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Carl Malamud
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Tom, I just didn't see the point of pissing over such a broad set of topics. Seemed like a whole bunch of vitriol, a whole lot of snark, not a lot of clue on the topics I knew about firsthand, which were in the second half of your post. I don't know about Canada, didn't say it wasn't important, you seem big on discovering hidden motives.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2012 on Why the "Open Data Movement" is a Joke at Whimsley
1 reply
From my experience, the pseudonymous blogger of this piece got it exactly backwards. In my world, the commercial sector is raping and pillaging the public treasury, getting exclusive deals on data that not only keeps out other companies, but researchers, public interest groups, and everybody else who make up "the public." In many cases, the government data is so tightly behind a cash register that even government workers enforcing the law can't afford to buy copies of the data they produce or the rules they promulgated. I have no idea who Whimsley is and don't usually bother to comment on random blogs by armchair quarterbacks, and I have no idea what is going on in Canada, but this one seems so far off the mark it seemed worth a few words. The post is backwards in the analysis, but it is also lacking a bit of reality. I don't give a hoot if something is a movement, but I'm not sure that making lists of who gets to use data and who doesn't get to use public data makes any sense (many nonprofits are intensely commercial and many commercial operations seem to avoid the evilness of many of the beltway bandits). As far as Code for America's program and their sponsors, or Tim O'Reilly and his talks, I've observed all of those at first hand and it is pretty clear the pseudonymous blogger doesn't have a clue what either group does or what they think. Carl P.S. I've watched many tens of millions of people access and use government data that wasn't available before from my servers. Maybe not a movement, but definitely a really big crowd.
Toggle Commented May 2, 2012 on Why the "Open Data Movement" is a Joke at Whimsley
1 reply
You mentioned the hooptedoodle where "the website launched with some bugs and Congress flipped out." The issue here is leadership: the administration should have stood up more forcefully for their development teams if they were convinced they were on the right track. Too often, government executives treat their tech staff as contractors, be they in-house civil servants or beltway bandits, caring only about paperwork and meetings with superiors, and not about building real systems that serve real needs. As you say, that takes iteration and elbow grease. Steve VanRoekel showed impressive real involvement in the nuts and bolts of the FCC when he was managing director. I'm hopeful he'll bring that same day-to-day involvement to his new post.
Toggle Commented Oct 31, 2011 on Government is not a Startup at Expert Labs
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Oct 31, 2011