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On the heels of yesterday's diary about SEED magazine recognizing DailyKos's revolutionary ability to change the rules of policy-drafting through collective efforts like Energize America, I'd like to come back again to how that actually was done in the case of Energize America, in the hope that it can be done again for economic policy (as proposed by bonddad), food (as started by OrangeClouds115) or health care.

So here is an updated version of the post which I made back in June, just after YearlyKos, where I summarised the part of our presentation in Vegas which talked about the Energize America process.

Again, both the plan and the full presentation can be downloaded in pdf format from, the existing website for Energize America.

Again, I am posting the relevant slides as they were shown during the panel, with a summary of the points I made during my speech.

This first slide is pretty explicit. I recalled how energy is intertwined with economic policy, international relations (sometimes murky), military activity and Washington politics (even murkier), and how intimidating it can be, with big numbers flying around (a billion dollars is a small sum in the energy sector), bigger companies, and strategic or national security considerations often used to obfuscate the stakes and stifle debate.

This is worth flagging: we did not choose a simple topic to start with, and yet we managed to talk about it smartly and to approahc it from many angles and considerations. The lesson: we should not let ourselves be intimidated, and should not accept to be told to "trust the experts". If not the experts themselves, DailyKos hosts all the competences required and we have kossacks able to write smartly about any topic under the sun. So let's not ever be intimated or overwhelmed by a topic, and let's just have a go at it. This obviously applies to economics or healthcare.

I recounted briefly how I came to blogs through a desire to correct some fears or wild theories about energy projects or the behavior of energy companies - for instance the conspiracy theories about the Afghanistan pipeline (a complete diary on that topic was posted here last year: Pipeline economics - why the Afghan pipeline will NOT be built).

I talked briefly about my son, his disease, and my hopes that he will grow up in a world of peace, prosperity and sustainability which can allow him to contribute to society and to benefit from its solidarity when needed, and not in a world defined by resource wars.

As a first point on process, I noted the role of my diaries which became, through sheer repetition and persistence, the meeting point of the energy community on dailyKos, and compared this aggregation role to that of dailyKos for progressives in general.

We come here because others interested in that topic are here as well: the "location" information embedded in dailyKos begins to have as much value as the content itself (i.e. people come to dailyKos not necessarily because they love the content, but because they know that this is the place where others, friends and co-progressives will be there, and where the topic of urgency to the community that day will be discussed).

The second point on process is linked to the technology of dailyKos. The ability to recommend diaries gives them visibility if there is quality - or a desire by enough to give a topic, in this case energy policy, prominence. That visibility attracts more participants and more comments. Comments provide input, corrections, additional information. Ratings can then be used to assess that additional information, and to flag the most relevant, interesting or useful.

This allows the community to provide content and to vote on content, to provide expertise and to provide an idea of the general opinion of the kossacks. It allows to vet information and to give a feel of what the community prefers, policy-wise or politically.

Again, I cannot stress how important this vetting process is. This is what SEED Magazine recognised, and labelled "near scientific process": we get rid of bullshit. It's an open forum, so we cannot prevent stupid or false content from being posted. However, we can debunk it, correct it and, in the most offensive cases, hide it via the troll ratings. Sure, there is a lot of noise on DailyKos, as we all know, but the site is also extraordinarily good at extracting signal from that mass of noise - and it is possible to focus on this.

With all the input and propositions provided all year long by kossacks, and with the attention of the community focused on the topic after Katrina struck, it made sense to try to propose something to actually use all these proposals. Thus the first draft of the plan was born, posted on the site and critiqued, complimented, complemented, criticised, "get real'ed", and supported.

Several iterations of the process were run with the support of Meteor Blades (whose absence at Yearly Kos we deeply regretted and noted, but he was travelling) and devilstower initially, and Adam, George and many others afterwards.

With a well targetted process like the successive Energize America diaries, we can both concentrate the attention of a lot of smart minds on a given topic, and ask them to work on very specific issues, to provide instant feedback, evaluation of the initial proposals, counter-proposals, supporting links, additional relevant information and discussion of the whole.

That ability to focus a lot of brain power like this is, in my view, one of the defining characteristics of DailyKos and what makes it such a novel tool.

The important point to note here is that Energize America is STILL a work in progress, and we do not pretend to detain the truth. We request, and indeed hope for more criticism and help to correct any errors, shortcomings or weaknesses. We expect to come again to the community in the future with more specific requests on the weaknesses we have identified ourselves, and we will welcome any other comments in that respect, provided that they are given with the goal to do better and not just to slam the plan.

Other energy plans exist. Many are of great quality (and indeed have inspired us for part of EA). What we propose is not just a new plan, but a process whereby the plan can evolve - at all times under the scrutiny of citizens.

This is people power. Focusing on policy

Originally posted to Jerome a Paris on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:55 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Nice. But currently irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

    At the moment, the only 'policy' which matters are policies on how to remove the fascist Bush regime from power.

    Until we can do that, we have zero chance of implementing anything else.

    -5.63, -8.10 | Libertarian Liberal

    by neroden on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:57:17 AM PDT

    •  Understand your tone completely... (8+ / 0-)

      ...but we stand a better chance of winning a majority and doing exactly what you propose if we present solutions.

      "That rug really tied the room together."

      by The Termite on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:00:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I hear you, but... (19+ / 0-)
      • this is about process, not policy. It can be harnessed to many other things, including whatver more urgent goal you have - as it is. This example just allows to describe it more easily;
      • energy WILL be the major issue of the next congress and/or the next president. If you don't speak about it now, when will you explain the situation - and your proposals, when it becomes an overwhelmingly urgent issue?

      In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
      Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

      by Jerome a Paris on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:03:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Process (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana, cathy b

        It can be harnessed to many other things, including whatver more urgent goal you have - as it is.

        Exactly! For people who are solely and exclusively focused on winning the next election, a process very much like this could be used to brainstorm media approaches, branding strategies, polling analysis, and other more purely political activities. Sort of like Oliver Willis' "Brand Democrat" campaign crossed with a War Room, perhaps.

      •  great idea (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cathy b, BobOak

        We don't need to build the policy infrastructure if the blogs can do it, but what I would like to add is our lack of ability to reach outside the internet and the viewers of liberal blogs. What I would like to see is us take it a step further and sell the policy to the people through a marketing campaign. I would like to see it done the same way goods are sold on late nite tv trough infomercials, along with commercials running on local cable, we need to get people talking about energy, universal healthcare, and a whole host of other liberal policy ideas. Once we lay the base for the ideas the Democratic party will have an easier time putting them into law.

        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

        by jbou on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:07:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Jane Jacobs and economies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Your idea is ripe for development. Jane Jacobs, with whom I'm sure you're familiar, writes that development follows a process starting with generalities which become specialized; those specializations in turn become generalities which, as you might imagine, also become specializations. And on, and on. The important piece in the above is that co-developments have to occur in the environment which allow the new specializations to occur. The internet is ready for its close up in this regard. I would imagine that if pending legislation actually does become public prior to voting on it, as has been proposed in Congress, that the internet would be a fantastic sorting mill where in the massive bills could be combed through in no time at all.

        The Moe Sizlak Experience, featuring Homer Simpson.

        by lepermessiah on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:09:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  disseminated strategic planning...? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerome a Paris, poemless, cathy b, BobOak

        One of the reasons that I like and appreciate the EA work is that it resulted in definitions of specific situations, a series of actions to address the situations, and criteria that measure whether the actions have been achieved.

        Process - in some ways, the evolution of EA could be viewed as something like an example of organic, disseminated strategic planning. Organic, in that it sorta grew-up on its own, naturally. Disseminated, in the aspects that it is both the participation of far-flung and differently aligned folks, as well as in a loosely-bound organization. I mean both terms as compliments.

        I dunno, perhaps some folks shy away from a term like strategic planning, maybe it sounds high-falutin' and all. Nonetheless, it's fairly well necessary in some of what I've done as a profession - part of which is the design and implementation of public health and development interventions on fairly large scales, as in city-state-regional-national.

        It's not complicated - and it doesn't have to be very time-consuming. It's a step-by-step process, and in my experience it usually involves several organizations or several distinctly different parts of the same organization. The process is so not-complicated that it seems to go-without-saying:

        1. Folks with relevant information and view-points are assembled;
        1. we define the most urgent problems and come to consensus on a short-list;
        1. we define the assets and barriers to addressing the problems;
        1. we define the actions necessary to address the problems and the desired outcomes;
        1. we define who will do what parts of what actions;
        1. we define who will need what resources, whether the resources are available or must be obtained;
        1. we define the criteria that will tell us whether the actions have been achieved;
        1. we define criteria to determine whether the actions have resulted in the outcomes that were desired;
        1. we go to work;
        1. we stay in touch so that the process can be used to refine the work.

        It's all consensus-driven. Folks "at the table" volunteer their insights, priorities, abilities to act, resources. Please note that here I've defined steps 1 thru 4 vis-a-vis "problems" - I use that term 'cause more often than not, public health and development are about addressing problems - disease outbreaks, famine, distribution of healthcare, poverty, lack of infrastructure. It seems that folks in bidnez, for instance, might would frame strategic planning in terms other than "problems".

        As you and the participants have demonstrated with Energize America, it can be done right here on dKos - and it can be done here with a complicated set of issues.

        It's the power of folks working together...and it can be done in an impoverished village, it can be done in a fancy office, it can be done over the 'net...As y'all have shown, it can be done here. And done very well. Cheers.

      •  But what message will the public get? (0+ / 0-)

        While sales of small cars are soaring, a great many people would still be yelling for cheap gas if prices hadn't moderated recently.

        These people have no intention of reducing their consumption for the nation's sake, or even their own.  I don't see much in EA2020 to appeal to them.

        What we need is a "compact fluorescent" appeal for vehicles, housing, and every other major part of the economy.  You make an up-front investment in a CF, and it pays you back rather quickly - often in less than a year.  There's no sacrifice in the sense of "doing without"; you might even have more light for less money.  But I don't see that message coming through.

        The majority of Americans takes the war on terrorism seriously (although many Kossacks pooh-pooh the notion).  Why not appeal to them, by touting the fact that less oil consumed is less money going to the Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia and Hugo Chavez?  Promoting a means of sticking it to 'em is good; it's helping to sell Prop. 87 in California.

        Last, I think the goals of EA2020 are far too timid.  The Greenland icecap has doubled its ice losses and Siberian bogs are belching methane as they thaw; we may not have TEN years to take serious action.  EA2020 doesn't have a contingency plan for acceleration when the public accepts the need; it must.

        Told you I was a critic. ;-)

        Work the cold equations; some answers will make you feel warm.

        by Engineer Poet on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 09:25:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Proposing Alternatives (4+ / 0-)

      is good to help turn people away from him though, don't you think?

      People didn't get what a corrupt and sadistic asshole he was by 2004, so that tack is not going to work.

      Having smart policy to run on so that people can see a clear alternative to the Bush agenda is a good strategy, maybe not the ONLY one, but we surely need it. We can help with that, as well as in supporting the good candidates, convincing people that they need to care about the electoral process, and exposing the rot of the Bush administration.

      We can do all four, that's the beauty of it.

      You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

      by dnamj on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:14:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, don't forget that we have developed a ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jerome a Paris, cathy b

        ... system of overlapping election cycles.

        A tremendous benefit of dKos is the ability to multi-task. The fact is that ongoing development of policy that can be adopted by progressive candidates in 2008 can occur side by side with fighting the general election today.

        Different people will have different interests, priorities, skills, and experience, and its the support of the system for multi-tasking that makes it possible to mobilize more of those interests, priorities, skills and experiences as resources for the overall fight.

        George: Torture is for the weak, the scared, and the cruel. Which are you?

        by BruceMcF on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:27:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Agree/Disagree (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina, besieged by bush, possum

      Yes, we must take back some power from the Bush regime before any policies can be implemented, but they should be discussed, even now.

      First, having sensible policies to contrast with BushCo policies or lack of policies can help somewhat in getting more people more involved in the fight.

      Second, every organization should have some slice of its energy devoted to the longer term. For example, a high tech company should be spending some % of its budget on R&D. The DNC should be spending some time/energy/money even in places we don't have a realistic chance of picking up a congressional seat this year (aka the 50 state strategy).

      In the case of this diary, the resources proposed to be used are individuals' time and energy. If someone is excited by a policy project on health care, more power to them. It's something I'd really like to see (but don't have any expertise in). And the time and energy is not zero-sum - I don't expect that every hour of time spent on a policy project is an hour that would have otherwise been spent canvassing or manning phones.

      Republicans have nothing to fear but the absence of fear itself.

      by factbased on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:38:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can't remove a leader without a plan (10+ / 0-)

      for what you are going to do afterward.

      Just look at what's happened in Iraq....

    •  also (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris, besieged by bush

      IMHO, one of the reasons Bush Corporation keeps getting voted in is the lack of differentiation on policy.

      Case in point is election 2004.  Kerry said he could "do nothing" about offshore outsourcing in the 2nd debate.  That in fact is a false statement and there was policy crafting being debated behind the scenes.

      But, that statement lost so many people in Ohio who threw up their hands, and said "they are both the same", and voted with their cultural identity, which was Republican.

      So, getting real ideas and solutions out there, adopted by Democrats, discussed, advertised, talked about will seep through to the average guy on the street and thus get them to vote for a direction they can believe in.

      Cutting through someone's cultural identity to try something different is not easy.

      by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:11:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1993: Politics without policy (0+ / 0-)

      When you take office without having had the policy debates, you have no political momentum to implement changes by the time you've had the dibates.

      In Feb. 1993, Wisconsin's Republican Governor convened a Midwest Renewable Energy Conference, bringing together big biz types like ADM's Martin Andreas, acedemics, startups, backyard tinkerers, and even fringe types like myself (presenting on hemp.)

      The new Clinton Administration sent a Deputy Energy Secretary to find out what ideas were out there.

      It was 4 months before I heard back that Federal support for hemp research would not be happening for political reasons, and none of the other bio-energy researchers I kept in touch with got concrete support either.

      51,377 votes for US Senator.

      by ben masel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:35:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is a very forward thinking... (7+ / 0-)

    ...approach.  This topic is only growing in importance every single day.  Exponentially.  We cannot afford to let Republicans get out ahead of us on it.  We cannot cede this battleground.

    Great diary.  Thanks, Jerome.

    "That rug really tied the room together."

    by The Termite on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:01:52 AM PDT

    •  I can almost see the day when dKos will (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Termite

      be netcasting. It would galvanise our blogging troops and power/energy solutions would have a better, world-wide forum for the progressives. This I think we ought to do ASAP as the repugs, IMO, will one day declare that there are no other issues as important ie  we don't want to witness the "greening" of Rove any time soon. As always JaP has the ball rolling in the right direction. are on the March, boy George!!

      by Asinus Asinum Fricat on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obligatory... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, nancelot

    "draft my f-ing policy, kos" post.

    Now back to the people who are actually doing something instead of cracking jokes...

  •  Excellent, and timely (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, javelina, Fury, possum

    I think that putting good ideas out there, and suggesting policy is probably the greatest thing I like about this site, and I am in cplete agreement that the process here is sound.

    Democrats need to run on policy: as in "Here's what I want to do while I'm holding office".

    Not only can we help come up with smart policy, but we can help translate it into the 10 second campaign season summary. this is important.

    Actually, Maria Cantwell is running an ad on energy policy right now (her opponent Mike McGavick is a Mining lobby candidate).

    Running on Policy will work, it plays really well against cultural bullshit right now, and sounds positive.

    You can't get away with the crunch, 'cuz the crunch always gives you away

    by dnamj on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:11:56 AM PDT

  •  Excellent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, BobOak, possum

    I'm looking into doing something similar to your Energize America process, except with core principles for the Democratic Party.  It will be a series of diaries, each evolving from the comments and recommends in the last.  The intention is to get down to bedrock concepts that we can all agree on -- principles like the rule of law etc.

    I'm going back over your process for ideas.  Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:35:55 AM PDT

  •  My first vision for the net (11+ / 0-)

    Years back, I wanted to start a web site called "Rethinking America," which would be nothing but a series of topics in which people could suggest solutions to problems from energy to health care and land use and... everything.

    I designed the site and bought some space and got a few pages posted and... it sat there, as I had no idea how to publicize such a site or draw in the numbers of people needed to reach critical mass.

    Thankfully, the blogosphere came along and brought with it all the brain-power needed to make such tasks possible.  Energize America is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind around 1995.  It's putting the social ability of the web to very practical purposes.

    I can't express how excited I am by all the possibilities.

    Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

    by Mark Sumner on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:39:17 AM PDT

  •  New challenges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    End the drug war 2020

    Non-violent foreign polucy 2020

    touche pas à mon pote!, -7.63, -6.56

    by Mr Bula on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:43:55 AM PDT

  •  Outstanding, Jerome (8+ / 0-)

    As you know, a truly scientific experiment is one which can be reproduced by anyone, anywhere. This diary makes policy creation a reproducible process.

    Excellent. Thank you.

    As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. - Justice William O. Douglas

    by occams hatchet on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:44:41 AM PDT

  •  Food, healthcare, and economic policy? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Those are all great topics, and need to be purified in the crucible that is DailyKos!  Education and nutrition in schools needs the same treatment.

    I hope the conversation hasn't ended about energy solutions.    There hasn't been any deconstructive/constructive analysis about biodiesel hybrids.  The technology we have right now is close to providing us a vehicle that's completely powered by renewable fuels.  There's a couple of barriers to surmount - but the car companies will never do the research.  We need independent researchers funded by the government, or by private individuals.

    "I believe in compulsory cannibalism. If people were forced to eat what they kill, there would be no more wars." - Abbie Hoffman

    by Jensequitur on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:55:42 AM PDT

    •  How about hitting the Repubs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fury, BobOak

      who keep claiming that Dems "have no solutions on Iraq" with a concerted effort to devise an exit strategy right here?

      We would need to take into account ALL of the objections that have been raised by the war supporters, but we could certainly take a whack at it.

      Join the Black Arm Band Brigade, TODAY!

      by Granny Doc on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 10:58:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  has been on ignore (0+ / 0-)

      I have a tendency to ignore what Clinton is up to because to me he is a Corpocrat...

      But, didn't Clinton's global initiative summit get billions in commitments to research production methods of biodiesel in order to reduce the energy requirements of production below the amount of energy output?
      That is pretty damn impressive, to get the super rich and corporate power to put some private sector cash in areas that needs to be addressed.

      I believe this one is necessary and there are researchers out there, but one must dig in the literature (this is the scientific literature to be frank).

      by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:42:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What a great idea (0+ / 0-)

    But would this process lead to the most practical idea or the most popular?  And which is better as a national policy?  

  •  Education (5+ / 0-)

    I've suggested several times that we need such a process to look at education policy.  And I've kindly suggested teacherken to lead it (very easy for me, considering that this heaps the work onto his already high overloaded plate).

    I'm astounded at the amount of pure nonsense that passes for education policy.  It seems at the moment you can invent any theory you like, and some school board, somewhere, will be willing to put hundreds of young human minds into your hands so you can experiment on them.  

    We need some real policy, based on real experience and knowledge of how kids learn, and we need good talking points to shut down the "schools are just big antfarms" crowd.

    Theobromine -- does that come in chocolate?

    by Mark Sumner on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:04:38 AM PDT

  •  I've been kicking this around: dKospolicywiki (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fury, BobOak, aym, Positronicus

    In the same vein of dKosopedia, I was thinking Kos would do well to start a wiki type format where the policy minded people here could start to hammer out real stances. Using the advantages of a wiki, aka the meme of the community peculating up due to repeated editing and force of will of the democratically inforced median idea, we can actually build a netroots platform.

    On this netroots dkospolicywiki we can address all the areas you have suggested, with each expert filling in their slot and having debate by the community as to how to impliment it and the soundness of the policy.

    It is an idea whose time seems to be rapidly approaching.

    Dkos Policy Wiki, the beacon of light leading America out of the darkness of this storm.

    •  Just a comment on this (3+ / 0-)

      The strength of using DailyKos is that contributions are not limited to a smaller number of policy wonks that would go in a "smoke-filled" internet area to discuss and draft policy in semi-isolation. It works precisely because it ia highly public, and input can come both from regulars and from casual readers who see something they like or, conversely that they know is wrong, and jump in. Plus the high number of readers make the rating system for comments valuable as well.

      Wiki tends to have less participation, as it is less visible.

      In the long run, we're all dead (Keynes)
      Read more on the European Tribune - bringing dKos to Europe

      by Jerome a Paris on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:34:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  embed a wiki? (0+ / 0-)

        Is it possible to embed a wiki as an object inside a diary?

        so instead of a link, people could collaborate on the wiki while reading the diary.

        by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:50:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, that is why I would intertwine it with (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the main area of Dkos. I would never hide it, as you point out, would kill the point of the exercise. I would never speak for Kos, this being his site, but I would do something like:

           * Home
           * pinche tejano's Page
           * Diaries
           * dKospolicywiki
           * dKosopedia
           * Search
           * Logout

        The key would to be to have it as interactive as possible, with as much exposure as possible. There has to be algorthymn out there that suits our needs were we can combine the high number of readers and their comments, polls and diaries to meta rank the different aspects of the wiki. Using a Gesault method to arrive at the meta whole, si vous.

        Diaries can act as briefs to the whole community about the state of different policies within the wiki, which of course would be directly linked together. The elements of the platform could even be tied to a combination of polls and value-rated comments to determine their position within the policy. It's all in the math and composition of the information flow and architecture.

        Leaving it entirely open will lead to vandalism and freeping of the polls, buyit will not be a "lieux d'aisances (double pun intended)". With proper vigilence, always a requirement in a functioning democracy, I believe it will work.

        Or better yet, evolve into a new system that actually works beyond our wildest imagination.

        So to sum up, exposed wiki directly intertwined with the existing functionality of DKos, but as a holding tank for the actual policies for review and interaction by the entire readership.

        •  my idea (0+ / 0-)

          This requires modification of the actual code of dailykos, but the idea is to literally embed the wiki as an object inside of a diary.

          Right now you can (with super user privileges) embed objects, such as a YouTube video...

          so this is way beyond a link or a front page linking, this is the entire wiki or a section the wiki under review displayed inside the diary and can actually be edited inside a diary.

          by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:07:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And even wilder idea might be this: (0+ / 0-)

            Setting up a intra page ranking module with Dkos that directly posts to the Policy pages.

            But using a combination of crawlers, schedulers and pagers, we could create meta spiders that constantly crawl the entire site and indexes any information.

            Process flow for domestic economic per say:

            The scheduler tells the spider to find relevant data concerning domestic economic policy. The spider reports any found data to the pager, which in turn assigns a meta value on the found data, say the comment ranking value in a comment or the amount or recommends in a diary proper. It will then inter this into the index with this value attached to data and be reported in relative ranking to other data points already discovered.

            Then when a user goes to the policy page, an instant and constantly updated results page is compiled and displayed based on the meta data already present on Dkos.


            •  pretty cool (0+ / 0-)

              But on the meta tags, are you actually going to do a database update to "put into" a policy page the selected comments?  Or just have an automated secondary display of the hot comments based on content (meta) ranked according to recommends/ratings?

              I mean I'm not sure we organize the final result into a readable document through automation...

              but I love this idea fundamentally in order to identify "cool thoughts" that should be heard.

              Thinking out loud, how are you going to get the spider to have a dynamically defined meta tag?  I mean I could say "energy" and mean "energy for hot sex in my post.  I mean we're going to end up building a grammatical parser here.


              by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:25:15 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  yeah (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Diaries can be classified by tags but comments, having no tags cannot. So it seems to me that you can either use a text classifier to attempt auto-selection on keyword params, add comment tags or note use the tag of the enclosing diary as a kind of "implict tag". I've used classifier systems and they can be a bit of a challenge if you want to get really specific. And let's just forget about explicit comment tags right away.
                I'd start with the "implicit tags" and some contribution guidelines.

                I've wanted to get some kind of collaborative policy community going for some time. Great to see this diary! I'd like to contribute whatever I can.

              •  There are language parsers (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And of course the relative character difference between desired keywords is extremely important in the overall schema. Example, scheduler tells spider it is time to find oil energy policy  data points.

                Spider sees two comments:

                Comment Rate: 4+/20
                "I think oil is not a substainable energy policy for the United States."

                Comment Rate: 1+/1

                "I like to use oil as a policy for my sexual energy and  antics."

                The spider notifies the pager of:

                Data Point 1: oil energy policy, oil+20+energy+1+policy and the pager ranks it as 80 (4*20).

                Data Point 2: oil energy:
                oil+6+policy+15+energy and the pager ranks it as 1 (1*1)

                This allows the pager to place the two comments into an index (not a database please) with two assigned values:

                Data point 1= linguistical distance - 21 with rank of 80

                Data Point 2= linguistical distance - 21 with rank of 1

                This will place a higher relevency of the Data Point 1 over Data Point 2.

                Let me talk a walk around Central Park, I will figure out how to display data relevency in a readable format. Walking is the best way to think.

        •  a good start, (0+ / 0-)

          maybe more than a good start. I think that using this site as foundation is a good bit of leverage, even if a better design is needed later. But as noted, the site owner will have to be involved, and I expect the first concern would be to do no harm, i.e., crash or destabilize the core site. No surprise there.

          And agreed about the ratings and wiki drafting. Diary entries can also serve as draft presentations, using preexisting the rating and recommendation system.

          •  yuppers (0+ / 0-)

            We're talking really about doing a collaborate software engineering project at this point, which would entail people writing up code who know how to contribute to open source, do beta testing and the rest of it.


            by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:35:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          • (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            With it's own IP sets and maybe even DNS servers to be ultra safe.

            Yeah, I would never speak for Markos, I am just throwing shit into the air and seeing it turns into sunshine.

            •  He'd have to be in on this (0+ / 0-)

              We'd have to form basically an open source collaborative software project, write it, test it, beta test the entire site in a beta area and finally incorporate it.

              Kos already has some custom scripting going on but one could also literally just go to scoop and we set up a site and modify it to do the things we're talking about and even just contribute to scoop itself.

              Another candidate is drupal, although that's PHP and scoop is PERL and kos is based on scoop.

              Maybe the best idea is to simply modify the scoop open source initially.  I'm not sure, I haven't even fiddled with it.

              Who are the people writing the scripts over here anyway?


              by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:42:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Depending on the coupling (0+ / 0-)

                some of the coordination and organization complexity might be reduced by being completely out of the DKos domain. Depending on the richness of the RSS/Atom feeds and any DKos-Scoop API calls, most if not all of the metadata needed could be simply pulled across HTTP. But no need to thrash that around without getting some feedback from the site managers.

                Agreed, a total separation also allows flexibility in core engine tech, be it php, perl, RoR, Java or whatever.

    •  Actually -- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris

      Perhaps being elitist or such ... but I disagree.

      The problem of wiki -- along with all the strengths of having an open and collective editing -- is that 'last person in' controls what you see.

      With Energize America, diaries and material was posted (mainly by Jerome -- but not solely) and there was discussion (sometimes massive) that was then used to contribute to the overall policy formulation.  There were people that had VERY strong views on issues in these discussions -- the group that was writing/taking responsibility for EA2020 (with Jerome at point) took these perspectives into account, but these strong views did not have the ability to hijack the writing.  With EA2020, with 100s of posts on speicific items, what is the possibility (probability) that in a wiki environment the drafts would be hijacked over and over again by people with strong agendas (well meaning or otherwise).

      All of the "core" EA2020 players had a good sense of who each contributor was; we laid out 'conflict of interest' type issues with each other; we let each other know when we had strong opinions/desires about an item; and we avoided forcing things down each others' throats (or the community's collective throat, I hope).  The wiki environment, truly open, makes this a far more difficult process.

      Seems to me that policy development requires some form of "control" -- a control that I don't see in the wiki environment ...

      9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:44:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Will it's like the Digg fix. (0+ / 0-)

        An algorithm needs to be created, which would fix Digg and maybe this issue.

        With Digg, a certain group would digg down (vote down) a certain user due to conflicts of interest. Now, if a algorithm could be made to where repeated votes against a certain user id by the same user idea carried less and less weight after each use, then the value of their vote down would be diluted.

        This can also be used to in the wiki format, where edits are helding a virtual holding taken and voted on by the community as to the merit of the edit. With the same system involved as listed above.

        A safeguard against the dilution of a major contributor, who obviously would be voting up and down on the policy of their interest could be an even more complex algorithm where the value of their vote up or down is based upon the tracking of their vote according to the overall tally. Say if they are voting with 90 percent of the community, their vote has more merit than if they voted constantly with 10 percent of the community.

        There are safeguards, and solutions.

    •  and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pinche tejano

      why not just use dKosopedia for this? It's there and ready to go.

  •  Maybe this is a little off topic but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    besieged by bush, BobOak

    I've been so impressed with DailyKos' effect on the daily national discussion, be it energy policy, the war, the economy, etc. I have noticed as I peruse the site daily I often see topics discussed here pop up in the evening "news" (for lack of a better word).  And so the collective effort of thinking, writing, weeding out is one of unlimited potential.  I feel that even my humble opinions might possible bubble up into the consciousness of someone with more eloquence or power or even national prominance and I feel honored and excited to be even a small part of it.  And thank you Jerome for putting so much energy into such an important issue for the present as well as the future of our country and the planet.

  •  open source policy (0+ / 0-)

    It's a very good idea.  I want to see some innovating ideas, bi-partisan (sorry but I'd like to see all Americans start focusing in on what actually works!) actually get inacted.  I'm not one of power for power's sake and that to me is going on.

    ok, in terms of crafting policy as a collaborative effort, I'm not so sure diaries with comments are the way to go, nor am I sold on a wiki style of collaboration, unless the wiki had moderators where additions could not be edited out by one, only by consensus (except the obvious troll/useless)....and there were ratings/comments and recommends attached too.  (I think we could modify Scoop or even Drupal to do such a thing if anyone is interested).

    Generally I think this is a great idea, for I am not seeing solutions promoted, even when elected representatives and many others talk about them ...this is just my feeling on the general public discourse, when new policy and direction is the key to getting us our of this current mess on many fronts.

    by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:26:36 AM PDT

    •  No need to apologize for "bi-partisan". (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris, BobOak

      except perhaps to replace it with "nonpartisan".

      As devoted (and rightly so) as people here are to breaking the Republican majority and its stranglehold on our democracy, there are areas where partisanship can't succeed indefinitely. I would hope that some day, when we have both power and sane colleagues in other parties, we'll be able to get something done together.

      Must read: MLKJ's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It will surprise you.

      by AlanF on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:10:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The thin veneer of bipartisan support (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Even when there's Dem majorities, it takes a couple dozen Republicans to pass anything innovative.

        51,377 votes for US Senator.

        by ben masel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:41:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not how Tom Delay operated ... (0+ / 0-)

          There is no question but that is not how the Rethugs have operated ... they believe in the majority of the majority ... but they are not passing "innovative" but destructive and damaging policies.  Only "innovative" in how, per Luntz, they redefine the English language such that when they say "day", I look for the moon.

          9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

          by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:48:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A Democratic majority (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            besieged by bush

            will still contain oilpatch Senators and Representatives who vote their districts.

            51,377 votes for US Senator.

            by ben masel on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:52:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Party discipline ... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jerome a Paris, BobOak

              Majority of Majority.

              I agree, however, that I don't think that the Democratic Party will disciplined enough to get these votes.

              But, the "oilpatch" will do well no matter the energy path of the nation -- and will do much better with sensible energy policy, because they will suffer massively from peak oil just like the rest of the world.  

              And, considering where we are, there is a long time before the US would be "off" oil.

              In addition, there are major potential payoffs. Montana could earn more off wind electicity (with long-term contracts) than it gets from coal.  Texas could power much of the nation with its wind.  California could transform itself with solar while seeing the oil wells depleted and disappearing.  Thus, there are payoffs to offer those oilpatch Senators -- just have to structure policy so that, at a minimum, they don't see the losses and might actually see a net gain for their citizens, even without considering the health/GHG implications.

              9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

              by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:58:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  jobs (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                besieged by bush

                How I got active was through economics.  I want to see a "retraining" program where fired engineers with minimum BS degrees are literally retraining, on the state's dime with MS degrees/course work from a university in power electrical engineering, materials science engineering, mechanical engineering, aerospace (aerodynamics/wind) engineering, chemical engineering, material science...with internships in this new alternative energy initiative and new manufacturing/intellectual property generating machine.

                Right now, literally, we had a community college get $750k to "retrain" people with university BS/MS/PhD degrees as workers.  These are displaced high tech people who were fired due to offshore outsourcing/insourcing (manipulation of the US Visa system to labor arbitrage)..
                Can you believe that?  

                We have massive labor arbitrage, age discrimination(talk to anyone over 35 trying to get a job in high tech these days) and it's an absolute outrageous waste of bright minds and talent.

                It's really not a big stretch for someone with the math background, university level and pretty much all science degrees are almost a minor in Math,  to go from say computer science to industrial engineering.  It's probably a year or 2 of course work.   Add to that work experience and I'm sure it could work.  Then, almost any industrial, including alternative energy, will need plain software some displaced high tech people could be directly employed.


                by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 01:09:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Excellent point ... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I am in agreement -- part of the "Manhattan Project" / Apollo Program elements of any future national policy. Create / Mold the work force to be able to create the new future.

                  9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                  by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 01:56:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  kill multiple birds (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    besieged by bush

                    Right now we have 'anti' initiatives to get into these professions and absolute denial that this is happening.  Instead we have propaganda from cheap labor corporate lobbyists claiming everything from "Americans suck at math and science" to "there is an incredible engineering shortage".

                    Both absolutely false from the statistics themselves.

                    I mean it's just so insulting, tell me someone from MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech, U. of Mich,
                    Purdue suck at math and science?  That's just an outrageous insult and where are the Deans of these universities to blast back?  They are only the best in the world.

                    Age discrimination is not only not confronted, even getting a definitive statistical study on it is like pulling teeth, and lest we not forget that private industry loves to hide real statistics on anything "politically incorrect" or potentially damaging as in a class action lawsuit.  But, the stats are out there and need to be dug into, analyzed and brought to light.

                    And its just stuck on stupid for America's future to try to labor arbitrage such different areas of study and innovation.  Just really dumb and all that is going to happen is Americans are not going to specialize in these areas and America is going to lose it's 1st world status in technology, manufacturing and innovation as a result.

                    Me thinks some CEOs and congressional representatives are the ones who need more education in math and science for seemingly they cannot add "1+1=2" from their ill convinced agendas.


                    by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 02:13:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  RE top schools ... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      the top engineering schools are finding energy related courses/programs overwhelmed with student enthusiasm/interest based on conversations with some senior profs/deans.

                      9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                      by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 02:20:13 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  that's good...but (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        besieged by bush

                        There is a whole generation of techies out there who deserve support and that talent is going to waste.

                        They are being told, after earning multiple Masters degrees from top schools and getting wiped out financially in the early 2000's that they should be retrained as restaurant workers.  

                        It's outrageous and high tech is not just for the young.  In fact it was common practice for the older engineers to mentor and "bring up" the younger ones.

                        These are the people I'm talking about.  Age discrimination is not even challenged and is literally institutionalized in the minds of the public.

                        Without financial support most people simply cannot afford to go to graduate school...even the best fellowships (which are highly coveted) are below the poverty line and it's just plain impossible to go.


                        by BobOak on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 02:24:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We are not in disagreement ... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          about the huge body of talent that, without tremendous national investment, could be refocused into helping move the nation into a more sustainable and prosperous energy future.  Not at all.

                          I was simply reacting to comment about enthusiasm with what I am hearing from energy-related professors at campuses -- that their classes are simply overflowing in a way that was not true three -- five -- ten years ago.  Not like this since the 1970s, they say, but they believe (hope) this will be a more sustained level of interest.

                          9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

                          by besieged by bush on Fri Sep 29, 2006 at 03:44:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

    •  Take a look at EA2020 ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jerome a Paris, BobOak

      At the end of the day, we decided to focus it on something that truly could be bipartisan (actually, I know several R members who would be ready to sign up for it if a D-dominated Congress had it on the agenda).

      The briefing at YearlyKos spoke to "democratic principles" rather than the Democratic Party.

      9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ill support anything (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerome a Paris, BobOak

    that brings an end to mountaintop removal coal-mining in America's Appalachian Mountains. Period.
    Free Image Hosting at

    90% loss of coal industry jobs for the same amount of coal

    500,000 acres of Appalachia destroyed

    Over 460 mountaintops removed

    Entire communities are being destroyed from flooding, blasting, and poisoned groundwater

    Please help us save the Appalachian Mountains!

    I encourage you to learn more about mountaintop removal coal-mining

    "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abe Lincoln

    by faithfull on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 11:52:04 AM PDT

    •  Could ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      1.  Major moves toward energy efficiency -- cut total (not per capita) electrical use by 20-30% in the next 15 years.  Doable with existing technology/such without a single new product required.
      1.  Continue the accelerated introduction of new renewable power -- both distributed and large scale -- wind, solar (stirling engine, pv), ocean (wave, tidal) and, on the horizon, low-temperature geothermal.
      1.  Go after improved turbines within existing hydro dams and go after micro-hydro. Roughly a 30-50 percent increased in hydro-electric power generation.

      Combine those three and we could, roughly, eliminate coal from electrical power generation by 2020-2025, if the policy will were there to pursue this.

      Add in new nuclear power, and we might get there faster and might be able to shift much of the transportation sector into the electrical grid without requiring coal plants.

      Now, on coal, there looks to be less emphasis on reducing coal use than on CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) to reduce the carbon impact of coal plants.

      9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:54:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes (3+ / 0-)

        Coal currently supplies 50-55% of our energy.

        Less than 5% of our energy comes from MTR coal.

        All of that can be replaced with the conversion of the phenomenal wind energy of the Appalachian Mountains

        In 2000 the US Geological Survey estimated that we have just 10-20 years left of coal left in Appalachia (including Pennsylvania.)

        Coal imports have increased 230% since 1999.

        Look at the wind potential of the Appalachian Region. On a scale of 0-7,with 0 being none and seven being the highest, my county is a 6.

        Free Image Hosting at

        Free Image Hosting at

        Appalachia needs to become the new home for the production of sustainable energy. We've lost 90% of our coal industry jobs and people NEED a new reason to move here.

        MANY excellent points above. While coal does play a part in our current energy equation, there is no reason to continue investing in coal for America's future.

        "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abe Lincoln

        by faithfull on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 01:09:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          with major wind production in the mountains of West Virginia will be the electrical distribution line demands to move it to market.  Wires across the Appalachian trail ...

          9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

          by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 01:54:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  wireless (0+ / 0-)

            surely bluetooth can figure something out.

            Intersting point indeed. But, it is also important that an Appalachian Trail remains un-blown-up by coal companies. They don't give a damn about anything historical, economical, or ecological. Coal company lawyers have even drafted a "depopulation plan" for the coalfields. Im holding a copy of it in my hand.

            They don't give a shit about the people that have lived there for 100s of years, and they ship IN a lot of the people who work on MTR sites, because most locals wouldnt do that to their homeland.

            "If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." Abe Lincoln

            by faithfull on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 02:03:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  For some great policy, start with my posts... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...just remove all the jokes, simile, metaphor, sarcasm, sexual innuendo, gossip, cussing, quotes, poetry, stream-of-consciousness eruptions and general complaining and you have... have...

    Um...let me get back to you on this, ok?

  •  I applaud any how-to diary (6+ / 0-)

    and this is a particularly useful one.

    It's not just about process -- it's about specific people, their knowledge, their time availability, their effort, and their organizing skill. And it's also about the particular subject.

    It would be interesting to compare the energy group's approach with the approach of the much more loosely organized community of Daily Kos readers who are concerned with election integrity (EI).

    We have a Yahoo! Election Integrity and Reform group. The founder (Nuevo Liberal) and others (including gmoke) went through diaries related to EI and "harvested" the names of the diarists and commenters, then invited them to join the group. When a diary on EI is posted, we give it an explicit "election integrity" tag and post a comment inviting people to:

    The results of the "loose" approach have been mixed, but so far there's been no one with the energy and organizational skill to pull things together. I have been focusing my efforts on building up the dKosopedia EI pages, and working on a diary (not yet posted) that would give an intro to the EI landscape. But these are admittedly not very far-reaching measures.

    Within the DK world, the subject of EI tends to attract more argument, less expert opinion, and more reinvention of the wheel than the subject of energy policy. I'm wishing that we had more of your success, though in place of drafting a policy, I would be content with simply coaxing a fraction of the site's large readership toward:

    • educating themselves on EI
    • trying to store some of the transient information presented in diaries and comments into a more permanent form (which is where the dKosopedia comes in), and
    • joining EI organizations

    But it's hard to tell how much success we may have in that area. A couple of days ago, I started keeping track of dKosopedia EI page hits, which is at least one metric.

    There are some who would argue that EI needs the same front-page and Yearly Kos attention that energy policy gets. But one could also argue that this is impossible without someone analogous to Jerome a Paris in the field of EI.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. Glad the energy policy group has been so successful, and I hope its success translates well into other areas.

    Must read: MLKJ's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail." It will surprise you.

    by AlanF on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:04:43 PM PDT

  •  Fuck Policy - "its the process 'stupid" (0+ / 0-)

    Policy is meaningless without process.

    What's ya plan to defeat/expose the next SCOTUS nomination ??


    There are alot of smart and capable people here who need to come together and develop a strategy.  Have something flexible already on the shelf.  

    we get angry with our representatives.    

    I understand.

    But do you want another Scalito rerun?  

    Now we have to help them fight for us and our principles.

    Here's a single organizational point.  Identify the errors and mistakes, discuss why they occurred, bring it to their attention, and ask them to stop.

    Remember when angry seniors stopped Dan Rostenkowski car.  Yeah, that works. He changed his position.

    Work the refs (da MSM). Flood their faxes/email/answering machines.  Call their editors - SCREAM!  write their sponsors with CC's to the MSM sales manger.  Flood C-span's call in show.   Find a slogan and repeat it till ya blue ("unfit to serve").  use alliteration/word play.

    pick a point person - Tim Ryan (D-OH) and Feingold seems more then capable.

    "ma ca ca - yo pee pee"

    by Al Rodgers on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:07:04 PM PDT

  •  Dailykos as a tool for planning actions (3+ / 0-)

    Policy is necessary.  We must strategize together and begin to build a shared vision that we can all work towards but I am more interested in planning and executing real actions than formulating policy to take, on bended knee, to the "powerful."  I want each of us to recognize and act on our own power.

    I went to YearlyKos to present my Solar Survival Show and convince others to go and do likewise at local events such as the 3700 farmers markets that happen every week during growing season around the USA.  This is a core constituency for energy advances and green economics and, if it were carefully cultivated, could provide a foundation of early adopters for simple solar and energy efficiency technologies that might spread throughout the rest of the population.

    A table at a farmers market providing demonstrations of the viability of solar and other renewables today - a floating solar fountain, a solar/dynamo radio/flashlight to have on hand in case of emergency - could make a real difference this winter for many households around the country.  Providing information about energy conservation services and energy efficient apppliances would also be useful on the ground and in the pocketbook.  The Bush/Cheney government and the major media aren't interested in these kinds of information.  We have to do it ourselves.

    At dkos, the community tends to think that politics is what happens at the State House or the White House, that legislation makes change.  This is entirely myopic in my view.  Politics starts at the street corner and people make more lasting changes than legislation ever will.  We have to move from policy to action on our own and stop delegating our authority to Nobodaddy on the T and V.

    This is not to say what Jerome started is wrong or unnecessary.  Just saying that policy is a start but not enough, especially with energy where each of us can do something in our own daily lives and much more when we organize together.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at

    by gmoke on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:29:50 PM PDT

    •  But ... but ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Isn't the Sustainable Energy Action tag a step in this direction?

      9/11/2006 ... Day 1825, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 12:35:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        We need much more participation and action on many different issues beside energy.

        I see the incessant chasing after the outrage of the day and appeals to "leaders" as symptoms of what is wrong at the core of our whole society and culture.  The dkos community is not immune and needs to recognize that electing the bestest of the Dems, gaining majorities in the House and Senate and throughout the state governments is still not going to make the changes we want to see and desperately need.  We have to do it for ourselves beyond the candidates, elections, and legislation.

        I guess I'm saying, "Don't follow leaders, watch your parking meters" but that may be a little too 60s to cut it any more.

        Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at

        by gmoke on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 01:26:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Progress on Fusion? (0+ / 0-)

    In energy news, China has announced some progress on a fusion reactor:

    Unfortunately there's no word on net power gained or lost.

    Republicans have nothing to fear but the absence of fear itself.

    by factbased on Thu Sep 28, 2006 at 01:44:51 PM PDT

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