From Metagovernment - Government of, by, and for all the people
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If a man isn't willing to take some risk for his opinions within an imperfect society, either his opinions are no good or he's no good. --adapted from ircmaxell, Slashdot

Enormously interested in codifying a system of governance so well-crafted as to be inarguable to advance society's evolution toward self-governance. Love to work out a system of ranking and scoring to develop a true meritocracy and rich healthy society with a well-defined reputation system and take many lessons in this regard from evolution and nature itself (which to a large degree seems to have already solved this problem of organizing trillions of individuals without centralized control). Specialize in self-generating, self-organizing systems made of information and have been working on these topics deeply for over a decade. Fluent programmer in Python and currently reside in Tucson, Arizona. Am glad to find an open community looking to create a bottom-up foundation for a new model of governance.

Some rough ideas to place in the wiki somewhere:

Metagovernment: community blogs, sharing ideas, making policies (oh, and ...changing the world).

Like many, I've been working on the Laws of Information, formulating basic laws of how information organizes itself into knowledge, for over a decade. I've got some rock-solid ideas of how to go about creating a new, large-scale model of information relationships (a la web3.0) for a new, creative, information economy.

If this describes you too, help build the community-building here, or if you live near Santa Fe, email me: dreamingforward [at] gmail [dot] com. Want to know what I need? Go here.

Core ideas: use the abstract power of ubiquitous, inter-networking to build-up a graph (a network flow actually) with metrics for ranking and tracking reputation, for evaluating user contributions (regardless of rank), and an ability for regular individuals to offer *credit* for desired projects--a sort of idealized marketplace which no civilization has ever had before.


Trust is an vital ingredient in any successful collaborative endeavor and, ultimately, one of its most precious assets. Note that its significance arises prior to any automated system of allocating trust, as any such system eventually relies on some higher level, human trust or inordinate amounts of obfuscation in order to protect the integrity of the data in its absence.

Without trust, any system or society -- no matter how mathematically or politically ingenious is prone to failure of its ideals and fragment into various factions of power: the stakeholders which remain after doubt, suspicion, and violence (emotional or physical) have scattered the center. Such scatterings occur because one or more groups were excluded from the previous organizing effort or a fundamental axiom was incomplete (see also larger desires of society).

Doubt can always find a crack in any system of reason, no matter how tight or numerous its counter-measures (cf. Gödel). Note that this will always remain so regardless of whether the order which organizes that system is oppressive or benevolent. So it is mandatory that trust and inclusiveness be a foundation that is fostered and built into the system as an item of continued support. Inclusiveness demands that domains and processes for conflict resolution, the redressing of grievances and the like must be part of the community lest cynicism creep in and poison the well. In the presence of severe disenfranchisement and the entrenched beliefs with follow, one must be gracious and patient, yet earnest--negligence breeds addictions, dependency, and extremism. History has not been kind in man's journey of self-awareness. Anything which elevates the human spirit encourages trust and builds the wealth of man. Kindness goes a long way.

Wiki core:

Ideas which require changes to the underlying source code (ideas which change how the wiki runs).
  • To facilitate a inter-wiki ecosystem, admins should be able to create wikitags that offer a '' shortcut to other wiki pages so that less content is recreated. Mediawiki could also follow which of these links are used most to feedback where there are inter-wiki bottlenecks.
  • When clicking on WhatLinksHere there should be a link "Would you like to suggest an a link to this page?" which will automatically populate the "See Also:" section of the bottom of the mentioned pages. (Perhaps with a special note for an editor to check for better inclusion within the text itself....?)
  • There should be a "ping-back" whenever someone creates a page from Special:WantedPages back to whomever created the "seed-links". This would provide some feedback to encourage their use.
  • When browsing through revision history (like moving forward to see the changes over time), the top line which displays the username should include the comment added for that revision to aid in evaluation of that edit.
    • Similarly, when displaying page text matches after a search, the number of page views should be displayed in addition to the number of bytes (perhaps a better sorting index too....)
  • Regarding "Save Page" as a "minor edit": should distinguish between minor edits which seek no further notice, and small edits which may be significant. Large edits should probably always be seen as "significant".
  • Should have a way to give per-edit voting so each revision, each tied to a specific user, can be tracked. Would also assist in building community as other edits can give the thumbs-up or "tip-of-the-hat" to previous contributors that they are building upon, thus lessening the impact that one's edits are being trampled upon or criticised by other editors.
  • Ability to add a ":" markup at beginning of "==" section specifiers to give slight indent to better mark different sections of the text. OR (even better)
Add Section folding. Akin to code folding in various source code editing environments. Allows for easy compaction of section and overviews keeping relevant detail close at hand. Indents then would be more or less an automatic feature.
  • Leverage power of newer browsers like Chrome and javascript to facilitate navigation
  • Special:RandomPage should give a weighted roll of the dice based on how many links there are to a given page (or perhaps use "most viewed" stats?). That is, if there are three pages with "rank scores" of 20, 10, and 5. The last page will be returned 5/35ths of the time, while the first will be returned 20/35ths of the time. This keeps the possibilty to seeing infrequently viewed pages while not returning pages so uninteresting and irrelevant as to be an useless function.
  • Logout should confirm that there are no open pages in process of edit.
  • When clicking on a wanted page within a document and getting directed to "Create this page", the number of pages (or links) desiring said page should be included (for example, in the first line). This would help give some feedback to motivate the effort or not.
  • Way to track how many people are watching your page (without giving names) so that a person gets SOME feedback about how much interest they're generating. (Note that it's not easy to game such a statistic--trolls wouldn't get watched....). (Does: What links here? work?) This could automatically built a reputation network. Likewise those pages that are most watched have the highest rank. (Integrate this into wiki-trust?) Generally want two views: page popularity/activity (like page rank), and user activity: What and Who are active on the wiki today? (sources of article popularity rank: page views, linkedto count, #'s watching page) (assessing desire: most searched-for (but lost) terms, most wantedpages, ...?) (assessing person rank: #contributions, longevity of contributions, #watching their pages

When clicking on mycontributions there should be a bargraph showing how many page views on the given page(relative to other contributions and a line graph of views/day activity or something like how much it has changed since last check....

I'd like to propose a somewhat radical modification to the standard wiki to something along quantum mechanics and genetic althorithms. Rather than having the main page or any page be set uniquely, let users create alternate versions if there is contention to allow maximum freedom and have the wiki software itself select roll the dice from the different versions of "Main Page" via a probability distribution ranked by how many other pages link to it (a gauge of popularity/authority like Google PageRank), such that if a lone renegade has his own copy with say 1 link to it (his own), while several others link elsewhere, say with 4 links to one popular version and 5 to the other, the Main Page link will pull up one of the three versions with probability 0.1, 0.4, 0.5, respectively. Until a user clicks enters the Main Page it exists in a sort of "superposition" of the 3 possible "states" that have been offered; after that point the probability wave collapses into one of the existing possibilities.

This approach, I suggests, offers several benefits:

  1. less contention for main design of any given article,
  2. greater freedom for the space of ideas to explore widely without concern for wiping-out contributions of others
  3. allows possibility of less favored versions to be recognized later as important--like natural selection
  4. less fixed notion of Authority for any given topic unless and until the content is censented to by all (in which case there is only one version of the article for which to "throw the die" or "collapse the wave"),
  5. in this way the design supports the notion of synthesis: if there are two main versions for a given topic, the user which can synthesize the two gets the credit for the article (keeping contributing author attribution).
  6. less time wasted debating different ideas for article layout and content--if you have a better idea create it. Let the users decide which gets used and the system will track the statistics to determine popularity.
  7. without fixed notion of single page, less likelihood of vandalism.
  8. less stagnation as there's no barrier to contributing your own ideas
  9. patterned after a time-tested methodology of natural selection rather than selection-by-fiat.

if a user votes down a given entry, it "dies" into "negative space" (complex number?), where that page will no longer appear for consideration for that user. It can only be reanimated by an edit by someone other that the original (or last) author.

In addition there can be a author popularity ranking, so that if a user continues to like a given author (as perhaps judged by the tracked votes up or down, the algorithm can bump their entries up.

A user must have ability to vote up or down one entry over the other--in this way avoiding continual oscillation of a given topic. A single click up or down is enough to pass or veto a given entry for future visits. Such votes are nullified upon re-edit by a different author, or marked "major edit" by same author. An author can view the votes up or down for a given article, to inform future revisions or engage in self-refection.

Should be a way for a user to up-grant a given edit if author feels edit is significant to that

Wiki organization:

Ideas which require changes to metagoverment wiki policy and/or frameworks (new templates for example, ideas which apply to all wiki pages).
  1. Instead of a useless title bar at the top of each article, MediaWiki should borrow a bit of wisdom from the original wikiwikiweb--allow the article Title to be clickable resulting in a search listing for related pages: this is not only useful for the casual user who wishes to see something similar, but mega-useful for content creators to find possible content to link to rather than creating additional pages which are already like others in existence, generating useless redundancy. Bad! Bad! (consider algorithm, from existing page find all pages that link to it, then from that listing find link on those pages which point to the same destination--a sort of "step back, and re-group at another location")
  2. Revisions should not be committed until a variable amount of time proportional to the age of the page and the time delta since the last commitment. Gives time for stakeholders to participate without burdening contributors arbitrarily. Any page in process should have a notice in the title bar and a tab at the top to see the next revision and time until committed. This working page could be the discussion and collaboration area for the given edit.
  3. WordCloud as main page which shows the active discussions at any given time with prominance proportional to activity level to promote active participation.
  4. Besides current activity (like wordcloud which informs from WikiNow time), needs a perspective that offers What's New? (which places wiki activity in linear view)
  5. Any entry given in bad faith should be immediately deleted without comment. (Do not feed the trolls.) In contrast, if there is any question upon such assessment, move to junk pile instead, the onus remains on the contributor to fish out the suggestion and defend it. This is also to encourage a certain decorum for public discourse.
  6. GoogleChrome offers some interesting potential in which to enhance the wiki software with javascript, making it easier and more fluid to navigate relationships between various discussions and topics, etc.
  7. Wiki software should have a way (template?) to mark a section or word as fixme:word-grammar-style (much like the "citation needed") when the contributor knows the wording is not the best, but has no alternative at the moment. This is to be much preferred over silence whereby the value of the underlying idea never gets recognized because the user is afraid to contribute an unpolished entry. Such marked areas will then be easily gotten in the Special Pages listing and wiki users can find easy and great places to edit and make the wiki shine as well as link-up with fellow, like-minded collaborators!
  8. Would be useful to have a Special page which lists "hot" pages: those with a lot of activity (multiple edits by more than one user).
  9. Searches should include redirect titles.
  10. Categories: Each category page should pre-populate the text area (/include?) with text from article with same name (does this happen automatically? otherwise one has to maintain two different text since linking is easier as a standard (non-category) page; iow, no need to [[:category:Name]] just [[Name]]). See Special:MostLinked for likely categories/names.

Metagovernment wiki:

General topics/ideas to place within the wiki somewhere.
  • The Prisoner's Dilemma: To understand the limitations of the dillemma, it is significant that the setting is prison.
  • Law of the Eternal: The limits of reason are no longer of debate, it has been shown in three major fields of human thought: mathematics, philosophy, and Quantum Mechanics, as well as religion where it was known an indeterminable time ago. Note on Tree link: places like [[ ] and debategraph are already codifying Man'sas a sort of tree of knowledge-- a stunning and thrilling opportunity.

It first should be noted that there are two primary axis of interaction with the wiki (or the world even), the vertical top-down oriented and horizontal, breadth-first, and bottom up oriented. The two have vastly different styles.

User's which trim your page get points from your total score from that page, which presumably is fine since their contributions should add value to your page (facilitating a rise in capital value) To encourage good editing before posting, u

wiki software needs way to keep canonical/agreed entries at top page with abilty to drill down to discussions and disagreements (see suggesion for basic guidelines--should have been able to put discussion "underneath" the given principle rather than the flat discussion page.\

General optimums:

For a given topic, the rationale and discussion/disagreements sections should be one step away from that topic and limited thereto. Recommended to appear "underneath" the given entry. When either rationale and detailed view or discussion is clicked upon, the current entry is given in top field, with underlying discussion/reasons below. Sentences and primary grammatical sections of the given field should have their own numbers/subnumbers for easy reference. The discussion tab on any given topic should be pre-populated with "For: [rationales for supporting the suggestion]" and "Against: [reasons for rejecting the suggestion]" and "Questions, Comments:" subsections as the primary method of organizing the topic. (Note, a fractal, +/- and neutral sectioning are generally if not competely sufficient for well-ordering any given discussion landscape.)

For difficult topics, the entry should be removed of all content and simply be given the main idea and marked in contention. The user can drill down into the discussion section to work out the conflict and see the issues therein. Alternatively, an opposing view can simply create their own, separate page and let the community of support decide (in essense) by letting the alternative dwindle from lack of merit.

Any change to a section should immediately notify the main contributors thereto. Contributions rejected downgrade the conributor's score/ranking, encouraging conscientious use of the [edit] feature.

Voting and ranking system should be logarithmic (4, 16, 64, 256) rather than linear (1..5). Note, using base 4 is akin to human fingers and hands and feels right intuitively: thumb (4^0), hand (4^1), limbs (4^2), body(?) (4^3), family (4^4)). Graphical voting icons to indicate same.

  1. Thumbs up is a simple display of approval.
  2. Hand means you're willing to help contribute.
  3. Limbs, means you're willing to dig-in and work at it.
  4. Body means you're putting your reputation on the line, even your life.
  5. Family means your putting a whole lifestyle and well-being on the table (note that this project itself of an open democracy is of the latter type--at least for me).

Note: the converse (negative values) would imply similar levels of commitment.

Voting as such converts physical (body) value to currency in the mind-space. One's User page could even have a graphical representation of the accumluation of all of the "body" contributions along with the effects of interactions with others.

Any contribution from another not explicitly marked downward should get at least a +1 attention point. After all it was given attention and not rejected. This also conforms to the logarithmic scaling since there is no such thing as a "0" vote logarithmically (i.e. there is no such y, such that 4^y=0). A contribution of one's own has a default value of one hand (4^1), since the user put up the effort to even contribute. A new page has a default contribution-value of 4^2/2 (hands-only) for minor page to 4^2 for a more substantive page (a proposal, for example).

Each page has a creator to which it is assigned. Said individual agrees to be the representative or guardian for the integrity of the given topic. This allows giving credit where credit is due and meets the need of the GPL. Ranking and Scoring will take these lines of credit into account. Automatic systems can aggregate these into merit profiles in which given users have expertise.

Regarding section numbering: In the intermediate phases, the code of law will be more like a graph until there is a clear organization to it, but as knowledge and consensus increase, there will form a tree-like hierarchacal order.

Review Metascore


Nature has already solved most of the issues which seem to stall those of use who want to see a meritocracy develop.

Re: Greater participation: see Vilfredo, in particular a suggestion of needing a special page that lists in reverse chronological order the most recent, and most views pages and revisions--allows proper diagnostics to maintain a healthy living wiki. A dynamic site requires more than a standard front page.

It's important for the site to have a community and not just a place that people check for arcana. That means that the site must also exist in time. Although contrary to wikipedia, this site could encourage a blogophere for people to have a online presence here so that an active community can develop. Like Advogato, each user could use their account as a journal. The front page of the site could select journal entries based on a weighted, random, roll and (not unlike slashdot) vote an entry up stronger or let is sink (drop off of their personal front-page listing). Such entries could be marked as to what large a group the entry is for (i.e. how widely published the entry should be considered for: friend's circle, geographic community, cultural community, global community).

Any community project must have a way to have per-user and per-contribution (per-thread, per-edit) voting/ranking. So that users that are trusted can have their edits "bumped up". Users that are hostile can have the edits kept down. Subjects that are uninteresting kept on top (+voting) as well as kept on the bottom (-voting).

Perhaps, better than "Meta-government", would be to borrow a usage from economics to distinguish between that which rules from above, macro-government, and that which rules from below--micro-government. As the term grassroots implies, what this project is really about is developing the best form of micro-government--encoding good rules which will guide and allow the organization of value from below.

framework for building organizational frameworks of value (we-to-I, or many-to-one patterns of organization This site, giving forum to building up a framework for a proper exective branch (decision-making authority) would function as . Metascore as code of law. Developers of metascore as legislatures. The top-level wiki tree as code for the exective branch delegation of one-to-many relationships. There are two roles which are orthogonal to these two: the wikihunes (or WikiGnomes) which

In my opinion the constitution of the United States is incomplete: it has organized itself into three branches as if they all came from above; that is, there is a bias towards the upwards movement of information, with a bias of downward imposition of will. But really it should be thus: there are two action branches: Executive branch--the macro-governor from above and the Legislative to govern from below--neither should need prior approval in which to act and their actions should propagate immediately. To ensure that those actions are effective and inline with the goals of the goals, there are two evaluative and assessment branches: the Judicial and the Senate. The rampant politik of the media, functioning as a quasi-judicial body, is indication that some aspect of the system of rule is inadequate.

To distinguish: the high-level code of law (value-system) from the low-level.

The Judicial should be the high-level assessment arm to evaluate the effects of the (low-level) Legislative, while the Senate (rather than being considered part of the legislature), needs to be the low-level assessor to the effects of the executive. The Judicial gives reports to the Executive

--the evaluators from above, should be organize between and off to the left (say) of the executive and legislative--which the parlianment or Senate off to the right to evaluate from belowis off to the left side

To encourage rapid development (regarding protocols and standardization) and an engaged community, I suggest using the wiki itself as a collaborative platform for sharing and making code suggestions. (Classes and Functions could have their own page, for example; revisions would be tracked, etc.). Ultimately, I'd like to see a peer-to-peer program developed for distributing the hosting load (sharing wiki files, in this case) and encouraging active maintenance of the pages users help create. Endorsed pages are copied to the user's machine for redundancy and so that users "own" their contributions, keeping them guardians of the proposals and content they help create. Having multiple copies, a meta-system for tracking the "trunk" or best offering for any given subject is done by throwing a random number to receive--those versions which have been most endorsed are more likely to be retrieved, but like natural selection, there's always a chance that some currently unfavored version will be given (reproduced). Obviously a way would be need in order to make such internals orthogonal to other wiki content, but this can be done easily enough with namespaces, if I understand mediawiki software correctly.

Personally I think the MediaWiki needs more tools for setting trust and rank of any given article and contributor so that such a project can be managed sanely. The "eat your own dogfood" methodology would certainly drive the development for resolving this problem. There are already some offerings to this end: UCSC wiki-trust extension. See also conversations at Wikipedia:Trust_model, Trust network.

Universality--the idea that a disagreement is caused purely by an imbalance of information, or ignorance. The solution, then, is greater and more effective communication. Philosophical premise: all of us ultimately have a common want and need, none are inherently more superior, and all attainable wants and needs are met best cooperatively. (Note: attainability: some wants are unattainable (either practically or theoretically) because we live in a world with other people whose wants may be in conflict with our own.)

Also, attainability and wisdom of GPL. A system that relies on singular dicatator can never be sustainable. While I may want all the money or fame in the world, there exists others with similar desires, and a willful attempt to satisfy then can only result in a phyrric and wasteful victory at best, a "successful" climb atop the remaining pile of shit at worst. THIS IS WHY the GPL MUST be viral: to inhibit the spawning of competitive processes which would eventually seek to dominate (thereby destroying) the community-sphere. Without the share and share-alike clause, will dominates rather than the global community. Who the fuck is afraid of a global community? Does some bastard think that he can be a better Napoleon? The idea of a dominance of will in the 21st century is sophmore-level world-building and generally amounts to little boy problems. I only use it here to tear down the idiocracy which has installed itself in the mind of the masses: Free Enterprise "...but we own YOU" (practically true, if not actually). See these further arguments.

In the abstract economy of value there is a continual and rhythmic trade off between energy and information. what is disorder and entropic in the energy space is order in the information space. Like biological space, information should be composted to offer new value and preserve certain energetic constants. While it may seem absurd and gratuitiously pure, it is suggested that it will prevent the system from devolving into a choatic wasteland in the long run.

Reserve Pile or Working Space. A special page distinct from the primary document but includes paragraphs that a discarded as well as incomplete ideas/contributions for further work and evaluation. This encourages the pairing down of all entries into more concise form, removal and re-grouping of redundant information, and so on. That which is removed is moved into this reserve. Snippets remain on the compost pile for use by scavengers until they are broken down into common words and useless bytes, or alternatively re-evaluated in a new context and synthesed for further insight and inclusion. The bytes discarded are distributed equally among all users as atomic vote-points (Or rather the bytes discarded are simply freely available to all to be re-purposed and used to add "information-attention" aka "votes"). The reserve areas across the wiki are re-grouped for a different view into the wiki along an axis of commonality and word/phrase matching. In this way disparate ideas can be synthesized, and previously unseen analogies/insights can be found. Along one axis, we call them ideas, insight--articles. Along the other we call them people or entities. These are really the two main views of importance. Many insights at the low-level bubbling up to the high-level are called laughter. When there is sufficient mid-level structures this flow occurs flawlessly and is called JOY.

The legitamacy of the compost pile is reflected in the floating bits of order surrounding the cell nucleus. Possibly good bits of ideas that simply aren't yet easily integrated into the main document (in this sense the name is a bit wanting--perhaps calling it reserve). This should be a built-in componenet to the wiki. This feature, done well, would merge the intent of the "discussion" and "history" tabs. In WikiTime there is no need for History--the truth of the article isn't really changing with respect to time, so its presence is really an anachronism. This will take Wiki to a whole new level.

Two views open during edit phase: working copy and reserve (similar to Clipboard). A way to right click a section (word, sentence, paragraph) and "sink" it into the reserve section (optionally marking a relevant spot beforehand). Likewise, a way to mark a spot where one wishes to insert something from the reserve section. This sink down option is available at each level and can be named workspaces for different people or distinct contexts, so that one can continue to drill down those items which The rise up option is available as well but results in creater font weight (highlighting) rather than disappearance from view so that one can say: this is an important section. This coloration should be logarithmic. As sections gain "votes" they can inform re-organization into sections by standing out. Within the top level document, besides voting for emphasis, one should be able to highlight and link together seperated sections and content (both intra- and inter-article linking) so that in effect there will form a sort of gravity between linked sections, drawing them closer. One can imagine algorithms for automatically making down-voted sections sink out of view and the remaining links "pull in" laterally the remaining content--rearranging for a new crystalization if a new low-energy state is found. One could even account for sections which have a large need to be re-arranged by how much cross-distance document linking there is--sort of pinching the text in between (ouch).

Python works with text easily would make such experimentation with this idea simple.

The accounting of who click-votes on what must be made seperately yet and represents a differnet kind of contribution

There should be a time when expanding the wiki is disabled and users are forced to organize and regroup the myriad of pages which have become to spread out or disorganized. (The current system of US Law and tax code would be real-world examples.) A system as above for composting. In which case the rewards get reversed. Removals rather than contributions get merited, and values of new entries are linearly shared among all. Such is the case for example with the current metagovernment wiki. This could be managed by two primary benevolent contributors (a sort of wiki pair-programming?).


I am currently rather impoverished in this less-than-ideal economic system which has not yet built itself for the needs of the creative class. Contributions I could put to really good use (won't be for-profit or to glorify my ego) in the interest of this project and, it's hoped, for society in general:


  1. Bike for tall person (me)
  2. Yearly Bus Pass
  3. Reliable car/minibus with good gas mileage (30+), and/or


  1. Shared housing with like-minded others ideal. Have a room available somewhere in an English-friendly country? Eco-minded and close to nature appreciated. Off the grid and have wireless internet available? Sweet.
  2. In any case, need wifi connection and/or in-house Internet.


  1. Mini-Notebook computer that can run Linux
  2. Iphone or Droid with calling plan