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[liberationtech] New UI Diagrams for a federated, comprehensive government monitoring tool (EVomni)

Mitch Downey mitch at everyvote.org
Thu May 9 12:17:50 PDT 2013


*

Hi LibTech,


Click this link for the most recent UI diagrams for EVomni:
http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#0

(link to this message in blog
format<http://mdowney84.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/new-ui-diagrams-for-a-federated-comprehensive-government-monitoring-tool-evomni/>
)

EveryVote.org’s mission is to improve crowd wisdom and government efficacy
by providing open source (AGPL) tools that 1) allow people to learn about
and interact with all of their candidates and officials using one
convenient web page, and 2) to make all EveryVote tools
federation-compatible with as many other government monitoring tools as
possible, so that a monopoly over government monitoring tools cannot form.

Some notes about the UI diagrams:

1) A tentative name for a collaboration of federation-compatible government
monitoring tools could be OpenGov Federation <http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#8>.
#opengovfed

2) EV News <http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#16> is basically reddit, except users
can filter upvotes and downvotes based on whether those votes were cast by
supporters <http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#17>,
opposers<http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#19>,
or undecideds <http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#18> on a topic. I can’t wait for
the day this tool becomes available. I love reddit, but its biggest
drawback is that it necessarily forms a hivemind that prevents minority
viewpoints from being heard, so it is not a fair platform for civil
discourse. EV News would do all the same things as reddit, except minority
viewpoints could be heard.

3) The Consensus Tracker <http://imgur.com/a/iha6o#5> is a way for you to
learn at-a-glance how everyone you ‘support’ (your trusted advisors) or
‘oppose’ (your distrusted advisors) are voting on any site entity
(candidates, officials, bills, etc.). To our knowledge, no available
government monitoring tools are using this technology yet. That’s a shame,
because if a person understands how the Consensus Tracker works, then they
basically understand how liquid
democracy<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delegative_democracy>works, and
can begin participating in it.

To illustrate, if 7 groups you support have voted on Bill A, and 5 of those
groups voted to support Bill A, while 2 voted to oppose Bill A, then the
corresponding box in the Consensus Tracker would display a green +43%.

Or, if 1 group you support has voted to support Bill A, while 6 groups have
voted against it, then the corresponding box in the Consensus Tracker would
display a red -71%.

Algebraically, if:

X = # of groups you support that are supporting the bill

Y = # of groups you support that are opposing the bill

Then the Consensus among groups you support on the bill = (X - Y)/(X + Y)

4) If there was ever an argument that we should consider
liquid/networked/delegative democracy to support or replace the US current
representative democracy, I personally think this image speaks
volumes<http://i.imgur.com/aWB2UL2.png>
.

5) If you do not think comprehensive US candidate and official databases
are one of (if not the) highest priority needs in the US today, again please
take a look at this image <http://i.imgur.com/aWB2UL2.png>.

Average US voters are responsible for the oversight of well over 50 elected
representatives, and that does not include the judges (I had to vote on
over 30 in Nov. 2012). It should not surprise us that the American
government is not representing the will of the people (Congressional
approval = 15% <http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx>), nor
that Americans seem so unwilling to do anything about it. Given our current
technologies, comprehensive oversight of our elected officials by average
citizens is completely impractical, so we should expect Americans to be
cynical yet apathetic about their government.

Fortunately there are logical steps we must take to change that. Before we
can expect Americans to become active, well-informed citizens, we need to
provide them with sufficient government monitoring tools. The first steps
to making sufficient government monitoring tools is *1* completing the free,
publicly downloadable comprehensive candidate database, and *2* completing
the free, publicly downloadable comprehensive official database, so
independent developers can create comprehensive government monitoring
tools. EveryVote hopes you will become active, outspoken advocates for
goals *1* and *2*, if you are not already.

---

Since EveryVote is a small, student and volunteer-driven project, our first
goal is to create an open source app to help university students learn
about and interact with all of their student government candidates in one
convenient location (EVmini). A prototype is
available<https://apps.facebook.com/everyvote>,
and you can watch a 60 second video intro to the EveryVote Facebook
app here<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ55iNwx6Ow>.
If you have any questions or feedback for us, or you may want to help this
Summer in any capacity (coding, web design, outreach, mentoring, anything),
we’d really appreciate hearing from you at contactus at everyvote.org, or
please follow or tweet @EveryVoteOrg <http://www.twitter.com/everyvoteorg>.

Thanks for reading! Please let us know what you think so you can help this
project evolve.

Sincerely,
Mitch <http://www.twitter.com/mdowney84>*
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