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O'Reilly Giving Away Open Government As Aaron Swartz Tribute 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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O'Reilly Giving Away Open Government As Aaron Swartz Tribute

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  • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @02:14PM (#42649061) Homepage

    The US already has a plurality voting system []. 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.

    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.

  • by alexgieg ( 948359 ) <> on Monday January 21, 2013 @03:12PM (#42649707) Homepage

    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.

  • by stephanruby ( 542433 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @04:31PM (#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.

  • by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) on Monday January 21, 2013 @05:45PM (#42651221) Journal

    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.

"My sense of purpose is gone! I have no idea who I AM!" "Oh, my God... You've.. You've turned him into a DEMOCRAT!" -- Doonesbury