds me of the typical paranoid position. If someone helps you they are interfering unnecessarily. If they don't help you, then they are conspiring to do you in. If they offer you the choice then they are manipulating you.

So the real question is - how would you like your opinion heard on issues that matter to you, such as the M$ hemogony or network neutrality? Or are you willing to take a stand and say that an ideal unobtrusive government does not need your opinion.

Smart President (-1, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869232)

I'm looking forward to finally having a smart president again. That seems to be much better for the country, except when occasionally they're extremely evil. This time around "evil genius" doesn't seem like as much of a possibility.

Bad Summary line. (2, Informative)

thesolo (131008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869236)

The summary currently reads, "And whether Mr. Obama becomes president, or Mrs. Clinton or Mr. McCain do, these new tools have , by the People and for the People communicates and operates."

It should be (as stated in TFA), "And whether Mr. Obama becomes president, or Mrs. Clinton or Mr. McCain do, these new tools have the potential to transform how a government of the People, by the People and for the People communicates and operates."

Kind of a big difference there.

E-mails are easier to delete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22869394)

Senator Obama seems to be utilizing the online medium as a means to spread messages and not answer them. I have been e-mailing the Obama'08 campaign website with questions on his policies and implementation strategies. To which I receive a form response asking me to be patient as they are inundated with questions and shall answer them accordingly, in the mean time I can sign up for the Obama campaign and use their web tools to spread the word.

The medium is not for staying in contact, it is simply another form of getting the word out and taking advantage of the social networking's concept of a "friend." When my online "friend" takes an interest in something, I may also examine it. This is what interests the politicos.

from an engineering standpoint (0, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869398)

it is clear that to rebuild D.C. you need to sweep away the rubbish from the old system to bring in the new. The 'new' in this case include new technology that bypasses the current old boy network. New voters that are not yet tainted by the old boy network. New rules of political interaction (via technology and new voters), new representation for those previously under-represented... in short a revolution. Communication has always been part and parcel of war. The side with the best communication always has an advantage. Technology brings that to any political revolution that would happen in the USA.

I think of such things as good but I wonder how long before the right wingers begin calling him the antichrist?

Nice presumption (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869408)

Nice of the author to presume that a "government of the People, by the People and for the People" is what we have to expect in the future. This would imply that the future will be any different from the past. And while some candidates may be running on a platform of "change", the rhetoric remains the same. At least for Obama, he's upfront about it; his commercials say "I am my brother's keeper", so we know to expect increased rights violations through regulation and taxation.

What choice is left? Well, there isn't one. Try again in 4 years.

Presidential Sex Scandal . . . Of the Future! (0, Offtopic)

SvetBeard (922070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869444)

PrezHugeDick111: a/s/l?
SexyNt3rn: 20, yes, under the desk
(Time Passes)
PrezHugeDick111: ive got one hand on the keyboard and the other on the button
SexNt3rn: OH YES! PUSH MY BUTTON!
PrezHugeDick111: my rocket launches into you're love canal
PrezHugeDick111: LOL, there goes Bolivia!

Google knows all (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869462)

Forget about all other polls. Google knows everything. Just look at this [google.com] . Accordingly, my vote is going to either Britney or Paris! Google Trends doesn't lie! :-)

Why did he ask Andreeson?? (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 6 years ago | (#22869464)

Why did he ask Andreeson? If Mr. Andreeson had a clue what the next big thing was he would have invented it already. His foray into the internet with Netscape was over 10 years ago. In internet years thats almost 3 generations. Its like asking your Grandpa about what going to be hot in women's fashion next year.
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