Category Archives: Politics

Join us for Obama ’08 for iPhone Launch Party & Debate Watching

Live in Portland? Come join us Tuesday for an Obama ’08 for iPhone launch party and watch the next Presidential debate.

Doors open at 5 pm at the Mission Theater in NW Portland. We’ll be joined by Representative Earl Blumenauer and representative from the Oregon Obama for America campaign.

More details and RSVP information are available on Upcoming.org. You don’t have to RSVP to attend, but please show up as early as possible because the venue will likely sell out.

Announcing Obama ’08 iPhone Application

The main reason I became excited about mobile technology—excited enough to quit my job and start a new company—was because of the potential for mobile technology to be something that can literally change the world.

With that in mind, I’m happy to announce the Official Obama for America application for iPhone and iPod Touch users.

This is a secret side project that I’ve been working on for the last couple of months. The development started in earnest in the middle of September. The application was developed in 22 days.

The application is a great example of how mobile technology and the iPhone in particular can be used to change politics. One of the things we are proudest of is the fact that it helps people become what we started referring to as two-minute activists. The application organizes your address book by battleground state and provides mechanisms for you to track who you called and what they said.

Have a couple of spare minutes? Make a quick call and get out the vote.

I’m terribly proud of this application. I’m also honored to have been part of making it happen. It’s not simply that we built something that we believe will empower people to bring change to Washington, but it is also the fact that we assembled an exceptional team.

It’s a rare opportunity in life to work with a great group of talented people who are working long hours on a tight timeline for nothing other than their belief that they can make a difference. Our ten member team consisted of:

There’s much more that can be done with mobile technology to create social and political change, but for now, download the Obama ’08 for iPhone application and see the first steps in that process.

P.S. It probably goes without saying, but just to be clear: I don’t work for nor speak on behalf of the Obama campaign. I’m just a geek who wanted to help out. :-)

Finding Peace in the Middle East

Selena points out a new game called Peacemaker. The game places you in the position of trying to find a path to peace between Israel and Palestine.

I can’t wait to try this game. My favorite class at the University of Oregon was an Honors College course on the Rhetoric of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict. Each student was assigned a leader involved in the Middle East discussion—Israeli, Palestinian, and even U.N. and U.S. representatives.

We studied our leader’s beliefs, concerns, and politics throughout the course while working towards a term paper that was to encapsulate the assigned leader’s view of the world.

All of this research was actually groundwork for the final which was a mock peace conference. We were to negotiate peace during the final three class sessions. Within 10 minutes of starting our conference, talks had broken down and the U.N. representatives were scurrying between rooms trying to get us to return to the table.

I believe our major accomplishment was the fact that we returned to talks. We never came to any solution.

I’ve often thought about this experience when I’ve heard other people talk about how ridiculous the conflict is and how they should just split the land in half and move on. We tend to think of the conflict as being an easy thing to solve.

It isn’t. Twenty college students with nothing on the line except our researched beliefs barely could agree to sit at the same table. Peace won’t come easily.

So I’m very pleased to hear that there is a game that attempts to share the difficulty solving these issues and that educators are looking into incorporating this into their curriculum. My experience changed my perspective in profound ways. If the game can capture only a fraction of that experience, it will be worth it.