Mark Frankenberg

(on Better Ways to Achieve individual and collective Health and Efficiency)
Status:  Rough Draft in progress

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Electronic Community Management: the Case for an Automated Republic

We could do much better.  We could have the democratic republic "of, for and by" the people that was envisioned by America's heroes.

When the Constitution was penned, communication and transportation were, at best,  at the speed of horses and wind.  This necessitated the tried-and-true, pyramid structure of representative management that had been used by armies for ages.  As a result, management of our community was and is slow and vulnerable to corruption.

Now that communication is instantaneous, the role for representatives is modified.  Their theoretical utility as knowlegeable, ethical nodes for power and information flow should be retained, but their effectiveness should be modernized and increased.  Their corruptability should be reduced.  Who or what, exactly, the representatives are, is worth consideration.

In a system where the circumstances of the people were the primary concern, each citizen would have reasonable control over how the community was managed. If the garbage truck was dumping trash while collecting it, a citizen would have immediate means to address the issue. If the collected revenues of the community were being used to murder and destroy so a few rich crooks could stay in power, that crime would come to light and would immediately stop.

A robust, decentralized, automated system of community management is possible. Instead of corrupt polititians, such a system could have built-in transparency, blockchain accountability and timely effectiveness. Open-source algorithms could evaluate collective intentions, weigh them against facts established through dependable sources, and readily channel resources to improving our situation.

Primitive, Central Planning would not continue. Fiascos like Mao Zedong's 1950's "war on birds" and the United States' current, hideous "war on drugs" would be relegated to history as examples of the insanity of rule by the few. Some criticisms of Peter Joseph's Zeitgeist Movement, of the Venus Project, and often of the political Left in general are cautions against centrally-planned government, and with good reason. A central authority is a target for corruption and attack. At the Right end of the political spectrum, mindless populism financed by oligarchs is deadly. What I envision here is very different. As with dependable electric power and a more effective press, our system of government will function better when decentralized, de-monopolized, and automated.

Soon robotic vehicles will be the norm. They will be a lot safer than the current, human-piloted traffic we have today. Like a corrupt government, the human operator of a car is highly susceptible to error and distraction. Robot vehicles don't get bored or drunk or angry, they can have more than two eyes and ears, and they can have years of experience before they make their first trip.

Automotive travel machinery constitutes critical life-support systems. If they fail the consequences can be unacceptible. Similarly, critical life support systems are used in hospitals because they provide the continual monitoring and control that machines naturally do better than human beings. Collectively, community management systems are similarly critical.  When they work there is peace and prosperity.  Their failure results in misery.

An automated system that enables the intelligent, just application of policy would improve safety, economic stability and public health. Trust and transparency would enable integrity and robustness.

Others have explored ideas of a modernization of our methods of community management.  I remember reading Alvin Toffler's Future Shock and the Third Wave where he expounded on the inefficiencies of our system of government.  Computer Technology maven Tim Oreilly has also been a proponent of increasing the role of computers in government.The recent book Blockchain Revolution is a useful look at some of the methodology we can use to fix our community management systems.

Last edit 12jun17a1126e

Author:  Mark Frankenberg