Rough draft of history

At a recent Internet Advocacy Roundtable, held monthly at the Center for American Progress, Professor David Perlmutter from University of Kansas, and author of Blog Wars, said of blogs, “They are becoming the rough draft of history.”

I don’t know if that is a phrase he came up with, or if its been kicked around for a while, but it really stuck with me. For so long history has been written (and consequently determined, to an extent) by the powerful. Those with wealth, education and money were the ones who got to shape the “official” history.

But as social media becomes increasingly available, the number of voices and the number of narratives is increasing as well.

This is not to say, obviously, that all the voices and narratives are being represented – indeed social media is still available to the relative elite. But there is no doubt that there are people and groups who are getting their histories recorded in new and exciting ways.

Installation in Libertys window, by Michael Wolf. It pays tribute to the Chinese factory workers who make 75% of the worlds toys
Installation in Liberty's window, by Michael Wolf. It pays tribute to the Chinese factory workers who make 75% of the world's toys

But giving these stories voice does more than just represent a people. It can expose the greater stories that we all share. In a fabulous article called The Story Revolution, Arlen Goldbard points out that we all share some basic human events – these are what Isaiah Berlin calls “the clear layer.” But beneath that is the “much thicker ‘dark layer’ which is a name for the aggregate of our little stories.”

“You can generalize effortlessly based on the clear layer: That’s where social and historical theories are propounded, …. But if you really want to understand something, you have to be willing to spend time in the dark layer, with its multitude of little stories.”

The Future of Emailing Congress

Computer with mailbox flagHave you emailed your congressional representative? Did you feel like it did any good?

Congressional offices are receiving hundreds of millions of emails every year, and the workload on staffers is enormous! As the number of emails has increased over the years, the staff size and technology budgets have not.

The Center for American Progress will be discussing this issue and posing some suggestions in it monthly Internet Advocacy Roundtable. As ususual, I’ll be live blogging!

You can follow along here!

The two things we’re never supposed to talk about…

Politics and Religion come together today in an event at the Center for American Progress. “From the Pulpit to the Polls; The Role of Religion in Politics” will be held today a 12:30 (Eastern). I’ll be live blogging from the event –

you can follow along here.

Make sure to post questions and comments! An “instant replay” will be available after the event ends (at 2:00pm).

Featured panelists include:

E. J. Dionne, Jr, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, syndicated columnist, and author of Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith & Politics After the Religious Right
Amy Sullivan, Nation editor at Time magazine and author of The Party Faithful: How and Why Democrats Are Closing the God Gap
Jim Wallis, President and Executive Director, Sojourners, and author of The Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America

Live Blog Coverage of the Internet Advocacy Roundtable

The Center for American Progress holds a monthly event called the Internet Advocacy Roundtable. Today’s roundtable is called “Party On…line with the Republican and the Democratic parties.

I’ll be attending this event and invite you to follow along! Please feel free to post any comments of questions.

If you are seeing this after the fact, you can still read through the blog’s Instant Replay.

To follow along or see the Instant Replay, please click here.