[MG] Minimal start plan - inter-community network

Michael Allan mike at zelea.com
Mon May 23 02:40:14 EDT 2011

Alexander Praetorius wrote:
> I'm not sure if i understand what you are saying. You think metagov
> tools are useless if a conversation dies? Why? What if a
> conversation looks like it has died and a year later, someone finds
> the old discussion work and brings it back to life... you never know
> :)

I'm afraid that's too long to wait.  We require a round-trip time for
design corrections of weeks or months, not years.

> "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."
> Why? Why will they always be a hinderance in local applications?
> I think its worth to find mechanisms that scale perfectly, so that they are
> useful for local application but also for large scale world wide consensus
> making efforts :)

Unfortunately, nobody needs tools for small scale consensus.  Tools
are only useful where they are needed.  The four or five people who
are currently active in Metagov can make better, faster decisions on
their own, just as they did in the past.

OTOH, if Metagov tackles the problem of consensus making in the large,
then others are likely join.  It's a useful thing.  Nobody else has a
viable approach to it, so far as I know.

> "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?"
> Yes, a single community that uses the tools would be disconnected from other
> community who discuss using the same tool, that way you get several islands
> and they might die out and don't know of each other.
> "(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.)"
> I think we need something like a peer-2-peer system. Maybe it would be a
> good thing if a community could download the tools and host them for their
> local application needs.
> At the same time it should be possible to let anyone host metagov tools as a
> service so communitys without technical background could create accounts and
> start discussing their issues without having to host something on their own.
> Now the tricky part would be a mechanism that connects each hosted instance
> of the metagov tools, regarless wether it was hosted as a service for others
> or hosted for self use within a community, to a single network. ...now
> "crossover theater" would give you an overview over all the ongoing
> discussions and it might be a good thing to offer methods for single members
> of communitys to connect their discussion to the discussion that started
> else where.
> The goal would be to host an instance of metagov tools which could be used
> for local application but in the same time, multiple instances of metagov
> tools which are spread around communities in the world would all be
> connected via a p2p mechanism :)

We have all that (or equivalent) excepting the inter-community

> I'm not so deep into the technical stuff, but DHT (Distributed Hash Tables)
> pop up in my mind :)
> Maybe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastry_%28DHT%29 could be of any use.

Michael Allan

Toronto, +1 416-699-9528

Originally posted to the mailing list of the Metagovernment Project:

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