Thursday, June 14, 2007

Drowning in Information and what to do about it! You can now make a difference, Cooperative Research!

Hi James Michael Joiner,

This is Paul Thompson, the creator of the 911 Timeline that is hosted at
You're receiving this email because you are a registered user of the Cooperative Research website.
Political scandals are emerging so frequently these days that it's easy to lose track of them all. When new ones arise, the older ones are quickly forgotten and pushed out of the newspapers. At the History Commons, we're doing what no one else is doing on the web or elsewhere--compiling a database of important facts that we have gleaned from thousands of news reports and documents so they won't be erased from public memory.

Right now, we want to accelerate our efforts because it appears that some lawmakers are stepping up theirs. Slowly but surely, Congressional investigations and hearings are being organized on many issues. For instance, Congressman Dennis Kucinich has promised hearings into some aspects of 9/11 later in the year. Other investigations are taking a look at the FDA and drug industry, climate change policies, detainees, and civil liberties. We'd love to start new projects or intensify our work on others so we can make all the information relevant to these issues more accessible to the public.
Don't just be a passive observer of the news; help change history. We're looking for more contributors to help us sort through news stories so Congressional investigations will have a big leg up when they get started. We have Congressional contacts who have used our work in the past. So this gives you a real opportunity to have an impact.
We have a very simple online entry submission system and we're happy to take the time to show you how to use it. You don't need to devote a huge amount of time to the project to have an impact. If there are several people inputting only the occasional entry, we will still be able to accomplish a great deal. So the pattern of contribution will depend on the user. You can spend anywhere from four hours a day to just a few hours a year, and we can work closely with you to develop your first few entries.
Mainstream reporting has been far too short-sighted. More and more, it's up to concerned citizens to conduct the kind of government and corporate oversight that the media—the so-called fourth estate—has failed to do. Prior to the Internet, it was difficult for people at the grassroots-level to challenge the assertions of governments and corporations, which are capable of backing their information campaigns with enormous resources. But with the advent of the Internet, online collaboration has provided the public with the means to harness a great deal of distributed energy in a very effective and efficient way. Let's put our energy together to create a permanent record of history and help hold those with power accountable.
Please help us so we can achieve as a group what no person can achieve alone.
To start contributing, please send me an email ( so we can figure out where your knowledge and interests can have the greatest impact. We've come a long way, but we have much left to do. The time is now for the public to assert its role as both the prime actor and author of history.
Regards, The History Commons team
I thought many of you here would like to help with this project.

James Joiner
Gardner, Ma

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