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Author Topic: Bitcoin philosophy and democratic processes in general  (Read 1964 times)
jago25_98
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April 26, 2011, 12:28:06 PM
 #1

Could bitcoin be used for a lot more for democratic processes?

Could bitcoin be used to inspire something better?

This could turn into a meandering stream-of-consciousness thread but here goes.

The first thing I notice is that:

- identity isn't absolutely possible because everything in life is always changing, but a working compromise is
- sure, the number of bitcoins and transactions is distributed but the number of nodes is not. That is, there is little control over the number of nodes. Perhaps a major flaw but let's stay on topic.

Lets say we have a island community with no ties to the outside world (for arguments sake). Without tax for services people start donating for things like fire, police, much as jewish communities do. If this was done with bitcoin this would allow for new developments because of the nature of the system. Micropayments can bring markets to smaller areas. So instead of having to choose one fire service, the possibility of more possibilities is now possible! :p Internal accounting can be used to document ones goals but the difference is that this can be directly linked to the world.
Can true democratic leadership be created this way, where people pay directly for their services? The key is leadership and then we have a problem. For a society we need to share or not. You can't have it both ways. But could bitcoin do a better job of it - an overtly capitalist system rather than the present (increasingly less) covert system.

To be exact, most people when they think of democracy, think of each vote being ties to a single person. If a rich person manages more than one vote then it's capitalism not democracy. Does bitcoin change this as we think it does? Like I said, because identity is constantly moving thing that doesn't exist, no it does not. However, a better compromise than the current system is possible.

Let's imagine this island community is now making transactions, the money being used to vote on changes. What is the difference from the system we have now? That is, the system is abused so that voting is used to make more money. In that sense there is no leadership in a capitalist society.

 I think bitcoin could be used for help more things because it has value like money. For example, in a company employees generally don't trade salaries to get the best desk. But why not?
The force of circumstances means that if things `want `to be a market perhaps they should be allowed to be so, and encouraged.  Ticket touts? -legalize and encourage. The market, if working well, goes in and ultimately fixes the problem. In the case of ticket touts the distribution and faulty pricing structure is fixed (the vendor is outsourcing the problem but really they could profit more by auctioning...). I got a feeling if the antitrust powers were much more effective that could be the biggest impact on the world than anything else. That's the thing, capitalists want it both ways - to have the freedom for their profit but others to not have that freedom. Time for technologies like bitcoin to shake that up. A market can be applied to pretty much anything. Think about this in the next political discussion. Somewhere in the argument (and the problem) there will be something that isn't traded properly. It seems markets don't come naturally to people. The markets need support, but for that we have to recognize either how useful they are or turn our backs on them. Is it that in the same way that knowledge flows like water so do market forces?

So this is my philosophy:
That one has to work with the market, never against it like protectionism and communism. And that problems related to the market, like herd mentality, monopolies and elitism are actually caused by gaps in the market where the market does not operate.
Thus to correct these problems we have to support the market in the areas that are causing problems. For example, doctors are too expensive - drop the training requirement to less than so many years, allow foreign doctors. For example, phones are too expensive - drop the minimum needed to be a network operator, and so on. It can sometimes be hard to identify what area the market is causing a problem but I am developing a gut feeling that this can solve any problem potentially and that it is only human nature that holds it back. For example, when we buy something we don't think about where it came from or what effect that action has had in the world.

I doubt I am the first to think this. Is there a name given to this liberal market philosophy?

Or indeed, is there a name given to the idea that instead of censorship (which doesn't work), the answer is to flood the offending knowledge with more information (aka propaganda, which costs money, but is more practical).

What if we were all subcontractors and not employees? Every small action with a price.
What if instead of voting for people, we just pay directly to get things done through pooled investments?
Clearly that is not who we've been raised to be. Think about it - tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor. Where's the freelancer or business option?

Ultimately capitalism is the thing beating every other philosophy if it is given a chance, including bitcoin. If money is to be accepted, why not go further with it?


Ideas:

- try running an experimental network where the number of nodes slowly increases along with the money supply, or something like that. Whoever discovers a new node permission gets to bind it to their ipv6 address... incidentally.... where can I bid to own an ipv4 address outright?

- a network running on something that isn't the internet would be good! Like bluetooth or wifi dead droped cashing networks. Or ultra low bandwidth packet radio

- the blockchain needs to be improved. That is, it is unwieldy now and the ideas above involving more clients are wiped out by this. If it looks unwieldy now imagine how bad it would be if the stock exchange was bitcoin only; it would be unworkable

- the almost instantaneous speed of transactions is fantastic. Already lots better than standard banking where physical cash deposits are often used for used cars! That's a key feature and I can't help thinking it could bring bitcoin into something major somewhere in of itself

- there should be more experimental networks forked and inspired from bitcoin. For example, the ability to choose to be anonymous or not. Not being anonymous has advantages and different uses. Being more anonymous has advantages too. Running bitcoin not on top of tor/i2p is really neither one thing or another; you feel you have anonymity but really you do not.
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April 26, 2011, 12:31:34 PM
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Could bitcoin be used for a lot more for democratic processes?

/mode troll ON

If you consider plutocracy to be a form of democracy, as I do, then the answer is yes.

/mode troll OFF
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April 26, 2011, 07:13:36 PM
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Bitcoin is not about democracy.  You are probably in the wrong forum.  Bitcoin is about having total control over your money.

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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April 26, 2011, 08:59:47 PM
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Bitcoin is not about democracy.  You are probably in the wrong forum.  Bitcoin is about having total control over your money.

But you only control your money if other nodes recognize that you do, right?  There is a certain democratic nature there.
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April 26, 2011, 09:11:13 PM
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You lost me at "democratic".
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April 28, 2011, 08:21:02 AM
 #6

You lost me at "democratic".

Lol.  He lost me too at that word.  I didnt bother really reading the rest, admittedly.  Problebly if he had stck to words like "transpart" "independentably auditable" "community controlled" then I might have read his entire post...

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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April 28, 2011, 08:48:20 AM
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Bitcoin is not about democracy.  You are probably in the wrong forum.  Bitcoin is about having total control over your money.

But you only control your money if other nodes recognize that you do, right?  There is a certain democratic nature there.

It's true that you really only have property rights to anything so long as the majority of people recognize and agree to those property rights.  However, the difference between the bitcoin "system" and democracy is that there is no coercion involved.  In a bitcoin democracy if 51% of the community decided to change the block chain and add inflation to bitcoins, the 49% would be forced to go along with it.  In our bitcoin community, the 51% would go create their own block chain while the 49% stuck with the original.
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April 28, 2011, 09:08:18 AM
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Bitcoin is not about democracy.  You are probably in the wrong forum.  Bitcoin is about having total control over your money.

But you only control your money if other nodes recognize that you do, right?  There is a certain democratic nature there.

It's true that you really only have property rights to anything so long as the majority of people recognize and agree to those property rights.  However, the difference between the bitcoin "system" and democracy is that there is no coercion involved.  In a bitcoin democracy if 51% of the community decided to change the block chain and add inflation to bitcoins, the 49% would be forced to go along with it.  In our bitcoin community, the 51% would go create their own block chain while the 49% stuck with the original.

Or as the common people say, "JUST FORK IT!"

"We will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks, but pure P2P networks are holding their own."
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