Reason.tv: You Want Political Freedom? There's an App For That.

Got a pothole? There's an app for that. Need a medical marijuana dispensary? There's an app for that, too.

Reason.tv's Ted Balaker sat down with Matt Harrison and Justin Hartfield of the Prometheus Institute to discuss how new technology can expand liberty. Harrison and Hartfield are the creators of the Do-it-Yourself Democracy iPhone application, which allows users to expose government waste, organize protests, or simply hector officials into finally fixing a long-neglected pothole. Hartfield is also the creator of WeedMaps.com, a site and iPhone app that locates medical marijuana dispensaries and allows users to interact with other medical marijuana patients.

Other topics include: Revamping classic libertarian books with iPad technology and how Steve Jobs manages to be both an uber-capitalist and a progressive hero.

Interview by Ted Balaker. Shot by Alex Manning, Hawk Jensen, and Paul Detrick. Edited by Paul Detrick. Music: "Get What You Want?" by Beight (Magnatune Records).

Just under 10 minutes. Go to Reason.tv for iPod, HD, and audio versions of this video. Subscribe to Reason.tv's YouTube Channel and receive automatic notifications when new material goes live.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • sage||

    It gets better. Need to know where DUI roadblocks are? Need to know where speed traps and red light cameras are? There are apps for those.

    Wait until license plate reading tech gets into the hands of civilians. Need to know if any cops are within a half mile? There will soon be an app for that.

    *twirls imaginary mustache*

  • Steff||

    Makes it all a bit more sporting, I think.

  • ||

    Hartfield is also the creator of WeedMaps.com, a site and iPhone app that locates medical marijuana dispensaries and allows users to interact with other medical marijuana patients.

    What about people who don't live in medical marijuana states? Does this fucking guy expect me to find a pot dealer on my own? And why isn't there a Yelp-type service for pot dealers? The customer service experience is very important in that type of relationship.

    Market failure.

  • Jeff||

    Really.. you guys should at least link to the application itself.

  • ||

    Is there an app for idiots that spend money on the iPad and the iPhone?

  • hieroglyphic stone carver||

    Is there an app for idiots that spend time and money on words, computers and the internet?

  • asdfgh||

    No app for iDiots at present.

  • Rich||

    I predict that -- as bureaucrats feel increasingly, um, *picked on* -- gov'ts will back away from email/Web interactions and require snail contact from the "user".

    That will help save or create USPS jobs, too.

  • ||

    Reason, Matt Welch, Nick Gillespie,
    Want a 500 comment item on your website today? then post the Wiki Leaked Collateral Murder? story. We realize that your Koch masters will not be happy as it is damaging to the war profiteering military industrial complex but you have to retain your credibility. The story is gonna get bigger and you will eventually have to acknowledge it:

    1.Destroying a makeshift ambulance promotes terrorism in all it's forms. This does not make us safer.

    2.Destroying a makeshift ambulance does not make oil cheaper. The brainwashed set here seem to still cling to the idea that we are in Iraq for "cheap oil" which is the LEAST believable reason for the war. Bush and Cheney came into their presidency making many public statement about the horrors of "cheap oil'. Saudi Arabia(the close US ally and islamo fundamentalist redicalizing agent) repeatedly threaten Sadam because he was producing "too much" oil. Bush-Cheney texas buddies were particularly hard hit by $15,$20 and $30 oil because they were marginal supplier int he world market at those low prices!
    3.Destroying a makeshift ambulance is not gonna spread "democracy".

    Thus, all the official reasons for us wasting our resources in the middle east are BS. If you do not acknowledge that then you are in fact not "supporting the troops"....you are helping send kids to their death for BS reasons.

  • sage||

    Hey gabe, the bot is a following you around. Like a groupie-bot.

  • ||

    Wow, that way cool. I like that dude. Very good stuff thats way cool.

    ER
    www.anonymous-surfing.us.tc

  • ||

    Is there an app that will let me return my 4G Shuffle?

    What a piece of iCrap that is!

  • Jimmy 'Crack' Corn||

    "iCrap"

    +5

  • Zeb||

    I never understood the shuffle. Isn't the point of an ipod that you can carry around all of your music and be able to play anything you want at any time?

  • ||

    The point is that it's ridiculously tiny and ridiculously cheap.

    People who "shuffle" their playlists while jogging or riding the bus to work or whatever rarely listen to more than an hour or two of music, so right before you leave the house, you "shuffle" a couple hours of songs from your big playlist and put only those songs on the device. The experience is pretty much exactly the same as you would have had using your iPod the way most people use it, but you don't need to carry a cell-phone sized gadget and you don't need to spend a lot of money on it.

    For those who already have phones that play MP3's, there's almost no point at all to the shuffle, but for the cheapskate pop music lover, or the dude who doesn't want to carry a "man purse" or fanny-pack full of gadgets, it's exactly the right tool for the job.

  • asdfgh||

    One has to wonder why a dude wouldn't want to carry a "man purse" ..is it possible to even hear about one and not chuckle?

    Possibly so for those living somewhere like Seattle where the man purse perfectly accessorizes the man skirt (and no they were not kilts). Those wearing them testified once you wear one you'll never go back to pants. "Freer movement, keeps your junk cool in muggy weather, makes a statement" were some of the pros given by one man skirt dude I spoke with.

    Whatever works for someone is fine with me. Doubt I'll give one a try. Something tells me there's a reason most women, and Scotsmen for that matter, wear pants most of the time and I doubt it's because they are less comfortable or utilitarian.

  • Fluffy||

    Wait a second - it was my understanding that political apps were banned from the iPhone and iPad.

    Is that just incorrect, or is the app you describe here Apple's "pet" approved political app?

  • asdfgh||

    The throw a shoe at Bush app was banned, not sure about political apps in general. Nothing would surprise me given the bans I'm aware of, however, Suicide Girls oriented ones for example. There doesn't seem to be much rhyme or reason behind what is, and is not banned.

    Silly iFascists want to rule the world.

  • d||

    Hey, Promethius People, please make Android app versions of your stuff, if you haven't already. Google vill krush Apple. (And real libertarians should be using some flavor of Linux anyway.)

  • asdfgh||

    And real libertarians should be using some flavor of Linux anyway.

    It would be my hope real libertarians would desire the liberty to choose to use any flavor they please.

    Nonetheless, Linux has really improved since the first versions were released. I haven't given any of the varieties a test drive in a couple years, but intend to do so again soon. It was almost ready for prime time last time, given the past improvement curve it should be about ready.

    Have you used any of the open source CAD/CAM programs? It's one point that keeps me tied to Windows, unfortunately.

  • d||

    Hi, Asdfgh (is your first name "Qwerty"?). Please reset your sarcasm detection settings a little. The "real libertarians" comment was pure snark.

    Anyhow, no haven't done CAD since 8th grade shop class...about, oh, 20 years ago (and on a Tandy 1000 or some such slightly-post-green-machine). Although a quick Google turned up this:

    http://www.tech-edv.co.at/lunix/CADlinks.html

    Cheers.

  • d||

    Sorry. Type-o. I meant "*The* Google vill krrrrush *the* Apples".

    There. Much better.

  • ||

    Really? Protesting roadwork? Of all the things government does, roadwork? How is roadwork shady?

  • asdfgh||

    Not so much the road work as the corruption in the awarding and distribution of the contracts, over-billing, fraud, et cetera, et cetera.

  • asdfgh||

    Good question about Jobs' corporation of which he is CEO. The response was flimsy, but that's to be expected. It's highly doubtful Mac users are any more creative than users of other operating system. Just a guess, but it would be surprising if the Macs had anything to do with their users above average incomes, Jobs excluded, I doubt many others create much wealth.

    The truth would most likely be more along the lines of progressives employ very selective outrage, when it comes to their cults of personality they always get a free pass.

  • ||

    So now what brand of computer you use is a "political" choice too?! It's like that saying, "to the man who only has a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail". Although maybe we should re-phrase the "hardware" and say.... "to the wingnut, everything starts to look like a screw"....!

  • louboutin ||

    Harrison and Hartfield are the creators of the Do-it-Yourself Democracy iPhone application, which allows users to expose government waste, organize protests, or simply hector officials into finally fixing a long-neglected pothole. Hartfield is also the creator of WeedMaps.com, a site and iPhone app that locates medical marijuana dispensaries and allows users to interact with other medical marijuana patients.

  • christian louboutin||

    Interview by Ted Balaker. Shot by Alex Manning, Hawk Jensen, and Paul Detrick. Edited by Paul Detrick. Music: "Get What You Want?" by Beight (Magnatune Records).

  • christian louboutin||

    Shot by Alex Manning, Hawk Jensen, and Paul Detrick. Edited by Paul Detrick. Music: "Get What You Want?" by Beight (Magnatune Records).

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