Good ideas are like baby birds. They poke their way into the world in fits and starts, feathers in disarray. But in time, they take flight. That's how it's been watching our tool for viewing oil and mining contracts emerge, waddle and take off over the past five years.

Even when the law requires corporations and governments to disclose the deals they make in the "extractive industries," the contracts that set the terms can remain hard to find and even harder to understand. As internet director for Revenue Watch Institute (now NRGI), and as strategy consultant to the Open Contracting Partnership and other allies, I've had a front row seat—and a few hours of game time—in the struggle to make these contracts literally and conceptually accessible.

I don’t have a biting analysis to sum up the 2016 election or the handful of days since then. And I especially can’t speak with the voice of an immigrant, or a person of color, or a woman, or a member of the LGBTQ community, since I belong to none of those groups.

But seeing the acute anger and fear among my loved ones and colleagues in communities targeted during the campaign—people facing political threats, verbal assaults and most of all physical violence even as you read this—I’ve felt grief-stricken and confused. I’m writing not to tell you about my grief (which isn’t that interesting and has the luxury of being felt from comparative safety) but about my confusion.

Which do we want, the kind of leader that tells an angry crowd to accept dissent and focus on what's important, or the kind of leader whose angry crowd attacks the dissenter (then makes up a lie about his intentions and affiliations later)?

The Personal Democracy Forum conference has always been a celebration of technology’s role transforming politics and redefining democracy. But this year’s celebration included particularly strong notes of caution, like danah boyd’s talk on the unintended consequences of code, Mark Surman’s warning that internet freedom is shrinking and Mariana Ruiz Firmat’s reminder that equity within our organizations is a design imperative, not just a good hiring practice.

The chorus of realistic voices was my second favorite thing about PDF16. My favorite was our own cautionary panel, “Is the Civic Tech Story Broken?”, which I presented with panelists Sam Dorman, Elizabeth Eagen and Shaifali Puri.

Look who owns the Google result for "Hillary Clinton" as of tonight at 10:00 pm.

If you've read my Twitter stream this summer you've seen various levels of disdain for Donald Trump. Sometimes it's important to push back when someone peddles bs. Sometimes it's necessary to beat back loud, noxious, memorable exclamations with something just as loud and just as memorable.

But sometimes sensationalism is a trick to control the conversation. I fell for that trick today, Tweeting too much when the GOP candidate "walk[ed] up to the line of treason" and stole attention from the country's history-making nomination of the first female presidential candidate from a major party.

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