Austin Capobianco

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Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
Another reasonable concern. Certain organizations (such as the military or CIA) definitely do benefit from rigid hierarchy and secrecy. The DDD system would be used to appoint qualified individuals to positions of power in the military system, as politicians do today. Once appointed, these officials would have autonomy to implement their defense plans, or even hire new people as needed. There would actually be more accountability because with hacking democracy the masses would not only be funding a general's paycheck via taxes, but have the ability to fire him if he fucks up. How would fuck ups be revealed to the public? The same way they are now: leaked documents. These military leaders rarely voluntarily disclose evidence of failure; why would they? We unfortunately would need to continue relying on whistleblowers as we do now. Additionally, more and more these days the US government is already hiring private military contractors or mercenaries. Society could use the DDD system to pool their money together in order to hire these mercenaries for defense, eventually eliminating a military force that's intertwined with government. I believe this is the source of a lot of the problems with the military-industrial complex. They could even do the same thing for tax-payer funded police and private security forces.
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
I'm guessing you aren't a computer guy. The system I'm proposing is much more difficult to "hack" (ie: manipulate votes), than existing voter machines are. Anytime anyone does anything in the system, it's recorded in a log. This log is distributed to a variety of servers. Every time an action is taken, it is confirmed on every other servers log. It will be clear if results are manipulated. But no system you create will ever be "unhackable." Fortunately for me and my idea, this isn't a problem either. This system is merely a tool for decision making. The real power of hacking democracy is the part where our existing legal system is exploited to decentralize decision making power. Remember, an elected official is still the person with the legal authority to sign off on all legislation. He uses the digital direct democracy website to determine what the people want, then executes the legislation proposed using the government's legal apparatus. If this system is hacked and the results look fishy, someone will say something. There will be an investigation and the situation will be rectified. At this point another vote can be held. If the system is hacked and literally no one complains, I fail to see the problem.
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
We seem to agree on a lot of things. I also believe the existing system is broken, and that humanity benefits from having some sort of system. I'm not sure of your views on various details for governing society, but because you're posting actively on ted.com I would bet that we agree on most other things too. It appears that the only thing we really disagree on is how exactly to go about fixing them. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it comes off like you believe we need to completely trash all components of the current system. The new system we install in it's place must be pure, immaculate, and infallible, possibly the work of some magnificent genius such as Jacque Fresco. I believe that it will take at least another 30 years before the chosen one saves us from ourselves by inventing the groundwork for a utopian society. I refuse to wait around for this. For some reason, this part of hacking democracy isn't clear to many people: it decentralizes decision making power, it's not a new system of government. What do politicians do that influences the course of society? They write laws that dictate the flow of societal funds and energy. They could write legislation banning plants that grow naturally (and they did). They could write legislation that puts taxpayers money in the hands of bankers to gamble with (and they did). They could write legislation strengthening the power of the federal government (and they did). They could write legislation criminalizing alcohol (and they did). They could write legislation *undoing the criminalization of alcohol* (and they did). There's no reason why they couldn't also write and pass legislation that does the opposite of any of these things. Or why they couldn't write and pass legislation that does anything else. The point of hacking democracy is to give this ability to everyone in society, instead of just the upper echelons with enough money and connections to run for office. It's not a band-aid, it's the white blood cells.
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
If you believe the federal government should be severely limited, you should be a proponent of hacking democracy. For some reason this is difficult to explain to people: hacking democracy is not a new form of government. It's a mechanism to decentralize decision making power. For instance: when legislation was passed in the 1800s strengthening the power of the federal government, those decisions, or legislation, was drafted and voted into law by the elected leaders at the time. These changes in how the government works were made by citizens. Hacking democracy would just give more citizens a say. I personally agree that federal government should be toned down, if not entirely eliminated. I think enough other people would agree that legislation could be proposed & voted on using direct democracy and executed by hacking democracy. I sincerely believe that using this system I'm proposing would point out the flaws of democracy at a national level. But then again, real democracy has never been tried at the national level. It would certainly work for some legislation, such as funding a national army, or making murder illegal. But more nuanced topics like gun rights or abortion probably are best left to different states. As far as whether or not we're evolved enough to be adults, I think we can't know until we try. We know it's useful to pool our resources as a society. That's why civilization exploded out of the fertile crescent, almost eradicating tribal life, which had worked for thousands of years. You hit the nail on the head with "mankind needs an honest chronicling of his mistakes for future generations." Hacking democracy does this by making every single piece of legislation (like concerning election fundraising, drug laws, defense budget allocation, anything) have to provide a mechanism for feedback. This can be anything from a simple survey to an analysis of our lakes and streams. It might not be perfect, but it's better than nothing. Thanks for responding!
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
1) Very few. Most of the information will come from the few that care enough about the issue to post information freely online. This is how it is already. People literally take the time to put up fliers, argue on the internet, etc all the time. The only difference with hacking democracy is that all these people would be more directly connected to the people they elect. 2) So you're claiming that just because someone where's a suit, they are more qualified to make decisions? Most of what politicians do these days is not reading legislation and voting on it. It's mostly playing political games, worrying about getting re-elected, fundraising, and running ad campaigns. 3) How are you going to make sure any data is unbiased in any system? If there is a problem with society, people won't need much more information than exactly what it is in order to change it. Police officers, just like now, will have to be informed of the law as it changes. They may still accidentally violate the law when apprehending citizens, just like they do now. This is okay because the only people who really need to know the law are lawyers and courts. 4) Do you know what taxation is? If the average person doesn't give a shit where 20% of their paycheck goes, that's fine. But if they want that money to be put to good use, they will go out of their way to have their voice heard in politics. The amount of time people spend on politics is directly proportional to how much they give a shit about what happens to the money that is taken from them. That's not to say with hacking democracy we have to always have taxation. Allow me to digress: it would be possible to repeal taxation laws and simply use a kickstarter system, where people only paid for government services they wanted. In fact, this could happen alongside regular taxation laws. If you are truly as inquisitive as your question mark usage would indicate, I implore you to look through the FAQ: http://hackingdemocracy.wordpress.com/faq/
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
To anyone following this thread: notice how no one has a response to anything I say. It's not because I write incoherently or my arguments are not worth arguing with. It's because no one has any good rebuttals as soon as I elaborate on this plan even a tiny bit. The mere fact that these people are not responding should be enough to convince you this hacking democracy idea has weight. Entropy has eaten away at the current system to the point where our government (I'm talking about all countries) has become a complete joke. Sure, the Daily Show and The Onion are pretty entertaining right now but our children are going to ask us why we waited so long to fix this ridiculous system. We've had this revolutionary technology known as the internet for the past 20 years, but the most people use it for is still watching videos of kittens and porn? As soon as we have new medical technology, travel technology, even entertainment technology, we embrace it immediately. The only thing stopping us from embracing communication technology to begin fixing our existing system are the people in power who refuse to relinquish an iota of their decision making ability. They claim that "the masses don't know what's best for themselves." "We wear suits with American FLAGS on them. We're rich! You work a job you hate! So listen to us!" We're not children. Hell, children would probably be more efficient than congress at this point. The societal unrest expressed through Occupy Wall Street did not vanish when that movement faded away. And the next time someone comes up with a successful meme, even more people are going to get behind it. Open-source government will happen eventually. And to all you people who think we need to have the plan for a flawless utopia before we even think about altering the current system: instead of failing to criticize my idea, why don't you propose something of your own? Propose it in the form of legislation & post it here: www.reddit.com/r/hackingdemocracy
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
>They are disconnected from sanity. A huge difference in my mind. So too are many of their constituents. >This is a broken system. It cannot be fixed. So what do you propose? Dissolving government and living in tribal farming communes? Killing all the people you think are crazy? While these are legitimate ideas, and they have both been tried in the past, I'm not going to waste my space explaining to you why this is retarded. > By following the dictates, commands, wishes and authorization of the Declaration of Independence that tells the citizenry what to do Sure is religious in here. >Decisions then must never be made because of money. Ever. They are almost always the wrong decision because they don't involve doing what needs to be done. If you want to eliminate money, if you want to come up with a new world order where everyone works together, with hacking democracy you can. You just have to come up with a good enough argument for your plan to convince everyone else. Unfortunately for you, merely claiming that "money is the devil" is not enough evidence for people who don't already agree with you. It seems to me that you people all think the problem with how we're governed is human nature, not the system we use to govern ourselves. Look, human nature isn't a universal thing. People are always going to disagree on how we should live. Hacking democracy just puts everything to a vote. The reason why democracy caught on so hard in the 1800s is because it's a useful meme. It benefits the societies that use it. The reason why direct democracy will catch on so hard in the 21st century is because it's a useful meme. Direct democracy didn't work before because we couldn't communicate with everyone else on the planet at the speed of light. We didn't have the technology known as the "internet." And try to remember, I'm not proposing we exterminate the existing system. This frightens all the people that like the status quo. But even they can handle gradual change.
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
>financial power helps sustain political power Not with hacking democracy. Unless you were rich enough to bribe every person using the internet, money would lose most (not all) of it's power over the direction of society. >Online communities would not be as effective as real life communities because their impacts are usually short-lived. Are they? How long have you had this account? How many people have had a social networking account for the past 8 years? You realize that congress already puts all legislation online for everyone to see, right? You can even track the voting record particular candidates. http://www.govtrack.us/ Is this website transient? Because this is the type of website I would be proposing, a combination of social networking and government tracking. >The real paradigm shift is a new society that places value on character and integrity of leaders; not on charisma and personality. You really think humans are going to fundamentally change how they behave? I disagree. Humans are always going to act in a self-interested manner. It doesn't matter how much weed *you* smoke, there's always going to be at least some people who only want to benefit themselves. Hacking democracy makes it so the legislation we pass cannot only benefit a particular class of people, because everyone would have a say.
Noface
Austin Capobianco
Posted over 1 year ago
Hacking democracy: a simple, legal way to put the power in the hands of the people
1) For complicated problems that require specific knowledge to solve, how are you going to make sure that the people who votes really understand the problem, the proposed solution(s) and the consequences before casting a vote? A: The same way we do now. Congressmen and elected officials seek out help from experts. With hacking democracy, those experts can throw in their two cents without needing to bribe anyone or schedule a meeting. They just comment on legislation directly. This is similar to NulPunt: http://nulpunt.nu/ 2) How does hacking democracy deal with the problem of every single citizen not having the time to make informed decisions on every piece of legislation? A: First of all, many politicians in the current system don't make informed decisions. Look at anything concerning internet law or drug law. Secondly, unlike in Australia voting is not mandatory. If you really trust other people to make decisions for you, you don't have to participate. People would most likely only vote on things they care about. Many people wouldn't even get involved, but they would be agreeing to submit to any decisions made by their fellow citizens. As for being physically unable to read while others are making decisions: can you think of a system that would solve this theoretical problem? No, you can't. Hacking democracy is not a utopia. It's an objective improvement on the current system we have in America. 3) How does hacking democracy prevent people from making bad decisions? A: Each piece of legislation proposed must provide a feedback mechanism that analyzes the affects of the legislation. This can be anything from a simple survey to environmental research. Initially people will still make bad decisions, as all leaders do today. But once enough data is gathered, we will know what legislation measurably improves society, and what legislation doesn't. This is only way to truly determine if legislation is beneficial. No one can predict the future. My final vote: Practical