World 2.0: Twitter Governance [the simple model]

The Greek verb κυβερνάω [kubernáo] which means to steer was used for the first time in a metaphorical sense by Plato. As we are moving into network society, we need to ask, what are the conditions of possibility of steering? The simple answer is Larry Lessig’s “code is law” (1998), which argues that governance can be encoded into natural law, as in the first rule of twittering: “thou shalt not write more than 140 characters” where enforcement is automatic “thou shalt not be heard if you express yourself in more than 140 characters.”

So in our simplest model of governance in network society, code, law, and enforcement are one.

About Philipp

Philipp Müller works in the IT industry and is academic dean of the SMBS. Author of "Machiavelli.net". Proud father of three amazing children. The views expressed in this blog are his own.

12. June 2009 by Philipp
Categories: Blog | 9 comments

Comments (9)

  1. sebastian.haselbeck@gmx.com'

    … and arbitraryness, it could’ve been just as well 200 characters :)

  2. sebastian.haselbeck@gmx.com'

    … and arbitraryness, it could’ve been just as well 200 characters :)

  3. violetta.pleshakova@gmail.com'

    isn’t it sad? firstly, Web 2.0 are often believed to have democratizing potential..but how to democratize, if the instrument implies restriction? secondly, Twitter governance proves that the nature of the state will remain the same – it still will contain laws and their enforcement, be these laws expressed in words or in code. If one wants to govern, one has to play according to the rules of this game 2.0.

  4. violetta.pleshakova@gmail.com'

    isn’t it sad? firstly, Web 2.0 are often believed to have democratizing potential..but how to democratize, if the instrument implies restriction? secondly, Twitter governance proves that the nature of the state will remain the same – it still will contain laws and their enforcement, be these laws expressed in words or in code. If one wants to govern, one has to play according to the rules of this game 2.0.

  5. sebastian.haselbeck@gmx.com'

    Violetta is slowly acquiring Sebastian-style scepticism about Web 2.0′s potential for real-world application. More information does not necessary equal political action. Communication (one way, two way, multilateral) does not necessarily have a direct impact on political course of action. I think the “World 2.0″ (2.0 is so 2007 however…) is a world characterized by unheard-of levels of information, communication and transparency, BUT that only applies to the small elite who actually is involved in this, and the crucial point is, that those who actually make politics (i.e. the 50-somethings sitting in parliaments or being prime ministers) have not the slightest clue of what all this means and basically are able to do politics-as-usual largely isolated from the World 2.0, because it does not penetrate the World 1.0; our challenge therefore is to find ways of how to translate 2.0 ideas into 1.0 action

  6. sebastian.haselbeck@gmx.com'

    Violetta is slowly acquiring Sebastian-style scepticism about Web 2.0′s potential for real-world application. More information does not necessary equal political action. Communication (one way, two way, multilateral) does not necessarily have a direct impact on political course of action. I think the “World 2.0″ (2.0 is so 2007 however…) is a world characterized by unheard-of levels of information, communication and transparency, BUT that only applies to the small elite who actually is involved in this, and the crucial point is, that those who actually make politics (i.e. the 50-somethings sitting in parliaments or being prime ministers) have not the slightest clue of what all this means and basically are able to do politics-as-usual largely isolated from the World 2.0, because it does not penetrate the World 1.0; our challenge therefore is to find ways of how to translate 2.0 ideas into 1.0 action

  7. erebrin@gmail.com'

    Although I am also a bit sceptical on some fronts concerning “world 2.0″, I also see great potential in such changes. In my opinion, the problem lies in generation barriers. Yes, the 50-something folks will continue to do politics as usual for the most part; but they are, as far as I know, also realizing that there is a need for change in governance toward “world 2.0″ as urged for by the younger generation. And this is where I see potential. You ask how to translate 2.0 ideas into 1.0 action? It depends on our generation to raise not only awareness about the positive aspects of web 2.0, but also to show the more mature generation how to transcend their technology barriers/limitations.

  8. erebrin@gmail.com'

    Although I am also a bit sceptical on some fronts concerning “world 2.0″, I also see great potential in such changes. In my opinion, the problem lies in generation barriers. Yes, the 50-something folks will continue to do politics as usual for the most part; but they are, as far as I know, also realizing that there is a need for change in governance toward “world 2.0″ as urged for by the younger generation. And this is where I see potential. You ask how to translate 2.0 ideas into 1.0 action? It depends on our generation to raise not only awareness about the positive aspects of web 2.0, but also to show the more mature generation how to transcend their technology barriers/limitations.

  9. azhcba@yahoo.com'

    Good post! I plan to move into this stuff after I’m done with school, as most of it is time consuming. It’s a great post to reference back to. My blog needs more time to gain in popularity anyway.|*|wow power leveling|*|http://www.superpowerleveling.com