[MG] Is Main Page unapproachable?

Mark Janssen stalkingtime at gmail.com
Mon Jun 14 17:37:16 EDT 2010

 >> And as to the point that you "hope it to be beneficial" -- I already
>> addressed this too and this very same point was raised by targetrace.
>> *I NEED IT*  Is that sufficient?  I don't think I'm alone, otherwise
>> (like the page [[Why this project is needed]] points out) there
>> wouldn't be dozens of similar sites reaching for the solution to this
>> problem.
> You are demonstrating my point, which is that the claim of a need is a value
> judgement. It is your value, not mine. The point of this project is to be as
> value-neutral as possible except for the basic principles.

[Equal] Diversity of view should be preferred over neutrality.  The
wiki allows for many front doors, for many different kinds of people
and purposes.   One shouldn't create the information equivalent of a
walled garden.

> In creating and
> promoting governance software, we have to be open to the values of anyone
> who might be governed; in other words, everyone. Otherwise, we are excluding
> them from the very mechanism of governance.

Yes, but in some sense they are already created and you just have to
*get out of the way* -- it's called *wiki*.  If it is not performing
as desired, then something in the implementation is faulty, not the
wiki philosophy.

> I very much want to see governance be opened. I detest the fact that many of
> the vital decisions in my life are controlled by politicians who have
> absolutely no interest in my well being or my ideas, and that I am
> fundamentally disenfranchised from changing that situation. But that is
> simply what I desire; it is not a need.

It *should* be a need -- the alternative is to be comfortably numb,
sedate (you know: just sit in front of the TV, newspaper, and let the
"world" be fed to you).   What's wrong with having it be a need?  You
know, infants may not technically *need* a mother, but they thrive
much better with one -- the same thing with a economy that can no
longer prop itself up by conquering new territories and people.  In a
post-cold war, global economy in the 21st century, I believe it should
be seen as a need.

> However, overall the debate over the word "need" is fundamentally semantic.
> My real problem is with the language of the article. I just don't understand
> it. Mind you I was a philosophy major. Big words and complex thoughts are
> not foreign to me. But I can't figure out what the article is saying or
> where it is going. I would very much like to hear others' thoughts on it to
> know if it is just me who is confused by it. I do not see how it is adding
> value to the site. Rather I see it as detracting value, as it is confusing
> and makes me want to move on to a different site.

Yes, but if *your* ideas (about what is meaningful, useful, etc.) were
sufficient, we wouldn't be arguing here and you wouldn't be baffled
now about the lack of interest on the website.

>> My page points to "my" audience.  My audience isn't going to spend the
>> time arguing with you because it takes an enormous amount of patience
>> and energy to construct a legible reply.  Either it finds a welcoming
>> environment or it simply leaves and goes elsewhere.  Your pages are
>> like textbooks -- reasonable, but that is all.  IOW, they hook onto
>> reason.  My pages hook on to emotion.  Consider it a sort of
>> alchemical catalyst whose presence, like in chemistry, can't really be
>> accounted for, but nonetheless, provides a unique and valuable service
>> to a process that would ordinarily take 100x as long.  (Do you want to
>> wait until 10 million people "get it"?)  The page doesn't serve you
>> because you are already among their numbers and can be dispatched, or
>> "take leave".
> Again, I don't get what you are saying. Who is your audience that is
> different from mine?

I call them the hidden geek-corps.  And my guess is that you don't
identify with them much.  It's more engineering than philosophy.  I
like both, so I'm trying to bridge two levels (and speeds) of
attention.  I'm not asking you to be both, but give an ability for
both audiences to have their separate spaces and let it be.

> This isn't an attempt to be offensive; I guess I just don't think the way
> you do. I'm not sure who does, since I am not used to reading pages like the
> ones you have written. I'm open to the idea of understanding who it is you
> are trying to reach. At the moment, I'm just not getting it.

...geek-corps, or call them "memetic engineers".

>> And, btw, "my users" depend on *trust*--and it is exactly why the Free
>> software environment/community came into being (*and* why it places
>> **itself** outside the conventional world).   I find it discouraging
>> that you have removed some of the references to it. Is it personal?
> No, its not personal at all. I simply try to make pages simple and concise,
> and, in my opinion, your page on Trust is difficult to read and steals focus
> from the object of the site.
> And separately, I personally do not think that governance software should
> rely on trust.

Have you tried to run a family without trust?  Without trust, there is
*NO SYNTHESIS*.  I'm a philosophy guy, too.  Please contemplate this.

> Governance, politics, and such are about conflict, distrust,
> and competing interests. If we simply hope everyone will get along, then why
> do we need governance at all?

1) To help us remember ourselves.  2) To resolve historical disputes
whose resolution has yet to be propagated.

> The point is to make a system that can work
> despite the fact that some people hate/distrust/dislike/misunderstand/etc.
> other people. That's the plain fact of every system of governance.

Yes, but now you're sounding like the Convention of 1766.  Obviously a
key point is missing.

> A free software project or a wiki can work on trust because everyone there
> is committed to the same end. In Wikipedia, conflict is a subset of the
> meta-goal of dispassionate description. So even if there is intense
> disagreement over something, it can be subsumed with a statement that
> describes that conflict and dispassionately states both sides of it. But in
> governance, there is no unified objective. At least not until an issue has
> reached synthesis. To rely on trust in governance is to be prey to the least
> ethical participants.

Yes, I know your point well, but you could just as well say that
putting trust in automated solutions is prey to those who will "game
the system" (unless the very leader/maintainer of the system
him/herself is Trusted (and then will THAT last over century?
Remember this problem is over 2000 yrs old.))

Anyway, like the geek-corps already figured out, forking is to be
encouraged.  Merging/synthesis will happen later.  It's the old fogies
who haven't figured it out yet, --but the tools must support it.  (I
think you have noticed the rise in distributed software revision
sytems like git, etc.?)

[And from Pietro:]
> ThE idea that a pov should be represented as much as it is supported is
> the most democratic but less efficient way to reach an agreement. If
> there is no bottleneck inevitably everybody will just sit on his
> 'truth' and avoid making the effort of looking for a  shared position.
> It is not strange that we do not know how to solve this. This IS the
> problem we are facing. If we solve it for wiki, we solve it for open
> questions, we solve it for legislators, we solve it for everybody.

YES!  Great!  But it IS solved!  And I have the solution!!  It's a
combination of natural selection an quantum mechanics.  (In other
words the problem was solved ages ago!)  To avoid the "trust sitting
problem" you have to use a probabilistic representation with the
ability for the masses to move it up and down.

Let's implement it!


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