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The speaker in this TED Talk suggests that hacking — amateur modifications to existing things — is a highly democratic process, citing Ben Franklin as a role model for such activity, and crowdsourcing of municipal information as modern examples. The most vivid one is the replacement of a $9.3 Million government contract with a $9300 contest in Brazil. (If only they could have done that with Obamacare’s website!)

Related link referenced in talk: