Note — Aug 09, 2020

Taiwan’s Internet and Democracy Evolved Together

Seen in → No.136

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A profile of the fascinating Taiwanese digital minister, Audrey Tang. On some of her life story, views, daoism, calm, open source history, g0v, vTaiwan, her vision and actions around civic tech, and the essential role of trust. The piece also goes into some detail about the parallel evolution of democracy and the internet in Taiwan. Good read if you’re interested in any of these themes, and a person and place to keep an eye on.

For Tang, the significance of the mask map portal was its function as a space for others to participate in. She hearkened back to first principles: The portal was an example of her “Daoist approach” to political and social action. […]

Promoting openness and transparency nurtures mutual trust—and when the people and the government trust each other, new possibilities for collective action blossom. So the question becomes: How can digital tools be deployed to engender trust? […]

That kind of rough consensus is the key in Taiwanese norm shaping, because it enables people to not squander their time on getting the fine consensus out but rather to agree on something that we can all live with. […]

Tang wrote that the reason “there are so many civic hackers in Taiwan volunteering to work on democracy” is that in Taiwan the “internet and democracy evolved together, spread together, and integrated with each other.” […]