On The Future of Politics in a Digitally Connected World

Governing our societies is a complicated business. We try to create policies to help our towns, cities, states, countries, and even our globe thrive and flourish. But we make a lot of mistakes. As humans we operate with imperfect knowledge especially when it comes to predicting the outcomes of our choices. Sometimes we act out of selfishness and hurt others around us other times we are sincere and cause disastrous outcomes unintentionally. We need to govern ourselves, anarchy would be worse than any of the other other options that we have experimented with over the ages. But in our rapidly evolving modern world many of us are realising that our models are failing us. Somehow our best efforts are not yielding the results we dream about. Is there anything we can do about it? Or are we doomed to continue to experiment and learn from our failures over and over?

What if we built a democracy that is updated for the modern age, an age of information and networks. In our new information age we no longer need to have the degree of passiveness that we have had for centuries. We elect officials to make decisions and then we passively consume the news about how the choices have effected us. But what if there was a way that we can have a more of a participatory function. What if there was a way to watch the flows of our public spaces and participate in helping it reach its goals more efficiently? What if Government was flattened?

I’ll call this idea management by the masses. The open source movement recognized that more eyeballs can catch more bugs. What if we applied the same principles for government. What if we allowed more eyeballs in. Why can’t build a platform where anyone can zoom into the key metrics of an office or a administration and find ways to optimize it? A space for anyone to come in a recognize bugs?

I recognize that this is quite radical. But our tools have evolved to the point where we can actually build a model in which this can work. We can iterate faster than ever. But change scares us and we we haven’t built the institutional structure that is malleable. We have been taught through years of military management theory that strong and solid is better. We have learned from our humble beginnings that rock beats paper. That there is a hierarchy to this planet and that we must dominate if we are to survive. However what’s becoming clearer and clearer is that nimble and flexible is actually better. We have learned that modeling and forecasting cannot foresee unknown unknowns and that is what trips us up the most. So what if we can create a platform that has the ability to dance. Its has the ability to respond to unknowns unknowns when they happen in a way that is efficient and manageable. For us If we could build better information networks we can close the imperfect knowledge gap and iterate faster. If we could build new super networks of all stakeholders maybe we can work more collaboratively instead of the constant bickering that is all too prevalent.

We need to reinvent our government power structures. the classic hierarchy by which they operate is the precise reason that they fail so often. We expect those at the top to take care of all our needs without realising that there is simply too many issues for a small team to manage and decide on. They are operating on imperfect knowledge just like we are and it is time we stepped in to pitch in.We need to join together to collaboratively manage our own societies. But we need a platform to do that we need a social network platform for more effective government. Let this essay be the butterfly that might trigger the storm. I recognize that it is not a fully fleshed out idea but that is the beauty of the internet. This essay is alive it can fly and float to places that I would never be able to imagine. It can evolve and snowball into something serious. But that will depend on you. Will you RT it will you post it? favorite it? Will you give it wings? Or will you let your thumb scroll past it. And continue to let our politics languish in the sad state that it is?


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