+ Collect information from cell phones, news and the web.
+ Aggregate that information into a single platform.
+ Visualize it on a map and timeline.
Crowdmap is designed and built by the people behind Ushahidi, a platform that was originally built to crowdsource crisis information. As the platform has evolved, so have its uses. Crowdmap allows you to set up your own deployment of Ushahidi without having to install it on your own web server.
Clay Shirky looks at “cognitive surplus” — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world. TED Video of Talk.
About Clay Sharpey
Clay Shirky believes that new technologies enabling loose collaboration — and taking advantage of “spare” brainpower — will change the way society works. Learn more.
Core Point: Over a trillion hours a year in cognitive surplus–Internet and media tools are shifting all of us from consumption to production. We like to create; we like to share. Now we can.
This talk gets at something that could go into the proposal for Virtual Systemic Inquiry (VSI). I need to emphasize that the VSI products have civic value. That motivates participation, but we also need to make it a little more obvious and easy how to participate, in order that generosity can flow more readily from more people. That's what I was trying to get at by making projects more standardized and quick. Software can let that flow, as Shirky says. The process and products should probably be pretty in some way too, like IDEO (also LOL cats).
(COMMENT: Really too bad that individuals like this are entitled to Constitutional protections… If he in fact compromised assets, as I have read in open press, they will be lucky if all the Taliban does is shoot them.)
A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 1, 2010, on page WK8 of the New York edition.
IT was on a Sunday morning, June 13, 1971, that The Times published its first installment of the Pentagon Papers. Few readers may have been more excited than a circle of aspiring undergraduate journalists who’d worked at The Harvard Crimson. Though the identity of The Times’s source wouldn’t eke out for several days, we knew the whistle-blower had to be Daniel Ellsberg, an intense research fellow at M.I.T. and former Robert McNamara acolyte who’d become an antiwar activist around Boston. We recognized the papers’ contents, as reported in The Times, because we’d heard the war stories from the loquacious Ellsberg himself.
. . . . . . .
What was often forgotten last week is that the Pentagon Papers had no game-changing news about that war either and also described events predating the then-current president.
. . . . . . .
The papers’ punch was in the many inside details they added to the war’s chronicle over four previous administrations and, especially, in their shocking and irrefutable evidence that Nixon’s immediate predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, had systematically lied to the country about his intentions and the war’s progress.
(clips from the synopsis about the Frontline video documentary)
Five years ago, Amy Costello reported a story for FRONTLINE/World. It was about the challenges of getting water in Africa, and a promising new technology called the PlayPump.
After years of covering “bad news” in Africa, she was happy to report a story that seemed to offer something to cheer about. Her story showed how simple it might be for children to pump fresh water just by playing. Behind it all, a South African entrepreneur named Trevor Field.
“A report commissioned by the Mozambique government on the PlayPump that was never released, cited problems with the pumps – women finding it difficult to operate; pumps out of commission for up to 17 months; children not playing as expected on the merry-go-rounds, and maintenance, “a real disaster,” the report said. “
Field had made his career in advertising, but when he heard about this new device, he formed a company and started making PlayPumps himself.
To cover maintenance costs, he proposed selling ads on the sides of the water tower. He said the PlayPump model would be a big improvement over the hand pumps that Africans have struggled with for years.
WASHINGTON — For at least a year, the Homeland Security Department detoured hundreds of requests for federal records to senior political advisers for highly unusual scrutiny, probing for information about the requesters and delaying disclosures deemed too politically sensitive, according to nearly 1,000 pages of internal e-mails obtained by The Associated Press.
The department abandoned the practice after AP investigated. Inspectors from the department's Office of Inspector General quietly conducted interviews last week to determine whether political advisers acted improperly.
The Freedom of Information Act, the main tool forcing the government to be more open, is designed to be insulated from political considerations. Anyone who seeks information through the law is supposed to get it unless disclosure would hurt national security, violate personal privacy or expose confidential decision-making in certain areas.