Jean-Daniel Cusin

North Saanich, Canada

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Jean-Daniel Cusin
Posted almost 2 years ago
Beth Noveck: Demand a more open-source government
I enjoyed this talk. Especially the part where Beth emphasizes that social media is not complex enough to engage in the practice of governance. Like discussion forums, just piling on conflicting opinions isn't collaborative deliberation. It's just a heap of opinions. I also like when she said Open Government is not just about transparency of data, It is about participation and collaboration. She suggests that this will come in two phases: Phase 1 - deliver information to government to make better decisions Phase 2: getting decision making power out out of government into the hands of the citizens. She welcomed the creation of many opportunities where people can get engaged and find their voice. I'd like to announce one such new opportunity: e-Deliberation. e-Deliberation.com is launching today. It was designed to support online teams and communities to deliberate about issues collaboratively in the spirit of cooperation without content-based coordination or censuring. e-Deliberation is a social enterprise and the e-Deliberation process is offered as a freemium. There is no difference between the free and the premium versions, except that the free version is for public e-deliberation online events, whereas the premium one is for private online events. Our hope is that e-Deliberation can usher in the promise of the Internet for real democracy, where the will of the people is discovered, deliberated, published, accomplishing Beth's Phase 1, and then, implemented, which is Phase 2. www.e-deliberation.com
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Jean-Daniel Cusin
Posted almost 2 years ago
Clay Shirky: How the Internet will (one day) transform government
Clay made a couple very important connections here. "Cooperation without coordination" eliminates the censor and enables the creation of self-organizing communities of thought and eventually perhaps, practise. He is also highlights that every new medium has enabled better arguing. Until now, the Internet has yet to deliver on better arguing - discussion forums allow people to pile on ideas ahd flame/hiss at each other, but there is very little in the way of a coorperative and consent-based effort to discover new ground and reach conclusions that hold water. Until now. e-Deliberation.com is launching today. It was designed to support online teams and communities to deliberate about issues collaboratively in the spirit of cooperation without content-based coordination or censuring. e-Deliberation is a social enterprise and the e-Deliberation process is offered as a freemium. There is no difference between the free and the premium versions, except that the free version is for public e-deliberation online events, whereas the premium one is for private events. Our hope is that e-Deliberation can usher in the promise of the Internet for real democracy, where the will of the people is discovered, deliberated, published and implemented. www.e-deliberation.com
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Jean-Daniel Cusin
Posted over 3 years ago
Reinventing government - what would it look like?
HI Revett - I agree that throwing away everything could be like throwing away the baby with the bath water - a big change would have to be something we are careful about. There are a lot if "if"s in your comment here, about what it would take to resolve existing problems. I think the issues underlying the "if"s you want to see changed are actually structural. For instance, if we have elections, politicians will make promises to win them. If we get to have a say only once every 4-5 years about issues that affect us, this means that the politicians have no accountability with regard to their day to day positions. As long as party politics exist in a "I win- you lose" scenario, it will be difficult to get civility back into the political discourse. Politicians are less trusted than lawyers and used car salesmen - yet they take it upon themselves to spend 30-50% of your and my wages on programs designed to keep them in office. Fundamentally, I am convinced most of them are very decent human beings. But the system is debased and needs fixing in order to make it safe and trustworthy. That's my original question - what would it look like?
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Jean-Daniel Cusin
Posted over 3 years ago
Reinventing government - what would it look like?
Both Dan and Revett, you mention election funding - if we were to start from scratch, would we really keep on having elections of representatives to parliament or to congress? Representative governance was designed 300 years ago at a time when 97% of the population was illiterate and power was held in the hands of the very few. Today, the situation is wholly reversed, where 97% of the population is perfectly able to read, write and do a lot of other things - able, certainly, to weigh in on the decisions that affect them directly. Thinking outside the box here - I wouldn't expect to be involved in every decision, but I would like to have the opportunity to get involved in those decisions that I am passionate or that I care about. Especially broad policy decisions that affect the lay of the political land - decisions that will impact the quality of life of my children, etc. If I knew other citizens, possibly in the form of the Jury system, deliberated on policy decisions, instead of politicians, I would tend to have more trust in the outcomes. Whatever governance system we conjure, it should ideally do away with partisan and structural opposition. What enterprise can function and be viable when the name of the game is to destroy the other guy's arguments, instead of finding the best solution for the good of the country. The notion of electing people, parties, to "power" creates this game of promising everything, anything, to get elected. The only purpose of an elect is to take decisions in our stead, and I am saying that we can now no doubt do this ourselves. For instance, a "Jury" deliberates about a serious issue and comes up with a proposal (not an overly simplified slogan that is "politically acceptable" but inane to solve the problem) and that proposal is put to the vote of the public - You and I would vote via the Internet, and that would be that. If the result is a No, it goes back into deliberation until a better solution is found.
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Jean-Daniel Cusin
Posted over 3 years ago
What dreams do you have for the world?
John Lennon’s Imagine comes to mind. I dream of direct democracy, where the people affected by decisions have a chance to weigh in on them, where accountability has a face, and where there is no machinery of government whose sole purpose is to perpetuate itself at all costs.
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Jean-Daniel Cusin
Posted over 3 years ago
In the modern world, is simple actually more complicated or is complicated actually simpler, and why.
The world we perceive is actually based on the model we have in our heads, individually and collectively, about it. It is that model that allows us to make sense of the inputs of our senses. New knowledge "knits" itself onto the knowledge (i.e. model) we already have. We recognize "truth" when it fits our model. You will agree with what I write here if it "fits" your own model of existence. Our collective model of existence is rather simplistic; it under estimates the real complexity of what is out there. For instance, we grow up with the reductionist concept that for every effect there is a cause. That is very simplistic. We are, each and every one of us, embedded in multiple recursive systems - work systems, family systems, economic systems, political systems, belief systems, social systems, biological systems, ideology, etc. and each of these exert some torque on our thinking and actions. To isolate a single cause for anything is woefully inadequate - hence the difficult time we have at solving societal problems. A great example is our political system - essentially designed around the notion that governance problems are simple enough that they can be solved by polarized partisan debate and, as a mechanism to keep the guys in power honest, an opposition party to demean anything proposed. So we have two perspectives on the whole complexity of governing a country: liberal vs conservative. Binary simplistic and, as we see in the news, ineffective at the most basic tasks of governance. As if the complexity if the issues facing us as a nation and as a species could be reduced to a binary choice model. This is why most human intervention ends up being interference. As a species, we are very powerful technologically, but we have not yet mastered the final frontier: how to rewire our governance systems away from being paternalistic, command and control self-serving organizations. We need a sustainability, 100+ year perspective. I think this is our next challenge.