Gnomedex Keynote: Senator John Edwards

Senator Edwards is a strong supporter of Net Neutrality.

Marc Canter: “Third generation Red Diaper Baby. My father was a commie, my grandfather was a commie… I’m looking for some balls.”

When people speak in a human voice, other humans recognize it. Too many politicians speak like PR people. Do you recognize yourself when you start to talk from that perspective?

Edwards: “Yes, I recognize when I get that way – it’s hard to shed the trappings of a media trained politician. We’ve been trained to do the wrong thing and that’s the problem.”

In a world where communities aren’t geographic, how do you create vibrant local bases to create change?

OneCorps encourages people to go out and elect democrats in their area.

What do you think about monitoring Internet traffic?

Edwards: “We have to be very careful to maintain the freedom of the Internet, but we still need to pay attention to things like child predators and the like.”

What are politicians like yourself doing to change the language and use it better than, say, republicans?

Edwards: “Language matters, but I think there’s too much time spent on ‘strategy’ and not enough on ‘doing the right thing.’ Language matters when talking about the issues, but integrity and character are more important when choosing a leader.”

What’s going to be the next technology that effects the next presidential election?

Edwards: “Blogs have been successful, but how do you empower people to generate the ideas and get them up to their leaders and potential leaders. Text messaging has been successful.”

Mitch Ratcliffe: “Get someone to travel with you on the campaign bus and allow citizens to record what’s happening during that time.”

Edwards: People don’t have the kind of information they should have to make decisions about their leaders and where their country should go. Top-down, plastic communications from politicians makes people distrusting.”

Have you thought about applying reality TV tactics toward getting your message across?

Edwards: Yes, tell me how.

Phil Torrone: “Can we get paper records from electronic voting machines? Can we make them open source? How these things work should be completely transparent.”

Steve Gillmor: “How can you approach the problems of this country in the same way you might as a trial lawyer?”

Edwards: “Anyone who has the capacity to convince people knows that its about more than just the facts. It’s about credibility and trust.”

UPDATE: MindJet MindMap is here.

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