[EM] Criteria reply

Abd ulRahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Wed May 18 06:57:08 PDT 2005

At 05:46 AM 5/18/2005, Markus Schulze wrote:
>Russ Paielli proposed "Ranked Approval Voting" (RAV). Then he was
>pointed to the fact that presumably this method had already been
>proposed by Kevin Venzke. Russ Paielli immediately stopped claiming
>that he had invented RAV. Russ Paielli didn't say something like:
>"I hadn't read Kevin's proposal when I proposed RAV. Therefore,
>I can rightly claim that I invented RAV."

Yet, if his conception of the method were truly independent, if he did not 
derive it by reading it somewhere, he could, in fact, have continued to 
claim that.

What he could not claim is that he "first" invented it, once he was aware 
of prior work.

I invented delegable proxy. Was I the first inventor? I don't know. How 
could I possibly know? I'm not aware of any prior work, but, then again, my 
own memory is unclear as to when I first came up with the idea, I can only 
say that it was not recent, it might have been as much as ten years or 
more. I do know that there are other independent inventions of it. There is 
work in Sweden, and elsewhere with "liquid democracy." I still don't see 
anyone else who is actively writing about the implications, and the linking 
of DP with Free Associations is likewise, as far as I know, my own. But I'd 
absolutely love to discover that someone else has written about this, or 
even has merely been thinking about it. And if they are, I'd seek out ways 
to work with such people. We need all the help we can get.

FA/DP organizations will thrive on differences. If everyone looks at things 
in the same way, depth perception is lost.

This constant personality discussion here is tiresome and a huge 
distraction for everyone involved, except for those who simply ignore it.

>On the other side, you keep on [...]

No matter what followed this phrase, the discussion is of a person, it is 
not about election methods. I will not even begin to imagine, or care, 
about who started it. It is like the old Zen story: three monks agree to 
keep silence. Later, at a meal, one of them exclaims "This rice is 
terrible." Another says, "We agreed to keep silence." And the third says, 
"I am the only one who has kept quiet."

In a mailing list run as FA/DP, there would probably be a few people with 
high levels of trust who would moderate. Unless the list were very large, 
most members would post without moderation; but where an issue arises with 
a member who does not understand or does not respect rules developed by 
general consensus, that member might fairly readily be put on moderation. 
Note that such a member might have a high-level proxy entrusted by the 
member. "Moderation" on such a list would mean approval. No message would 
be rejected, per se, and an independent list would contain all the incoming 
messages, unmoderated. (This is all easy to implement using yahoogroups 
tools). A moderator approving the a message would be responsible for the 
appropriateness of the message. There are plenty of details too involved to 
mention now, but they would fall naturally out of the process of forming 
such a structure.

What this would mean is that nobody would be censored, as such. Members 
accused of sending inappropriate messages would not lose their list 
membership (under ordinary circumstances, absent certain rare kinds of 
abuse), but their messages, like neutrons, would simply be moderated, 
slowed down a little. And if a member could not find any moderator to 
approve the message, well, that would say something, wouldn't it?

Without moderation, every member of the list must deal with inappropriate 
messages coming from a very few members. That's oppressive. It is the 
tyranny of the minority, one problem of full, open, direct democracy when 
it imagines that free speech means that everyone has the right to force 
everyone else to listen. Higher intelligence requires noise filtering, some 
process for deciding what information to consider and what to ignore. That 
process must take place, to some degree, at a very low level, or else the 
central system becomes overwhelmed with input. And there must be filtering 
in the other direction, too, or else the organism will be inappropriately 
active, will waste energy with incomplete considerations and thoughts and 
impulses. All this is the function of the proxy in an FA/DP organization. 
The proxy is essentially a filter.

And if I'm going to be censored, I'd prefer to be censored by someone I 
trust, someone I've chosen.

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