This morning, Eve woke at 530am as usual, wanting to play with toys in the lounge room. Eventually she found the TV remote, and on came the crud that is Australian morning television. People in the US dressing their pets in Halloween costumes, record numbers at the Zombie Walk, massive shark suspected in the North, Australian and Singaporean stock exchange to merge (WTF?), Beach Boys lip syncing, and sport sport and more sport.. and a bit of weather from tourist locations.
Sigh. So I turned on the radio and muted the television. Triple J (a public radio station that used to be half decent) doing shit talk back on the "craziest question you've ever been asked in a job interview".
Last night I tweeted a criticism/half question of the Gov 2.0 lobby in Australia, pointing out the comparatively zero coverage by the stream on the 2 weeks of parliament and senate debate on Afghanistan.
Self proclaimed online evangelist CraigThomler (@craigthomler) was the only person watching the gov2au stream (or interested to reply), and replied by the morning with:
@leighblackall #gov2au isn't about specific issues, it's about transforming governance systems to models suitable for the 21st century.To which my reply (considering the 530am start to Australian TV and Radio) was pretty prickly:
And so began a short lived exchange of why and why not. Twitter is useless for debate.
Looking back on Craig's own tweets on #gov2au, he thought the TEDxCanberra photostream was related somehow, and in the end he dismissed my remarks to the #gov2au stream as "adding little value".
I personally think #gov2au needs to cover much more than open data, censored Internet, public broadband and otherwise blind lobby for more government bordering on global. If Australian politicians are going to debate whether military personnel should be helping to kill off people in Afghanistan (the first time they've ever debated the idea), but with a foregone conclusion of smelly bipartisanship and avoidance of the question on whether 911 was good reason to invade in the first place, and mainstream media is going to largely black out non party line input on the issue, then I think this becomes a prime candidate for testing ideas of #gov2au! The debate doesn't even have a hashtag as for as I can tell!
While the dispersed chatter about the war goes on through social media, as it does on carbon taxes, emissions trading, global warming and climate change, not to mention a raft of other important and poorly represented issues, none of it is feeding through to the political, economic and cultural class, despite it often revealing many an insightful remark and eye popping evidence. Gov2au ideals of engaged and participatory citizenship and political representation is not looking very likely at all. More likely is it will remain a clique of technofans, existing in a in a bubble of do-good, averse to any real issue of controversy, life and death, leaving the technology to simply amplify the real underlying problems in our society.