Here are a few general issues (no particular order) that deserve collaborative work. They all relate to the overall rubric of individualism and freedom, balanced with responsibility.
· In the wake of 9-11-2001 are we likely to move away from a notion of individualism that embraces “winner takes all” and migrate toward an expectation that everyone needs to be able to provide for others besides oneself?
· In the wake of 9-11-2001 and the talk about national service, is a resumption of the draft in the cards? Is fo, what about “don’t ask, don’t tell”?
· Is the “problem” that many people have with gays the notion that gays (supposedly) don’t have responsibility for others besides themselves?
· Would allowing gays to marry and adopt (and thereby take responsibility for others) undermine the cultural institution of marriage?
· Given the “efficiency” and topology of the Internet as a self-publishing mechanism, should the legal concepts undermining intellectual property law (copyright, privacy, publicity, censorship) be changed?
· Will the Internet essentially make everyone a “public figure”? If so will this affect our ideas about professionalism?
· Has information technology culture permanently changed and become more support-oriented and manipulative in nature and less concerned with business or content? Are old-fashioned steady mainframe jobs going away for good?
· How can media businesses (publishing, broadcast, cable, movies) balance the pressure from shareholders to meet bottom-line targets (and sometimes appeal to the “lowest common denominator”) with the long-term value of developing more educational content?
· Will the “personal responsibility” model really work for issues like social security and health care reform?
Here are some more specific issues that lend themselves to collaborative efforts:
· Balancing public safety with civil liberties, particularly with reference to
·· surveillance of email and Internet activity
·· free speech
·· employment background investigations
·· can defensive measures really keep weapons of mass destruction from entering the country?
· Analyzing specific trends in the employment market, such as
·· the new importance of one’s own personal presence on the Internet when seeking employment
·· the value of IT certifications
·· can better software engineering (related to object-oriented design) reduce the need for support?
·· the relative importance of repeatable and arcane technical (“geek”) skills relative to business or content interests and knowledge
·· problems with liability and media perils insurance for those who want (or have) to become independent contractors
·· Is our focus when evaluating companies too “superficial”?
·· Does public policy with respect to unemployment, severance, and retirement security need major change?
· The “legitimacy” of self-publishing