Blog: Open-source, open government

I have to give a hat tip to Facebook friend Peter Groen for pointing me to this fascinating TED lecture by technology guru Clay Shirky.

One element of Shirky's latest TED talk focuses on a new organizational structure for managing open-source software projects that could catalyze a democratization of democracy, making governments of democracies more responsive to their citizenry and less beholden to financial interests. The Empire will strike back, of course, but Shirky didn't go there in his 18 minutes on the TED stage, maybe to leave himself an opening for a sequel.

Groen, who was born abroad and grew up a globetrotter, consistently maintains an open, outward and upward worldview. He didn't retire in 2006 when he left the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department after working there for three decades, having last served as the VA's liaison to outside agencies wanting to use its public-domain VistA electronic health-record system in their own operations. He remained a VistA apostle, but broadened his open-source perspective and outreach as an educator and a blogger at, a website he helped launch.

Thanks for the link, Peter.


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