What most people heard in Gilliam’s speech was the story of a man who had beaten death three times and who had lost his faith in God, only to find it in the Internet. Most didn’t realize that when Gilliam spoke of repaying a “debt” and creating a “new world,” it wasn’t a rhetorical flourish. A few months earlier, he had unveiled a piece of software called NationBuilder. He fervently believed that NationBuilder, which he had written from scratch in his apartment, would, in his words, “democratize democracy.” If the Internet’s power came from connecting humanity, then NationBuilder would give ordinary people the means to harness that power to make change. Run for Congress. Build a bridge. Topple a dictator. Get new lungs. Read the whole article.