[MG] "rough consensus"

Scott Raney metamerman at gmail.com
Sun Nov 20 21:33:28 EST 2016

As I was reading that vTaiwan writeup, I came across this reference,
regarding "humming" as a polling tool:

I have to say, that's about the most pitiful example of amateur social
engineering I've ever come across. Not only is it internally wildly
inconsistent (it first claims "no kings", then assigns the chair
absolute power over not only the final decision, but indeed the entire
course of the debate), and woefully ignorant of political practice and
terminology (it's called "log rolling", not "horse trading"), but it
simply ignores the possibility that there are better ways to make
decisions, particularly in highly technical fields. And this is in
about the most homogeneous environment you can possibly image: It
makes the Quakers look like a herd of cats! But perhaps most pitiful
is the fact that this group, which is 100% internet masters, is still
using email and in-person meetings to hold debates and votes. Argh.

As to that "better way", even Loomio and Vilfredo and Pol.is would
provide that: A way for people to comment on a proposal and attempt to
promote, change or in some cases justifiably delay consensus by
recruiting defectors from the other side with quality arguments. I'm
not planning to include a component like that in AutoMatch, at least
in the first version, because I think it's a lot less likely to be
effective in a heterogeneous environment (especially an ideologically
heterogeneous environment), but see it as an obvious solution for the
IETF. I'm reminded of David Brin's proposal for "Disputation Arenas",
which would be perfect for that kind of problem:

More information about the Start mailing list