Premises

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Some of the premises underlying this project:

  • Current democratic processes are badly broken.
  • Advances in technology make it possible to design much better democratic processes.
  • This is something which needs to be initiated at the grassroots level, and can be initiated by individual coders (working alone or together).
    • New processes need to be tested with small groups before they are used at a scale with large potential losses.
  • Having accurate information about the trustworthiness of other individuals is a key element to creating any kind of systemic change that doesn't just trade one form of disempowerment for another.
  • The best way for any given individual to get this information is to consult their (existing) friends.
    • These are the people you've already decided to trust, whose actions and expressions feel right and consistent with the idea that they care.

Objections

  • Q: P2P reputation be gamed for espionage
    • A: The question is not whether it cannot be gamed at all; the question is whether it is less vulnerable to gaming than existing systems.
    • A: The systems discussed here are not aimed at keeping secrets, but at enabling wise consensus-building among large numbers of people.
      • It can support subsystems that are aimed at secrecy and privacy.
  • Q: There are already organizations dedicated to helping people.
    • A: There are many, many people who still need help (and this number appears to be growing). We need solutions that can be generalized and/or replicated.