The rise of the digital Government

During Campus party there was a great panel about the participation campaign with the government on topics such as governance, transparency, and the digital advocacy prepared with #InternetNecesario and #OpenACTA. As well as raising awareness with other important challenges which the community needs to work together to raise the issue to a national platform.

Things like the regulation of bandwith in the national telecomunication industry. With isssues such as why TELMEX, the telecomunication monopoly can’t really offer high bandwiths as opposed to other countries.

How part time ignorance and part time corruption from the regulatory parts have a very permisive ruling upon the regulation of information across the nation and trasparency still a far cry as well as huge ignorance around internet surveilance mechanisms.

In the upcoming #SoftwareFreedomDay also come as a great timing in which many issues are arising across the internet. Where talks such as the globalvoices unveils evidence of hard internet surveilance in Egypt during the revolution. Where France president Sarkozy made declarations about “Government being the only legitimate representative of the will of the people” during the #EG8 a few months back. Which put things in perspective after also thinking that government have a monopoly on violence since they hold the army.

Culturaly speaking the Mexican state of affairs has a very tamed society where they look up for the government to take care of them. A very contrarian culture compared to the liberal American society where they inheritely don’t trust the government. Besides that, is real that there are already movements like Wikileaks, LULSec and Anonymous which start doing digital protesting and whisle blowing.

The important point here is that the only REAL strangehold on government will come from an economic protest. So when digital protest and economic conspiracies match we would start seen a new level of forcing the government to act upon the will of the people.

But going back to the talk in Campus Party, @javierlivas took a somewhat extreme position on overthrow the current state of the government. Not just the president and legislators but current idea of how to handle democracy. An interesting point he mention a few times was that the organization for the current event was larger than the current effort to run the country. Which means that with the total ammount of people in the event would be more than enough to build this new government.

Unfortunately beside the ranting there wasn’t a clear proposal. But the idea of digital governments are nonetheless being worked upon. Digital governments are being structured at least by lasindias.coop which talk about this phyle societies that self govern and are economically sustainable to build a more participatory model of governing as opposed to the distributed model derived from old analog systems. Real proposals on how to build the new digital patriotism for a group that breath and live on the web is an idea that usually has been suggested with the Internet map and “if Facebook was a country” analogies.

But having a real Internet state,with means of earning a living through independent economic systems like BitCoins and embracing a new nationality that give you access to benefits such as education, professional advice as well as maybe other benefits could start becoming something that people might start considering. Unfortunately challenges such as the movement of non-digital assets such as servers, electricity and access might present issues to believe this offering.

I usually remember the talk that I got in high school when our teacher describe to us the system which the mormon religion works. Where the religious tax also give benefits to their followers and the church really acts as a more effcient cooperative system to expand economically.

The talk covered also the other view of participating with the government in this change on a gradual pace. But we still haven’t focus on enough social capital to make a movement at any level. Whenever is transformational or to enforce a gradual change, I think we got many things to work before we can make such changes.

As Software Freedom Day approaches things like own cloud and just ensuring our digital sovereignty will be at the center piece of the event. And topics like this one could become something important for thinking about and considering.

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#CPMX startup conferences

I want to share some of the conferences and panels that took place at the 3rd edition of Campus Party in Mexico city. Great conferences were delivered althought it wasn’t the greatest ever there is definitely an improvement in the way they were documented and also some of the dynamics that were given. One of the things that I have seen failed and failed again is the lack of startups and this session seemed to be more focus on entrepreneurship. The same could be said about social media. However development has been less atractive and some might say that there was small to no development going on.

The need for creating digital assets such as development is something that we consider important to the goals of the digital economy. Creating systems and software that can indeed improve the stance of the current lifestyle.

Here are some of the conferences that stood out on the topic of devleopment:

 

First one was a conference more focused on the eduction of entrepreneurship and using FLOSS as tool to entrepreneurship than FLOSS itself. I didn’t really got what I was expecting which was more of the tools that every entrepreneur most have and pay attention to. Nor was about opportunities in FLOSS world to innovate and build startups which was also another thing I was very interested. However the talk did focused a lot of enterprising something in Mexico and the unique challenges and how to handle them. The valuable bits were about social entrepreneurship, getting to know people but implement systems to process and manage the company and how to quickly act upon.

Another talk on entrepreneurship was also the struggles that entrepreneurs usually face and some of the lessons that have been learned through out the experiences on the panelists. Some of these we have already shared in our weekly geek meetups. Things like, understand capital, think globally and innovate fixing things that others haven’t done so. Also think on a more pro-active way on supplying and addressing the issues that everyone might have. Think in english and relate yourself with people world wide, not just on your national or regional language.

Other panels also talk about the issue of funding and the resources available nationally and internationally. How many of these fundings are for the right kind of startup and who can actually reach them. Not just the classic, look how much funding there is, but also how hard and unreal is such funding for the digital startups and most of the innovation comes through. Conference starts on minute 21.

Finally there was another entrepreneurial talk “off-campus” but that goes more close to home in my hometown. About entrpreneurship about not overcomplicate too much with our ideas and how to treat them.

The thing I recomend was about trying to broad the conversation with other entpreneurs as well as how to watch the innovation from other companies. Researching lots of startups and reading books on startup as well as podcast channels such as This week in Startup where you can learn how to evaluate ideas and how to know what are the parameters on think about startups.

#JuevesDeDesarrolladores the way of money

This thurday I had a great talk about attitude for creating things. Many people ask for too much permisions to start stuff. Others just come and take what they think is theirs, and I think that’s the real attitude that someone needs to get stuff done. From research to ask around and finally do a project for himself and others.

Is said that the entrepreneurs are usually obsessed people with an idea. For that you work and researh pretty deep into the available documentation regarding that idea. One of the things that people usually isn’t aware is about how to go about funding your idea. From creating a good planning of it, to knowing how and who to sell the project. There is also a street smarts that people need to start reading about. How can I make this project seems like something that you want to jump on it.

When you talk about business you talk about two things, the product and the money. Sometimes people get too focused on the product, but not the money or which models make sense for that model. To know which one is the best, you need to know how many models are out there. Here is where you need to learn how the money flows between startups, companies, investors and lenders so that you can figure out which one is the right one for you.

We talked about the poncy schemes and how sometimes there is a lot of that being played when you join a MLM or a even some community funding. What is called the “place” of money and which are the true agendas for some. From making money, to making a name to making quota to making money out of you versus with you.

Here is where you also need some financial education and references to learn how to figure out the questions and make the right decisions upon them. Usually a good search on Amazon will give you a few books, but also good blogs about the situations and even twitter and linkedin conversations might suprise you by how open people sometimes are.

 

The file and folder metaphor

This week there was an interesting exchange about the so called file and folder metaphor. The whole change of view from the traditional method of storing files in folders in other folders and eventually cabinets.

The way that we concieve both files, folders, got already changed in the net thanks to companies like google vs yahoo. Using a unify stream of results and stop categorizing the results.

However the intersting part is to see how many people aims to take shot at this and then fail miserably. One of the very first was a show that I saw on TV back in college days. On a show called Big Thinkers with a Computer Scientist talking about the whole issue and instead wanted and envision of a stream of data. Without distinction between PDF, Email, Docs, Spreadsheets, etc.

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The nice thing is that Youtube has that episode and I could watch it again and also learn more of his work which is really interesting including

However this reminds me of past failures such as:

  • Remember the semantic desktop on WinFS, GnomeFS, DashboardBeagle-Tracker?
  • Remember the end of the rectangular desktops with Pango/Cairo?
  • Or even the vectorial desktop

In the end it took way longer than expected even technologies like Btrfs on the filesystem, or the Enterprise Linux Video editor.

So what does that has to do with the file and folder metaphor? Well basically to identify the signs of failure about these paradigms. And how we can overcome those rules set to us and also recognize that the new workflow is not necesarily good thing.

I love linux and I am against the folder metaphor because is simple, you have grep, you have ls -l and grep so I can search for whatever, keywords, date, filename, extension you name it. If you will put me only on a secuencial condition or a priority condition or a advanced search condition, it will slow me down to a crawl.

Now I see a similar efect between the touch interface versus the keyboard. Now I need to move more muscles to perform half of the tasks. And you will be so far from touch developing that would be ridiculous.

When social is not that fun.

With the advent of google+ and the so called circles which is not much than lists. Not that different from all the other lists in GMail, Google Reader, Google Wave and Google Calendar. We get to categorize our content into diffrent colors, circles, groups, or whatever to be able to control our shared bits.

However, the question comes back to, what do we share? With streams giving me category-oriented streams (which is also availalable in facebook and twitter). I get to see by groups the value of whatever they share, unfortunately it also allow me to see the UNvaluable those shares become.

One thing I notice is that my mexican friends share a lot of crap. Even the geeks or so called geeks share really stupid posts. This is a reflection also of how they see the internet in itself. Do they see it as a educational, discussion, outreach or enterntainment platform.

Don’t get me wrong, the internet usually and mainstreamly is seen as entertainment. Lots of free music, and videos of lots of cats doing stupid stuff.

However that is not really what the internet is all about. There is also lots of porn which I guess is also advocate to entertainment. However the value of social, is meant to become an outreach platform to exchange ideas. At least that was the original concept of ArpaNet and later the BBS. Discussions, bulleting boards which in the end is exchange of information. Get together, put people on the same page. Discuss from entertainment itself to also get on more serious topics like the revolution of a country for example. The creation of new economic systems, comerce, and hook up with people from exotic places like Barbados or Malaysia. 

My question here becomes, are we just looking our share of my friends shares. Or is my network limiting itself to a very slim class of the whole internet is about.

Stupid stuff has been shared all the time, and this is just representing the chain lists stupidity poured into a social stream.

I still have visions through, from having a conversation about a movie on Justin.TV to sharing the newest emcee in youtube with the hotest tracks. I do have interesting conversations nevertheless, I do have great mailings lists on my day to day projects like OpenOffice.org, OLPC, and the different local tech groups like TequilaValley; also podcast based discussions like NoAgenda and even Keith and the girl.

OpenOffice.org Apache and it’s trademark future

Lately I haven’t talk much here about OpenOffice.org and what is going right now. However there are many threats that I have been participating and have woken up very defensive sentiments. One of these is against the trademark of OpenOffice.org. After 10 years defending the trademark as the official OpenOffice.org. The new Apache people are trying to diminish the trademark and change it in order to fit their view. Things like Oh most people I talk to say just OpenOffice.

That said, I have found that many people indeed are new to the project however, trying to change things just for change sake is really getting out of control. Right now most of our infrastructure is trying to be changed because is better for the admin. There are strong anti-php sentiments in the project. So having the Drupal, MediaWiki and other assets are a strong uphill battle against the Apache people.

Regardless of all that I think that the community itself is getting a new face and many people are starting to go further and further into the dark of the community. Louis suarez, is rarely seen on the Mailing list, even Peter Junge is also not as notorious. Other people like Hirano has mantain his presence from Japan and I hope there could be more Japanese contributors, and also Brazilian contributors like Jomar are also, for the first time. More participatory in the suite community (he is a strong ODF participant).

So this OOo community will not be like the past OOo community however some patterns are starting to show and I guess a long way will take place to become an OOo community and product.

Live from the tape deck

So no this is not a review of Skyzoo, then again, is not a bad idea for a post. However this was about my latest dream, a dream about an anticipation to what I want to get done in New York at the Rock the Bells.

So first thing is that I was right there, at the very front of the crowd. Also was full of people that was passionate of hiphop as well as me. One of the great stuff was hanging out wiht them and just chill with them as we gone through tunes and tunes from the DJ playing not just classics but really great variety.

So one thing I remember was haning with Raekwon and getting into some hiphop discussion about production. Nothing serious, basically some name dropping and suggestion.

Same thing happened when a track from Boyz II Men Remix came up and we discussed about the DJ that make that remix which was pretty great. Unfortunately I doubt many people will get into that in New york but this is my dream so step off 😀

Well another thing I liked was some hiphop garment shopping, with oversized Ts and sneakers. Of course we pick up like 2 or 3 caps. So in the end we were all garment up.

So the dream was not that large and was more an image than a story unfortunately. But still fairly enjoyable dream.