Re: Ethics

From: David Clark (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2005 - 08:00:09 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Maru Dubshinki" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, February 05, 2005 7:57 PM
Subject: Re: Ethics

> The earliest I've ever heard of demarchy (the name given to randomly
> selected people ruling) is in Athens, after Solon the Lawgiver's
> reforms. Borges was not the first, but he did point out that
> somewhere in the system you must get rid of chaos and lot choosing,
> because it leads to infinite recursion.
> And Buckner, your idea sounds a lot like open-source governance (Does
> that movement have a proper name? All I know is the suggestions that
> we apply open-source FOSS ideas to governance is not new, and is
> attracting attention.).

I think randomly selecting people to govern is a *very* bad idea. The only
time it approaches being acceptable is when all the people could make
decisions *equally* well. That is definitely not the case in our current
world and probably wouldn't be the case in an environment peopled
exclusively by transhumans.

Picking people to look after most decisions should fall to people who are
qualified. The really big decisions should be decided by a relatively small
group of the best decision makers. The model of a private medium size
corporation comes to mind, with it's president to make day to day decisions
and a board of directors to make the big decisions. The board would be
elected by the people based on their proven decision making abilities. The
president and other high ranking people would be appointed on merit by the
board. Normally only the president is directly hired by a current board (of
directors) and then the president hires all others but I think the major
players other than the president could be appointed by the board as well.

I totally reject the idea many people have that *anyone* should be able to
be an elected official. That an elected official needs to have no special
talents. If you were picking a financial advisor, would you choose any
loser off the street to entrust your money to? If you wouldn't do that with
your own money, why should society do that with it's collective money? Even
in an environment where only transhumans live, there will be many
intelligent and gifted people who have no aptitude or skill at making
collective decisions. Linus Pauling might have been a brilliant chemist and
researcher but he definitely got in wrong with vitamin C. No matter how
smart someone is, they can't be best or correct at everything.

I previously made a comment about juries not being qualified mentally to
understand and judge most trials today. This is even more true when you are
talking about who should make collective decisions.

-- David Clark

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