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Jan Nis

Student, Engineer

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Use open source and peer to peer to peer techniques to create a (small) nation.

The idea is basically to create a Nation based on Open Source and Peer to Peer techniques. So in principle take the open source functionality that created Wikipedia and Linux for example and apply it to found a new country.
It occurred to me while watching the ever on going not changing political processes that seem more and more get in to way of everything. Now don't get me wrong. This idea was not based on the idea of running away from discussions and problem solving but more on the idea to have a "proof of concept" to show: It is possible and it works.
Not like in BioShock the vision of one man that turns bad but the vision of many that grows.
So this could start with a basic constitution made with github (like the Copy-Right-Act-Citizens draft). And so on. And when the basics are set there could be an open source development of the location and necessary facilitates of the Nation. This may seem a bit far fetched but I think it is possible. There have been efforts to create islands with the bio-rock technique for example. Also personally I believe that with a bunch of creative heads it would be possible to make a good living even in the most deserted place you can purchase. A bit like in The foundation by Isaac Asimov.
Anyhow. I don't have the skills to get this thing rolling. And I don't know if it would roll anyhow. So I thought I'd turn to wikipedia for learning and ideas from others. Also if a thing like this already exists please let me know. I couldn't find anything so far.

What do you think?

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    Feb 19 2013: Hey Ward,
    thanks for the responds. The idea is not really mine. It is contained somewhere in that TED talk of Clay Shirky. I may imagined it a bit bigger than what he is talking about.
    I wouldn't know about the US. Never been there. I mean the media is full of news but that doesn't really gives one an idea how it is over there...at least in my opinion.
    I am most fascinated by the Public's Draft of the Copyright Act created with GitHub. The idea that you throw a new law out there and get a public version to consider back would be really something. The thing is you would need a real lot of people to participate to counter balance "extremists" and to distinguish the public draft from "specialized" groups of interest. How could that be achieved?
    You would need a lot over online attention and something that works like GitHub but is a simple as editing a Wikipediaarticle. I do not have the resources to pull something like this of. And so far I couldn't get anyone in my surrounding so far to at least discuss this idea with me. Bummer.
    Where to start?
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    Feb 18 2013: Your idea about using the opensource model for government is brilliant. I don't think though that it's necessary to start a new country with a new government. The US constitution is a great document who's vision (Preamble) captures what I would want from any government that I lived under, and is at it's core an opensource vision. It provides all the tools we need to make our government what it to should be. Most of the dissatisfaction I feel with the US government is not related to the system itself, but to the corruption of the original intent rather than the vision. The corruption we see is a result of inattentiveness on the part of We The People. Any system be it government, mechanical, social, etc. will break down if left unattended.

    In the case of our government, more and more of what our employees (don't forget they are our employees) do is in secret, the antithesis of openness. They write their own rules, they write rules for us to follow that excludes themselves, they spend vast amounts of their time raising money that causes an indebtedness that may not best serve our interests. All of this is made possible by inattentiveness on our part.

    The primary reason we don't need to change our constitution (or geography) is because we have the tools we need to fix it, and even better than that the things we need to do to fix it (or at least a start) require no legislation, or even permission from our employees. We can use opensource methodology to solve the problem, to a large degree not by forcing anything, but making the old and assumed paradigm obsolete.

    I focus not on policy issues, but the secrecy that is so pervasive. Because deals are cut behind closed doors, and the information we have are spun sound bites of spin, it is impossible to have a meaningful conversation. We have no facts, and so as we fight among ourselves we're not watching them. Out space, but have some concrete ideas for opening the doors and shedding light.
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        Feb 24 2013: I think we can rehab the mess we have, but it's going to require some effort and attention from people who aren't accustomed to either.
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        Feb 24 2013: No matter the cause of corruption, the tool that allows it is always secrecy. That's why our employees work in secret. We need to require our employees to work under minimum job requirements just like we do in order to increase transparency, and add context to what we hear from them.
        No matter what you think of the Tea Party, or Occupy Wall Street movements they had a profound effect on our politics. In the same way we must tell candidates they will not be considered unless they agree to these non-partisan requirements.

        What follows are what I consider to be minimum standards that any candidate for any public office must pledge and adhere to.

        You will work under the guidelines of a job description written by the constituency, not by colleagues in elected office.

        You will write and introduce legislation written in plain language that is easily understood by the average of the population.

        You will write and introduce legislation in the form of one bill, one issue, with no riders. If an issue can't stand on it's own merit it will not be hidden in or attached to another bill.

        You will be subject to the laws you vote to enact. You will not introduce or vote in the affirmative for legislation that excludes any elected employee from its influence.

        You will maintain a website that chronicles your activity. Each bill will be posted along with how you voted, and an opinion piece explaining why you voted as you did. In addition you will acknowledge having read and understood each bill you voted on. This will offer context and verifiable reference during your tenure and for each election cycle. After a reasonable viewing period these records will be archived and available for easy viewing indefinitely.

        This in no way is a total fix, but will remove some of the wiggle room the rhetoric, and will make them live under the same rules we do. These people are not royalty, and we do not need their permission or any legislation to make these changes.
  • Jan 28 2013: There are so many of us! keep your head up! "

    idea:
    "An open-source financing model to implement net-zero-standards"

    ted talk:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_sinclair_on_open_source_architecture.html
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    Jan 25 2013: Some things I would look at that could shed insight are histories of communes and utopian experiments. You will find lots of material.

    For contemporary stuff, if you search for "crowdsourcing" you will find lots of material on its potential scope. An example would be Offenhuber's work on "Can infrastructure be crowd-sourced?"