Author Topic: E-Democracy  (Read 75816 times)

Kai

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #300 on: July 23, 2010, 09:18:10 pm »
FictionPuss, you have turned into a complete douchebag.

I'd argue that.  He was hilarious as the triumphant return of Moonkitten.

But yeah, this obsession is getting a little old.

I meant in the sense that a douchebag, in the sense it was for tourturing vaginas, is an antiquated piece of paraphernalia, and it's functional use doesn't rest upon any current rational understanding of reality. Just in case people think I'm merely throwing insults as ad hominem.
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Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #301 on: July 23, 2010, 11:09:56 pm »
FictionPuss, you have turned into a complete douchebag.

I'd argue that.  He was hilarious as the triumphant return of Moonkitten.

But yeah, this obsession is getting a little old.

I meant in the sense that a douchebag, in the sense it was for tourturing vaginas, is an antiquated piece of paraphernalia, and it's functional use doesn't rest upon any current rational understanding of reality. Just in case people think I'm merely throwing insults as ad hominem.

Yes, you are.  But since no-one is going to call you on it outside of PMs, you might as well own it rather than trying to explain it away in the most convoluted way possible.  Not using my chosen username is a another nice touch.  I really don't understand the burning need to turn a theoretical discussion into a personal attack.

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #302 on: July 23, 2010, 11:17:17 pm »
So, calling your congressman is too antiquated?

Compared with having a direct impact on events from your phone or computer, yes, definitely.

Funny story.  So we have an alcohol enforcement officer here in my community.  A big chunk of his salary was coming from the state office of substance abuse.  they announced that funding was shriveling like a prune.  We discovered we weren't going to have enough money to pay for the officer.  We contacted our state senator, told her the story.  Through the magic of the legislation process, she found a pot of money to funnel to the police department so that work could continue.  Want to take a guess at how long all that took? 

I not saying that all old is bad and all new is good.  Certainly, I expect the kind of interaction you describe happens all the time.


Wait, how?

You have an elected representative, and you use a piece of technology to tell him how you feel on an issue.  I'm still not seeing it, I guess.  Unless you're circumventing the legislative process, of course.

Using a telephone is a lot less efficient, and a lot more time consuming than using a web application which is streamlined for that purpose.  It's a click not a conversation.  By reducing the barriers of participation, even if the amount of energy/effort in question is small, you'll get more people involved.

Online, I would expect the individuals Impact of each interaction to be less than those in RWHN's anecdote about using existing channels of communication.  However, since the existing channels would still exist, and more people would be involved overall, it seems like an improvement to me.

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #303 on: July 23, 2010, 11:46:26 pm »
Please consider the point whereby the majority of issues would not be monolithic thousand-page reforms but minor informed tweaks.

Yes there may be a period of chaos.  But consider this as a process, it's not like we're stuck with a single idea for a decade, unable to modify our course - if things get too chaotic - and a majority of people decide to continue, then who are we to say what is best for them? 

If things really get chaotic though, doesn't it seem likely that we'd all just start talking about that problem and come up with a way to solve it by making things less fluid for a while?

Okay, so Town X passes a law to require your headlights must be on when you use your windshield wipers.  Two months later,there is a movement to overturn this because people find it inconvenient to have to remember that, so the law is overturned.  3 days later, there is a horrific pile-up because someone didn't see another car coming because it was drizzly and they didn't have headlights on.  A new movement reinstates that headlight law.  So, within a few months you've had the law change 3 times.  

Do you think the citizenry is going to be able to keep up with all of this.  What about law enforcement officials who need to keep track of all these changes and adjust training curriculum and enforcement activities with each change?  

So how about this instead -- each resolution needs to include a realistic plan for its implementation.  By realistic I mean, if your plan involves changing regulations which law enforcement needs to train itself for and uphold, then you don't write into law that the regulation will be enforced tomorrow.  Instead you solicit/accept input from the relevant stakeholders.  If you need 21 days to retrain officers and advertise the change to the population, then you add that to the resolution.

You'll need far more than 21 days.  The Arizona immigration will be going into law next Thursday and it was passed by the legislature months ago.  It takes a long time to get these things into place.  It will take 21 days just to make all of the phone calls to organize the trainings.  This is what I'm talking about with the excessive fluidity of your model.  

Okay great - in the proxy vote model, having just demonstrated a greater knowledge, you'd now be my proxy for deciding on implementation timelines.

21 days was just a number I pulled out of my ass, it's not relevant to whether or not the model could work if correct implementation times were given.


Quote
Key to the e-dem concept is that I could vote one way on an issue today, talk with a friend tonight, and change my vote - while the vote remains open.  But once an issue has been decided/closed, a vote placed in that cannot be changed.  A separate issue would be required to repeal, and it would also require its own implementation plan.

I see no benefit in this whatsoever.  The way it currently works now is that the citizenry already knows what questions are coming up for referendum way in advance of the actual election.  Citizens have ample time to talk to their friends, do research, and come to a firm conclusion of where they stand on the issue.  Then they cast their vote.  What's wrong with that?  

It limits the amount of referendum issues a population can consider in a given time period.  I don't see a good reason for an artificial limitation.

With an open voting window where you can see how an issue is progressing, if a pet issue isn't faring so well then you have an additional motivation to discuss and promote it.  Perhaps you aren't as informed as you think on your pet issue, and maybe discussion leads to you changing your own mind.  And maybe not, increasing the amount of discussion sounds like a good thing to me though.


And we already have a system in place where a separate issue can be put on the table to repeal.  It happens here in Maine all the time.  One year a referendum will pass to legalize X.  Citizens gather signatures to put a question on the next ballot to repeal that.  This can happen on an annual basis already.  And honestly I think that is fucked up.  Your system seems like it would amp that up and make it happen even faster.  That fluidity in the law will put a lot of stress on the community.  

Isn't it better to resolve the argument in a few months, then over a few years?


Quote
In the case of the Army and DADT, a populace may decide to call the bluff, and disregard the input from the stakeholders.  I do have faith that if something like that turned out to be the wrong decision, then it would reduce the likelihood of similar mistakes happening in the future.

Wrong according to who?  Mistakes according to who?

The majority.

Giving more control to the populace over their own destiny, taking off training-wheels off, is the only way I see of educating the populace in the medium-long term.

And it won't always be pretty.


You seem to have an assumption in your model that there will be this kumbaya rationality amongst the e-democracy participants.  Maybe that works in a little WOW group playing e-democracy.  But if you expand it to a community, a society, a populace, that shit goes out the window right fast.  It's mob rule.  

No.  But neither do I assume that all of the participants in such a system would remain static.  Attitudes will change.  Reactions and expectations will change.  People will find new ways to get the things they want in such a system.  I don't think we'll all run around like headless chickens unable to find any new answers to the problems you predict which are made all the more vivid by virtue of living through them.

I may be incorrect in my estimations of how the motivations will play out, but until we start discussing in those terms, I don't see how we'll find any middle ground.

Jasper

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #304 on: July 23, 2010, 11:52:40 pm »
I just thought of something.  What if I don't want people deferring their vote to me?

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #305 on: July 23, 2010, 11:54:06 pm »
How about an non-negotiable law that says if a law is repealed a third (or second) time, it stays off the books.

Every rule you add can, and will, be gamed.


Wait, how?

You have an elected representative, and you use a piece of technology to tell him how you feel on an issue.  I'm still not seeing it, I guess.  Unless you're circumventing the legislative process, of course.

My interpretation of this is he is essentially taking the referendum process, or citizens initiative process that exists in most states, and putting it on speed.  So instead of putting questions and proposals on ballots every November.  They go up at will whenever some group decides a law needs to be changed, added, or repealed. 

So if pd.com was the community:  I want to repeal the 50-post rule.  I post something that says so.  The majority agrees and then it is passed.  2 months later, you decide that is bullshit and want to put it back.  You post something, and we go through it again.  Wash, rinse, repeat....CU, feel free to correct me where I am off but that is how I'm reading what you are selling. 

Yes - that's about it.

But how many times would something like that have to happen before we, as a group, start wanting to find a way more thoroughly explore issues before deciding upon them?  How long before it becomes obvious to all of the participants.

It's a game-design issue -- you're free to implement a freedom, if there is an oppositional factor which will limit the scope for abuse.

Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #306 on: July 23, 2010, 11:55:09 pm »
I just thought of something.  What if I don't want people deferring their vote to me?

It's a good question.  Should people be allowed to refuse deferrals?

Jasper

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #307 on: July 24, 2010, 12:26:16 am »
If every rule that can be added will be gamed, why bother?  The people will have their way.

Kai

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #308 on: July 24, 2010, 12:50:45 am »
FictionPuss, you have turned into a complete douchebag.

I'd argue that.  He was hilarious as the triumphant return of Moonkitten.

But yeah, this obsession is getting a little old.

I meant in the sense that a douchebag, in the sense it was for tourturing vaginas, is an antiquated piece of paraphernalia, and it's functional use doesn't rest upon any current rational understanding of reality. Just in case people think I'm merely throwing insults as ad hominem.

Yes, you are.  But since no-one is going to call you on it outside of PMs, you might as well own it rather than trying to explain it away in the most convoluted way possible.  Not using my chosen username is a another nice touch.  I really don't understand the burning need to turn a theoretical discussion into a personal attack.

The simple answer is I expect better of you. What is it about human nature that has changed so significantly which would allow an "e-democracy" to be an egalitarian meritocracy rather than mob rule? Why is it that you believe (=anticipate) that people will not only act in their own best interests but will make both epistemic and instrumental rational decisions, when history has shown us that in general people do not act this way when given the opportunity?
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Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #309 on: July 24, 2010, 01:15:25 am »
Please see my last response to RWHN for a more complete examination of this issue.  To summarise - the question is not whether taking a populations training-wheels off with regards its own destiny will change that population, but what will change and how.  While I anticipate a lot of scraped knees, I think it is improbable that we won't learn something.  I think we will learn how to better ride the bicycle of rationality.  The hyper-connectivity our networks now provide is something entirely new to our species.  It has already changed how we interact with each other.  It will continue to do so.

In this environment history is not the best indicator of future performance.

Kai

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #310 on: July 24, 2010, 01:29:20 am »
Please see my last response to RWHN for a more complete examination of this issue.  To summarise - the question is not whether taking a populations training-wheels off with regards its own destiny will change that population, but what will change and how.  While I anticipate a lot of scraped knees, I think it is improbable that we won't learn something.  I think we will learn how to better ride the bicycle of rationality.  The hyper-connectivity our networks now provide is something entirely new to our species.  It has already changed how we interact with each other.  It will continue to do so.

In this environment history is not the best indicator of future performance.

Provide evidence for the above bolded statement.

Hyper-connectivity of networks is not sufficient enough evidence for an extraordinary claim. How are people going to become more rational (cf. Less Wrong) via e-democracy? What mechanism does e-democracy within hyper-connectivity provide to cause widespread changes to human psychology leading to higher rationality? And a more important question, what evidence do you have that such a move would provide for a society based more heavily in egalitarian meritocracy rather than mob rule? Because any resultant leading more to the latter than the former is not worth my time.

Emphasis on the last part.
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Kai

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #311 on: July 24, 2010, 01:32:47 am »
And as for your last statement about history, what are basing your hypotheses on then? Because if not /what has already happens/, then they are floating on NOTHING. You have zero evidence. You are advocating a very unsafe social experiment with hypotheses picked out of thin air, maps bearing random (and therefore meaningless) relationship to reality.
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Captain Utopia

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #312 on: July 24, 2010, 01:58:54 am »

The game we've been playing ITT, is that I'll describe a situational set of forces/motivations and explain why I think this will change a particular variable and why - then someone will respond along the lines of "that variable will never change to value X because of precedent Y".  Completely ignoring the unique set of motivations that I use as my premise.

What I would love to see is for someone to take the set of forces/motivations and come up with a different conclusion from that which I've reached, and argue from there.  But so far no one is willing to climb on that limb.  I guess brain-storming probability makes one look ridiculous.

Kai

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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #313 on: July 24, 2010, 02:37:57 am »
Why don't you summarize a situation in statements about forces and motivations and I'll evaluate those? But YES, I will evaluate based upon historical evidence (ie shit that's already happened) because no one, even you, can evaluate rationally based upon anything else. Bayesian reasoning requires priors to calculate a resultant, and those priors are not pulled out of thin air. Otherwise the chance of them actually correlating to reality is a coin toss, zero knowledge and zero ability to anticipate reality.

And don't tell me you can do away with priors when predicting reality, because that will be an outright lie.
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Re: E-Democracy
« Reply #314 on: July 24, 2010, 03:06:18 am »
CU seems to be saying that if people can make decisions quickly, on their own, as a group, then they will eventually make good decisions, in an independent manner.

The best way to test this is to examine a situation where this already happens. The home, the neighborhood, the community?

How much rationality do we see there? Or am I just being cynical?