Well, as I’d noted earlier, the tape made in Chino, CA at a meat packing plant had some public health implications, implications that were not lost on the USDA, who quickly and properly issued a meat recall for 143 million pounds of beef, the largest recall in history. That’s about 2 patties for every man, women and child in the USA:
There has been a general realization that Web 2.0, infused with user-generated content as well as connectivity unmediated by traditional gate keepers and limitations (e.g., social institutions, geographic limits), is different than the web that preceded it. This will affect politics, but in ways that aren’t clear right now. This idea of an interactive and a more participatory democracy are embedded in interesting places, for example the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
Of course, standing in the light of such famous freedoms (of the press, to peaceably assemble, establishment of religion being prohibited) the freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances has not shown out very much. There have been very few interpretations by the court of what that means and very few challenges to existing laws based on the ‘right of the people to petition the government for redress of grievances’ but, given the potential of Web 2.0 to connect formerly disparate people and create communities of interest, I think that’s about to change. And there is a recent story from Holland that shows how this is developing.