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Mark Shea
Works at Amazon.com
Attended University of Washington
Lived in Helena, MT
948 followers|13,918 views
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Mark Shea

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Compelling stroll down 'memory lane' regarding deficit spending by Senator Murray in her opening comments for the Budget Committee today.
“This hearing will now come to order. I want to welcome everyone to the first Senate Budget Committee hearing of the 113th Congress. I want to thank our witness, Dr. Doug Elmendorf. As well as the ran...
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Mark Shea

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On board of the 458 Challenge for an entire lap at the Suzuka International Circuit
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New paper on the ambiguity of open government and open data

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2012489

This is essential reading on open data and open government. From the abstract:

"Open technologies involve sharing data over the Internet, and all kinds of governments can use them, for all kinds of reasons. Recent public policies have stretched the label “open government” to reach any public sector use of these technologies. Thus, “open government data” might refer to data that makes the government as a whole more open (that is, more transparent), but might equally well refer to politically neutral public sector disclosures that are easy to reuse, but that may have nothing to do with public accountability. Today a regime can call itself “open” if it builds the right kind of web site—even if it does not become more accountable or transparent. This shift in vocabulary makes it harder for policymakers and activists to articulate clear priorities and make cogent demands.

This essay proposes a more useful way for participants on all sides to frame the debate: We separate the politics of open government from the technologies of open data. Technology can make public information more adaptable, empowering third parties to contribute in exciting new ways across many aspects of civic life. But technological enhancements will not resolve debates about the best priorities for civic life, and enhancements to government services are no substitute for public accountability."

There's good reason to be careful about celebrating the progress in cities, states and counties are making in standing up open government data platforms.

Excerpted from my post on Radar last year:

Open government analysts like Nathaniel Heller have raised concerns about the role of open data in the Open Government Partnership, specifically that:

"... open data provides an easy way out for some governments to avoid the much harder, and likely more transformative, open government reforms that should probably be higher up on their lists. Instead of fetishizing open data portals for the sake of having open data portals, I'd rather see governments incorporating open data as a way to address more fundamental structural challenges around extractives (through maps and budget data), the political process (through real-time disclosure of campaign contributions), or budget priorities (through online publication of budget line-items)."

Similarly, Greg Michener has made a case for getting the legal and regulatory "plumbing" for open government right in Brazil, not "boutique Gov 2.0" projects that graft technology onto flawed governance systems. Michener warned that emulating the government 2.0 initiatives of advanced countries, including open data initiatives:

"... may be a premature strategy for emerging democracies. While advanced democracies are mostly tweaking and improving upon value-systems and infrastructure already in place, most countries within the OGP have only begun the adoption process."

Michener and Heller both raise bedrock issues for open government in Brazil and beyond that no technology solution in of itself will address. They're both right: Simply opening up data is not a replacement for a Constitution that enforces a rule of law, free and fair elections, an effective judiciary, decent schools, basic regulatory bodies or civil society, particularly if the data does not relate to meaningful aspects of society.

Heller and Michener speak for an important part of the open government community and surely articulate concerns that exist for many people, particularly for a "good government" constituency whose long term, quiet work on government transparency and accountability may not be receiving the same attention as shinier technology initiatives.

This paper will go a long way to clarifying and teasing out those issues.
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Mark Shea

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Taking the kids to the human petting zoo.
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I wonder how long until they can supply a space station.
http://youtu.be/rvDqoxMUroA On September 30, Derek Deville's Qu8k (pronounced "Quake") rocket blasted off from the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, screaming to an altitude of 121,000 feet. It was ...
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Mark Shea

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The experiences of users on the World Wide Web are throttled and hampered by draconian legal documents called terms of use. +Doc Searls says it's time to kick things into a new gear. Let's get out of the shopping cart and into a car. How will we do that? He doesn't offer a solution but we're invited to join the conversation and suggest another way. There are a number of folks thinking about this in the ProjectVRM community. Check it out. Cool stuff.
Categories. Academy (3); B2B VRM (3); Companies (42); crm (31); Demand chain (2); EmanciPay (14); Events (29); freedom (13); Health (1); Horizontal ideas (84); Initiatives (36); Legal (5); Links (34);...
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Thanks, Mark. Somehow I'd missed putting Doc into my educator/researcher circle.
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Mark Shea

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Google map of Courserians taking eLearning & Digital Cultures course.
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"Easy As Pi" is kind of irrational!
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Truck Norris
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This makes me feel silly for getting stuck last week just trying to pull into a driveway in the snow/ice. This truck > my Hyundai.
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Researchers validated what fourteen year old kids have known for years.
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Now I wonder...how long until book publishers discover this?
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Wikipedia rolled out QRpedia today. I think it is an example of the best and most obvious use for QR codes, digital docents.
What Is QRpedia? Paste a Wikipedia URL into the box below to create a language-detecting, mobile-friendly QR code. Who's behind this? Idea: Terence Eden & Roger Bamkin. Site: Michael McNeela. ...
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Interesting! I wonder if we can experiment w/QR codes in favorite spots, such as St. Ed's state park,

I just tried it on my phone: it works!
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Mark Shea

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Cool photography of the very small.
Since 1977, Nikon has held a Small World Photomicrography Competition, to showcase that which cannot be seen with the naked eye. This year's winner will be announced in November, but until October 31,...
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Have him in circles
948 people
Randall Winn's profile photo
john almiri's profile photo
Gabe Brown's profile photo
Jim Nash's profile photo
Carol Bunch's profile photo
Ossama Benallouch's profile photo
Terry Middleton's profile photo
Ted Newcomb's profile photo
Dan Dumas's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Digital Reef Builder
Employment
  • Amazon.com
    SharePoint Manager, 2011 - present
  • Atrua
    CEO, present
  • Washington State Corrections
    CCO, 1982 - 1997
  • Attachmate
    Regional Support Technician, 1997 - 2001
  • Microsoft
    Product Manager, 2001 - 2010
  • University of Washington
    Visiting Lecturer, 2010 - 2010
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Helena, MT - Olympia, WA - Kaneohe, HI - Seattle, WA - Eden Prairie, MN - Tacoma, WA - Mount Vernon, WA
Story
Tagline
Digital Reef Builder, Social Media Wonk
Bragging rights
teufelhunden
Education
  • University of Washington
    Communication, MCDM, 2007 - 2009
  • University of St. Thomas
    English, BA, 1978
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Gender
Male
Relationship
Married