Thursday, October 14, 2004

My New Sobriety: What Happened to Democracy 2.0?

ON EDIT: Democracy 2.0 is now back up and running at

Greetings everyone.

I assume you're wondering what happened to Democracy 2.0 as well as my other sites.

Well, I made a hard life decision, but it's one that I think will turn out to be more beneficial to what I was trying to achieve in the first place. Let me explain...

First, with my increasing proliferation of websites (political, personal, professional), I am noticing that I am losing focus on what means the most to me: making a difference in the political world, especially with respect to the issues I care most about. This is not the first time I've lost focus in my life--in fact, losing focus has become a staple of my character. Neverthless, I just decided that it is high time to stop that behavior. I need to focus focus focus on what means the most to me--getting out my thoughts in a clear and complete manner without obstruction.

Second, related to the focus thing, as an IT professional, I was letting the advance of my programming skills get in the way of producing content. No more. I recently decided to exit the IT profession due to many factors which make any further involvement in it just plain unworkable--these factors are too numerous and difficult for me to discuss in this article. At any rate, I've found myself concentrating almost solely on how I would get my message out, while rarely spending any time on what the message is. As of this article, I hereby slap myself vigorously with cold water.

Third, with my ongoing research into matters surrounding the expansion of public involvement in deciding public policy matters (i.e., "a more direct democracy"), I have come to realize that I have boxed myself in a narrow approach to these matters. To fully discuss these kinds of issues, I honestly can't always be nonpartisan, as sometimes partisan forces do things to negate public participation--and things like this cannot be ignored if I am to be effective. Further, I believe that there are many other political issues related to democracy and public sovereignty that almost always seem to escape full public discourse. Thus, I will strive to:
  1. break outside this box I created and deliver articles that people will find simultaneously relevant and fresh;
  2. transcend what currently passes for political discussion in the United States; and
  3. be bold and timely.
Fourth (and last), with my ongoing change in careers (including this stab at writing), I can no longer afford the hosting that my websites require. This combined with the effect of my lost focus meant that I was going nowhere with the spent resources. I have to come to the stark reality that what I've been doing just won't work.

Therefore, I am starting this blog and bringing down my websites.

To those who enjoyed these websites, I hereby apologize and hope that you will stay with me and explore the issues raised in this blog. If you choose not to stay, I wish good tidings for you and yours (note: you'll always be welcome to return at any time).

As always, thank you very much for your time and support.

By the way, since this blog is new, I'm very open to making naming, description and style changes. If you have any ideas, please feel free to send them my way.

Stay tuned for my first regular article. I hope to write something new every day (or at least every other day). I have a lot of ideas in my head. Of course, feel free to comment on the articles and to submit ideas for new ones. I am even open to providing opportunities for guest articles. The channel is open!

So, here goes....


Anonymous said...


I enjoyed the very few exchanges we had. You are making a courageous move, and I wish you well and all the best.

I am curious: you say that what is important to you is: "getting out my thoughts in a clear and complete manner without obstruction." This is an outflow. Is an inflow interesting to you? What would that look like? What do you aspire to create, in terms of an impact, as a result of this outflow?

With highest regard,


Steve Magruder said...

Thank you for your kind comments.

To me, a good inflow consists of having access to a wide variety of news feeds, blogs and other web sites, not to mention people just shooting me an email about an idea they have. One of my favorite feeds is Steven Clift's DO-WIRE email list ( Also, occasionally a good book or old-fashioned newspaper article will inspire me. In fact, my first article will be based on a newspaper editorial I read recently.

But I think the most obvious inflow will be the comments left with each article--certainly many of these will inspire future articles.

Thank you for asking me what I think is a key question--what kind of impact am I looking to create? I was thinking that my first several articles would effectively explain this, but your question makes me consider how the outward appearance of the blog will need to demonstrate clearly what I (and hopefully, we the people) are trying to achieve.

To this end, I've considered a name change that I think better reflects what I'm aiming for: I will rename this new blog to "The Public's Power Base". Thus, the impact I'm trying to achieve is broad, yet clear--trying to get the general public to understand that they are the greatest power and to exercise that power with any opportunity they receive.

For many reasons, I have come to believe that countering the concentrated powers of corporations, industries and governments has become the highest order of our times. It's no longer left versus right, but the public against the anti-public. I hope this concept is clear on its face, but if not, I think my first several articles will tie it all together.

Thank you again for your comments. I hope you keep reading/commenting and become a great part of this blog's inflow.

Best regards,

Anonymous said...


I respect your right to do what you like with your websites.

However, your democracy 2.0 site contained a wealth of great information, some of which I was about to quote in paper I am preparing on the topic of "Community newspapers for grassroots democracy".

I am disappointed that I will not now be able to do this.

Isn't there any way that this material can be posted as static pages at little or no cost to you? Or made available by email or something?

Anyway, all the best with your new sobriety,

Mark Snell

Anonymous said...


I just found your site. My name also is Steve Magruder, and I live in Gainesville, Fla. I have a Web site I made for one of my classes at the University of Florida. I don't know that many people with our last name, let alone our full name, so please e-mail me at stever84[at] if you'd like to get in touch.


the other Steve Magruder

Anonymous said...

Agreeing with Mark Snell.

The democrazy 2.0 site contained a lot of use ul information and shouldn't be thrown away.
Sorry to see that you have come this conclusion Steve, I don't really follow the reason for shutting everything down at this stage.
Especially now with the formations like :
are getting more and more common!
I think that this movement are beginning to get momentum now, also in the states as the presidential flaws are getting more and more obvious to everyone. The system is slowly breaking down.

Best regards,
Magnus Gustavsson