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Lawrence Lessig Answers Your Questions About His Mayday PAC, Part 2 (Video)

Roblimo posted about 1 month ago | from the an-important-work-that-only-a-few-people-will-ever-care-about dept.

Politics 42

The original Mayday PAC goal was to raise $1 million. Now Larry is working on a second -- and more ambitious -- goal: To raise $5 million by July 4. We called for your questions on June 23, and you sent a bunch of them. This time, instead of using email, we used Google Hangout to ask via video, with an attached transcript for those who can't or won't watch the video. In today's video, Larry tells us that some of the impetus for Mayday PAC came from the late Aaron Swartz, and goes deeper into the group's goals and hopes than he did in yesterday's video. (Alternate Video Link)

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Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47362741)

What differences does this have with the wolf-pac? Why are they not combined?

Re:Good idea (3, Informative)

Joe Gillian (3683399) | about 1 month ago | (#47362819)

From what I understand, the difference between Mayday and Wolf-PAC Is that Wolf-PAC is specifically calling for an Article V Constitutional Convention, while Mayday plans to fund politicians to get campaign finance reform legislation passed without the use of a constitutional amendment. Same basic goal, very different methods.

Re:Good idea (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 1 month ago | (#47363331)

... Mayday plans to fund politicians to get campaign finance reform legislation passed without the use of a constitutional amendment. Same basic goal, very different methods.

Ah - so it's basically the Tea Party for left wingers?

Remember, the Tea Party came into existence out of a call for massive reform and a return to Constitutional values. And we all see how that turned out - most TP Congresscritters changed their tone and toed the line the second they got into office, my own representative included.

Re:Good idea (0)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 1 month ago | (#47363411)

About a year into it's life the TP got taken over by the Church republicans.

Imagine the Occutards were greater in number, sober, organized and had taken control of the D parties locally. Now you (assuming your not a red) understand what non church republicans (and former republicans) feel like.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47363495)

"Now you (assuming your not a red) understand what non church republicans (and former republicans) feel like." ... Idiots?

Re:Good idea (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 1 month ago | (#47363601)

Those would be the reds and other leftists.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47363901)

Red = Republican. Maybe you're done thinking.

Re:Good idea (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about 1 month ago | (#47363967)

Damn those lefties and their workers' rights, rights for minorities and women, universal education and universal vaccination.

Re:Good idea (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 1 month ago | (#47363859)

About a year into it's life the TP got taken over by the Church republicans.

I thought that church republicans effectively took over, you know, the republicans -- over the course of the 80s/90s? More specifically weren't those evangelical church republicans? Then it should not really be surprising that subsequently emerging factions within that party reflect this situation, seems to me.

Re:Good idea (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month ago | (#47371481)

And lost control in to 00s, finishing their credibility off, once and for all, with Palin and with pissing contests over 'heathen Mormons'. Of course they will continue to do what they do.

My point was that the Ds also have a lunatic fringe. Fortunately for the Ds they are too fucked up and stupid to be effective at much of anything more complicated then noodle dancing.

Re:Good idea (3, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about 1 month ago | (#47363991)

No, that's wholly inaccurate. Mayday is strictly about campaign finance reform and nothing else. It's not about a return to constitutional values, it has nothing to do with the constitution, and it's not right or left wing.

Re:Good idea (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 1 month ago | (#47364157)

It's not about a return to constitutional values, it has nothing to do with the constitution, and it's not right or left wing.

It has nothing to do with the Constitution? They want a Constitutional Amendment, for Christ's sake!

Re:Good idea (1)

guises (2423402) | about 1 month ago | (#47364341)

That's the WolfPAC, Mayday doesn't have an explicit goal of a constitutional amendment. Though, granted, I don't see how they intend to achieve anything without one. If you'd prefer: "it has nothing to do with the existing constitution." Better?

Re:Good idea (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | about 1 month ago | (#47365179)

It has nothing to do with the Constitution? They want a Constitutional Amendment, for Christ's sake!

Just to clarify, while an amendment would be nice, it isn't necessary to put some of the proposed fixes, such as the the voucher system, in place.

Re:Good idea (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month ago | (#47368925)

If you assume I was comparing talking point to talking point, then yes, it is wildly inaccurate.

That's not what I was doing, though - I was pointing out that, like Mayday, the Tea Party began as an idealistic grassroots movement... and considering what the TP ended up turning in to (just another arm of the established oligarchy), it's not unreasonable to expect the same thing will happen with Mayday, albeit leaning towards the opposite end of the extremist spectrum.

I don't fault these guys for wanting to fix a broken system, I fault them for not learning from similar situations, and expecting to be able to affect change by doing business as usual.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47366411)

Ah - so it's basically the Tea Party for left wingers?

Remember, the Tea Party came into existence out of a call for massive reform and a return to Constitutional values. And we all see how that turned out - most TP Congresscritters changed their tone and toed the line the second they got into office, my own representative included.

No it's not. The leader of the Tea Party gave a keynote at one of the CC conferences. CC is not about returning to the Constitution as written it is about amending the Constitution.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47370203)

Ah - so it's basically the Tea Party for left wingers?

Or possibly for right wingers, but where many left wingers will probably feel welcome too, if perhaps slightly uncomfortable.

Advocatist judges have redefined 1st-Amendment-protected speech to mean things that it has not traditionally meant, things that the likes of pamphleteers such as Thomas Payne wouldn't recognize. Not that you have to all the way back to the 1770s to recall the traditional view; even going back merely as far as the 1950s before television advertising played such a heavy role in elections, you'd find an environment where nobody would have conceived that paying money to PACs to buy ads to buy elections, could possibly be protected speech.

Everyone (both left and right) has strong reasons for wanting to keep the First Amendment powerful, but the right might be a little more uncomfortable with how it has changed in the last few years. Not that such basic corruption is really a "liberal" or "progressive" agenda item; buying elections isn't really a right or left thing. But the drift in the meaning of terms, and made into brand new case law by government appointees at SCOTUS, is the very kind of thing that you'd expect any conservative to have at the very top of their list of things to be resisted. That whole "the constitution is a living document thing" where pop culture gets to change the meaning of old words, is a threat to American values whether you using it the context of the First Amendment or the Second Amendment.

Conservatives pretty much have no choice but to lead the way on campaign finance restoration; it's the left that should need a little dragging as some of them kick and scream for their noveau-hippie "rights" to buy ads.

Remember, the Tea Party came into existence out of a call for massive reform and a return to Constitutional values. And we all see how that turned out - most TP Congresscritters changed their tone and toed the line the second they got into office, my own representative included.

That's because the Tea Party was much like OWS, in that it was made up of people who couldn't be bothered to vote. Unlike OWS, some people within actually did have the balls to step forward and run for office (which is awesome), but they knew there wasn't enough popular support to get them victory. So they had to water down their conservatism to appeal to more mainstream Republicans. And when you get to mainstream Republicans, many of the issues are not about "the government that governs best is that which governs least" or any of the other wonderful things you heard from Reagan speechwriters, but it was more along the lines of "We should expand the role of the government to do something about these Adams and Steves," or other not-really-political nonsense. Take a look around: if you start talking about "laissez faire" around Republicans these days, you're going to get a lot of angry squints and probably get called a faggot too.

It came to an extreme head in 2012 when there were so few conservatives left in the Republican party, that they could only nominate Mitt "jobs, jobs, I'll get you a job" Romney, while Ron Paul and Gary Johnson were nearly completely left out. It is really hard to run on a right-wing agenda, as every TPer knows. So cut your critter a little slack; I'm not saying to forgive the hypocrisy amd dilution but at least understand it. If he hadn't sold out his conservativism in favor of the religious silliness, you know your critter's office would have ended up being held by a Democrat. Maybe a relatively conservative Democrat compared to your typical Republican, but then, that's the whole problem, ain't it?

Re:Good idea (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a month ago | (#47371961)

Thomas Payne's pamphlets cost money to produce. There goes your _whole_ argument.

Re:Good idea (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about 1 month ago | (#47363783)

Mayday plans to fund politicians to get campaign finance reform legislation passed

So, if that is accurate, the plan is to bribe the crooks in Congress, in a one-time deal with -- let's not kid ourselves -- a small grassroots movement, out of accepting bribes and career prospects from multinational conglomerates over the mid- to long-term future?

Good luck with that. Seriously, I support the goal but this seems pointless. Would love to be wrong here.

Re:Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47364495)

Right.

"Here, kid, I will give you a cookie if you stop kissing my daughter. And my wife. And my son. And the dog. And grandpa, although I understand he was kissing you."

Yeah, that trick always works....

Re:Good idea (1)

disposable60 (735022) | about a month ago | (#47365623)

The idea of a Constitutional Convention subject to domination by Kochsuckers, Lobbyists and other varieties of Fundamentalists (Economic, Religious, Structural) should frighten the everloving crap out of all of us.

Re:Good idea (1)

JWW (79176) | about a month ago | (#47365873)

Yeah, God forbid a balanced budget amendment could come about from it.

After all we just have to get the money out of political campaigns, political spending by those wielding government power and government money must remain unencumbered, right?

Re:Good idea (1)

Cyberax (705495) | about a month ago | (#47366431)

Actually, yes. A 'balanced budget' amendment would be about as cretinous as possible. Ditto for 'return to gold standard' amendment.

Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did he? (4, Insightful)

macraig (621737) | about 1 month ago | (#47363575)

Was this more of the new-and-improved Slashdot we can expect in the future? Historically these answers-your-questions posts were just that, direct responses from the interviewee to users who asked questions. What did we get here? A video chat with very generalized non-specific answers and primarily just an opportunity for Lessig to promote his cause and himself. It was one big spammy two-part advertisement, essentially.

Could you be any more disingenuous, Slashdot and Dice? Forget the silly mutinous talk over the Beta redesign; this is behavior deserving of a pitchfork-wielding geek mob.

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (4, Insightful)

funwithBSD (245349) | about 1 month ago | (#47364493)

Too long, didn't watch.

I want to read my information, not listen to some windbag read it.

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (2)

macraig (621737) | about 1 month ago | (#47364815)

Ditto. Textual information trapped in a linear non-searchable video has always pissed me off. It serves the interests of the talking head and his masters more than it does my interest of having maximal access to information. Talking-head videos are a means of controlling and limiting access to information. But I digress and was trying to stay focused in my rant....

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (2)

virtualXTC (609488) | about 1 month ago | (#47365217)

Ditto. Textual information trapped in a linear non-searchable video has always pissed me off.

Your complaint seems wildly off-topic as there's an easily searchable transcript that can be read / searched via the "hide/show transcript" link right below the video.

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (1)

macraig (621737) | about a month ago | (#47365749)

I was speaking in general, you nutter! Of course I noticed the transcript in this instance. None of which is relevant to my original rant.

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | about 1 month ago | (#47365207)

Too long, didn't watch.

I want to read my information, not listen to some windbag read it.

Err... have you tried clicking on the "hide/show transcript" link right below the video?

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (0, Troll)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 1 month ago | (#47364739)

Do you want the Tea Party to win? SHUT UP when the good guys are talking, dumbass! Give money and trust it's going to be used well. We can outspend those fuckers if we all pull together and stop with the stupid questions!

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (1)

Jay Maynard (54798) | about 1 month ago | (#47365009)

Amen. I was looking for a direct answer to my pointed question, and all I got were mealy-mouthed platitudes.

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (1)

JWW (79176) | about a month ago | (#47365825)

Exactly.

Worst. Fucking. Slashdot. Q&A. Ever.

I got a +5 rated question about whether Mayday would support term limits on congress, and you didn't even fucking ask it and Larry sure as hell didn't say anything to indicate Mayday's stance on it.

Also, in the first video he sidestepped the answer about corporations making movies and writing books about candidates. Citizens United was a fucking LLC that made a political documentary, that's what Mayday is ostensibly fighting against. So don't fucking tell me that political documentaries would be unaffected.

And what the hell are vouchers going to fix when incumbents will end up receiving most of them anyway? Voters will just give their money to the person whose name they know. Its not going to stop old fossils from getting reelected to congress until they die.

This was a fucking promotional video created by Dice for Mayday PAC.

It sure as hell wasn't Lawrence Lessig answering my (or anyone else's) questions.

Re:Didn't answer anyone's questions directly, did (1)

macraig (621737) | about a month ago | (#47366687)

And once again the minority voice - you and I and perhaps two other people - will get buried under a mountain of dogma and apathy. Nothing will change with Slashdot for the better (common good), which is the result Lessig should expect from all his efforts attacking symptoms rather than the "root" causes. "RootStrikers" is a misnomer and Lessig a fragment of the problem rather than a solution incarnate.

This is Money On The Table (1)

LF11 (18760) | about 1 month ago | (#47364687)

Think how much of this money would have gone to any candidate with the slightest shred of dignity and spine to stand up for their constituents.

Inferior format (2)

werepants (1912634) | about 1 month ago | (#47364769)

Others have said it, but I'll repeat: This video format sucks compared to the usual slashdot interview approach. I usually look forward to Slashdot Q&A's because there's an opportunity to have your exact question answered by someone, and so it gives lots of us who comment the next best thing to direct correspondence, assuming that your question is worthwhile enough to get upmodded.

This video, in contrast, is annoying to parse. Yes, there's the transcript, but I don't see him answering my specific questions, and it is a pain to read through a bunch of general and less articulate speech-to-text rather than getting a concise and direct response.

I could've forgiven you using this format if you still actually read him the questions that were written and voted on by us, but it seems like instead Tim decided to shit on that so he could have a Google hangout and feel important.

Re:Inferior format (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47364823)

Amen.

Is this really going to happen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47364833)

I see they've raised about $2.5 mil with four days to go. That's not insignificant numbers. But in contrast, Reading Rainbow's nostalgiathon campaign is on its way to raising $10 million w/Seth McFarlane's help. And if I'm not mistaken, it's an all-or-nothing thing- either Lessig gets $5m which gets matched to $12m or he gets nada.

This thread currently has 20 comments (including mine). I fear the pessimism and apathy which Lessig eschews may actually be well-founded.

Re:Is this really going to happen? (2)

cmarkn (31706) | about 1 month ago | (#47365309)

I don't think it's apathy, it's that the video format is so worthless for this, and perhaps that the plan Lessig is apparently describing doesn't even begin to address the problem he claims it solves. A voucher system doesn't take money out of the campaign process, it only gives the government control of who gets the money - which means government controls who gets elected. That's far worse than the system we have now.

These other countries that he points to have something that we don't have in the US, and that is state-run television. You can't just go giving away stuff, like tv commercials, that don't belong to you even if you are the government. He suggests that it would only involve $3 or $4 Billion a year.

I hope this drive of his fails. It only creates a system infinitely worse than what we have now. The 2012 elections cost a total of $6,285,557,223. Now Lessig claims that spending two or three times that much is taking money out of the process. He is wrong. All he is doing is creating a new bureaucracy to suck up a good chunk of that money for themselves and decide who gets to divide up their leavings.

Lessig is a fucking liar and a hypocrite (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47365223)

"Hi, I want to defend free speech against the assault by PACs by created a PAC to suppress the free speech rights of other PACs." /div0

Title is wrong (5, Insightful)

JWW (79176) | about a month ago | (#47365899)

The title to this article is wrong it should be:

Slashdot throws your questions in the fucking garbage and asks Lawrence Lessig a bunch of other stuff.

The trashing of any and all questions about term limits was unacceptable.

I was actually really looking forward to getting Larry's answers to OUR questions.

I couldn't be more disappointed.

could have been should have been. (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about a month ago | (#47367057)

If this series had been presented in the traditional ask slashdot format, it would have garnered at least a couple hundred comments and an interesting discussion. You know, the one where the most highly rated questions are presented, coupled with the user name of the person that asked it, and followed by the response - all in text format. I don't see where anyone's questions are actually being presented here. How could this have gone so wayward? We deserve an explanation as to the thought process that ruined something that could have been great. You had the attention of Lawrence Lessig and you fucked it up. I don't get it.

Video Boo Hiss (1)

orgelspieler (865795) | about a month ago | (#47367539)

At first I was surprised to see this article didn't have at least 300 comments. Look at the recent SCOTUS article. But now I see why. I can't believe they chose to present answers from Lessig in this format. How absurd. I was just telling my son how stupid it was that he wades through 7 minutes of Minecraft Youtube videos when the same info can be garnered in 10 seconds on the wiki. I'm appalled that they don't at least have a transcription posted here. Web accessibility is one of those touchstone topics for Mr. Lessig, so I am flabbergasted that they would have chosen him for a video-sans-transcript response.
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