But it is a long race ahead of us to actual, direct democracy. Obama is a start. Having chaired the ethics commitee. And being relatively free of lobbyist ties (as/opposed to the clintons - who are now running around all over the place trying to make the superdelegates their pals). In fact, Obama is a great start. Look today for a huge win amongst the super-cool people who live in the DC area.
When I run triathlon I hit these walls sometimes.. I get this dread feeling.. like maybe sometimes the harder you hit the worse off you are. I think thats what its like right now for the opponents of direct democracy. They are subtle in their ways, to be sure. Many of them masquerade as "friends" of the movement. But they're not.
Does anyone remember when the Govt. of Burma (a military industrialist oligopoly) tried to shut down dissent and shot the priests? The camera phones broke out and the images were up on blogs all around the world in no time. The blogs changed that debate. The government tried to shut off all internet access. I remember - being in Atlanta, and despite the best efforts of the Burmese government - seeing the images of the government coming down on the priests. It didn't work.
The reason is because membrane of oppression is permeable to simple truths. And technology like SL and the Blogosphere are catalysts for the discovery of truth. And science. Genetics is being revolutionized by the net. You can download entire sequences like software code. Isn't that cool? If you could download a new part of yourself what would it be? But that aside - like everything it touches, the cool parts of us all are being brought out by the net.
Technologies like second life also help with copyright issues. We really need to explore a viable copyright system in light of the RIAA's failures to restrain downloads - and the sort of proto-napster thing thats going on. Free work is not good for the artist. I like the way copyright works in SL - for a software professional , setting "no copy" is like a dream come true some times. There is alot in legislation and government that is slowly sorting itself out with the help of the blogosphere.
We're on a path to Direct Democracy. Lets see if Obama can pull it off for the Democratic nomination. Fun to see who McCain will pick. But in the end, you're probably here or somewhere else on the web to do your homework. I mean sure, there are people who use this stuff for kinky sex but they're probably not getting much. Those who know do not say ...
The participation levels are off the charts - and mostly due to the internet savvy Deaniacs that have mobilized into the electorate. The democrats outnumber the republicans, at the polls 14 to 6. Better informed voters. Better decisions. More involvement. You.
Today's wins in the Washington area for the Obama campaign +will+ come about for three reasons.
Obama is running an internet campaign, and listening to his constituents. (we should be testing this right now, with the issue of national healthcare - its a huge, huge issue and obama is dead wrong on it. if he wants to win the big delegate states he'd better get on the ball - we shall see... said the blind man)
Virginia and Washington are extremely involved, strong places for people who are relatively independent - in their thought. Which is also good for the country - and they are breaking for Obama.
Finally. It seems as if we, as a country, are going to grow up and elect someone who will do the will of the people. And not the lobbyists.
The main obstacles to direct democracy are spam, crosstalk and people who jump into spaces like SL to try to create aristocracies. It doesn't matter. In 10 years, we'll have direct democracy. Until then vote for Obama. =)