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Ivan Sigal

898 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Ivan Sigal , Matthew Battles 898 days ago
Ivan S Hi both - assuming this was a Berkman fellows-hour exercise, but if it's more than that, I know far too much about Kazakhstan - based there for around 5 years, often working on the above. Let me know!
Matthew B Thanks, Ivan—this was indeed a fellows-hour exercise, the title of which reflects a task given to two who know far too little about Kazakhstan! There's no planned iteration here (although doing so would give us the chance to learn from you about Kazakhstan, which I'm sure would be rich and rewarding).
1074 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Andy Ellis , Leah , Dalia , Ivan Sigal 1074 days ago
Leah Baby blogs-- pictures and info from infancy forward-- breastfeeding, etc.
Examples of Parental Speech-- Non-Disclosure
Ivan S Team 1
Principles of reporting - as a parent/reporter, you have no special rights of access to the share images, data or stories due to you your privileged access to that child. Principles for reporting can be based on UNICEF principles for reporting on children and child's issues, for example.
UNICEF Principles for reporting on children
I. Principles
The dignity and rights of every child are to be respected in every circumstance. 
In interviewing and reporting on children, special attention is needed to ensure each child's right to privacy and confidentiality, to have their opinions heard, to participate in decisions affecting them and to be protected from harm and retribution, including the potential of harm and retribution. 
The best interests of each child are to be protected over any other consideration, including over advocacy for children's issues and the promotion of child rights. 
When trying to determine the best interests of a child, the child's right to have their views taken into account are to be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity. 
Those closest to the child's situation and best able to assess it are to be consulted about the political, social and cultural ramifications of any reportage. 
Do not publish a story or an image which might put the child, siblings or peers at risk even when identities are changed, obscured or not used.
Examples of Parental Speech-- Partial Disclosure
Andy E
  • Example (my own; my goal was "ensure they learn how to use social media more safely than others"):   Name children using aliases, and minimize frontal pictures.  Mostly discuss only in public spaces (or in an assumption that "this might go public."  You might end up with things like "here's an album of hair pictures": https://www.flickr.com/photos/csoandy/sets/72157627421141657/
  • As part of that model, I built password-protected baby-blogs, which were taken down when the kids turned 5.
  • Kids are now on twitter (twitter.com/ellarree, twitter.com/daryavesh) 
Arguments/Thoughts in Support of No Parental Disclosure
  • Principles and Considerations (UNICEF principles)-- (analogy) parent functions as reporter of child's life but you should have no special rights other than those of reporter just because you are privileged to have greater access to information about child.  This individual right of child can't be trumped by some group or advocacy interest.  Focus is on harm to child (prevention of harm).
Andy E
  • Identity online is permanent.  No parent should seed this identity as a "child".
  • Privacy is not a delegable right.  COPPA should apply to parents, who would have a conflict of interest.
  • Are children chattels?
  • Won't remain that way.
  • When do we treat them as adults?
  • Examples
  • Arguments
  • Right to be forgotten?
  • Safety?
  • Misuse of imagery
Arguments/Thoughts in Support of Full Parental Disclosure
Leah Want to keep parents/children as full members of public sphere- not making children into "pre-people" until they reach age of majority. Can regulate to prevent harms but can't regulate to promote various forms of good that come from being engaged in public sphere of Internet.  For instance, you could have statute of limitations on parental posts.  Rules of thumb: think about whether you would show your child the post (at any age, not just the age child is now).
Disclosure/identification not necessarily equivalent.
DMCA- Digital Millenial Coolness Assurance-- takedown notice to parents.
Arguments/Thoughts in Support of Somewhere in Between (Partial)
Dalia undefined There are a number of individual cases and parents that we want to be inclusive. 
  • Will the videos/ images become viral. We can't predict it, but chances are that it is rare. 
  • Privacy and data, should parents be aware of what data and metadata they are putting out 
  • Asking for help vs posting videos and pictures vs  writing or talking publicly about child. 
Leah [factors to be assessed & one bright line rule]
Dalia undefined
  • Maintain a veto power for your kids [7-8]. (when talking about them in public settings talk to your kids about whether they want to be featured). 
  • Understand that pseudonyms wont work when the parent themselves are public. Children can be linked to the parents
  • Parents to be aware of their privacy settings on various platforms and regularly review them as a minimum requirement. 
  • Anonymize the names and identities of you and your children when you need to share information to seek help. Consider using help offline. 
  • Do not create a profile for children. You should respect their autonomy and not speak for them. [bright line rule]
  • Stop. Think of your motivations and how it will influence your child's future.
Understanding the mechanics of the Internet, how platforms work, data privacy
The Children Privacy test
Step 1:  become a fellow at the Berkman center
Step 2: Understand the mechanics of the internet
Step 3: Have Children
Leah --> question: if parents under-share, does it create presumption by others in community that there is something wrong with child?
--> question: how do these factors (and one bright line) work when it comes to monetizing [or creating other types of capital, such as social capital?] your child?
Considerations Involved in Developing a Position on Parental Speech-- Normative, Pragmatic, Emotional, Legal, etc.
Andy E Various forums
  • Private locations (expectation that only a named audience can access, the communication is also one to one)
  • Private communities (like private locations, but possibly not in a one-to-one framework)
  • Public locations (people who can look can find)
  • Broadcast media (people are paid to communicate these messages to a readership)
Any Action Items?
  • @holiday party- find fellow Berkman fellow for step 3 above, if you're in need of children.
Breakdown of group preferences
  • Limited disclosure: 5 people
  • between limited and partial: 3 people
  • Partial disclosure: 5 people
  • between partial and full: 3
  • full disclosure: none
1118 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Ivan Sigal 1118 days ago
  • Willow Brugh
Ivan S
  • Ivan Sigal
1138 days ago
Kate K Berkman Fellows' Hour (Oct 7, 2014)
Hello Ceiling (and beyond!)
In the Fellows' Hour today, we'll be talking about two topics: 
  • Seeing government (or not)
  • Girlhood in the 21st century 
  1. If the key to getting a much broader portion of population to experience positive attitudes toward government and broader/deeper behavior in the public decision-making processes that govern our daily lives is  “seeing” government’s value in their lives - why? What does that mean about what we should do?
  1. If the key is something else --- what is that thing?  What should we actually be focusing on?
  1. In particular, millenials: many of us have never learned the critical role of government in our day-to-day lives.  How young people can be swayed toward seeing and valuing the vital role that government plays in our lives?
Tim M Notes/Minutes
Have you recently interacted with government? "Does ____ count?" People have a hard time thinking about how government touches their lives.
Nathan asks: Any ends in mind? 
Ana: Is it that people are less likely to stick up for an idea in a context where they are being told 
Kate: Paper about the benefits of transparency (operational transparency) 
Ivan S Ivan: are you making a normative statement about the value of government?
Tim M Kate: I believe that government is valuable and that not being involved is worse for us than being involved.
Kate: I have some questions/goals
  1. Gut check on if this needs further work.
  1. What the 'real problem' is.
Amy: What is government?
K: Geographically focused on the US. But happy to hear about others. By "Government" focusing on three levels, city, state and national levels. Not only the representatives but also the civil servants who perform the functions of government. Mostly interested in the service provision of government. How the government implements things that reflect the beliefs that we have.
  • Sara: What about Infrastructure? 
  • Willow: What if we went around the room? Kate: I have an exercise for this.
  • Amy: What about government within organizations or families. Kate: I am focused on the state.
  • Sara: Do you have concrete outcomes in mind? K: yes but not yet. 
  • Ellery: Did you ever use terms other than "government"? K: no. But we have research that demonstrates that other people are finding the same things.
  • Maggie: People are much more able to identify the State than The Government in my research. In the US where 'the people' end and 'the State' begins is intentionally hard to identify. 
  • Other Kate: The law and case law might help you find out what the government is. Maggie: Maybe not knowing what the government is is valuable in the question.
  • Ryan: Wondering about what level of attenuatedness you are thinking about with interacting with gov. Starting at talking to civil servants/representatives. Vs being in a government building vs being on a space built by private actors like a road funded by government vs being at a palce likfe Harvard that gets gov't money/
  • Phillipe: There are differences in the different levels as far as perception of nearness or farness. Federal vs Civic eg.
We did an activity. Draw a timeline of your day.
Star next to the government.
  • Or: How is this transparency any different from any other transparency? We could have done just the same story with potassium.
  • Mayte: I think there is a different in citizenship vs potassium in terms of expecting to have a say.
  • Salil: I am here as a computer scientist because of more of an interest with the computer side of internet and society. Governance is a major topic for the berkman centre but I'm curious about whether you have an angle that's more than just governance. What's the tech angle?
  • Kate: "So here's how potassium is different from government." Government is a mechanism for making decisions and collective decisions. Potassium is just a chemical
  • Miguel: I think you are both right. It si everywhere like potassium but there are different expectations around govenrment (rights, expectations that you can demand things etc). When we don't know how government works, that's how we don't know how we relate to things on an every day basis.
  • Ryan: It seems that the defn' of government is a very narrow definition and idealistically participatory. Where here in the US few people truly participate in government in the most formal ways. The social contract seems to be that you get the possibility but if you choose to not participate you are still bound by the decisions that what is often a minority of people decide.
  • Kate: What I meant was: Government is an organizing mechanism and the participation is part of it. Much of it we don't participate in but 'we trust' that it is going to operate (e.g. FDA). And then there are a lot of poor people who have a lot of interactions with government.
Samuel K
  • Nate: I want to create a banana republic.  (to provide potassium) Imagine: by using data provided by my govt, you can see my logo on every banana, and know that we're providing K+ to the public in a fair & equitable way.  Then you can organize, find eachother online, find new ways to keep Upper Nato (Nateland? Natesberg? Natopia? Nate Britain?) accountable.  (This is a form of mediation of government outside of formalized methods.  Can lead to banana revolution.)
Tim M
  • Maggie G:  We are barking up wrong tree with potassium. If there was a potassium crisis we would turn to it. But now there is a crisis in civic engagement and people wanting to pay taxes to fund all the different parts of government. (roads and schools and candidates for office).
Andy E
  • Andy: ... and gunrunning and gratuitous auditing and corruption and killing people from 30K feet and ...
Samuel K
  • SJ: K+ and Gov are at a different levels of the stack: when you realize most people are K+-deficient, government is a canonical way to implement society-wide changes to enhance staples with K+.  [There are other ways, even other coordinated ways.  But this is a type of coordination / analysis / amortization problem that governments are rather good at. {Except when they get captured and instead advocate for unhealthy changes. See also, food pyramid.}]
  • Good point, every form of coordination can be captured.  Both gov and non-gov are imo vulnerable to similar degrees, in different ways.  Standards are still one that current-era gov is rather designed for, compared to other things govs try their hand at.
Andy E
  • Non-gov is more likely to have a way to drive it out of business.  Hard to do so to a government absent guns.
Tim M
  • Josephine: I do't think I'd call it a crisis that people don't want to pay their taxes. That's, like a normal thing. It may not be that a breakdown of taxes would make me feel better. There are ways that it is better for the government to be invisible. I don't want there to be branding about the efforts of the government. I want pathways for people who do care. I am happy to have the infrastructure in my life happen behind the scenes. There are a lot of pieces that I don't want to engage with. It's a sign of it working well. Story about the driveway. What gets people involved tends to be local and concrete. I don't know that this is the wrong motivation. 
  • kate: this suggests a conversation about what the idea user experience of government should be.
  • Maggie KB: The idea of if it is a crisis: Implies it is unique to this time period and appeared recently and we need to solve it immediately. The mistrust of government and thread of I don't need government has been part of the American psyche since perhaps before the beginning of America. Is it a crisis or just the American spirit.
  • (Sorry Peter I got distracted and didn't note yout thoughts). It was about the questions of libertarian approaches to decision making, the idea that the FDA wouldn't be needed because other mechanisms woudl do it.)
  • Phillipe: Bring up the question of trust and of the differnet kinds of mechanisms.
Kate: is this the right question
  • Matthew: difference between knowing the facts and transparency and being on the same page
Samuel K
  • SJ: I am more interested in udnerstanding how we now see civitas: the contracts between ourselves and our social environment: which also varies with locality and scope (like local/regional government).  Gov't is one part of this, but the larger gov't is, the less personally tangible the results.  
  • I don't not tear people apart because of the [state] government.  It's because of a different / more fundamental sort of civil contract.
Tim M
  • Tim: it is not necessarily the case that transparency means more justice. (Examples: we have plenty of pictures of Tiananmen/Ferguson/Occupy there was plenty of awareness).
  • Ivan: there are counter examples in efforts to implement certain kinds of governances onto a nascent body politic - look to international development and USG attempts to create service provision for local governance. Government is a form of mediating contention. If we don't understand government as a process for doing that. I dispute the language of "it's a problem" that needs to be solved. It's an ongoing fact of life.
  • Maggie KB: I think more people invovled woud be a good thing but I am not sure that awareness is the problem. If people get invovled and nothing changes, they don't stay involved.
  • Dalia and to what purpose?
  • Miguel: What about the people who just want to make an improvement in their life and lack information?  [nice to hear MP say this, as someone who has catalogued power and its implications -sj]
Samuel K
  • Willow:  During disaster response when people need resources and government is trying to provide help, there's a lot of confusion and lack of transparency - expectation setting and communication.  People get pissed off at the wrong people, don't get what they need, and the government orgs who *are* there spend most of their time /energy on rumour control rather than helping people.  [people might want anything from housing to funds to blankets to transportation].  Government isn't doing what people expect, and people aren't doing for one another what they think government is supposed to do.  Many people try to help, but if it doesn't work out they think "Why ever bother to do it again?  someone else is doing this or responsible for it"
  • Emy - Who here has worked for goverment?  Has contributed to government discussions / submitted ideas / tried to influence?  That's a lot.  Funny to see how disempowered people feel given that.
  • Salil - many people here got involved as advisors, not as individual citizens
  • [SJ - most of my engagement has been fruitless. Not encouraging.]
  • The process of participating takes time, energy, and is often hard.  That's not [always] an accident. Sometimes it's because it worked at the time it was set up, or b/c it's intentionally leaving some people out.
  • Neal - Estonia started a "see gov[?]" movement: putting all gov services online.  Anyone in the world can sign up for notifications.  I signed up...  it lets people find out what's going on, have a streamlined portal, vote but not on a tuesday during work. (http://e-estonia.com/e-residents/e-residency/)
  • Emy - Even in the US that's the huge impetus behind e-gov and early voting...
Kate - what I hear is people saying there's more that could be done / different input [that participation is important if it's done effectively].
  • Mayte - the distuccions about how much government we want and how much engagement, reminds me of conversations we have in the EU: about fundamental pro/con the EU-as-institution.   To your Q about how to increase visibility in government, one issue would be: to  take a step back, focus on quality of public discourse.  Including civil society and also govt institutions.  
  • In Germany, the german constitutional court says we are among other things a democracy.  It has clarified what that means over the past decades.  A fundamental aspect is that we have a free public sphere: expression, other rights. Within that you have many intermediaries that can take a stand / stab at problems in your backyards towards gov institutions.
  • Erhardt - when is it necessary to be visible and transparent; when is that sufficient.
  • Or - I think the fund. problem in gov is not transparency.  From a utility standpoint: if I'm going to change sth for the public, I'll put a lot of time in.  Assume the system is as comfortable (and transp) as possible.  Then what? What will I experience?  Not a lot.  The benefit will be divided among everyone.  I only care when a tractor is about to demolish something in the street next to me.  So either change the system or create other incentives for people (w.out special roles) to care about everyone else.
  • So you're saying that enabling distributed action so that you can be effective, briefly: is necessary.   
  • Felipe - I agree that what matters in the end is not how much info you have, but results.  I'm remembering a barometer that said that 40% of latin americans don't care if they have a democracy or not as long as they have better personal standard of living; everyday life.
Tim M
  • Tim - I want to pull back in Josephine's point about how good working government happens without needing attention. The moment that you shine the transparency spotlight.attention spotlight on something that's not  aneutral moment. That's politically an incredibly fraught moment. Department budgets are going to be cut or grown, people will be fired. Attention is not neutral. So deciding which bits need attention, and which bits are fine?  
Samuel K
  • Who decides?  |What seems missing is less a Q of information than [curation]: opportunities for action, engaging in discourse, [prioritization]
  • Mayte's commenta bout intermediaries can help here: if you have this - not representation, but a variety of intermediaries that focus on one issue or area - you can offload some of the work of analysing what is important, what has changed, where you can make a difference.  And this is what many people do (ex: ActBlue slates; parties themselves & party lines)
Kate: I want to ask 1 of 3 things in closing, for each person.  
A Q you pose / research you want to see pursued / one thing you learned.
  • Miguel: The Mexican govt has proposed: Citizen Driven Language, in which representatives have to answer questions in person or on paper.  Links below.
  • Emy: there's a chicken-egg issue: why do people feel engaged or disempowered?  Or disconnected?  what do you do with signs such as "Keep government off of my Medicare!" ?  There's an emotional disconnect that comes from this attitude towards gov't in the US.
1152 days ago
2014-09-23 Fellows Hour, Part 2 (was 3): Formats for Discourse
Kate K
  • Food-related: (just being honest)
  • Lunch talks
  • Small-group dinners with one selected presenter and then snacks/drinks/convo
  • Creative mornings with Breakfast!
  • Sundaes on Mondays rotating discussion series (yes, this involves ice cream) 
  • Panel discussion
  • Lightning/Ignite talks
  • Pecha Kucha (20 seconds per slide, autoadvancing, 20 slides), 6 minutes 40 seconds.
  • Podcasts
  • Would love to have access to a Berkman library of short modules (5-15 minutes) on key topics, both some on Internet & Society basics (privacy, security, etc.) and also more cutting edge topics-- so not recording in-person events for posterity sake, but "straight to video" presentations for use in a range of other setttings (other public-facing events, classroom, etc.) 
  • Powerpoint Karaoke (and bar Karaoke)
  • Study Groups
  • Reading Groups
Tim D
  • Mass online reading groups? (e.g. Nathan's #140 Bookclub, or a blogged bookclub group)
  • Formal Debates (Oxford Style!)
  • Blogs/Liveblogs (specifically a group blog)
  • BerkmanFriends listserv discussions
David W
  • Use  [public] tag at start of subject line in Berkmail to indicate that the  msg can be made public. Then publish interesting Berkthreads.
Andy E
  • Also - identify interesting threads ex post facto and use them as fodder for other media? (see also, Dan Gillmor, DRM)
  • Microblog conversations (Twitter) + Storify Recaps
Tim D
  • Webinars / to Web Meetings / Hangouts 
David W
  • Auto-compiled Berkman "magazine" -- RSS/feedly thing. Include all that Berkfolk are producing online.
  • Berkman "explainers" (context for breaking news) for media and public (+1) 
Tim D
  • Interview-tag / Chain Reaction interviewing
Rajesh V
  • Socratic dialog of conversations between different individuals.
Tim D
Rajesh V
  • Output to non-english audience.
  • Take key questions and collate different responses from different individuals.
  • Writing collaboratively on themes (like for e.g. Surveillance and Privacy)
  • L O N  G  F O R M W  R   I  T     I   N    G  (purpose as Bourdieu would say, to slow down)
  • Something similar to Craigslist -- looking for others to help with projects/experts (especially internally for second readers, etc.) that isn't on the listserv
David W
  • More podcasts
Tim D
  • Off the record discussions (Bruce's suggestion)
  • Off the record is different. Engages the public who are in the room. 
  • Also Chatham House Rule events. 
David W
  • Berkman unconference
Andy E
  • Identify some other venue and take it over (e.g., all "join" a tweetchat, show up at an unconference)
Tim D
  • Online flashmob (co-incidentally I once built a disastrous not terribly effective system to co-ordinate online flashmobs for UK Climate Change Campaigning) 
  • Booksprints
  • ?: What about thinking about public discourse efforts in terms of different publics, different participants, different audiences? We're talking mainly about styles of presentation here, not about who we're talking with and to.
Andy E
  • Thought: there is "how do Berkfolk discover an interesting topic and explore it." "How do Berkfolk amplify that thought and broadcast it?"
Tim D
  • Interesting to have space to discuss message and audience, and work with Berkfolk to refine message, and work out how to 'route' it...
  • Thought: How do we talk to other Berkfolk? How do we expand ideas to multiple publics? Do we mean academics? Do we mean public-public -- as in everyone?
  • I wouldn't underestimate the value of weighing in on a confusing, unfolding topic with a good dose of fact and educated guesses rather than rank speculation, including reaching out to relevant people in or near the Berksphere for comment or clarification (e.g. a company, a gov't)
David W
  • Play more with formats - keep experimenting
  • Auto-text-to-speeching of Tues. talks
  • Open Courseware
David W
  • Partnering with other institutions, especially non-academic
Kate K
  • The Berkman Traveling Roadshow! (or maybe a better name is BERKMANx) ...  
  • In which we activate Berkmanites across the globe to run their own events/activities/convenings (+1 - BerkLocal)
  • Collaborate with Network of Centers (BerkmanX sounds entertaining)
  • Invite completely UNaffiliated people to organize a conversation or share their ideas - aka, the Public ... "Berkman Town Hall?"
  • Get involved in other arenas of public discourse ... like Cambridge City Council
  • Kate K volunteers to organize a visit to City Council meeting 9/29
David W
  • Berkman website as a platform where you can find and engage with stuff.
  • organized by subject or date (as in: what is happening soon about copyright?)
  • whomever put in taxonomy - it belongs here! plus time/place
David W
  • Live action role-playing: e.f. feeling what censorship feels like. (Ivan did this last year.) Fun + hats. (+1)
  • Field trips -- but not everyone in a school bus. Field trip 
  • Socratic circle -- inner and outer
  • Manifesto
  • Provoke other people to write about us and our ideas - provocations and experiments
  • Automatic translation tools. On the Berkman site.
Tim D
  • Best Berkman Talks on a Memory Stick for offline use
David W
  • Reverse AMA - invited experts agree to contribute, with a moderator
  • Take and publish notes (via Hackpad or gDocs) on Tues events etc.
  • Constructive trolling to initiate discourse
  • Post your publications to the Berklist, using [selfie] subject tag.
  • More karaoke!
  • More robots!
  • More ice cream-filled donuts on a stick!
1382 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by yaoe , Ivan Sigal , Chris Amico 1382 days ago
yaoe Notes:
User center design: engage all stakeholders, incremental development, iterating with users to figure out how to move on
Agile design process:  e.g. online platform for helping people engage with Internet governance
  1. identify the profile / category of users who might be using that platform
  • for each, create a profile: generic name / age / job description / rich biography as detailed as possible
Ivan S
  •  sticky note exercise to identify users: aspirational or incidental?
  •  Imagination game: draw picture and name of imagined user, imagined name and bio. (Daily life)
  • Tips:
                        they can't be real people
                        do strong design intentions end up restricting who will use later, and how?
                        how to build in ongoing feedback as you build?
                        at what point do personas need to be rebuilt
                        personas tend to be quite complex, and this helps understand actual user experience
  1. identify the needs for these users:
  • identify user-stories: as a <category> I want <goal/desire> to that <outcome>  (high-priority / low-priority stories)
Ivan S
  • Be sure to include both technical features and social/knowledge features
  1. identify the technical features needed to satisfy these needs
Ivan S
  • Create list of features that users need
  • Base list on different persona
  • place them on a matrix (important/non important - easy/hard to implement)
Ivan S
  • Integrate these and place features on matrix based on actual project resources and goals
Prioritized features lists 
Quantify estimated costs (timeboxed sprints)
Add timeline along list
Minimum viable product for each stage. Each sprint results in a functional aspect of the site.
How to choose CMS or programming language for project - what analytic process?
  • Most development processes with significant resources won't answer this question until after the 2nd or 3rd sprint
  • Common to start in one process and then switch once issues and goals emerge
Product owner job description
- set goals
- represent needs of users
- when there are multiple goals, there are product owners for each. For instance back-end interests v front-end users.
Paper prototyping to avoid expense and time.
Folios of interface elements - role-play with person as "computer"
yaoe Difference between Agile & Scrum: Agile is a general philosophy regarding software production, Scrum is an implementation of that philosophy pertaining specifically to project management.
Ivan S Scrum - a process of Agile - a morning standup meeting to keep everyone focused. Run by a "scrum-master", hopefully someone who is ruthlessly organized.
  • what did you achieve yesterday
  • what are you going to achieve today
  • what are your impediments?
With Scrum, each day looks like a sprint, within a 1-2 week development cycle.
Trello - https://trello.com/ online version of Kanban process

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