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Author Topic: Delegating democracy or representative vs direct democracy  (Read 1298 times)
caveden
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January 23, 2013, 07:21:33 AM
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The Trezor thread got slightly derailed, and as I contributed myself with a couple of off-topic posts, I thought it would be better to take them from that thread and create a new one. Actually I was expecting a mod to do it, but since none took the initiative, I'm doing it myself. The inconvenience is that I can only quote posts, not move them, so the formatting won't be the best (ctrl+ is your friend Wink).

. . . Mike now goes on to reinvent representative democracy.

Haha, thanks Smiley Actually that's an old interest. Here's a paper I wrote about 6 years ago:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jidmNJHWAtsPLCUD7EPPm8jOEV93kSXbZOMycqCWOyA/edit?authkey=CN7BnLUG&authkey=CN7BnLUG

It covers how to use secure hardware to build a new kind of democracy where votes can be delegated by topic up a tree of representatives. I think these days people call it "liquid democracy". I never did anything with the idea. The paper talks about smart cards but Trezor style devices are a better fit.

. . . Mike now goes on to reinvent representative democracy.

Haha, thanks Smiley Actually that's an old interest. Here's a paper I wrote about 6 years ago:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jidmNJHWAtsPLCUD7EPPm8jOEV93kSXbZOMycqCWOyA/edit?authkey=CN7BnLUG&authkey=CN7BnLUG

It covers how to use secure hardware to build a new kind of democracy where votes can be delegated by topic up a tree of representatives. I think these days people call it "liquid democracy". I never did anything with the idea. The paper talks about smart cards but Trezor style devices are a better fit.

Mike. That was a really neat article!
Truly among great minds. I feel humbled.
This was one of my motivations that got me started on the Bitsafe HW Wallet project.
It's so nice to see it on paper.

. . . Mike now goes on to reinvent representative democracy.

Haha, thanks Smiley Actually that's an old interest. Here's a paper I wrote about 6 years ago:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jidmNJHWAtsPLCUD7EPPm8jOEV93kSXbZOMycqCWOyA/edit?authkey=CN7BnLUG&authkey=CN7BnLUG

It covers how to use secure hardware to build a new kind of democracy where votes can be delegated by topic up a tree of representatives. I think these days people call it "liquid democracy". I never did anything with the idea. The paper talks about smart cards but Trezor style devices are a better fit.
Mike. That was a really neat article!
Truly among great minds. I feel humbled.
This was one of my motivations that got me started on the Bitsafe HW Wallet project.
It's so nice to see it on paper.
The whole paper is an expose on how the ultra-naive think about democracy. Here's a short quote:
Quote
They can then walk away with their token, secure in the knowledge that it cannot be tied to their real identity.
Then they walk to the party headquarters where they exchange their voting token for one issue of election sausage.

In addition to the above the paper has a whole section entitled "Vote buying" that completely omits the discussion of buying the voting smartcards.

In summary: the whole paper meets the definition of ultra-naivette. May God bless the heart of its author.

In addition to the above the paper has a whole section entitled "Vote buying" that completely omits the discussion of buying the voting smartcards.

It does, it clearly states that such risk is irrelevant. Buying individual votes like this is much less efficient than buying politicians today. Plus, the keys could expire once each 5 years or something.

Also, selling your vote is not much different than blindly delegating it, or blindly voting. Do you really expect somebody that easily sells his vote rights like that to even mind about voting at all? What you seem to be criticizing is democracy per se, not his particular instance.

OBS: I'm not sure I support his idea, although I'm inclined to think it might be a good improvement on status quo. A more direct democracy might considerably decrease the effect of "dispersed costs, concentrated benefits", which are pretty much the norm in democracies. But it's still far away from full decentralization of power, which is the "nirvana", let's say.

In summary: the whole paper meets the definition of ultra-naivette. May God bless the heart of its author.

Do you honestly believe that the current widely adopted representative democracy models are so superior? Buying politicians is pretty much the norm on them. I guess you're the naive one there if you think otherwise.

<off-topic>

In addition to the above the paper has a whole section entitled "Vote buying" that completely omits the discussion of buying the voting smartcards.

It does, it clearly states that such risk is irrelevant. Buying individual votes like this is much less efficient than buying politicians today. Plus, the keys could expire once each 5 years or something.

Also, selling your vote is not much different than blindly delegating it, or blindly voting. Do you really expect somebody that easily sells his vote rights like that to even mind about voting at all? What you seem to be criticizing is democracy per se, not his particular instance.

OBS: I'm not sure I support his idea, although I'm inclined to think it might be a good improvement on status quo. A more direct democracy might considerably decrease the effect of "dispersed costs, concentrated benefits", which are pretty much the norm in democracies. But it's still far away from full decentralization of power, which is the "nirvana", let's say.

In summary: the whole paper meets the definition of ultra-naivette. May God bless the heart of its author.

Do you honestly believe that the current widely adopted representative democracy models are so superior? Buying politicians is pretty much the norm on them. I guess you're the naive one there if you think otherwise.

</off-topic>
I made a full quote to protect against further editing.

Buying politicians became an expensive requirement when the previous strategy of buying votes (one vote -> one sausage and/or beer) became hard to enforce by combination of voting in public but casting the actual vote in secret.

Now we are dscussing a supposed improvement where for the cost of one sausage buyer gets all future votes cast with particular token.

I'm just going to quote some select parts from the Wikipedia's article on idiots:
Quote
An idiot in Athenian democracy was someone who was characterized by self-centeredness and concerned almost exclusively with private—as opposed to public—affairs. [...] Declining to take part in public life, such as democratic government of the polis (city state), was considered dishonorable. "Idiots" were seen as having bad judgment in public and political matters. Over time, the term "idiot" shifted away from its original connotation of selfishness and came to refer to individuals with overall bad judgment–individuals who are "stupid".
I can muse a little about how IQ is not an one-dimensional quantity. An individual can be a competent software (Mike Hearn) or hardware (allten) designer; and yet completely fail the basic civic class material where grade-school children are taught why everyone is asked to vote in public, but the actual vote marking process is obscured and why nobody is allowed to accompany the voter while marking the vote; not even a husband can assist his voting wife (or wives).
This central-bank-killing-liquid-democracy device may become the killer gadget for Occupiers world-wide.
Again: may God bless your little hearts. The brown-shirted functionaries of our party will allow you your continuous use of your knees just for the cost of letting them watch while you press the buttons on your trezor in the privacy of your house. If you drop your trezor in our party headquarters you will be paid one sausage for your kindness and cooperation in furthering the efficient democracy.


Again: may God bless your little hearts. The brown-shirted functionaries of our party will allow you your continuous use of your knees just for the cost of letting them watch while you press the buttons on your trezor in the privacy of your house. If you drop your trezor in our party headquarters you will be paid one sausage for your kindness and cooperation in furthering the efficient democracy.

Geez, you think this is some sort of conspiracy or something? The Trezor represents an idea, not just a single device. Bitcoin is an experiment just like democracy was an experiment. The latter failed. Let's just give these little wide-eyed optimists the benefit of a doubt to play their own experiment out. You can sit by and make insults, but it doesn't really add anything except to the ignore files. Besides, there is nothing wrong with buying votes directly if you are not allowed to just print your money though monopolistic powers.

. . . Mike now goes on to reinvent representative democracy.

Haha, thanks Smiley Actually that's an old interest. Here's a paper I wrote about 6 years ago:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1jidmNJHWAtsPLCUD7EPPm8jOEV93kSXbZOMycqCWOyA/edit?authkey=CN7BnLUG&authkey=CN7BnLUG

It covers how to use secure hardware to build a new kind of democracy where votes can be delegated by topic up a tree of representatives. I think these days people call it "liquid democracy". I never did anything with the idea. The paper talks about smart cards but Trezor style devices are a better fit.
Mike. That was a really neat article!
Truly among great minds. I feel humbled.
This was one of my motivations that got me started on the Bitsafe HW Wallet project.
It's so nice to see it on paper.
The whole paper is an expose on how the ultra-naive think about democracy. Here's a short quote:
Quote
They can then walk away with their token, secure in the knowledge that it cannot be tied to their real identity.
Then they walk to the party headquarters where they exchange their voting token for one issue of election sausage.

In addition to the above the paper has a whole section entitled "Vote buying" that completely omits the discussion of buying the voting smartcards.

In summary: the whole paper meets the definition of ultra-naivette. May God bless the heart of its author.

I didn't even read the paper but I already know I'd mostly likely agree with the above poster. (well except with the very last sentence  Roll Eyes)

Mike Hearn I appreciate your coding work but man do I hope you never end up in any position of influence or decision making because your convoluted worldviews actually scare me. I can't even understand how a coder, working with logic and math everyday, can fall victim to such an obvious and blatant fallacy as is the belief in a democratic system as the system we should strive to improve and implement for our benefit. That just baffles me.  Sad


I apologize for my off topic post but I was very concerned with Mike for a long time now and I just couldn't hold it back anymore and had to get it off my chest. I just can't help it but psychopathic statists scare me.

I didn't even read the paper but I already know I'd mostly likely agree with the above poster. (well except with the very last sentence  Roll Eyes)

Mike Hearn I appreciate your coding work but man do I hope you never end up in any position of influence or decision making because your convoluted worldviews actually scare me. I can't even understand how a coder, working with logic and math everyday, can fall victim to such an obvious and blatant fallacy as is the belief in a democratic system as the system we should strive to improve and implement for our benefit. That just baffles me.  Sad

I've seen many of your posts and I'm aware you're a libertarian. So, I wonder (honestly, this is not an irony), why do you think representative democracy is less worse than a more direct one?
Because that's the whole point of this discussion AFAICT.

I have a tendency in believing the more direct a democracy is, the less susceptible to the "dispersed costs, concentrated benefits" problem it is. Plus, I tend to think that people in general accept more easily the idea that secession is a right than professional politicians whose power and earnings only increase with larger governments. Professional politicians view secession as a problem, since it decrease their revenues and power, but people in general tend to accept it as a right, after all, the whole myth of democracy turns around the nonexistent "social contract".
A government which recognizes the secession right of individuals and of entire regions (while demanding that the new sovereign regions also recognizes the same right) would almost be a voluntary organization (assuming we could "forget" its past actions, how it was formed etc).

I didn't even read the paper but I already know I'd mostly likely agree with the above poster. (well except with the very last sentence  Roll Eyes)

Mike Hearn I appreciate your coding work but man do I hope you never end up in any position of influence or decision making because your convoluted worldviews actually scare me. I can't even understand how a coder, working with logic and math everyday, can fall victim to such an obvious and blatant fallacy as is the belief in a democratic system as the system we should strive to improve and implement for our benefit. That just baffles me.  Sad

I've seen many of your posts and I'm aware you're a libertarian. So, I wonder (honestly, this is not an irony), why do you think representative democracy is less worse than a more direct one?

The reason is exceptionally simple: I do not agree to being governed by anyone without my contractually arranged explicit consent and so I do not and ever will agree to voting. The whole concept to me is repugnant and I could never understand how anyone could think they may force me or anyone else to do something or follow some rules just because they took a vote and some majority of some people somewhere voted so.

The reason is exceptionally simple: I do not agree to being governed by anyone without my contractually arranged explicit consent and so I do not and ever will agree to voting. The whole concept to me is repugnant and I could never understand how anyone could think they may force me or anyone else to do something or follow some rules just because they took a vote and some majority of some people somewhere voted so.

Sigh....

You didn't answer my question. I did not ask whether you think scenarios A and B are "fair", "ethical" or whatever. I asked why do you think one scenario is less worse than the other.

These are the off-topic posts so far. I'll delete those of mine from the Trezor thread. It would be nice if the authors of the other posts quoted here do the same.

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January 23, 2013, 08:31:16 AM
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He never said he considered Representative democracy "less bad" than direct democracy.

He simply said that he agreed that the stuff in the paper represents some serious lack of real-world political savvy, and that democracy (From my reading, both representative and direct) is a stupid system.

So perhaps that's why his answer failed to satisfy. Your question was poorly aimed.

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January 23, 2013, 10:53:24 PM
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There was a discussion about direct democracy society based on Bitcoin private key signing which might be relevant to the discussion at hand.

"Consensus-based society with provable trust-free voting"
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=124477.0

In short, people gather in groups based on their desire to work together and pay their share to the group's budget which in turn allows them to vote on the group's decision how to proceed further.
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January 24, 2013, 01:31:07 AM
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In short, people gather in groups based on their desire to work together and pay their share to the group's budget which in turn allows them to vote on the group's decision how to proceed further.

I believe they call that a "cooperative."

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