TED Conversations

Chris Pavlis

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An on-line, international government

Similar to TED itself, but with voting, a constitution, a declaration of independence, a monetary system, judicial system, unique identification, the works - lets stop defining ourselves based on where we live, and more what we believe is right and wrong.

Once the initial system is setup, chartered cities would be the next logical step, which could each determine there own rules, regulations and governance.

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  • Aug 29 2011: I would like to see this emerge... if only for the purposes of study. It would make a great game and potential learning tool.

    Just designing a online voting system free from corruption and fraud could yield major benefits without the consequences of national failure.

    If successful, maybe it can be used to assist all governments run more productively.

    Lets start. Where do we go from here?
    • Aug 29 2011: Well I tend to agree, an online voting system is the first and most crucial step IMO (so that decisions can be made)

      In answer to your question, how does TED stay corruption free? Any power given would need to come through a similar system of people "like"ing your contributions. People with higher TEDcred are viewed with priority, but anyone has a voice, I very much like this system, though wish you could dislike, perhaps an improvement to be further looked into.
      How do elections in democratic societies stay corruption free (ok can we at least agree as corruption free as possible?) with fail-safes like unique identifiers for there population, neutral counting, and finally by ignoring anything tampered with, if a vote gets hacked, we ignore it, and re-vote after the vulnerability is patched.

      What I've been wrapping my head around is how to ensure each human has only one voice (or only the weight of those it's assigned to represent) every country has it's own unique identifiers, and it would be difficult and invasive to collect them. Biometrics could be an option, but when dealing with a global (potentially interstellar) species, there would be duplicates. It's my current roadblock or I'd have already made the server ;)
      • Aug 30 2011: Does the unique identifiers have to be one specific thing?

        I know banks use many unique identifiers such as your username, then your password, then secret questions and eventually the identifiers get more personal such as a phone number so that you can be called for verification.

        Even with biometrics, data can be altered or deleted when moved over a system like the internet. At some point you just have to go with the idea and hope that enough safeguards were built into the system to protect against or recover from the fraud.

        TED is by no means a bastion of security, if there was a large enough financial or ideological motive, the system could be brought down or manipulated.
        • Aug 30 2011: IMO yes, it's the very definition of unique identifiers (most banks use a SIN of one form or another, varying by country) Usernames, passwords ect are all just ways of accessing and verifying your identity.

          IMO the core value of such a global government would be the equality of human life, all others being open for debate by the human collective. In order to assure each human has equal say, they must each be granted a single voice. It is no problem creating an indexing system whereby they are each identifiable, what is the problem is how to assign indexes and how to ensure each human is limited to one account.

          I've though of a system that nullifies accounts that don't contribute, or get a single "like" in X interval, but bot's could easily poke activity and keep accounts active. I've though of one account per IP, but IP's change frequently and there would be an initial rush to register up all the IP's once the server went public. I like your idea of security questions... maybe a test upon each account creation that must be answered identically at x interval... but what's to stop someone from creating multiple accounts and a notepad of all there various answers...

          For keeping votes as incorruptible as possible, I've come up with the solution of being able to change your vote up to the poll close, but confirmation through email or other theoretical secure system. If email is used, a report for a hacked email account could be filed which would nullify the vote but not change the vote - there own fault for leaving there email unsecured :D

          If this were implemented as a countries voting system BTW a slightly better idea may be that a physical vote verified through authorized stations invalidates any on-line vote allowing only the physical one. (so if you physically vote you need not worry about your vote being hacked)
        • Aug 30 2011: Facial recognition is looking like a good possibility (are there any professionals out there on the subject who can contribute?), certain restrictions like removing all facial hair and keeping straight face could basically ensure only one identity is given out per human, at the sole cost of privacy, but that cost also has many beneficial security bonuses... If used correctly it could only harm the criminals... to ensure it's not misused we merely need to have a system where the public polices the police.... Would you submit to shaving your head and putting a picture of yourself put on file, in exchange for the right to voice your opinion in the global world? To add your uniqueness to the collective? Does it sound like a fair trade?
      • Aug 31 2011: "Would you submit to shaving your head and putting a picture of yourself put on file, in exchange for the right to voice your opinion in the global world?"

        Probably not me (Notice my lack of picture for TED) but some would.

        I was trying to make suggestions for unique identifiers (identifiers in that they can identify one mentally) that would not be so invasive privacy-wise as I thought that is what you desired initially. But if you are looking for something truly unique and privacy and time sensitivity are not issues, go with DNA. Otherwise there is always the biometric eye scan... but if you are talking about an online system, both DNA and Biometric devices are not readily available to everyone.

        In the end, I just don't think you can get the type of security online that one would get from physical participation with today's technology.
        • Aug 31 2011: I tend to agree, even facial recognition would be more invasive than I'd like to use, Ideally I'd like to see a system where anominity is a possibility... I'm just stumped on how that can be achieved.
    • Aug 30 2011: New branch to discuss the currency:

      possibilities:
      bitcoin
      rare elements
      .... more?

      Money for the government to operate would be a necesity, in early stages I can create and host the server free, but this would only cover the early voting stages, ideally it should grow to several servers across the globe (the more, the safer) requiring IT teams Ect, at the point where chartered cities could be formed entire salaries would need to be provided for office seats. Advertising would be one method, taxation would be another, donation of course but can not be relied upon... This branch is to discuss funding options and a currency system to use to trade between members.
      • Aug 31 2011: If you want a physical real currency, precious metals (gold or silver) would be a good starting point because no matter what nation mints them, they have an inherent value to current societies. Once this new society begins to generate its own GDP, the currency could transition to gold or silver backed and eventually to faith. (Relating to credit rating)

        An online currency offers just as much problems as a unique identification system. I suppose there are examples of online game communities that have their own currency that can be traded for real world currency. (I think Second Life?) Finding out how these online communities and their currency function would help in establishing a system.
    • Aug 30 2011: New branch to discuss potential Charters:
      Core values:
      1) all self-aware life has equal rights.
      2) all life has a right to exist and grow, except where it expressly conflicts with 1).
      3) all self-aware life has the right to choose how it lives, within the boundaries setup 2)

      The "Earth Charter" seems to incorporates these concepts nicely and has already bee accepted by many peoples... comments?
      • Aug 31 2011: All three are rather poorly defined and could lead to a LOT of problems.

        For example, How do you want to define "Self-Aware"? There are many creatures that are aware of pain and will react to it. Do they now have rights?

        Example 2: "ALL" life has a right to exist and grow. BIG PROBLEM. You just made it impossible to remove moss from rocks or small trees from building sites. Again, Life should be defined and number two should be narrowed in what life is protected.

        It is important that the values be very specific but include a clause for future growth and alterations.
        Ex. All humans (homo-sapiens) between the ages of 18 and 100 have the rights defined under section A if of mentally sound mind as defined etc... For humans outside the established range of 18 to 100 or do not meet the conditions for mentally sound see section B.
        • Sep 7 2011: Bob, I agree with you about "Self-Awareness, and about all life having rights. Very problematic.That sounds Vegetarian, nay, even Vegan to me. It also raises a paradox. If we grant mammals a fair trial before sending them to the "meat packers", would we not also be bound by our own laws to reinstate the death penalty for carnivores, omnivores, and humans in particular[given our self-awareness]? And who will preside over this court?
          My biggest concern is your suggestion that persons under 18 or over 100 should have their rights limited in ANY way. How can one start something progressive and new based on such unprincipled ideas? Disenfranchising 20% of any population seems a "Great Leap Backward(sic)" in any talk of emancipation.
          The end of your post mentions a "section B". This sounds Ominous. I hope very much that "section B" is forthcoming...
        • Sep 7 2011: very good points bob, FYI the three I listed were done quickly, just to start off the branch, I don't think this is something that would be viable for one person to draft, only after much community brainstorming.

          @bruce I think the "section b" bob mentions is more like a place holder, to be further worked out (possibly by the voting system mentioned in the other branch) - I think my vote for a section b definition would probably be the passing of some sort of test, basic math, logic, ect. that would also negate the age range mentioned... if your too old/young to know that 1+1=2 (or similarly valued symbols such as i+i=ii) or that ~if all trees are green and all green things are hot then all trees are hot~ then they may fall under the "restricted rights, section b" I would further suggest if this type of system is used, that section b would also include extra rights, such as "should be defended by those capable"
    • Aug 30 2011: New branch to discuss a name
      • Aug 31 2011: What does the name pertain to? I imagine the name can always be decided once a more concrete structure is established.

        If we want to, how do we continue this discussion after the time expires for this conversation?

        I have always wondered that about TED. I do not see a private messaging system or anyway to personally contact members either.
        • Aug 31 2011: lol well that would be one good example of a reason for a name :D If it gets enough contribution I plan on archiving it....

          As for PM up in the who created the conversation there should be a link to my profile, or to PM me, as I have granted permissions for the feature
    • Aug 30 2011: new branch to discuss political structure

      I see something similar to the democratic layout, whereby a certain percentage are granted the right to vote on behalf of the people they represent. Where it needs to differ is mainly in how that percentage is determined. I see a webpage with a list of debated issues, not unlike TED, or possibly linked to it, whereby you could nominate any speaker as your represented voice, per issue. This would really only be implemented on issues you did not vote on, or emergency issues which needed a quick vote (say like WW3 broke out and we needed to decide how to respond quickly), and could be changed should the speaker suddenly no longer represent your ideals or a better one emerges. ... democracy fixed ;)

      Religion should be separate from global governance, but not from localized or chartered cities, religion is the base for most wars, and in some cases certain ones just don't get along. A system should be setup for helping those who question there own religion to explore others by moving to other or more open chartered cities thereby minimizing conflict.

      Policing of the police should be done by the public and *all* records should thusly be publicly acceptable within 5 years.

      The policing of the public should be done by the police and legislation of the chartered cities, which should in turn be policed by the overruling global counsel. The overruling global counsel would be elected (not sure how yet, maybe one per chartered city, maybe we'll need to limit the number and do representation by population, but think TED talkers) and decide primarily how each chartered city can best get along and best contribute to the benefit of all mankind. All counsel meetings (think TED conferences) should be live whereby the public can literally participate through chartrooms and polls.
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    Sep 6 2011: No question that we have to begin thinking of ourselves as global citizens and that we, as global citizens, need to be more involved in framing global priorities, managing the world's fragile resources, including its oceans and its atmosphere. No question that the internet, as long as it can be free of government and corporate contro lcould support us in our work as global citizens.

    But the big question to me is. are we up to the challenge of being well informed and deeply involved global citizens or are we so alienated, disenfranchised and pre occupied with our own daily lives and concerns that we lack the will to take the control that is ours to take?

    The right to vote, a constitution, an international bill of rights means nothing unless we, the citizens of the wolrd, are willing to invest enough of ourselves, active and involved, day by day in protecting and securing that.

    "We the People of the World" are far more powerful than the plutonomy. We can end their control of our planet , their destruction of our planet, literally over night but it requires of us a sutained and focused commitment to the protection and relaization of what we say we believe in.

    edited for typos 9/7
    • Sep 7 2011: Lindsay, you address serious concerns about our world[yes our world], our habitat and our care for our inheritors. We know so little about world affairs. It feels like it is only when we are faced with crisis that we act. I do not think complacency is our biggest barrier. We are all global citizens, but I do not think that many of us are aware of the fact. How many of us really live in the information age?
      Human rights, as we see them in the first world are beyond the comprehension to many of our fellow global citizens.
      I believe that restricting public use of the internet infringes on the right to freedom of speech, but only for those of us who have that right.
      I believe that we are up to the challenge of becoming involved enough and interested enough to make a difference for ourselves and for our inheritors and also for the future of our world as our habitat and as our
      responsibility. We of the first world are especially responsible. We have been hogging for long enough now.
      Rights as participants in any organization[citizens in an online nation in particular] may not seem meaningful at the outset but everyone needs a place to hang their hat.
      As far as "We the People of the World" is concerned, that one is not so straight-forward. It sounds like a call to arms. Crying Freedom! is dangerous[MiB are everywhere]. And no we cannot change anything overnight no matter how focused our commitment.
      A Global citizenship movement is happening within our nations rather than instead of them. [NGOs are an example. They kind of transcend nationhood? no?Just a thought] There are already organizations committed to world government[my post of 30 August]. Now I am going to look up Plutonomy, and then sleep. Thanks for the post.
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        Sep 7 2011: Bruce, I hope you are right that we are awakening to the reality of our reality as glbal citizens and that we are up to the task of being well informed , vigilant and active in shaping global policy.

        There is a de facto world government now ..the plutonomy and its servants..us..our nation..theWorld Bank, the IMF, the United Nations and many Global NGO's with names that sound appealing and work ad policies that are appalling.

        We have a lot of catching up to do..they have been in charge for twenty years or more..we are just beginning to realize what has happened..what is happening..

        Where do we begin?
  • Aug 29 2011: What you are suggesting is a peaceful Anarchist society. One that denies government and nationhood rather than trying to overthrow it or secede from it. I don't think that is what you mean.
    The World Federalist Movement (WFM) is a global citizen's movement. It brings together individuals and organizations interested in a system of global government. The movement is a valuable policy institute and resource advocating a dispersed and responsive federalist government. The work you suggest is already well on its way.
    • Aug 29 2011: Not at all, I'm not sure an anarchistic society could work, but that's a whole other topic, nothing states that there should be no rules or authority, what I propose would actually be many levels of authority, but they would be there only to ensure each Charter city can exist cohabitualy with it's surroundings (cities, environment, beliefs, ect).

      My version would be similar to the UN, NATO, European Union, ect with counsels of elected representatives (similar to TEDcred's), but the concept itself does not limit to such a structure.... first we need to discuss the feasibility, then the semantics ;)

      It would differ from the WFM In that it's not trying to convert countries to it's belief system, but rather would match immigrants moral codes into chartered cities with surroundings that would accept and ideally promote each other.
  • Aug 30 2011: World Federalism as it was described to me in a nutshell, promotes the idea that we can
    be involved in governing the world as a federation of individuals. rather than as nations. It does not suggest that nations or nationhood needs changing[different discussion] This does not suggest a belief system really. It is not about nations as we see them now, nor is it about conversion to any one belief system. That is why I think it deserves mentioning.
    World Federalists are discussing forms of dispersed government that may fit nicely with the idea of Charter Cities[City States]. The EU is the best example of nations creating a Federal type of government in that they allied as equals, but I believe it is important to note that the EU began as the European Economic Community. Essentially a free trade zone. The UN already exists but it is arguably a poor example, and NATO is a military alliance that has lost it's way
    Undoubtedly the online community a very good example of how people readily people can and will cooperate.Just look at the open source software community.
    I think your idea is an excellent one. I am suggesting that, to a large extent it already exists.
    • Aug 30 2011: I'm not familiar with the movement, but there Wikipedia entry seems to suggest they primarily try to improve the UN. Since the UN deals primarily with international relations and proposes a code of ethics a nation must adopt to become a member I don't understand your point. I'm not talking about an alliance of nations (though ideally it would evolve to such) but an alliance of individuals.

      If I'm wrong about the WFM I'd love to hear from a representative.