Questions from Peru

Dear Minister Tang:
My name is Gabriela Wiener, I’m Peruvian journalist and writer. I was pleased to hear your recent lecture at Medialab, Madrid. Unfortunately that day was no time to interview, so Bernardo, from Medialab, recommend to send you my questions.
I am preparing a report for Poder, a monthly magazine specializing in various political issues. We want you, Audrey, in the cover of our next issue. I’d like to write a profile of you with details about your work, your appointment as Minister of Taiwan and the contributions you has made for participatory democracy.
The questions are as follows. It would be kind enough to answer before Thursday? Thanks a lot!
–How can virtual reality, street technology and free software help citizens to monitor the institucional power and the enforcement of democratic rights and duties?
–Why is a hacker the ideal link between the people and the government in Taiwan?
–How would be a world in which participatory democracy is a reality? What would we see? And what we wouldn’t see anyway?
–Why is that you decide to accept a position as minister in Taiwan digital if coming from anarchism and from a popular movement as students “Sunflower”? Is there a time when you have to step into the institutional way if you want to change things? Other way was not enough?
–Spanish media emphasize that being “hacker”, “gifted” and “transgender” are in the same line. Do you agree with these “tags” on your person? Which one defines you the best? How would you tag yourself and why?
–Can you tell me who are the people who know most about you? Any one which I could interview for this article? Would you give me a contact? Is there any story written about you has hit the nail? Any that you recommend for people to read?
Thank you very much!

  1. Please refer to a book chapter I co-wrote for Habitat III: p225-226 gives a quick summary, with more academic analysis around p239.
  2. I’m just one of many, many links. As my co-authors observed: “In the Taiwanese case, instead, translation mechanisms seem to have been more decentralized. At the core of this case there is a pre-existing common cultural framework of free culture movements.” (p237)
  3. To use Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s analogy in his fifth lecture on democracy: Before participatory democracy, when passengers (the people) selects their drivers and decides on where to go (through election), the driving is left to the professional drivers and the vehicle (governance structure).
    In participatory democracy, “evidence-based policymaking” is akin to GPS and geospatial data, while “scalable listening” improves the communication between passengers who can ride-share toward different destinations. Finally, the knowledge of how to make & maintain a vehicle is made transparent through “process as commons”.
  4. See — the “conservative” part means I continue developing the same tools and playbooks (in the commons, as I always do), while the “anarchism” part meaning people (including ones working in the governance structure) can adopt & improve upon it by their own volition, instead of through institutional obligation.
  5. Well I’m just a fellow human being, please treat me as one.
  6. I’d recommend: and — there are other media reports but these two are released in the commons.