carlo von lynX on Wed, 30 Jan 2019 14:23:06 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> No evidence of digital wrong-doing...

On 01/28/19 13:57, Joseph Rabie wrote:
> " to make wrongdoing technically impossible..."
> I guess that all we have to do is get Adam and Eve to regurgitate the

No, it's like introducing seat belts. Cars didn't have to stay so
dangerous as they were in the first decade.

On 01/28/19 14:41, David Garcia wrote:
> Thanks Carlo, no need for an either/or choice here.


> I’d be interested in any examples you have of liquid democracy in
action and yielding concrete results.

There should be some of that in

On 01/28/19 14:55, Felix Stalder wrote:
> As far as I know from the German Pirate Party, the use of liquid
> democracy has been pretty problematic, to say the least. But anyway,
> these are different things, as David said, no either or.

Yes there has been impressive amounts of spin in that regard
which was most visible in the total unscientific content of the
article in the German Wikipedia (and German only) at the time.
I debunked all of the assertions back then:

I still wonder who had such a strong interest in getting liquid
democracy out of the picture for a decade to come. This was harsher
than just the pushback from elected representatives who obviously
liked their representative role and didn't want to give decision-
making power back to the base, and the otherwise allergic reaction
to certain arrogant promoters.

> Citizens' Assemblies are for a smaller number of citizens coming
> together multiple times over longer period of times (say one year),
> discussing, in depth and with experts, contentious issues. The
> advantages of a small number is that you can be more clear with the
> selection process (ensuring a minimum of diversity) and you can
> materially support the participants (again, important is you want to
> include people who cannot afford "free labor".).

Just comparing with a liquid democratic approach:

When the decision-making process is optimized for collective
rationality, then minorities will be heard even if they are
minorities - so if the virtual assembly has enough people of all
backgrounds, there should be no need for a selection process
which is itself likely to be problematic.

The question whether a bias is created if some people cannot
afford the time to participate as intensely, may need further
research. The only paper we have on the subject so far indicates
that liquid democracy does indeed do its job which means that it
models the political will also of the less active participants.
So there should be no need for selection and remuneration.
This paper:

> The advantage of such assemblies really lies in the qualitative
> dimension, people from different backgrounds being forced to listen to
> each other, respond face-to-face to each other, and seeing where
> agreements can be reached and were disagreement might be rephrased to
> change the question into something more productive.

That is an aspect that liquid democracy doesn't solve just by
itself. If you let it run free, especially if you let it take
decisions by unqualified majorities, then there is a risk that
the parliament is split into pieces that do not talk to each
other as much as they should since they winning side already
has whatever majority. That's why I'm promoting consensus-oriented
usage of liquid democracy - that would create a *need* for at least
the bearers of delegations to have a serious debate which they can
do in physical or electronic meetings. So far we found a 'discourse'
forum platform pretty suitable for keeping a discussion fact-based
and structured.

On 01/30/19 02:35, André Rebentisch wrote:
> Or you get
> something like a social democratic committee paper, where each sentence
> has to be vague and is agreed upon by all, or has been previously agreed
> upon, thus the outcome is mostly baseless or manipulative, e.g. by

That is what I criticize about committees, working groups or "tables"
as they are called in Italy. It does not apply to a liquid democracy
virtual parliament as there is no pre-selection of who's participating.

On 01/28/19 21:53, Brian Holmes wrote:
> Starting in the late 1990s and proceeding apace, most of us "tactical
> media" types on nettime approved and participated, at our micro-scales,
> in the process of destabilizing these mechanisms of public opinion
> formation, which we thought were rigged by elites. Now our minority
> opinion has become majority as the technological sector has matured, and
> the result is a vast crisis of governance.

We had a couple of naive hacktivist ideals in our heads, expecting that
decentralization would somehow make things better. Instead we empowered
totally intransparent manipulation by automatons. Being hackers we
should have seen it coming, that at some point it would no longer be
cool and fun kids like us doing the trollbots. Yes, in 1989 I thought
that the net would only make things better. Around 1995 I started
seeing things I didn't like and didn't look like they could be fixed
with a new RFC. Then around 1997 I started worrying. So I'm not a
typical example of a nettimer, I guess.

> Some people writing here have framed the results as a savage contest
> between the corporate capacities of digital mind-manipulation and the
> individual's autonomous capacity to self-educate. If that's the case,
> the results are totally predictable: your mind is wiped.

Solid realism here.

> Some people writing here have framed the results as a savage contest
> between the corporate capacities of digital mind-manipulation and the
> individual's autonomous capacity to self-educate. If that's the case,
> the results are totally predictable: your mind is wiped.


> But all those micropolitical fora have been too small and
> too disconnected from decision-making power. In the present,
> nation-states and supra-national formations are threatened with
> political breakdown, leaving no replacement strategies except
> authoritarianism or Hobbesian civil war.

That's why this discussion has somehow led me into mentioning
liquid democracy again… it could be the path to an improved and
corruption-resistant form of governance. At least I thought it
through and see no stumbling blocks, and I've been working in
the Italian parliament for a bit and got half a clue there.

On Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 10:58:24AM -0500, tbyfield wrote:
> Feel like your governance process is out of sorts? Try Transparency™!


Please use the attached PGP key for an encrypted reply or meet me on my
torified chat server.
  torify telnet loupsycedyglgamf.onion

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