Philip K. Howard is a conservative who inspires standing ovations from liberal audiences (short example here). He says that governance in America -- from the capitol to the classroom -- has achieved near-total dysfunctionality by accumulating so many layers of piecemeal legalisms that the requirements of navigating them has replaced any hope of getting actual justice or effectiveness. Most attempts to fix the problems have made them worse. Howard thinks they can be fixed in a way that restores core functionality.
Howard is the author of Life Without Lawyers and Death of Common Sense and is the founder and chair of Common Good, a reform advocacy nonprofit.
Stewart Brand is co-founder and president of The Long Now Foundation and co-founder of Global Business Network. He created and edited the Whole Earth Catalog (National Book Award), and co-founded the Hackers Conference and The WELL. His books include The Clock of the Long Now; How Buildings Learn; and The Media Lab. His most recent book, titled Whole Earth Discipline, is published by Viking in the US and Atlantic in the UK.
Philip K. Howard
Philip K. Howard is a lawyer, author and civic leader. He is the author of, Life Without Lawyers, as well as the best-seller The Death of Common Sense and The Collapse of the Common Good, and he is a periodic contributor to the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
He advises leaders of both parties on legal and regulatory reform issues, and wrote the introduction to Vice President Al Gore's book Common Sense Government. A practicing lawyer, Howard is a partner in the law firm Covington & Burling LLP. In 2002, Howard founded Common Good (www.commongood.org), organized to restore common sense to American public life. The Advisory Board of Common Good is composed of leaders from a broad cross-section of American political thought including, among others, former Senators Howard Baker, Bill Bradley, George McGovern, and Alan Simpson.
Howard is a civic leader in New York and is Chair-Emeritus of the Municipal Art Society, a leading civic group that spearheaded initiatives to preserve Grand Central Terminal.
Author Philip K. Howard discusses the origins of common sense, which he believes can only be gained through the freedom to make mistakes. "There's no such thing as the right answer," says Howard. "Freedom's not an instruction manual -- it's a hypothesis."