Question for Guy Kawasaki:
How does the increasing speed of technological change impact the ability of citizens in a democratic society to control abuse of power?
Foundation for basis thesis: My handheld iPhone 5 does far more, with 1,000 more memory, at 1/10 the cost, than ever could my Mac IIcx. AR-15s in civilian hands are not likely to ensure "ordered liberty." But the questions, and the discussion shouldn't end there. How do we guarantee real accountability in a world where the technological change gives profound advantages to business elites and political elites?
Possible points of departure for discussion:
We like that drones keep us safe from Al Qaeda. We accept the "cost" of the killing of US citizens without judicial process. The Attorney General says that if the President authorizes an action that makes it legal. Drone technology will shortly make it possible to have thousands of micro-drones doing surveillance work and massive data collection at limited cost, domestically.
We like that listening to "chatter" on the internet keeps us safe from Al Qaeda. We accept that secretive Federal intelligence agencies constantly sift through billions of communications involving US citizens with very limited judicial oversight. Telecommunications companies, dependent on Federal support for the rules that give them an oligopoly, readily respond to requests for data.
We like "law and order" and prefer "preemptive" actions against potential troublemakers. We accept that US taxpayers should be charged, again, to read the results of the research they have already paid for. When a well-known, well-respected young man, with known issues of depression, protests with an act of civil disobedience that harmed no one, the US Attorney for Massachusetts hounds him to suicide. When the on-line civil libertarian community responds with over 40,000 signatures in less than a week to an on line petition to the White House, the White House unilaterally reacts by raising the threshold for responding to a petition to 100,000.
We like being asked to pose questions to celebrities we admire (like you Guy -- for years my wife and I referred to our kids as the "portable units"). It flatters us. And if along the way Amazon and Google helpfully suggest the next item or service we might like to buy, well what's wrong with a little old fashioned business? Analytics and microtargeting are our friends. We celebrate the ability of a Presidential campaign to use analytics and microtargeting to turn out precisely those voters, in precisely those counties (and by the same methods to discourage other voters, in a currently disfavored demographic, who do not understand their own best interests) needed to win.