[MG] Crowdsourcing the History of eDemocracy
mike at zelea.com
Wed May 15 08:36:27 EDT 2013
Pietro and Ed,
> > In particular can someone trace back the exact author and the date
> > of the idea that voting should not be linked with a specific
> > platform? Although this intuition has not yet reached full
> > maturation I think it deserves a place as one of the ideas that
> > might come up in the future.
> > I believe Thomas von der Elbe came up with free range voting:
> > Michael can confirm and give a date.
Mark Murphy speaks of aggregation in his 2008 essay . That same
year he wrote in an email, "Anybody can cast their vote on the issue,
again by publishing a POSH-enhanced Web page."  He seems to have
wanted the votes to be free of central servers and instead in the
hands of self-publishing voters. That's a beautiful idea. The
servers become just aggregators, or what today I'd call "vote mirrors"
- except they're tied to a single standard for the vote form .
That's one problem. Another is that few people would actually be
inclined to host their own votes, most would instead come to rely on
vote-servers. So it's impractical as envisioned.
Thomas's first post to Metagov (May 2009) takes a different approach.
He's trying to get the vote-servers that already exist and already
host votes to cooperate . At one point in the thread, I suggest
vote pooling . But pooling embraces centralization, which is the
opposite of putting the vote in the voter's hands; it's unattractive.
The key to the problem turns out to be translation across vote forms.
That's the basis of vote mirroring, which Thomas invented in December
2009 . It effectively puts the *form* of the vote in the voter's
hands because he/she can now choose any vote-server or voting method,
including (if need be) his/her own.
So Murphy was the first to go chasing after platform freedom (that I
know of), but Thomas was the first to actually catch it.
> What were the differences between Votorola and Candiwi?
Both support distributed drafting based on diff/patch tools. The main
differences are probably in the voting and discussion media. But I
don't remember Candiwi's design for those.
> I know Votorola has a nice tree structure of changes to a page. Has
> this been implemented or it is only theorethical (i.e. should I put
> it down as theorethical result)
What we have are tree structures of *extant* differences, as opposed
to historical changes. For example, here's Frank's draft:
Here's the current difference vs. his voter Georgina:
And here's the social tree structure that relates Georgina and Frank:
That's not a realistic example, of course, and not very instructive.
The practice docs indexed on the home page are more instructive:
> Then Free Range Voting (this was how it was called), Michael starts
> speaking about it on the 22/12/2009.
> Now what is its relation with Votorola?
Free-range voting is the primary use case for vote mirroring. It's
shown here: (see FRV) http://zelea.com/project/outcast/_overview.xht
The three vote-servers in that cluster (V) are supplied by different
providers. Users may freely range from server to server (vote form to
vote form); they can never be captured by a dominant provider, even
one that had 99.9% of the users. The relation with Votorola is that
we might be one of the providers. That would be unlikely without vote
mirroring, because it would be a dog-eat-dog race to the bottom.
 Mark Murphy. 2008. The “killer app” of public participation. In
Rebooting America. Edited by Allison Fine, Micah L. Sifrey, Andrew
Rasiej and Joshua Levy. Personal Democracy
 Mark Murphy. 2007. xDebate formats specification, version
0.1. Not published.
It's a Semantic HTML (POSH) schemata for federated debate on
More information about the Start