Entries in Political Technology (7)
Yesterday morning, I took a very early am train to New York to attend a daylong “personal democracy” conference in New York. Conference title: “How Technology is Changing Politics.” I went last year as well. Five of my employees (Chris Casey, Chris Massicotte, Marin Hagen, Sean Robertson, Abbey Levenshus) also attended.
I have recently started to read with renewed interest some historical treatments and thought pieces about computers, programming, the internet, and technology. I am playing catch up in this area. My work life has been so focused on one software project that I have wanted respite from reading about anything related to computers in my leisure time. But now I suddenly have five or six books on the topic going at once. I will post about the good ones as I finish them. On list for today is The Cathedral & the Bazaar: Musing on Linux and Open Source by and Accidental Revolutionary, by Eric S Raymond.
We will have several score visitors at our company today -- in a few hours -- so I should be sleeping, rather than up in the middle of the night.
I was thinking more about the upcoming Politics Online conference and remembering my last few “public” appearances and what I tried to say at each of them. At one of the, 2004 Progressive Tech conference, I was asked the question “Is it important to be a Democratic-only firm in this market?”
The 12th Politics Online Conference takes place this week in Washington, DC. This event is put on by the Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet and each year it draws a bigger crowd. There will be all manner of speakers involved in Internet politics, keynote speeches with leading Internet and political figures, and breakout sessions on topics including online fundraising, organizing and campaigning. I myself will speak on a panel described as follows:
For about two decades now, I have sought to locate myself somewhere in the intersection between computers and politics. In my early twenties, I worked as a programmer for a series of political technology enterprises. Now that I am running a firm in the same niche, I think about the change in perspective that has taken place as I have gotten older and moved from employee to employer.
NGP Software stands for National Geographical and Political Software, and emphatically not, as some have charged, for my initials (Nathaniel G. Pearlman). Occasionally I am asked where the “Geographical” part of the company’s name comes from, since it seems to be the least emphasized part.