Thursday, June 21, 2007

Various updates

It’s happening! Student unions at UBC, SFU and Kwantlen are moving ahead on VFM:

I got an unofficial report that UBC AMS Council created its new VFM committee on May 30.

I presented a brief VFM proposal to the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) Board on June 6. They’ve invited me to discuss it with their larger governing body, SFSS Forum, on June 27.

Kwantlen Student Association (KSA) Council has also asked me to present a VFM proposal at their June 27 meeting. (Good thing they meet at noon, so I’ll have time to get to the 4:30 SFSS meeting.)

The general reaction at all three student unions continues to be favourable. But like last year at UBC, I’m concerned that slow progress may lead to late implementation, thus reducing VFM’s benefit to students.

So meanwhile I’m rewriting my paper Voter-Funded Media for resubmission to the International Journal of Communication.

Interesting news from other blogs:

1. UBC Insiders posted an interview of me. (Well, I think it’s interesting!)

2. Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig just announced a major change of his focus from intellectual “property” issues to fighting political corruption. So I sent him this email:

Dear Professor Lessig –

Thank you for shifting your focus to fighting political corruption – we need all the help we can get!

I’ve long admired your public-interest work on IP. We met when I organized a debate between you and a former director (Dickinson) of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco in February 2001.

My main project since 1996 has been designing ways to reduce corruption in corporations and politics. It’s more than 10 years but I’m not ready to change horses yet – I work slower than you!

Besides, the project is heating up now – see attached 1-page description, and

-- Mark