I just returned from biking across the Dominican Republic and Haiti. An epic experience through these beautiful countries. You can check out some of the pics and stories on the blog we kept throughout the journey at bikehispaniola.tumblr.com and find out why I decided to make the trip through my blog post at Digital Democracy.
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Young activists seek digital democracy. Mark teaches tech in Burma & Haiti.
Music eventually drove me to the internet’s dark underbelly. But first, it connected me to an innovative community I’d been pining for as a teenager. Through liner notes in Dischord and Lookout! Records cassette tapes, I discovered not just a directory of information, but a network.
Punks used the post office to bridge distance. Mainstream music stores didn’t and wouldn’t stock their art, so they circulated tapes by mail instead. A band from one city would call up their fan in another, asking to sleep on their couch after playing a concert in their town. This reciprocity grew their community into an organic movement, with a method and ethos called “DIY”: Do It Yourself. After all, who else was there to rely on?
The American punk movement seeded communities across a 3,717,813-square-mile piece of land, forming a web of trust, and an alternative economy.
Its an honor to be invited to speak at the White House . Its especially exciting to see an administration that understands the power of youth and works to pull in our voices.
The White House was pulling together 20 “awesome” youth leaders to discuss the future of international foreign aid. The conversation was between us, the head of USAID (United States Agency for International Development) Raj Shah, and the internet. It was broadcast live on the White House website, with a realtime conversation happening on Facebook and on Twitter, hashtag #USAIDyouth.
In Micah White’s recent article about so-called “clicktivism,” he points out that the substance of activism has been replaced by reformist platitudes and marketing. There is a difference, however, between an educational campaign and straight marketing. While many people certainly work on both worlds simultaneously, there is often a tangible difference in the look, feel and substance of work done for a cause. At best, it seeks to stimulate debate and discussion amongst sympathetic parties, while looking to sustain itself without having to rely on government subsidies.
I recently met Julian Assange. My conversation with him helped to shine a light on for Wikileaks’ internal processes, just as Raffi Khatchadourian’s brilliant piece in the New Yorker and Julian’s TED talk also helped to do.