[EM] Public elections are the ones that matter

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Tue Nov 15 07:36:35 PST 2005

At 03:26 AM 11/15/2005, James Green-Armytage wrote:
>         What if the interest groups that Bush relies upon for support (e.g.
>evangelical groups, energy companies, etc.) were strongly opposed to the
>Iraq war in the first place? Do you think he would have made the same
>decision? I doubt it. Policy isn't formed exclusively by governments;
>other organizations often play a large role. More democratic organization
>of these groups could augment the popular impact on policy.

Mr. Green-Armytage and I must have some kind of telepathy thing going....

Actually, what I've been writing about these oh-so-many months is 
really what almost anyone would come up with who spends some time 
with the fundamental problem of government. The problem is that we 
usually don't do that; we look at this or that smaller problem, such 
as how to hold an election. It's not that these smaller problems 
aren't important, they are. But they exist in a context, and until we 
look at the context, we are not going to understand how to solve the problems.

The context is how people organize or are organized to cooperate and 
coordinate. The great shift that has taken place over the last few 
centuries is that it has come to be widely accepted that government 
by the consent of the people is not only more just, it is more 
efficient, and societies based in this, to the extent that they enjoy 
broad consent, will be more successful, partly because when people 
consent, they are more likely to actively participate, to bring all 
they have to the table.

We are also coming to understand, better, what has been called the 
"wisdom of crowds." It shouldn't be a big surprise, really. The 
intelligence of the human brain is vastly greater than that of any 
individual cell; indeed, something new comes into existence when 
cells can communicate rapidly.

And if one looks at how cells are organized into a central nervous 
system, and if one is familiar with the kind of structures that 
delegable proxy would create, one could not fail to be struck by the 
similarity: these are fractal structures, where each link in the 
structure is a filter and repeater (i.e., it is a selective repeater).

It is a little unclear who first came up with the idea of delegable 
proxy. I *may* have some documents showing priority, but not by long, 
and it is quite clear to me that the idea arose independently in at 
least four different places. I've been working on it, in my mind 
mostly, for about twenty years, but I started writing extensively 
about it only in 2002.

Delegable proxy is a formalization of what people already do. People 
*do* act as representatives for each other, informally, all the time. 
It is what makes many small organizations work. Formalizing it, 
though, will create a far more reliable structure, wherein people 
will know exactly how to communicate with the collective, and the 
collective will know exactly how to communicate with the people.

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