A Real Step To Fix Democracy – Atlantic Mobile

http://m.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/05/a-real-step-to-fix-democracy/371898/

The rules which govern the changing of the rules of the game may be the most important rules of all. Nature knows this.

If anyone asks me nicely, I can attempt to explicate this conviction.

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4 thoughts on “A Real Step To Fix Democracy – Atlantic Mobile

    • Very very interesting indeed. Remains to be seen which one of the fine critiques of it I might favour.

      First response:

      1
      I’m interested in improving small ish real time interactions rather than governance
      2
      Good processes have very few, quickly graspable, rules.

      I shall read more…

      Thanks, Tom.

      Any comment on the ‘rule for changing the rules rule’?

      • On your point 2). I wonder if there needs to be a distinction between principles and rules?
        ——————————————-
        ‘The rules for changing the rules rule’.
        You can’t adapt without an ability to take account of things which cannot be predicted at the time the rules were compiled. So it is necessary to have emergent rules (which may be based on static principles).
        But the method by which you create the ability to accommodate differences (from a Batesonian point of view) has a big bearing on the longevity of the institution/organism etc and its effectiveness. Many of the co-operative and social movements were bound by consensus which slowed down the responsiveness and helped maintain a status quo. Many of the newer forms are more permissive of change and have many more authorities or domains which can be managed by an individual in ways that they deem appropriate. Consent can replace consensus – ‘It’s OK with me’ – replaces ‘having to get everybodies’ agreement’. In some ‘no valid objection’ is enough to allow a new direction or choice or simply taking ‘advice’ from those that will be affected by any potential change. These later forms seem to put the default position more towards innovation and experimentation.
        There is a recent book called ‘Reinventing Organizations’ by Frederic Laloux which surveys a number of organisations which have a more self-organising focus and have tried consciously to move away from the hierarchical to flatter more autonomous structures. It is a huge book and based on Integral stages of development which are then used to describe the levels of new organizations. There is a free download on the website. Googleit.
        If you do find it there is a fantastic section on education and how kids, given the right permissions and space, can create their own educational experiences. It starts on page 93 (search for title “Self-managing students, teachers, and parents―a Teal school”) and is only a few short inspirational pages long. It is about the ESBZ school in Berlin, Germany, which eliminated lots of structures around what and who controls the learning. An astonishing read.

      • Thanks, Tom, I’ll check it out.

        After many years I concluded that principles are just more general kinds of rules. Nature is both parsimonious and into recycling, for example the same genes can act on others and be acted upon. Biology is contingent: it depends.

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