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[liberationtech] Building a System for Trustworthy Representation:

Peter Lindener lindener.peter at
Wed Apr 27 05:33:59 PDT 2011

    Wael Ghonim,      ( hard copy, given to Wael during his talk last Friday
@ Stanford )
         and others in our *Activist Technical Community* -

   Our research is on what I term *Information Theoretic Democracy*, which
we think is critically important for building well constructed forms of
democratic governance. I use the term Information Theory here, as there are
many insights, such as the one introduced bellow, that can be gained, as one
looks at the democratic group decisions in terms of information flow.

Building a System for Trustworthy Representation:
Free form Delegated Proxy based Representation for Social networking

     Inequitable distribution of power, as well as corruption, renders
current attempts at representation profoundly flawed.  The fundamental issue
with our existing representational approach appears to be that effective
trust relationship management does not extend well towards the many-to-one,
infrequently group-selected, not so accountable, politically twisted by
money, single representative.

    Social networking systems, properly devised, have the potential to
implement environments that are more democratic, constructive and responsive
to the true desires of the electorate.  Personalized choice of one's
representative, independently customizable across any given class of issues,
with the freedom to adjust one's representational preference at any time or
ones choosing, promise to profoundly improve the current representational

   Social networking sites have the potential to effectively light a burner
under politicians as they would know they would be held accountable on the
particular issues they represent on one's behalf.  A simple drag and drop of
one's social network based proxy directives, can shift who one chooses as
one's representative on a particular class of issues.  With this approach
representational social relationships are much more fine grained,
responsive, and accountable in nature.

How we can
*Conflict of Interest*
   What if: You enjoyed personal friendships with everyone who represents
your interests in government
AND:  You could *remove any of them* from their role and replace them with
anyone else you individually preferred, any time, at will, with just a few
clicks of a mouse?
Further more: Your right to make such adjustments, towards your own better
representation in government, at ANY time of your choosing, were protected
under constitutional law?

   Thus, social networking sites not only permit people to decide
collectively that they want freedom and proper representation but also can
deliver a paradigm for, effective, multi-hop proxy-based, issues-driven,
personalized representation.  For additional reading on this topic one may
want to check out this paper on proxy based
by James Green-Armytage <>.

--- Technical details bellow ---

   There are two half's to our work in Information Theoretic Social Decision
The first half has to do with a system for Individually selected, free form,
proxy based representation. This approach induces significant motivational
factors of ones representatives (on a voter selected class of issues)
towards substantially improved (trust maintained) relationships with those
they represent.

   Proxy based representation can propagate multiple hops through the Proxy
Edge graph that is represented as a sparse Matrix independently on an issue
by issue bases. Proxy directive matrix columns represent the outgoing proxy
directive of a each voter..... These matrix column each partition unity (sum
to one), In this generalized form, A voter's proxy directive can be split
across the individually selected "committee" they feel would best represent
them on a (personally selected, via key word rule triggered) class of

    There are two issues that come up when propagating each voters proxy
based representational influence,  these issues arise as this directed
directed proxy graph is free form. .That is, any one can proxy in fraction
as they wish, to any one else, who chooses to represent others.   Ones
voting influence may propagate multiple hops. Mathematically this is
represented by Proxy Directive (Adjacency Matrix) multiplications.  This
leads to the evaluation of propagated voter weight over multiple hops by
means of a matrix power summation.   Since the potential exists for cycles
in the directed edge, proxy directive graph..... one needs to be careful how
one computes these things in order not to end up in an infinite loop. In
this graph propagation, proxy directive, adjacency matrix multiplications,
corresponds to the multi hop evaluation of a the directed edge (proxy)
graph's ultimate connectivity.

   The key insight here in the formulation of voter weight propagation
within this directed proxy graph, is to realize that for the computation to
yield a finally propagated result, the fraction of weight proxyed by a voter
to them self's does not remain within the above mentioned transit graph,
instead, it is steered into a second final resting destination node
associated with each (voting) representative.   That is, the fully
generalized proxy graph propagation engine has 2 nodes for each
voter/representative, a transit node for voting weight still being
propagated, and a final destination node that accumulates the total proxyed
weight to that particular representative.

   While proxy cycles with unity loop gain cna possibly form infinite loops
form black hole vortexes that would unavoidably eat voter influence (if not
flagged back to the associated voters). all other cyclical proxy loops
possessing less than unity gain will decay. While the associated forwarding
series of these loops remains infinite, it will decay exponentially.....With
this insight, the asymptotic summation (DC response, in Electrical
Engineering IIR filter lingo), remains computable. That is,, one does not
need to iterate the computation indefinably, but instead can solve as a
closed form matrix computation...
...kind of cool..... Suffice it to say,  some work significant has been done


   The other part of our research has to do with network based, truly
democratic, wide open ranked choice space, group decision assist. It has
been shown that, When governance decisions are based directly on issues of
governance policy, that are free from the spoiler effect and the distortions
associated with representation personality contests, That such systems can
be formulated to maximize the potential for a most congenial group decision

   We have spent the last ten years looking at how* Information Theoretic
Democracy* will profoundly improve our government's responsiveness to head
the true will of the electorate.  Applying Information as well as Game
Theory to the formulation of the information process that evaluates a
society's most equable sense of a consensus, over wide open crowed source
innovated ranked choice spaces, in order to distill of the best ideas and
thinking that society as a whole has to offer.....

   This kind of approach promises some sense of greater hope for a more
truly democratic group decision process.
You can find an initial introduction to the beginning our work
<>here in the Journal
Voting Matters <>,

   This paper begins with a fairly easy to read lay-reader targeted
introduction, So even if it is more detailed in total than you might be
wanting, the beginning as well as end, We made an effort to gear the
introduction to the not yet up to speed reading audience.  It was a very
real privilege to have co-authored the above paper along with Joesph
There is more thinking still to share as reflected in this additional work
we did together that still remains in working
I would cherish the help of others in  helping to convey the hope that
Information Theoretic Democracy is likely to bring to the revival of our
world's society having faith in a truly democratic group decision process.

     Now that Social Networks have arranged it so that many well intending
people have collectively put there lives quite literally on the line,
Perhaps we should also leverage the very same networking technology to keep
things a bit more harmonious and peaceful, by assisting these new very
hopeful democracy, by way of network based aggregation of Social

 the case for:
 Social Network based,
 personal issue by issue, dynamic proxy based representation
in support of a truly democratic group decision process.

We propose a Social Decision system based approach for greater world harmony
as well as graceful exit from conflict,  enabled by the Internet's potential
support of Information Theoretically optimal, truly Democratic Group
decision process.  This system  would possess the following advantages over
current (corruption temping) governance paradigms.

   -    Fully decentralized, no single points of failure, with respect to
   persons in power, or running for office, Polling time's and places etc.
   (Terrorists can not destabilize the governmental decision process, by
   assassinating or intimidating individual).

   -    Governance policy based truly democratic group decision system would
   keep the socio-political decision process focused directly on issues of real
   substance and meaning. Such a system will tend to operate effectively beyond
   issues of personality driven power balance, instead facilitating the group
   decision process directly on the underlying issues truly at hand.

   - Wide open Ranked Choice Space, (free from any degradation due to third+
   candidate spoiler effect)  when applied directly to issues of governmental
   policy ( as opposed to personality ), this will permit the electorate to
   choose the alternative the group as a whole would most congenially prefer.
   (Based on an extended Information Theoretic formulation of Condorcet's
   assertion for the Groups most preferred of ranked choice alternatives)

   - Social Choice Mathematics Historian Ian McLean at Oxford  has suggested
   that the concept of Pair-wise differential analysis, suggested by LLull, in
   the 13th century, and then more fully developed by Condorcet in 1785, may
   have its origins in the Arabic Mathematics literature.. as Llull was fluent
   in Arabic as well as enjoying  access to the rich Arabic library of that
   time period.  It would seem that cultural pride would leave many in the
   Arabic world open to the idea that Information Theoretic Democracy. Is
   possibly a concept rising from there own cultures interest in developing the
   best form mathematics for Ranked Choice Voting systems.

    It is my personal position that* Information Theoretic Democracy* can
leave us with a bright new day for Egypt. My hope is that others will also
see the potential of this dream.  I offer my assistance in bring our
socially consciences technical community up to speed concerning the
of Social Consensus by means of Information Theoretic Methods*...

   While there is much to cover here at a more technical (Computer Science)
level, The good news to follow is,... as the most significant challenge in
Social Choice mathematics, The most congenial resolution of any Coinciding
Cyclical Majorities, under Condorcet's pairwise differential ranking
analysis has recently been shown to possess a *optimal form of most
congenial resolution* . This choice ranking challenge encountered in the
formal mathematics of social consensus aggregation can be best resolved by
fully taking into account each voters individual preference priorities. The
result intuitive as it ends up seeming in hind sight, is based on the
foundation that a group's choice ranking priorities as a whole, can be most
robustly deduced in terms of the median of voters individual voting
priorities within each pairwise differential ranking decision.

   The above development will then bring: *Democratic Word Processors*,
where ever fine grain edit decision, is decided by means of a truly
democratic group decision process.  With these advances we will enjoy:
Best Idea Percolators*, that distill the very best thinking and creative
solutions the society has to offer towards a more effective style of truly
democratic governance.

   I look forward discussing any further questions you might have regarding
this work, as well as the potential for similar advances to bring us a
promising future.   I request that we might assemble as computer science
literate activists, who have an interest in extending Face-Book as well as
other social networks with the required functionality, such that this very
promising start of this internet based movement, ends up telling a story to
our grand kids with a very happy ending.

    Sincerely Yours
        -Peter Lindener   <lindener.peter at>
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