[MG] Minimal start plan - inter-community network

Roger Eaton rogerweaton at gmail.com
Sat May 21 20:19:07 EDT 2011

Hello to Metagov,

Well, I was going to keep out of this until the InterMix project I am
working on is truly open source - i.e. on the web, downloadable, licensed
carefully and has a usable version available for testing.  But a couple of
points have come up - one the need for a forum that can double as an email
list - and two the desire to bring in multiple communities - that InterMix
can handle.  That plus InterMix has built in ratings with the ability to
sort by value and controversy as well as by date.  So it is in line with the
idea of community voting.  And I believe it will be user-friendly.

To be sure, InterMix is not and does not pretend to be a method of
governing, but what it can do is to get people on the same page as to
general approach, and it has some nice bells and whistles.

One major innovation is that when multiple groups use it together, the
groups can link up with autonomous and reversible actions that can be taken
by each group on its own.  The flow of messages and ratings determine a
bottom up hierarchy in a system where each community maintains its freedom
of action.

See more at http://intermix.org, intermix.org/uri.htm and

Happy to answer questions.  Main one I suspect is when will InterMix be
available.  Alas, the launch date keeps receding.  Still, a lot of work has
been done and there is an early alpha now up and running.  Should usable for
metagov by fall, 2011.


Roger Eaton
USA 415 933 0153

On Sat, May 21, 2011 at 4:51 PM, Michael Allan <mike at zelea.com> wrote:

> Answering your critique of the argument, Alexander.  (I'll answer C's
> points shortly, as they have more to do with requirements or method.)
> You reply to the first part of the argument by claiming that Metagov
> is a competent community.  I agree, and (with Mat?as) I think that
> discussion is Metagov's main competence and proven success.  So far so
> good.  But then you go on to conclude that, therefore, we need no
> other community.  This ignores the second part of my argument.
> No discussion in the Metagov list has ever sustained itself
> indefinitely, with or without tooling.  Yet it must be sustained in
> order to succeed as an effort in consensus making.  Otherwise the
> effort will be judged a failure.  You have not participated in any of
> these efforts, as you say.  I can tell you that once the conversation
> dies, I feel the whole consensus making effort has died with it.
> You claim that the tools could be adequate for decision making in the
> context of Metagov alone, provided they were further developed.  I'm
> not so sure.  Metagov requires no tools to make the decisions it needs
> to make, other than its mailing list.  The specialized consensus tools
> are no help, only a hinderance.  They will always be a hinderance in
> local applications, no matter how well we develop them.
> The tools are only useful for large scale consensus, and only then
> because there is no alternative for that purpose.  Large scale
> consensus can never be achieved unless it covers multiple communities,
> and the only thing forestalling success is the lack of a suitable
> means of coverage.  I suspect that everyone knows this intuitively.
> People have a natural sense of network effects and for this reason it
> is crucial to make the involvement of the inter-community network
> explicit from the outset.  If people cannot see a larger, longer-lived
> network, but only a tiny discussion that dies out locally, then (like
> you) they will not bother to participate.
> So the success of consensus making does not hinge on any single
> community alone, but rather on an inter-community network.  If we
> imagine otherwise and develop our tools and competences otherwise,
> then we'll miss the boat.  Do you see what I mean?
> (If not, can you outline an alternative plan?  Please specify the
>  method, the resources required at each step and the goals to be
>  acheived.  I'll do the same shortly.)
> --
> Michael Allan
> Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
> http://zelea.com/
> Alexander Praetorius wrote:
> > We already have an active community of discussion.
> > That's ourselves...
> > ... all aspects of what metagovernment is all about could be solved by us
> > using our tools. This way we will see what it takes to remove usage
> > barriers...
> >
> > I personally did not participate in the poll's we had or how you might
> call
> > them, because I found it too complicated.
> > No flow, no intuitive feeling, just to much work involved just to cast my
> > vote for something of low importance :)
> >
> >
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: start-bounces at metagovernment.org
> > [mailto:start-bounces at metagovernment.org] On Behalf Of Michael Allan
> > Sent: Saturday, May 21, 2011 1:56 AM
> > To: Metagov
> > Subject: [MG] Minimal start plan - inter-community network
> >
> > So this is my own plan, or the first part of it:
> >
> >
> > Consensus making only happens in communities of discussion.  The
> > success of the effort (I assume) is strongly correlated with
> > communicative competence.  Therefore the first successful attempt is
> > likely to occur in a community of exceptional competence.  But it is
> > difficult to create any community from scratch, never mind an
> > exceptionally competent one.  Therefore success is most likely to
> > occur in a community that is already well established.  In other
> > words, the success of the effort depends on the prior success of the
> > community.  It follows that we must develop our stuff for the express
> > purpose of seeding a consensus making effort in one or more successful
> > communities.
> >
> > However, it seems unlikely that a single community could ever sustain
> > a discussion for long enough to demonstrate a consensus.  Discussions
> > tend to occur in topical bursts at unpredictable intervals.  When it
> > happens that the talk subsides, it will appear that the effort has
> > been a failure.  From this we may conclude that a successful attempt
> > must extend across many communities.  When the talk has died out in
> > one community, it will be picked up another, and only later will it
> > return over the same ground.  In this way the overall thread of
> > discussion may be kept alive, even while parts of it appear to die.
> > (In fact, they would merely go underground like the rhizome of a plant
> > spread laterally, and surfacing here and there.)  When people see
> > this, they will know that a consensus is still possibile.  They will
> > only judge the overall effort a failure if it dies out in all
> > communities; otherwise they will remain hopeful and renew their own
> > efforts.
> >
> > Is there a flaw in this argument?  If not, I can suggest what it might
> > take to get a "rhizome" growing.
> >
> > --
> > Michael Allan
> >
> > Toronto, +1 416-699-9528
> > http://zelea.com/
> _______________________________________________
> Start : a mailing list of the Metagovernment project
> http://www.metagovernment.org/
> Post to the list: Start at metagovernment.org
> Manage subscription:
> http://metagovernment.org/mailman/listinfo/start_metagovernment.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://metagovernment.org/pipermail/start_metagovernment.org/attachments/20110521/b52fbbf8/attachment-0001.html>

Originally posted to the mailing list of the Metagovernment Project:

More information about the Votorola mailing list