Hey, there's a great article on the Dean campaign tomorrow in the NY Times magazine:
It looks like some of their folks are reading the same stuff on emergence and complexity theory that motivates some of my craigslist stuff.
Joe Trippi, Dean's campaign manager, says the campaign's structure is modeled on the Internet, which is organized as a grid, rather than as spokes surrounding a hub. Before joining the campaign, Trippi was on a four-year hiatus from politics, during which he consulted for high-tech companies, and he can be evangelical on the subject of the Internet and its potential to create political change. (A team of Internet theorists — David Weinberger, Doc Searls, Howard Rheingold — consults for the campaign.) Trippi likes to say that in the Internet model he has adopted for the campaign, the power lies with the people at "the edges of the network," rather than the center. When people from the unofficial campaign call and ask permission to undertake an activity on behalf of Dean, they are told they don't need permission.
I'm glad to see that the article properly credits the folks on the Internet side of the campaign, my nerdish brethren. Zephyr Teachout leads this team, and is pretty cool.
The software that is supposed to bridge the gaps in the contemporary landscape is maintained here by three often-barefoot boys. They frequently work through the night, as piped-in soft rock fills the empty lobby. When you ask them how long they've been working, they respond in increments like "40 hours" or "three days, with naps." During these spans of time spent in front of the computer, they may at any given point be coding software, corresponding with Internet theorists and venture capitalists or just firing off instant messages to one another that say, "Shut up."
(This sounds like my tech staff.)
I've got a lot to think about. I've met some of these folks, and they're for real. I think this approach might not only elect a good President, but could genuinely change our system of government. I've never endorsed anyone, but …