The Pill versus the Bomb: What Digital Technologists Need to Know About Power
Tom Steinberg
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While the Pill is a nice ambitious target, there are many important civic tech projects that are along the lines of the Bomb — but in a context where the people that the project intends to serve will never get the Bomb (e.g. expensive lobbyists with an inside track in legislative circles, which the project can’t deliver) but will nonetheless benefit from being given a slingshot (e.g. being able to track legislative activity at all). The basic PMO website that just republishes content in a more usable form is not a Pill, but it’s nonetheless important infrastructure. In general, there are a host of technologies that make it easier for individuals and small groups to work more effectively within the existing power structures to achieve their goals without overhauling how power flows. Evening the playing field is a good goal, too — never mind making it slant the other way.