A question worth considering, so we don't end up like this.
As of wrangling around some travel arrangements last night, it's official. I'll be attending the Gov 2.0 summit next week. This gathering brings together a variety of government and technologist types to try to figure out exactly what government's going to do in the future and how it can do it better. It's convened by Tim O'Reilly, whose ideas I've critiqued here. A critique that he, to his credit, has responded to.
It promises to be a very interesting time. Reading the list of speakers and sponsors of the summit, it's clear that it will draw some smart, motivated people who are trying to open a discussion about just what the hell government is going to do to adapt to the challenges of the future.
That's good. For all of my blasts at "government as platform" and some of its blind spots, I'm damn glad this discussion is going on. I'm glad that I'm fortunate enough to attend and hope to be able to learn a great deal, and hopefully ask some sharp questions.
However, the average person affected by government's actions isn't a federal employee. They're not heading up or working at a tech company. They're not cutting-edge. The unadjusted ticket price is probably a little beyond their means. Yet these are exactly the people government has to work for if it's going to mean a damn.
If there's one thing I try to emphasize here, it's the realization of how vital multiple perspectives are to finding the way out of our current difficulties (hence "there is no they"). It's a big world out there and it's easy to, with the best intentions, miss some valuable insights.
This blog has a fairly eclectic audience, something I count as one of its strongest points. The fact that many of you put up, on a regular basis, with me veering between politics, culture, history, poetry, Asheville and rambling about whoever's missing the big, devastating picture this week never ceases to amaze me. Thank you, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
So I'm turning the lens back on you, dear readers. I want to hear your perspectives, your concerns.
What are the best and worst things government does for you? What would you like it to improve? What places would you like it to leave you alone?
Let me know. Comment here, e-mail me. Hell, message me on Twitter. I want to go into this as well-informed and armed as I can be. In the coming days, I'll be asking a few other questions too, but this is the big one.
Again, thank you all.