[EM] Trees by Proxy

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax abd at lomaxdesign.com
Fri Mar 23 22:07:54 PDT 2007

At 09:36 PM 3/23/2007, Dave Ketchum wrote:
>Seeing Free Associations and Trees by Proxy as different concepts:
>       Abd's Free Associations use proxies to create Free Associations,
>which decide for themselves what they are and do.
>       My Trees by Proxy use proxies to elect legislatures, which then are
>much like traditional legislatures.

I'd like to point out that I write about FA/DP, not just FA. DP is, 
of course, Delegable Proxy.

Free Associations are one kind of organization that could use 
Delegable Proxy, and there isn't any need to postpone it, because FAs 
are relatively immune to corruption and if DP fails, it won't hurt 
much of anything.

Legislatures are, of course, another matter.

The issue here is not the difference between FAs and Trees by Proxy, 
because one is an organization and the second is an organizational 
technique. The comparison would be between Trees by Proxy and Delegable Proxy.

 From what was written before, these would be the differences, if any:

Trees by Proxy seems to have envisioned a geographical structure with 
defined levels. A tree with orderly branches. Delegable Proxy does 
not fix the structure at any level, it is self-assembled and is a 
fractal, more chaotic than what seems to be in mind with Trees by Proxy.

>I bring the thread name back to my topic.
>Very little restriction on who can give or hold a proxy.

Likewise with our understanding of Delegable Proxy.

>Takes time for a proxy to become effective, or to lose effectiveness when
>giver ends it.

We understand proxies as they are used in common law; they are 
revocable at any time by the client. Obviously, there can be latency, 
but the same is true with attorneys-in-fact. If I'm at the bank 
executing a document on your behalf, you might revoke the proxy, but 
it will still be binding until involved parties have notice of the revocation.

But a legislative system, I'd assume, would have a process whereby 
you could revoke your proxy, effectively immediately. The revocation 
might not affect a vote in the process of being expanded.

Note that generally proxies are exercising rights that the client, if 
present, could exercise directly. We have been assuming Direct 
Democracy as far as voting is concerned, so you could *immediately* 
cancel your proxy, effectively, by voting on any pending issue.

>Holders of effective proxies:
>       Holding too few does not make one a legislator.  There is no rigid
>size for a legislature, but they must not grow too large.  Those holding
>too few, or retiring from being legislators, can combine forces to create
>a holder with reasonable power.

Yes, this is how we have understood it. By "legislator," we would 
read, "Someone with floor rights in the legislature." Floor rights 
means the right to rise to speak, and to enter motions. I have found 
it interesting to distinguish this from *voting* rights, which might 
be exercisable directly, wherever the voter has a means to directly 
cast a vote. So you visit the U.S. Proxy Senate, and you happen to 
have an opinion about the motion on the floor, which comes to vote. 
You walk to a terminal provided for that purpose, and you identify 
yourself and vote. As it happens, you are a direct proxy of a few 
people in your home town, so you move a few votes, which are not 
recorded in the totals for your Senator. But, of course, the overall 
Senate results would be reported in the hundreds of millions of votes....

>       Holding too many is discouraged by limiting the number that can be
>counted as giving a legislator power.

I've ultimately come to the conclusion that it is unnecessary to 
limit the number of proxies which can be held by any individual; but 
rules can and should ensure that the actions of a superproxy enjoy 
continued support. It may be enough that no decision is final until 
preliminary results have been announced, and anyone who has not voted 
may proceed to vote. There might be a limitation on the number of 
proxies would could be pulled in during the extended voting period 
(for a superproxy could abuse the rule by not voting until the end of 
the extended period....).

Note that in standard meeting process, the chair acts very much like 
a superproxy. The chair can pretty much do anything and it can be 
recorded as the action of the organization as long as it is done at a 
meeting properly called and with a quorum, *provided nobody objects.* 
The chair has no power except as the body continues to allow him or 
her to exercise it.

>       Legislators have power and responsibilities of those in similar such
>boards.  They have voting power based on effective proxies held.  Their
>pay is at least partly based on voting power.

It would seem to be fair to pay representatives according to how many 
they represent....

>The size of a "village" in which voters give proxies to elders is limited
>to limit expectable number of proxies for an elder to hold.

I see utterly no reason for this. These are "direct proxies." They 
are not the bulk of the proxies which will be exercised at a high 
level, which would be mostly indirect proxies, passed up through one 
or more levels.

Again, I've avoided much of this consideration because of the FA 
context. Absolutely, DP has potential governmental applications, but 
those applications are much tougher, and given that we don't really 
know much about how DP will work in practice, I'd prefer to see some 
work with it, in the FA and other nongovernmental applications, 
before trying to develop significantly more organizational detail. 
I'd rather not build castles in the sky, getting down to how wide the 
gates are and what will lubricate the hinges.

But, hey, whatever pulls your chain!

On the other hand, Asset Voting I'd go for immediately. And it really is DP. 

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