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[liberationtech] Stability in truly "Democratic" decision systems

Peter Lindener lindener.peter at
Thu Jul 18 14:20:59 PDT 2013


    You ask good questions...
I think I mentioned Wide open group choice ranking systems as a critical
component in the effective function of crowd sourced "idea percolators"...
  That is, a wide open alternative spaces, under consideration, as you
suggest is clearly key as a staring point if a group decision process is
ever to be considered in any way truly democratic.

   My work in Social Choice theory, that is maximizing voter preference
priority information flow is each voter's consistent representation across
all possible group decision outcomes...turns out to be a critical component
not only at the point of a group's eventual decision, but also during the
group's deliberative process where the best of emerging alternatives are
enduring further evaluation.

   Mitar suggests: *"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.*"
   .. In  response,  our work in social decision theory builds upon the
thought exercise of a Social-Political circumstance where individual and
group objectives have by means of social contract been co-aligned...
While this is only the beginning of our reasoning, it certainly does in
some way begin to address your argument...

   In a nut shell how can Wide Open alternative choice spaces, free from
the problems of conditional representation (that induce the 3+ party
spoiler effect) in any way be bad for a group's effectively more democratic
group decision process?...     Our work in the best form resolution of
cyclical majority's effectively helps to address this challenge in
maximizing each voter's representation of preference priorities..

    This is not to say, that this is the only problem to be addressed in
the designing of a truly democratic Social Decision System...     That is,
Trust maintenance in our Socio-political system will require the much
tighter couplings of accountability that can be delivered by way of real
time, Issue specialized social network proxy directives...

   I'm not sure why some are having trouble breaking the problem down into
the individual issues  concerning effective information flow...    one
thing for certain... in the end, Democracy* IS* about the flow of
information regarding the desires of the electorate into the governance
process...  Our work takes the perspective that only when we choose to see
the design of Social Decision Systems from this perspective, can we ever
truly make any real progress in out understanding of what it means to be

   All the best


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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