I’m a judge in a new competition sponsored by ChallengePost that seeks new “apps to educate people about partisan gridlock and help empower them to do something about it.” You can see more details at the link. There is $5000 in prize money at stake.
I’ve put the press release after the jump. I’m quoted saying:
People hate gridlock and want government to do something. But people also disagree about what exactly it’s supposed to do — which is precisely what creates gridlock. This competition offers an opportunity to address this fundamental tension and generate innovations that can educate and enlighten citizens.
This gets at things I’ve written before, and at some of my frustrations with the new tools that people are creating to encourage engagement with politics. These tools are often offered up as helping to solve challenges our political system faces—like gridlock or polarization—but rarely do their developers acknowledge that the very people likely to use such tools are the ones who have the sorts of strong opinions that create polarization and gridlock! In other words, it’s hard to empower the sorts of voices that will militate for moderation and compromise, if that’s your goal. People tend to militate for the policies they support, but of course other people support difference policies, and we often get stalemate.
Hopefully some creative people can develop apps that navigate this conundrum. So apply!