DDTI: Emergent Democracy Worldwide

Joi Ito and Ethan Zuckerman are doing a session on Emergent Democracy Worldwide.

Joi mentions that much of what we're talking about today is America and white and not generalizable to the rest of the world.

Ethan says he's the token African today to show how much we're fighting for diversity. How does this play once we get out of the highly wired, rich United States? While blogs have done a good job of giving alternative views of alternative stories, we haven't done a good job of covering news.

In response to a plea for Japanese to have more influence on US politics because it affects Japan so much, someone wrote: "when things are going well, we have time for you, but when we're in crisis, we don't care and you don't matter."

Joi: Analytically I realize that Africa matters, but how does that translate into my life?

Ethan: Its not just whether things get reported, its whether anyone is paying attention. Blogs are fair, in a mathematical sense, but for someone in Africa who doesn't speak English, doesn't have an Internet connection, or even a computer, blogs don't provide much.

Joi mentions Witness.org, an organization that gives video cameras to people to document people who are being oppressed. This gives a huge amount of raw material and a method for people to speak to the greater world with their own voice.

For some discussion, including links to sites, see this entry on Joi's blog and this entry by Ethan. Here is the link sheet