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[liberationtech] Freedom in the face of power and a vanishing vote

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Sun Sep 25 18:14:15 PDT 2011


Dear Peter,

> ...but it is not entirely a lost cause....  These problems regarding
> the transmission of the desires of the electorate into the
> governance process can with the appropriate Social Network based
> Decision systems ... can be effectively addressed....
> https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=11uyedC3rAWHaNZDIP5JLcVIcbL_1oTGdOeoYSTKhdxg&pli=1

Thank you, I definitely agree!  I have a question about how the
delegable proxy works here, and I'll forward it shortly.  I'm a
software engineer working on project Votorola, and we use similar
models.  Maybe we can collaborate?

> My own personal opinion is that the formalitys of Information
> Theoretic Social Decision Theory can be applied here..... This t
> gain significantly more insight as to what is not working in our
> current socio-political system....  Yes even in America..... There
> seems much is currently boken within our system....and it is not
> hard to use mathematical induction to show that such is so...So in
> that sense [Michael Schudson's] statement that things actually work
> in our American democracy...seems more like wishful thinking than
> critical, formal analitc review.

Except that the break appears at a single point.  I took care in
responding to Michael's defense of the system that the voter not reply
as an offended victim of that system, but rather as a passive aspect
that insists on nothing but its own existence.  I now take it as a
structural fault (a break) and these are its two broken ends:

    * individual person

    * individual vote

The individual person matters greatly in a modern society; while the
individual vote matters not at all.  The structure has failed at this
precise point, between the two.  My first impression of the immediate
cause and effect:

   A. The electoral system's model of society is wrong.  The formal
      aggregate of votes in the count engine does not correspond to an
      actual aggregate of voters in society.  The individual votes are
      brought together to make a result, but the individual voters are
      not brought together *as such* to make a decision; therefore no
      valid decision can be extracted from the result.

   B. The breakage is total, but the failure is non-catastrophic.  The
      electoral system has collapsed onto an external party system
      that is now carrying the full load.  The electoral system has
      been bypassed.  The result that was supposed to be a decision of
      the voters is actually a decision of the parties.

I lack experience in this kind of system analysis, and this is only a
preliminary assessment in any case, but I think the cause and effect
(A, B) are palpable in the narrative.  Michael's defence is an attempt
to hold the structure up, but the fault manifests itself everywhere,
and the structure cannot stand as it was supposed to.

Can anyone see a flaw in this analysis?  Please critique freely,

-- 
Mike Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
http://zelea.com/


Peter Lindener wrote:
> Dear Mike -
> 
>      Some of your points seem near the truth....But then not completely spot
> on.
> Granted that our current methods for a Social Decision process from an
> Information theoretic point of view, fails all tests of legitimacy from the
> point of view of conduction the aggregate will of the electorate into the
> governance decision making process.... and as such, by conclusion must only
> be rituals designed to satiate the masses into thinking they had some input
> into the decision process.
> 
>    And granted you do make the point of personal alarm that would seem
> fitting....but it is not entirely a lost cause....   These problems
> regarding the transmission of the desires of the electorate into the
> governance process can with the appropriate Social Network based  Decision
> systems<https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=11uyedC3rAWHaNZDIP5JLcVIcbL_1oTGdOeoYSTKhdxg&pli=1>can
> be effectively addressed....
> 
>    In summery you are spot on regarding the limitation of choice space....
> and also the unresponsiveness of representation to those who are not
> donating $$$s to political campaigns....
> 
>    But there are much bigger challenges ahead...as Noam
> Chomsky<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noam_Chomsky>point out involving
> the electorate apparently being effectively blind to
> media driven mass manipulation.   I personally think this will resolve it
> self by means of neurological maturation once our Social Decision systems
> mature to actually respond to the will of the electorate...

Peter Lindener wrote:
> Hi
>     Michael S,
> 
>     My own personal opinion is that the formalitys of Information Theoretic
> Social Decision Theory can be applied here..... This t gain significantly
> more insight as to what is not working in our current socio-political
> system....   Yes even in America..... There seems much is currently boken
> within our system....and it is not hard to use mathematical induction to
> show that such is so...So in that sense your statement that things actually
> work in our American democracy...seems more like wishful thinking than
> critical, formal analitc review.
> 
>    I think we need to look more closely at our Social decision process to
> gain such insights,
> Have you read our paper in Voting Matters #
> 27<http://www.votingmatters.org.uk/ISSUE27/I27P1.pdf>
> ..?



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