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mad-scientist and computer programmer looking for something more interesting than most people accept as their future
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    Anonymous Voting With No Limit On Votes Per Person
    Project: Start your own revolution
    Everyone gets as few or as many votes as they want. Nobody needs to be identified because there is no limit on how many votes each person can create.

    How could such a system work? Why wouldn't people just vote millions of times? They may, but that won't give them more influence. Its not about the number of votes. Its about the patterns of information.

    This is not theoretical. This is how internet search engines already work. The search engines don't know or care if the same person has many websites or just 1. They look at the links between webpages, text on the links, and figure out which pages are more popular based on that. There is a huge industry called "search engine optimization" where the goal is to outsmart search engines and get an advertiser's webpage closer to the top of the search results. Search-engine-optimization works some but not nearly as well as actually being a popular webpage. An example of how this works ishttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pagerank

    Search engines don't care who wrote a certain webpage. The best webpages are found based only on the patterns of information instead of who created that information. This is how voting systems should be designed, with no limit on the number of votes a person can create and no need to identify that person. The most popular ideas will be found without identifying or limiting peoples' votes in any way. If you want to vote a million times, it won't get you any more influence than if you voted for such ideas in that same pattern but less votes. If a lot of people vote the same way, it's the same as if only 1 voted that way. It's about patterns of information. Duplication doesn't help.

    I'll give a simple example of such a system which I created, which you can use the results of at http://MouseSearch3d.com  I started with the 1.3 million Wikipedia pages with the shortest names. This is done completely using the links between the pages, not the words on the pages. Each cycle, it keeps only the pages that have more incoming links (to the page) than outgoing links (from the page) and have at least 5 incoming and 5 outgoing links.

    After 6 cycles, each cycle narrowing down the Wikipedia pages by their links to eachother (not including links to/from pages this process removed), these pages remained:
    Latin
    Earth
    Christianity
    Islam
    United_Nations
    World_War_II
    Mathematics
    Ancient_Greece
    World_War_I
    China
    Middle_Ages
    Government
    Metre
    Molecule
    Unicode
    Albert_Einstein

    The next cycle, only 2 remained:
    World_War_I
    United_Nations

    I'm not saying this is what is really most important to the majority of people (but I think most of us can agree that World_War_I had a huge effect on our world today and the algorithm found it correctly), but the point is this kind of voting system works some and we can build voting systems that work better, not based on 1 vote per person, but based on the patterns of information like search engines use to find the most popular pages.

    Each cycle, it keeps only the pages that have more incoming links than outgoing links and have at least 5 incoming and 5 outgoing links. Really, that's all it takes to calculate that those pages are more important than the others. People voted by linking Wikipedia pages to eachother. In search engine words, this is called finding the "centroids".

    Anonymous voting with no limit on votes per person. Because of new technology, we can make it work much better than existing voting systems, and because its only the internet instead of governments, we don't need anyone's permission to find what the majority of people agree on.

    What problem will this system solve?... Most people gave up a long time ago on the possibility of solving the world's problems. What little time they spend thinking about it, they argue about details, push eachother around with money and politics, keep the most important information secret, and they fight eachother in almost every way they can think of including politically, economically, violently, through controlling the most popular news organizations to spread propaganda, and investing in voting systems that are mathematically certain to converge on some small group and stay there. The Human species has not become more civilized than cavemen. We have the illusion of being civilized while actually fighting wars behind abstractions, behind calculations and communications, with the same end result of slavery and death, but now its conveniently hidden behind a logical shield called "I'm just a cog in the machine." Nobody can understand more than a small part of the machine. Its too big and complex and does too many things. These days, wars are fought less with weapons and more with redesigning "the machine" to redirect resources and control away from enemy groups. It's a game I'm not going to play anymore.

    The most efficient way to make big changes in the world is much easier and simpler. We're going to get the majority of Earth's people to agree on how they want the world to work, without considering how big or small the changes are, and when we have majority agreement, we build the things we agreed on and start using it. This does not need any interaction with governments. This needs a global voting system which people have confidence in, something not controlled by anyone, something open-source and decentralized.

    Decentralized technology: http://bitcoin.org  Bitcoin is a dumbed down calculator. It only does plus and minus, no multiply, divide, etc. Its a software with a number on the screen, and you can send and receive numbers which subtract from the sender and add to the receiver. It uses a decentralized network and digital-signatures (a way to use encryption) to make this adding and subtracting of numbers reliable while many people use it at once. 100 million dollars of trust is in the Bitcoin network. At some websites these numbers can be traded for dollars. People trust that the numbers will not unfairly go into 1 person's computer or all become random numbers or 0. We need that same level of trust in a new kind of voting system. That trust does not exist in the kinds of voting done through governments. We need mathematically provable trust. Bitcoin's network has not been proven enough to trust it with a global democracy, but we are learning to build reliable decentralized systems that nobody, not even the creator of such systems, can hack into or cheat. What Bitcoin does for money, we need voting systems which do for global communication. Communication will become democracy, with no need to ask governments for permission. We simply get majority agreement through such a voting system, then it doesn't matter what governments want, because the majority would know the majority intends something to happen, so the majority would act to make it happen.

    How to handle the bandwidth: Bitcoin has a "transaction fee" that is chosen and paid by the sender of the money. It can be 0, but the sender is motivated to pay a small fee to the network (not to any specific person or business) because it motivates other Bitcoin softwares in the network to store that transaction more places and process it faster, so its more reliable the more fee the sender chooses to pay. Its a very small fee in practice, and this same type of money network and "transaction fee" can make sure nobody creates trillions of votes. If they want to create millions of votes while paying for the bandwidth, that's ok, because they don't get any extra influence from it for the same reason creating millions of webpages and linking them to eachother does not get you closer to the top of search results.


    We can learn something about strategy fromhttp://kickstarter.com
    Kickstarter works because projects only get money when the total money offered is at least some amount and is offered in total by some date, so there is no risk of giving money and the total amount not being enough to fund the project.

    Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.

    A new form of commerce and patronage. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. Instead, they offer products and experiences that are unique to each project.

    All or nothing funding. On Kickstarter, a project must reach its funding goal before time runs out or no money changes hands. Why? It protects everyone involved. Creators aren’t expected to develop their project without necessary funds, and it allows anyone to test concepts without risk.


    This new voting system will work similarly to Kickstarter. We use it to agree on what we want, but we don't do it unless enough people agree on it and have confidence that the voting system is fair and balanced and has not been hacked or cheated. If that doesn't happen, we're only talking about what we want. If the confidence and global agreement are there, many of the people who voted have motivation to change the world because they know how many others are working toward the same goal.


    The next step is to design such a system and convince people it is reliable, fair, balanced, and can't be hacked or cheated. But first we need to design it...

    Fri, Jul 8, 2011  Permanent link
    Categories: vote, anonymous, search engine
    Sent to project: Start your own revolution
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