TED Conversations

Eduardo  Schenberg

Scientist/Educator/Student, www.plantandoconsciencia.org

TEDCRED 30+

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Triple-blind politics

All right, let's see if this new TED initiative works and if my idea is worth sharing:

Politics today, in the most majority of countries, is our mechanism of social organization. Everything, from ecology to economics, goes trough hands of politicians. And of course that politics is then responsible for good and terrible things. In my view, our current global crisis is mainly a problem of political corruption and disputes for power and money. And how to address that is a hard question I've been asking to myself for some time.
Why not take the model from one of the most strikingly successful endeavors of humankind and apply it to politics? I'm referring to science, one of the main (if not the main) instruments we have to search for solutions. And why is that? Because science (when properly done) is self-correcting. It goes on an on refining data and models generated within itself.
An in the core of this system lies the double-blind paradigm. What it means is that, e.g. in medical research, scientist nor patient may know if the patient is taking a test-medicament or a placebo, for example. In regard to the study conditions, both are blind, meaning they do not know who is taking drug and who is taking placebo, thus double-blind. This is only to be revealed afterwards, by a third-party that knew the crucial info.
In politics, while politicians debate projects to be voted, the real issues related to the project get mixed with vested interests, legal or not. And thus congresses end up approving some catastrophes for the population, country and gaia, because politicians go against, for example, a project they consider nice because it was proposed by someone from an opposing party.
Thus the idea is that we transform politics in a triple-blinded endeavor: Before being voted, authorship of a project must remain hidden from politicians in both (or many) political parties and from the population. The author would only be revealed later, by a high-security comittee that knew it

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  • Apr 19 2011: good idea, but the problem is that politicians want "visibility".
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    Feb 21 2011: That is an interesting idea Eduardo.

    However, in real politics we often do not know who is an author of a proposal.
    Lobbyist, hired by a special interest, with help of pliant journalist, may for public a picture, which
    misrepresent motives, consequences and impact. So, sometimes transparency is useful.

    Still, in some cases, an impartial board, presenting anonymous proposals, may be useful.

    Some details, how it would work, would be useful.
  • Feb 17 2011: Did you know that only 5% of members of US congress hold PhDs ? I won't be surprised if the majority of them can't even grasp what Eduardo means. I claim that humans have an adaptation to pick the 'smartest' individuals to govern them. I also claim that the party system with term limits, combined with modern media ends up distorting the voters' perception so much that it suppresses that adaptation. That's why I am suggesting a constitutional transition to a new system of representation that will encourage people to pick smart leaders again.
    www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2111270&id=1171795362&l=33bca51dd9
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    Feb 17 2011: I cant see how it could be implemented in practice, but it would be great if it could be done!! Any thing that helps reduce corruption is a good thing!!
  • Feb 16 2011: I agree. Politics (and some branches of science too) are still very much like in the dark ages - very irrational. There are excellent examples of public service on the local level that actually demonstrate how scientific and efficient public service can be. After 20 years of thinking about why that is I've reached the conclusion that it is due to the almost universal election terms and party system. Now we are in the 21st century and thanks to technology we are capable to overcome these limitations of representative democracy. Take a look at these slides and let me know what you think:
    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2111270&id=1171795362&l=33bca51dd9