[MG] Cascading agreement, money, communities and other resources in votespace

Thomas von der Elbe ThomasvonderElbe at gmx.de
Mon Jun 13 03:35:39 EDT 2011

On Sun, 12 Jun 2011 14:47, Ed Pastore wrote:
>> A community has no kindergarden but wants one. They start a poll and 
>> many different plans emerge of how it should be like, where exactly 
>> it should be located etc. Every plan expresses the amount of the 
>> different necessary resources for its realization, i.e. votes, money, 
>> land, labour, bricks, wood, ... And now all the people voting for a 
>> paricular plan can express what recources they are willing to 
>> contribute. And the count-engine counts them all up. So everyone can 
>> see, what is still missing and what not. If the count reaches 100% 
>> the plan can be executed, all the resources are there. Happy parents, 
>> happy children! :-)
> How does this account for the person who doesn't want a kindergarden 
> near their house for whatever reason? 

Well, votes are still a recource (like wood and bricks are in this case 
too). So everything that applies to normal polls, where votes are the 
only recource, applies here too. Whatever the meta-rule for those people 
is has to be fullfilled. If someone doesn't want a specific plan of 
kindergarden executed (for whatever reason) he will not vote for it. If 
enogh people oppose it, it will not be build, even if they had 200% of 
the other necesarry resources (other than votes).


> This model seems to be centered around adhocracy-like building of 
> projects by efforts of the willing, but I don't see where it allows 
> for people who are actively opposed to the project in the first place. 
> A kindergarden is a little hard to imagine someone opposing if they 
> don't even have to pay for it, but how about building a dam, which 
> will radically alter the flow of water downstream?
> On Jun 6, 2011, at 12:43 AM, Michael Allan wrote:
>> Ed and Thomas,
>> Ed Pastore wrote:
>>> I'm trying to catch up on my backlog of reading, and the below looks
>>> both fascinating and baffling. I'm trying, but I've lost the thread
>>> of what's going on here. Could one of you try to bring this down to
>>> earth a little and explain where you are? I'd be happy to work on
>>> some documentation (or at least description) as a learning exercise,
>>> but I'm not able to do that from posts like the below.
>> These are the main ideas as I see them.
>> (a) Expose the resource needs, expectations and fulfilments of each
>>     collective effort as a "message" to the larger public sphere.
>>     Express that message in terms of the social space of the effort
>>     itself (b).
>> (b) Show the resources flowing together with the votes of the
>>     participants in the same way that agreement flows into consensus.
>>     Agreement is just a kind of resource.
>> (c) Consider that extension within the larger public sphere is
>>     another kind of resource that an effort needs.  By "extension", I
>>     mean participation that covers many separate communities.  When a
>>     collective effort needs, expects and is working toward extension,
>>     then let it say so.
>> (d) Let the periphery decide the resource needs.  Trees and branches
>>     of the collective forest are free to decide for themselves what
>>     resources are required for the overall effort.  (We floated this
>>     idea yesterday in offline discussion, C, Thomas and me.)
>>     Our example concerns the problem of littering in the streets.
>>     The leading candidate defines it as a legislative matter for the
>>     city and is gathering votes for a bylaw (resource = agreement)
>>     that will impose fines, or something like that.  A delegate in a
>>     higher branch disagrees and instead defines it as a local
>>     community effort (resource = agreement + labour) with
>>     participation restricted to the residents of the local
>>     neighbourhood, but simulaneously expanded to include non-citizen
>>     residents.  The count engine will take care to ensure that the
>>     labour pledges and non-citizen votes do not cascade past the
>>     delegate and into the bylaw drafts below, while the local
>>     citizens' votes do.  (In practice, this particular delegate would
>>     be better off as an end candidate, so this is a contrived
>>     example.)
>>     We recognize that this freedom of delegates to redefine the issue
>>     means that a single poll may sometimes come to house two issues
>>     that really ought to be separate.  The problem then becomes the
>>     coordination of the move of one branch or tree to a separate
>>     poll.  Moving an individual position is easy, so the only problem
>>     is the social coordination of the individuals.  Therefore the
>>     delegates will solve this.
>> (e) Let the periphery decide what resource message to expose (a).
>>     Clearly this is required when the resources are completely
>>     redefined by the periphery, as in the example above.  But here is
>>     another example:
>>     One branch of the "street littering" tree is drafting a radically
>>     different version of the bylaw.  They only have a few votes but
>>     they feel they have the capacity to grow among certain
>>     communities in the city.  So they identify inter-community
>>     extension as a crucial resource (resources = extension +
>>     agreement) and go to work at it.  Naturally they expose this as
>>     their public resource message.  They need help in order to extend
>>     to other communities, so they ask for it.
>> Thomas von der Elbe wrote:
>>> Interesting! Yes I think it will work. But to show the number of
>>> active communities in the vote-space is additional to the other 4
>>> maps, right?
>> I think the other 4 maps (graph/table maps) are now secondary.  They
>> are likely still needed, but not front and center.
>>>> Now to communities: As we've discovered, the crucial resource in
>>>> the beginning is not actually agreement or money, but rather the
>>>> talk itself.  Unless the conversation can extend over a sufficient
>>>> number of communities - spread its wings and fly - it dies.  So
>>>> the content we need to show is the number of active communities
>>>> over which each branch or tree of votespace has extended itself.
>>>> We want the first time viewer to realize, "Ah, I see!  These
>>>> people are growing an extended conversation."
>>> But here too: the content of the drafts plus the votes plus the
>>> number of communities ... all together, right? Or do you picture it
>>> as seperate?
>> The "2 second" message is focused on inter-community extension in this
>> case.  Votespace is tailored accordingly.  I figure we show only the
>> count of active communities (or whatever) and not the count of votes.
>> I guess we'd provide a control for the user to switch resources.  For
>> most of the forest in example (4), there would only be the one
>> resource, "agreement" as measured by votes.  But some branches would
>> also allow "extension" to be selected as a resource, and others would
>> allow "labour".  And so forth.
>> Thomas has concerns about (c), and I try to factor them out here:
>> (1) That we should pioneer the practice of extension manually, so to
>>     speak, without tool supports.
>> (2) That tools might not be needed for this practice at all.
>> (3) That the practice is only useful during the early adoption phase
>>     of the technology.  Once the first poll hits the news, nobody
>>     will be worried about extension anymore.
>> (4) That it's wasteful to develop tools that are likely to be
>>     outmoded so soon.
>> I agree with (1) and disagree with the others.  But did I state these
>> correctly, Thomas?
>> -- 
>> Michael Allan
>> Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
>> http://zelea.com/
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