Austin, Texas

Book: Extreme Democracy, edited by Mitch Ratcliffe & Jon Lebkowsky, 2005

Description: “Extreme democracy is a political philosophy of the information era that puts people in charge of the entire political process. It suggests a deliberative process that places total confidence in the people, opening the policy-making process to many centers of power through deeply networked coalitions that can be organized around local, national and international issues. The choice of the word "extreme" reflects the lessons of the extreme programming movement in technology that has allowed small teams to make rapid progress on complex projects through concentrated projects that yield results far greater than previous labor-intensive programming practices. Extreme democracy emphasizes the importance of tools designed to break down barriers to collaboration and access to power, acknowledging that political realities can be altered by building on rapidly advancing generations of technology and that human organizations are transformed by new political expectations and practices made possible by technology.”

Purpose: To explore the principles and technologies of extreme democracies, and to explore how these concepts and technologies are affecting our own social change efforts, our democracy, and the upcoming election.

Prerequisite: Participants are expected to read the essays discussed in each session and prepare comments or questions for discussion during each session. Copies of the book can be read free online at , or participants can purchased a PDF download ($16.04) or purchase a printed copy ($28.00) on the same web site. Or it can be order from ($28.00, lower if used). Participation in all of the sessions is recommended, but not required. Each session will be recorded and archived on the Texas Forums web site. ( )

Structure: When possible, one of the authors of the book will be present in the discussion sessions. Each session will be moderated. Overall coordination of the series will be done by Paul Schumann and Taylor Willingham. Through contributions from the authors and participants, the implications for the 2008 elections, as well as future elections, will be discussed.

Medium: Texas Forums OPAL Online virtual meeting room ( ) - OPAL is an international collaborative effort by libraries and other organizations to provide web-based programs and training for library users and library staff members. Live events are held in online rooms where participants can interact via voice-over-IP, text chatting, synchronized browsing, and other functions. Everyone is welcome to participate in Texas Forums OPAL programs.

Price: Free

Registration: None required

Schedule: 12, 1 hour sessions, on Monday. The schedule begins June 11, 2007 at 7 pm CDT.

Outline: Topic schedule may change. Please check Texas Forums web site for updates.

1. June 18 - Context: A presentation on First Democracy: The Challenge of an Ancient Idea, Paul Woodruff, Oxford University Press, 2005 and The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, Michael Novak, Madison Books, 1982. This will provide the framework into which extreme democracy must exist. – Paul Schumann

2. June 25 - Overview & History of Development of Extreme Democracy: The book, Extreme Democracy, edited by Mitch Ratcliffe & Jon Lebkowsky, 2005, is itself a product of the processes advocated by the team who collaborated to bring the book into existence.( – Paul Schumann will interview Jon Lebkowsky

3. July 9 - Emergence, Emergent Democracy & the Emerging Second Super Power: Discussion of the essays by Steven Johnson (Two Ways to Emerge and How to tell the Difference Between Them) and Ken White (The Dead Hand of Modern Democracy: Lessons for Emergent Post-Modern Democrats), pages 90 – 100 and a discussion of essays written by Joichi Ito (Emergent Democracy) & James Moore (The Second Superpower Rears Its Beautiful Head), pages 13 - 47

4. July 16 - Extreme Democracy: An interview with Mitch Ratcliffe (Extreme Democracy: Deep Confidence in the People), pages 57- 66 – Paul Schumann

5. July 23 - Networks: Discussion of the essays by Clay Shirky (Power Laws, Weblogs & Inequality), pages 48 – 55, and Mitch Ratcliffe (Building on Experience), pages 67 – 89.

6. July 30 - Politics & Networks: A discussion of the essays of Valdis Krebs (It’s the Conversation Stupid!: The Link Between Social Action & Political Choice), Ross Mayfield (Social Network Dynamics & Participatory Politics), David Weinberger (Broadcasting & the Voter’s Paradox) & Danah Boyd (Social Technology & Democracy). Pages 112 – 190

7. Aug 6 - Strategy & the Political Process: A discussion of the essays of Adam Greenfield (Democracy for the Rest of Us: The Minimal Compact & Open Source Government) & Ethan Zuckerman (Making Room for the Third World in the Second Superpower), pages 200 – 227

8. Aug 13 - DeanSpace: A discussion of the essays of Clay Shirky (Exiting Dean Space), pages 228 -240; Jon Lebkowky (Deanspace, Social Networks & Politics) & Aldon Hynes (What is DeanSpace?), pages 296 - 319

9. August 20 - 6.4 Billion Points of Light: An interview of Roger Wood (6.4 Billion Points of Light: Lighting the Tapers of Democracy), pages 241 – 265, by Paul Schumann

10. August 27 - Activist Technology: A discussion of the essays of Jon Lebkowsky (Virtual Bonfire: A Brief History of Activist Technology) pages 267 - 275, Jay Rosen (The Weblog: An Extremely Democratic Form of Journalism), pages 104 – 110, Britt Blaser (The Revolution Will Be Engineered: An Assessment of the Present and Possible Future of Net-based Political Tools) pages 276 – 295

11. September 10 - Political Tools: A discussion of the essays of Adina Levin (Campaign Tools), pages 320 - 362 & Phillip Windley (eVoting), pages 191 – 198.

12. September 17 (Constitution Day) - Future of Democracy: A discussion among the participants

How to Participate: Join each session at Allow a few extra minutes the first time you attend to download the necessary software. A PC is required. Broadband Internet access is preferable. If you wish to join in the conversations verbally, a PC microphone is required. (Text messaging is also available.) No password is required for these sessions. Login with the name you'd like to be known by in the session.

Blog : The Extreme Democracy blog will be used to facilitate discussions between the sessions and explore concepts. ( )

Archive: All of the programs and the Extreme Democracy blog will be archived. The audio, text messages and video of each session will be recorded and available on the Texas Fourm web site.

Sponsors: The Central Texas Chapter of the World Future Society ( and Texas Forums ( , an initiative of the LBJ Library ( , are sponsoring this series of seminars in cooperation with Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe of the Extreme Democracy ( project.

Official Website:

Added by pauls70 on June 1, 2007



Excellent site, ...........

camping equipment

Interested 3