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The Internet Transforming Government

Clay Shirky is always provocative, no more so than in this TED talk which was released this month. His basic argument is that a distributed version control system called Git, created by Linus Torvald — who was midwife to the open source computer operating system (OS) called Linux — to ease cooperation between thousands of programmers around the world in the development of any software, demonstrates how governments could encourage "cooperation without coordination" in the development of law and policy for example.

Git now hosts much more than large development projects, including examples of how citizen-developed bills could be facilitated using the same distributed version control. It's a long way off . . . but we can hope.

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