IMPERIAL CENTER, CORUSCANT – The overwhelming military superiority of the Galactic Empire has been confirmed once again by the recent announcement by the President of the United States that his nation would not attempt to build a Death Star, despite the bellicose demands of the people of his tiny, aggressive planet. “It is doubtless that such a technological terror in the hands of so primitive a world would be used to upset the peace and sanctity of the citizens of the Galactic Empire,“ said Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of the Outer Rim Territories. “Such destructive power can only be wielded to protect and defend by so enlightened a leader as Emperor Palpatine.”
Representatives on behalf of the nation-state leader from the unimaginatively named planet refused to acknowledge the obvious cowardice of their choice, preferring instead to attribute the decision to fiscal responsibility. “The costs of construction they cited were ridiculously overestimated, though I suppose we must keep in mind that this miniscule planet does not have our massive means of production,” added Admiral Conan Motti of the Imperial Starfleet.
The Galactic Empire Public Relations team responds to the White House’s refusal to build a Death Star. Star Wars Blog, Planet Earth Abandons Death Star Project In Face Of Superior Galactic Imperial Power.
Fighting words, no?
Two things I find sexy: data, and APIs to get at that data.
Actually, there’s a third thing I find sexy: open government and organizations that increase government transparency.
For those counting, that might bring sexy up to four depending on your arithmetic.
So this is what I think: the Sunlight Foundation is a sexy organization. And the sultry group running Sunlight Labs gets data wonks and Open Gov advocates hot and bothered.
Here’s what they ostensibly look like.
And here’s what they’ve recently done:
This latter work might slip under the radar but is very important.
As Tom Lee writes on the Sunlight Labs Blog:
State legislatures are where vital decisions are made about civil rights, transportation, education, taxes, land use, gun regulation, and a host of other issues. Far too often, these issues don’t get the attention they deserve. It’s a simple question of scale: there are a lot more resources available at the federal level for both lawmakers and journalists. That means state governance both requires more transparency and tends to get less of it. We think technology can help make the situation better — that’s what Open States is all about.
Now it’s up to the rest of us to create great applications around this Open Gov treasure trove.
We’re looking forward to all sorts of new sexy. As a certain captain of a certain Starship Enterprise frequently said, “Make it so.”
And, by the way, they’re hiring.