The Missing Piece of Our Government

There’s something so subtle in Baratunde’s Code for America promo that it’s easy to overlook, as it’s something that most of us have already forgotten about our Government. It’s his line about how we think of our Government as something separate when in fact, it’s us. Or at least that’s what the Founders intended it to be.

His line about Government is quickly subsumed by humorous geek speak, inviting designers and developers to Code for America, but it serves as the foundation for why anyone would want to get involved with Government, given its current incarnation as a highly partisian death-match. My concern is that the geek speak carries with it a certain frame of mind, where we think in terms of access and value open source, what I described previously as platform thinking. As easy as it is to download an app, it’s much more difficult to think of our Government as a platform.

This kind of thinking which comes naturally to digital natives is having a big affect on major cities, and the opportunity to work with local governments in order to share the logic of platform thinking is valuable to both sides of the exchange. It was Code for America that inspired many of the projects on, and I’ve thought long and hard about applying for a fellowship. But to be honest, my goal isn’t to run off to the big city with big ideas. As the name of this blog implies, I want to bring this thinking home to Springboro.

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