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[liberationtech] Stability in truly "Democratic" decision systems

Sebastian Benthall sbenthall at
Thu Jul 18 14:37:36 PDT 2013

Fascinating topic.  Related: Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi's work on
Cognitive Democracy

On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 12:36 AM, Mitar <mmitar at> wrote:

> Hi!
> On Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 8:34 PM, Peter Lindener <lindener.peter at>
> wrote:
> > At his point, while we could have discussions about how best to resolve
> these
> > cyclically ranked majority.....
> It seems that you are assuming that the possibility of cyclically
> ranked majority is the biggest issue with democracy? I could argue
> that the biggest issue is assumption that we can based on preferences
> of individuals determine what would be the best for the group as a
> whole. Why exactly would this be related? Why exactly if we know what
> each individual wants for him or herself, we would know what would be
> best for the group? (For any definition of "best".) Of course you get
> conflicts and cycles if everyone looks only at his or her own
> interests.
> I found it a bit premature optimization that we are concerned how to
> optimize voting among given choices when we should be maybe more
> concerned how the choices are constructed. Because this is the big
> question. Not how can we find fancy ways to sum up the votes among
> given options.
> The issue is that we are always given options to choose from. But we
> are hardly ever consulted in preparation of those options. Is this
> really democracy? To be allowed to vote which among two kings or
> queens (or hundred or whatever number) will rule you for next four or
> five years? Beautiful.
> So my question is more: how can we get new ideas and new solutions to
> issues from participation of everybody? How can we get people to be
> able to contribute to the solution to the issue, not just to choose
> among provided solutions?
> Mitar
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