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[liberationtech] Stability in truly "Democratic" decision systems

Peter Lindener lindener.peter at
Fri Jul 19 15:29:31 PDT 2013

   Martar -

   So I gather your taking the position that Social Choice theory has no
place in Social Decision Theory?  That is that the formality's of
information as well as Game theory are entirely inapplicable in the process
of achieving a better understanding of the truly democratic group decision
  Is that what your suggesting....  or as some may be suggesting, this
would be some form of a more mathematically defined "fetish"...  as Andre
seems to be suggesting...

   I have not yet found all to many wanting to approach the discussion of
what constitutes a  Democratic group decision information process, in terms
of formal constructs in optimization theory..
knowing full well that there are many at Stanford, who at least appreciate
that the idea of optimization is a mathematically somewhat coherent
construct, and that in some ways, If one is to get beyond just bashing the
very challenging work of might want to consider leveraging
some sense of more rigorous formality.

   So I suppose you'r also wanting to challenge: Von_Neumann_Morgenstern's
expected utility_theorem<>
If so, may I conjecture the additional hypothesis that some seem to have
little intrest in actually making progress on formalizing what it actually
means to be democratic.

   Not sure what else I can say here...

On Fri, Jul 19, 2013 at 2:38 AM, Mitar <mmitar at> wrote:

> Hi!
> 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.
> Mitar
> --
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