Monday, June 01, 2009

Academic and corporate interests are taking more interest in public access to "knowledge" and participation in policymaking (esp.U of Maryland HCIL)

Kim Hart has a column called “The Download” in The Washington Post, and today (June 1), on p. A10 (of “Washington Business”) she has a column “The Next Frontier: Decoding the Internet’s Raw Data”, with link here.

The mentions a lot of corporate and academic entities tackling this philosophical question, including the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab (link), SAIC, Lockheed-Martin, and the Hive Group. Ben Bederson appears in the University of Maryland HCIL video here:

There is a concern that people do not relate to the meaning of data displayed graphically, despite Jake Gyllenhaal’s famous line “I like pie charts” in the movie “Rendition”.

The University of Maryland group above is headed by Ben Shneiderman, and the article says he met with the Obama administration’s CIO Vivek Kundra, and deputy Chief Technology Officer Beth Noveck, along with the Library of Congress, to ‘discuss ways of improving public participation in policymaking”. That has always been a major point with me: to democratize policy discussion and take it away from special interests and paid lobbyists. But a lot of parties may not like that – I covered the conundrum around tis Saturday.

Attribution link for University of Maryland Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology picture, College Park, MD.

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