[MG] scientific method

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Sat Feb 25 11:05:12 EST 2012

Russel and Alex,

I think we still need a better understanding of the problem as Russel
sees it.

russell perera said:
> It does depend on the issue. The issue is a demand and then software
> has to consider their opinion directly. For example the issue is a
> demand about housing. It is a basic necessity that demand must be
> addressed. ...

So when it comes to deciding whether to build housing, the opinion of
the people who are affected by that decision matters.  However:

> ... However building the houses is a technical issue that needs
> scientific method approach.  The issue needs only opinion base
> resolution and then software has to consider both direct democracy
> and liquid democracy. For example security or foreign policies that
> need opinion based decisions.  The issue is atechnical and then we
> have to use scientific method as a primary method to resolve the
> problem. Direct democracy should consider if people are well
> informed and educated on this issue. ...

When it comes to deciding *how* to build the housing, the opinion of
the people who are affected might *not* matter, or it might matter
*less*, or in some qualified way.  I want to understand exactly what
you mean here.  Please consider this situation:

  (1) The people who live in a community all agree that housing is the
      top priority for the infrastructure budget.

  (2) A detailed plan is drafted by experts.  The experts agree it is
      a good plan.

  (3) The people who live in the community do not like the plan.  They
      agree it is a bad plan.

Ought the plan (2) to be executed?

> ... If people don’t have knowledge but still they want to involve,
> then they can use liquid democracy. For example energy production is
> highly technical issue that can use scientific method, if the people
> have knowledge about energy production and then they can participate
> directly and the people who don’t have knowledge can use liquid
> democracy. In reality people don’t have knowledge about such highly
> technical issues but we should have a software program that anybody
> can participate on the issue as a matter of pure democratic
> principle.

You see liquid democracy (transitive delegation) as a solution to a
problem, or part of a solution.  But before talking about the possible
solutions, we need a better understanding of the problem.  We wished
away the problematic fact of decisions being made by the opinion of
the few and are now in a counterfactual situation where we confront
the opinion of the many (3).  In this new situation, what exactly is
the problem we face?

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

More information about the Start mailing list