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Submission + - Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is now chairing Lessig's Presidential bid. ->

Funksaw writes: New York – Wikipedia founder and Internet entrepreneur Jimmy Wales is the new Committee Chairman for Larry Lessig’s campaign to be the Democratic nominee for President.

“Larry’s run for President is different,” said Wales, who founded the free-access, free-content encyclopedia in the early 2000s. “He’s crowdfunding his campaign instead of seeking out rich donors. He’s showing people that we can change the rigged political system.”

Both long-time supporters of Internet freedom, Wales and Lessig have stood side by side on previous issues, most notably in opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in 2012. Wales’ day-long Wikipedia blackout protesting SOPA influenced other major Internet players to follow suit and is credited with helping to sink the legislation.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lessig's Equal Citizens: "Why we need technical people to take on corruption" ->

Funksaw writes: An article in "Equal Citizens," Lawrence Lessig's Medium-based blog dealing with issues of institutional corruption in democratic politics, explains why, specifically, the reform movement needs (more) people with technical minds and technical skills.

FTA: "What we need are more people willing to look at the laws of this country based on their function. And when I use the word “function,” I mean very specifically the same sense that a computer programmer means it. (Because lord knows, government isn’t functioning by any other definition.)...

It’s not just that big money politics is being injected [like a code injection] into the function of democracy. It’s also that the function of democracy can be warped by an injection. Stopping the injection of money into our democratic function still leaves the function vulnerable to the same—or similar—injection attack.... We need people who can solve the problems of politics like a programmer solves problems in computer code, because a democratic system with vulnerabilities is a democratic system that can fail or be made to fail.

The article was authored by the technical adviser to the New Hampshire Rebellion and Mayday.US, two of Lessig's major reform projects.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Well, she was an interim. (Score 4, Informative) 467

If I say something that's considered to be insensitive in certain contexts, or a word that has been associated with hate and bigotry, that's political incorrect. It is "politically incorrect" to call black people "colored," even though the octogenerian users of that term may not have even seen anything wrong with it's use, it wasn't always seen as an offensive word, and in fact, is part of the name of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). That's political incorrectness. And you treat political incorrectness with stern correction that the behavior is "not appropriate," and you try to educate, if possible. Hate speech is when you *know* how hurtful your words are **and that's the entire point of why you say them.** The stuff Reddit banned during Pao's tenure absolutely, positively qualified as "hate speech."

Comment Approximately $80,000 (Score 1) 377

I'm the amateur programmer who first programmed the code for Lawrence Lessig's Mayday PAC. I don't know if you remember this, but the site went down on May 2, for about 8 hours, when we were raising roughly $10,000/hr. I had built everything on a LAMP stack and sent everything through a single MySQL database, which just didn't scale. (I was - and still am - an amateur). Luckily, pro developers stepped up and staunched the bleeding, and eventually we moved onto a Ruby-on-Rails system for the front-end and a NodeJS/Google App Engine solution for the backend.

Submission + - Amateur Mayday.US dev is crowdfunding code school & paying it forward.

Funksaw writes: Last year I was an amateur programmer who put together the first version of Lawrence Lessig’s Mayday PAC website. Now, I’m planning on attending a coding “boot-camp” to jump-start my programming career.

I’m using crowdfunding to raise the money for tuition at I know I’m asking for a big favor from complete strangers, but I’ve also pledged to pay forward any funds I receive out of my first year’s salary as a programmer to a scholarship fund to send someone else to code camp. Furthermore, I plan to give 100 hours of pro-bono professional development work to groups fighting to reform our broken political system. And (recursively) the scholarship recipients must pledge to do the same, meaning that your donation will go on to help dozens or hundreds. Check out the video for more details.

Submission + - Lessig will be at June 4th Seattle Premiere of "Killswitch"

Funksaw writes: Lawrence Lessig will be speaking alongside Marianne Williamson at the Seattle premiere of "Killswitch: The Battle to Control the Internet" and the following reception.

Tickets are $15 for the movie and reception, and every dollar of those funds will be used to support the work of the New Hampshire Rebellion (which Lessig founded) to reduce the corrupting influence of money in American politics.

Submission + - Lessig's MAYDAY PAC launches online call tool in time for NH Sen. Primary->

Funksaw writes: Lawrence Lessig's anti-corruption Mayday PAC has just launched a online tool where supporters of campaign finance reform across the nation can call voters on the phone and urge them to come to the polls and vote for reform. It's first test is this Tuesday, September 9th.

Mayday PAC is entering it's toughest race of this election cycle — supporting pro-campaign finance reform Senatorial candidate Jim Rubens in the Republican Primary against former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

It's an important race because Rubens is the only Republican senatorial candidate in the nation to make campaign finance reform an issue front and center in his campaign (a position that 70% of Republicans support). Mayday PAC wants to send a message that this issue can mobilize not just Democratic voters, but Republican and Republican-Libertarian voters as well.

Anyone can head to, and the online tool will allow them to use their own phone to connect to critical New Hampshire voters.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - "The Internet Has A SuperPAC," says Steve Wozniak, about Lessig's Mayday.US->

Funksaw writes: Steve Wozniak, co-found of Apple computer, has come out to endorse Lawrence Lessig's MAYDAY PAC in an animated audio recording.

Mayday.US, formerly "MayOne.US," is Lessig's crowd-funded (citizen-funded!), kick-started Super PAC to end all Super PACs.

In the video, Wozniak points out that we're never going to get anywhere on issues important to the Internet community and technology advocates if we don't fix the root cause of corruption. The video can be found at the Mayday PAC's new landing page, ""

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Why tech activists must become campaign finance reform activists->

Funksaw writes: In a blog post called: 'Why we in tech must support Lawrence Lessig', former Twitter engineer Nathan Marz makes the argument that technological issues, such as net neutrality, broadband monopolies, and extended copyrights, can't be addressed until campaign finance reforms are enacted, and that initiatives such as Lawrence Lessig's Mayday PAC need to be supported. FTA:

This issue is so important and touches so many aspects of our society that I believe it's our duty as citizens to fight for change any way we can. We have to support people who are working day and night on this, who have excellent ideas on how to achieve reform.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Lessig's will speak in Manchester, NH tomorrow on Rootstriker issues.->

Funksaw writes: Prof. Lawrence Lessig, co-founder of Creative Commons, continues his 185 mile walk across the state of New Hampshire. The walk, called the "New Hampshire Rebellion" is intended to make reforming systemic corruption in the way elections are funded the First Issue of the 2016 elections. In the penultimate event of the trip, Lessig will be speaking with a Q&A panel in Manchester, NH at The New Hampshire Institute of Politics Auditorium on Wednesday, at 6:00 PM. The public is invited.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Animated Infographic about Lessig's New Hampshire Rebellion & Corruption->

Funksaw writes: Lawrence Lessig, former EFF board member, chair of the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, founder of the Center for Internet and Society, founding board member of Creative Commons, and former board member of the Free Software Foundation is taking on a new project — walking across New Hampshire.

The idea is to raise awareness of the massive amount of political corruption in the American democratic system, and make it the #1 issue in New Hampshire in time for the 2016 Presidential Primaries. This three-minute video (from the guy who did the Windows 8 and Data Caps animations) explains the project, called the New Hampshire Rebellion, in cartoon form.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Why We Need Election Reform->

Funksaw writes: "Geek for State Rep," Slashdotter Brian Boyko writes an op-ed about a topic that most don't consider: Election Reform. Most people in the U.S. literally do not know that election reform options exist — certainly not most politicians. Currently, all voting in the U.S. on the State and Federal level is "winner-take-all," a system that wastes more than half — a majority — of all the votes wasted. This has enabled gerrymandering of such a degree that in some states, it takes three times as many votes to elect a Democrat as a Republican (and in other states, vice versa.)

Boyko is pushing for "Single Transferable Vote," a type of choice-voting system. The ballot is similar to Instant Runoff Voting but the similarities end there, with "STV" producing a far more proportional result. It makes every vote count, makes states gerrymander-proof, and provides better representation for women and minorities. Why isn't anyone talking about it?

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Why Are Some Hell-Bent on Intelligent Design?->

Funksaw writes: An Op-Ed by first-time politician, long-time Slashdotter Brian Boyko, where he talks about his experiences testifying at the Texas Board of Education in favor of actually having real science in science textbooks. But beyond that, he also tries to examine, philosophically, why there is such hardened resistance to the idea of evolution in Texas.

From the article:

[W]hat is true is that evolution tests faith. The fact of evolution is incontrovertible and supported by mounds of empirical evidence. Faith, on the other hand, is fragile. It is supported only by the strength of human will. And this is where it gets tricky. Because to many believers, faith, not works, is the only guarantee that one can pass God’s litmus test and gain access to His divine kingdom. To lose one’s faith is to literally damn oneself. So tests to that faith must be avoided at all costs. Better to be a philosophical coward than a theological failure.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Why you can't play Texas Holdem in Texas->

Funksaw writes: The follow up to "How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors From Texas," Brian Boyko (candidate for State Rep in Texas) continues with another Op-Ed, this time, "Why you can’t play Texas Holdem in Texas." From the article:

...The tenth highest contributor to political campaigns in Texas was the Chickasaw Nation, which gave $830,000 to Texas state-level candidates and elected officials... [and the] Chickasaw Nation is also the #1 contributor to campaigns in state races in Oklahoma. But the Chickasaw nation gave only $398,100 to candidates and elected officials in Oklahoma, where they’re based. They gave more than twice as much money to Texas candidates and elected officials, even though they don’t operate a business there.

The Chickasaw Nation has a vested interest in keeping poker illegal in Texas. The Chickasaw nation gave $830,000 to Texas politicians. Poker is currently illegal in Texas.

My “common sense” is tingling.

It would be easy for me to insinuate that this is a problem of ... the Texas Republicans. But I can’t. First, the Chickasaw nation gives money to almost every state-level official in Texas, including moderate Republicans and Democrats I know to be great, upstanding people.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - How Car Dealership Lobbyists Successfully Banned Tesla Motors from Texas->

Funksaw writes: In a political op-ed on his blog, long time Slashdot reader and contributor Brian Boyko (the guy who did that animated Windows 8 video) — now a candidate for state representative — explains how lobbyists from car dealerships successfully banned Tesla Motors from selling cars in Texas. From the Article:

Tesla Motors doesn't just present a case study of why a lack of campaign finance reform blocks meaningful reform on the issues that Democrats care about, like climate change and health care. A lack of campaign finance reform blocks reforms on both the Left and the Right. Here’s the big elephant in the room I'd like to point out to all the “elephants” in the room: With a Republican-controlled legislature, a Republican executive, and many conservatives in our judiciary, why the hell don’t we have free markets in Texas? Isn't it the very core of economic-conservative theory that the invisible hand of the free market determines who gets what resources? Doesn't the free market have the ability to direct resources to where they can most efficiently be used? I’m not saying the conservatives are right in these assumptions; but I am saying that our broken campaign finance system makes a mockery of them.

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After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.