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November 23, 2008

We Are ALL Part of the Change We Need

Tim O'Reilly blogged yesterday on the need for those who supported Obama in the election to stay involved and help the new administration but, more importantly, the country succeed. Those of us who didn't support Obama have an equal obligation: we can't sulk; we can't work for the failure of the Obama administration; we have to work for the success of the country no matter who gets the credit if for it and regardless of future elections. To do that we have to work with the administration wherever possible and be constructive and principled when we disagree. Change IS needed.

Tim asks "What do we do next?" and gives four substantive answers and one procedural.


  1. "Actually apply for one of the jobs in the new administration." (This certainly applies even to those who didn't work for getting the administration elected. We should take the new administration at its word that it'll be open to former opponents and new ideas.)
  2. "Whether inside or out, the tech community can continue to lead by example."
  3. "Identifying specific proposals for best practices and points of leverage."
  4. "We really need to weigh in on the issues that matter. From climate change, to open spectrum, to education policy, to investments in science and technology, we need to make our voices heard." (These voices, even from the tech community, won't be unanimous but they need to be heard. Particularly easy for us bloggers to do.)

Procedurally Tim proposes posting ideas to the transition team's website change.gov. Tim does note that the site itself should change so that submissions to it are not just one-way emails but visible to other visitors who can then comment. In the spirit of constructive suggestions,  I'd suggest that anyone have an ability to post to it – subject to after-the-fact moderation for egregious abuse. Also would strongly suggest that the blog on the change.gov site be open to comments. That would be a mechanism for and a demonstration of the change we need.

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