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[liberationtech] Stability in truly "Democratic" decision systems

Mitar mmitar at
Fri Jul 19 02:38:21 PDT 2013


On Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 2:20 PM, Peter Lindener
<lindener.peter at> wrote:
> I think I mentioned Wide open group choice ranking systems as a critical
> component in the effective function of crowd sourced "idea percolators"...

Why? Why should we rank anything? How can you put ideas into a linear
ranking? What do you think that ideas are even comparable? That there
is any partial or total order among them?

>    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.

"Best" in the meaning of most individuals expressed preference for it?
But why would such an alternative be "best" for the group in the
meaning of well being of the group?

>    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...

So you are saying that you can show me how it follows that if
everybody expresses what is his or her personal/individual preference
(where we do not define any rules on how this preference should be
established), that we are capable/that it is possible to compute what
would be the preference of all people if they would take into the
account everybody when making their decisions?

So I think that such thing would work only if we would ask everybody
to think what would be the best for everybody in their opinion. Not
just for themselves. But for everybody. And because nobody can really
take into account everybody, those preferences would be suboptiomal
but still better than just individual preferences, and we might find a
way to merge them together.

And I believe we should concentrate on how to achieve that people take
into account also other people when stating their preferences. How to
present them with necessary information and knowledge and tools to be
able to do this in the best possible way.

> one thing for certain... in the end, Democracy IS about the flow of information
> regarding the desires of the electorate into the governance process...

No. If it is desires of the electorate then this is called mob
mentality. We would like crowd wisdom, instead. Where individuals look
at a bigger picture and we combine that into one picture at the end.



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