Last night I drove down to see Ralph Nader speak in Cincinnati, Ohio. I had seen most of his motivational speech on the Internet when they webcast live from the RNC, but at the end of the question and answer session I had the opportunity to ask for his thoughts on Open Government. He called himself an Open Candidate. Looking back at his track record with the Freedom of Information Act, etc., I can see his point.
But I think Ralph Nader, a man who is certainly wise beyond his numerous years, missed the point about Open Government -- in much the same way that many of us miss the point about Open Government. What IS Open Government? Answer: A Government founded on the principles of Open Source software development. WTF does that mean? You want us to use Open Source software? Can do. VOTE FOR RALPH NADER!
My gf and I got home and dumb o'clock in the morning and talked until half past stupid about Open Government. Somehow our ramblings lead me to compare Open Government to Online Banking, as it not only made for a wonderful example of the online access, but connected to places in the real world through public centers, telephones, and snail mail. In short, it was something people were familiar with.
So here's a challenge to anyone with an Internet bank account: DO NOT ACCESS your online account for FOUR YEARS. Furthermore, do not enter a banking institution more than ONE PER YEAR. And finally, NO ATMS. If you've got an emergency? USE THE PHONE.
That should give you a glimpse into your level of Civil Access.