Category: Old Colorado City Communications (1980-2010)
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The Great Electronic Democracy Debate/Discussion


Below you can access a long, but vitally interesting Discussion 1987-88 between at least 27 highly educated and knowledgable people logged into Meta Systems Design Caucus Conferencing system in Maclean, Virginia, about my successful experiences setting up and operating my multi-modem line Computer Bulletin Board System in Colorado in such a way that gave birth to the concept and reality of 'Electronic Democracy'

More than ANY other extended description of my efforts THIS dialogue reveals how Electronic Democracy was launched in Colorado - and rapidly was emulated everywhere, starting locally in Colorado Springs, at city and county government.

Here I proved - by reporting what I was doing as I did it - that Electronic Democracy could be exercised on a low cost, telephone line, personal computer, accessible system. Which became nationally famous as local people, government officials, candidates for local city county, state and some national offices debated local serious political issues. And local state, national and international Press reported onit. It also reveals just how much resistance there was in 1988 to the very idea that Americans could, or should express their political views online.

But as one very perceptive newspaper publisher wrote "Dave Hughes computer bulletin boards is a duplicate of the New England Town Hall meetings, but over an Electronic Back Fence in Colorado."

This happened 4 Years before the World Wide Web even emerged, or full internet connectivity was accessible to much of the public across the nation. And before Wi-Fi and other wireless means to access the net developed.

More than any other description of my pioneering activities, this reveals my greatest technological Legacy.

The text of the debate is in PDF form. It is 407 computer pages long, with 104,000 words, exchanged between 27 people.

If you are careful and mouse 'right click' on any loaded page of the PDF file, you can do a search for ANY word of the over 100,000 online

Click on the link below for The Great Electronic Democracy Debate 1987.pdf 

The Big Sky Telegraph Story