Jennifer Pahlka: Fixing Government: Bottom Up and Outside In - The Long Now

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  1. Jennifer Pahlka: Fixing Government: Bottom Up and Outside In

    Code for America was founded in 02009 by Jennifer Pahlka “to make government work better for the people and by the people in the 21st century.”

    The organization started a movement to modernize government for a digital age which has now spread from cities to counties to states, and now, most visibly, to the federal government, where Jennifer served at the White House as US Deputy Chief Technology Officer. There she helped start the United States Digital Service, known “Obama’s stealth startup.”

    Now that thousands of people from “metaphysical Silicon Valley” are working for and with government, what have we learned? Can government actually be fixed to serve citizens better—especially the neediest? Why does change in government happen so slowly?

    Before founding Code for America, Jennifer Pahlka co-created the Web 2.0 and Gov. 2.0 conferences, building on her prior experience organizing computer game developer conferences. She continues to serve as executive director of Code for America, which is based in San Francisco.


    Tagged with longnow

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  2. Stanford’s Entrepreneurship Corner: Jennifer Pahlka, Code for America - Make Government Work Better for All

    Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America, explains how governments, from the federal level to the local, need individuals with the skills to harness technology and design principles to make the everyday user's experience simpler and more elegant. Recently the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer at the White House, Pahlka also discusses the hunger within government for "creative hacks" that improve their platforms.

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  3. Jennifer Pahlka, Founder of Code for America | Cool Tools

    Our guest this week is Jennifer Pahlka. Jennifer is the Founder of Code for America, a nonprofit dedicated to proving that government can work for all people in the digital age. She served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer under President Obama, and founded the United States Digital Service dedicated to the same idea.

    Show notes:

    Phaxio, a modern fax platform

    “I will have to admit upfront, I’m not actually a coder, but I do work with our coding teams here at Code for America, and what I like about Phaxio is that it’s sort of a hack, not just on sort of services, but on government. What we do here is we try to make services that work much better than the government services as it’s offered. For instance, if you want to apply for food stamps in California and you want to do it online, you’ll go through an application form that’s over 50 screens long. … One of the things we started doing was just making a better online form and then having that form create a fax and then faxing it into the office. It turns out the place where faxes are still really, really useful is in government services, in government offices. I never would’ve said, 10 years ago, that fax was key, but it really is for the work that we do and it really helps us hack bureaucracies.”

    Selenium WebDriver

    “I’d say [this is] like the next steps in making services that can sit on top of government services a lot easier to use. … Now, instead of creating a fax that goes to the office, we just drive that data using Selenium right into the system of record. … It doesn’t entirely close the loop because at the end of the day, what you want to do is actually redo those systems of record to be much simpler and have clearer, easier front ends and ask fewer questions and have fewer data problems. For now, that is a very effective way that you can hack online applications to government services and really anybody can do this. … The way I describe it to folks who aren’t developers and I know you’re both more technical than I am but it’s like you take little robots take the data that we collected from the people and then put them in the online form that actually exists.”

    Lyft hack

    “I’m a big fan of Lyft and one day I realized that when my daughter was calling from her school … it was raining and she wanted me to come get her and I said, “Well, I’m not going to come get you, but I’m going to send you a Lyft.” I just used my finger to move the map to where her school was, dropped the pin there and called the car. Then I could just … for a minute I thought, “Oh my gosh, is this dangerous?” But I realized I could actually watch the car arrive and pick her up, watch the driver drive her here and knew exactly when she would arrive. … The great thing is I can also do that when I’m in New York and my kid is stranded and needs to go home and when I’m in another country, I can get her a car whenever she needs one.”

    Japanese Copper Tamagoyaki Pan ($30)

    “This is just my favorite thing in my kitchen just because it’s kind of unique. Tamago is what you get at a sushi restaurant that’s basically egg. It comes sort of nigiri style, there’s like a little slice of scrambled egg, essentially, but it’s done in a very Japanese way. To make Tamago, you have to have a small rectangular pan. This one happens to be copper. It just looks beautiful, it has a wooden handle and then this beautiful copper body. Basically what you do is you make this mixture of egg and dashi and a little salt and a little sugar, and then you have to sort of pour it in bit by bit and then roll it up, sort of sticking it at the end. What it makes is this very rectangular piece of egg that you can then slice and it looks very pretty when you lay it on the rice.”

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  4. TWiT Live Specials 33: Gov 2.0

    Hosts: Leo Laporte, Tim O'Reilly and Jennifer Pahlka

    How the democratization of technology can help build better government.

    Guests: Carolyn Lawson, Andrew Hoppin and John Wonderlich

    Download or subscribe to this show at

    Thanks to Cachefly for the bandwidth for this show.

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  5. Jennifer Robbins, Designer | Cool Tools

    Cool Tools Show 238: Jennifer Robbins

    Our guest this week is Jennifer Robbins. Jennifer is a designer who is best known for her work in web design. She has written thirteen books, including Learning Web Design, 5e (O’Reilly) and she co-founded the ARTIFACT Conference. Currently, she’s excited about the relaunch of “Cooking with Rockstars,” her pre-YouTube video podcast in which she interviews indie rockers about food.

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  6. How the US government spies on people who protest — including you

    What's stopping the American government from recording your phone calls, reading your emails and monitoring your location? Very little, says surveillance and cybersecurity counsel Jennifer Granick. The government collects all kinds of information about you easily, cheaply and without a warrant — and if you've ever participated in a protest or attended a gun show, you're likely a person of interest. Learn more about your rights, your risks and how to protect yourself in the golden age of surveillance.

    Original video:
    Downloaded by on Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:23:15 GMT Available for 30 days after download

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  7. The JV Club #30: Jennifer Finnigan « Nerdist

    The JV Club: Jennifer Finnigan

    Zut Alors! It’s the merveilleuse Montreal-born Jennifer Finnigan (Better With You) joining Janet to celebrate the thrill of a good scary movie, the magic of a potluck, and how a little girl who wanted to be a nun ended up winning three daytime Emmys.

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