|19 Apr 2005 @ 00:05, by Mark Rosst
Structural Deep Democracy(SD2) is a non-ideological approach to organizing collective action and solving world problems. SD2 uses PageRank as a centrality algorithm to analyze votes to determine the center of TRUST and CONSENT in a human trust network. The top three or five lead such an organization with one of them as the executive. This creates a small and efficient locus of trust and accountability to lead the organization. Frequent rank recalulations are used to keep the leadership accountable to the group as a whole.
SD2 Questions and Answers.
Q: What is Structural Deep Democracy(SD2)?
A: Structural Deep Democracy(SD2) is a non-ideological approach to organizing collective action and solving world problems. SD2 centers around using PageRank to analyse votes to find the LOCUS of TRUST within human trust networks. SD2 can be used by nonprofits, businesses, government entities, but it is intended to be best for grass-roots activism for groups thirty or more, and is scalable to a global level.
Q: Is the use of PageRank to process voting data the main difference between populistic-democracy and SD2?
A: Yes, instead of the *in-degree* algorithm(vote summation), the voting data is processed with PageRank. SD2 uses PageRank to select small decision making bodies - only three or five have voting power. This is to centralize accountability and to streamline operations.
Q: PageRank works for ranking web-pages - how does it work for selecting leaders in human networks?
A: A PageRank based search engine ranks a web-page by seeing the number of links pointing to a page and multiplying this number by the average "strength" of the links. A page with many links to it usually has "stronger" outgoing links. The parallel is that someone well voted for usually has high powered outgoing votes.
The way this algorithm works in a sequential manner is a formalization of the "asking around" process. SD2 using pagerank is very CONVENTIONAL in this sense. Imagine if you wanted to find "top expert opinion", but you were unfamiliar about the given field - you might look for those that seem like experts. They may have degrees, they may lecture at colleges, and they may seem to know what they are talking about. You could ask several for name of those that they consider to be top experts of the field. With those names, in turn, you could ask for who they consider to be the top experts. If you keep repeating this process, following these chains of endorsements, many of the same names would turn up, over and over. Convergence on the "top experts" would be arrived at. The names that turn up the most would be the highest ranked.
In the field of sociology, PageRank is being used as a *centrality* algorithm - its being used to find the *center* of human networks.
Q: How is SD2 not ideological?
A: I am going to take a "systems analogy" approach to explaining SD2:
I was in Hawai'i for first time with my Dad this January. We saw a species of bird had the same size, shape, and general ground behavior of a robin, but its markings were different - it was simply a different bird. We assumed that this was a close cousin of the robin, but had evolved into a different species as a result of the different selective and deselective evolutionary pressures of the Hawaiian
SD2's approach to community building doesn't try to change the community member - it tries to change the general environment of the community by selecting community leaders in the most meritocratic way possible - this is a structural approach instead of an ideological approach. The idea is to amplify the selective and deselective evolutionary processes that lead to community strength, by finding the most accountable members so that they will choose the best community building tools available. SD2 uses a holistic mathematical process to analyse the deep-structure of votes to find the three or five group coordinators that would be most likely to represent the values of the community as a whole. Non-populistic algorithms, like PageRank, allow a group member to rise in status without having to play the popularity game and allows members to vote their conscience without wasted votes.
Q: Is there a philosophy of SD2?
A: Yes, but only in a minimalist sense. SD2 is praxiological(action based). How would any philosophy be tested or validated? By peer-review and functionality? SD2 could be used to establish a peer-review environment - SD2 is pre-philosophy in this sense. In an ethical sense, the philosophy of SD2 is "Deep Democracy" - which centers around the idea that minority opinion should be respected. SD2 takes this two steps further - not only will leadership be replaced if it doesn't respect minority opinion, but minority opinion can actually be decisive.
Q: Could you describe the difference between legitimate and illegitimate authority?
A: There is legitmacy in an *objective* sense. If someone said that 2 2=5, I could take 4 coins out of my pocket, separate them into 2 groups of two, count them separately, then put them together an count out four coins. Not only would almost all people agree that 2 2=4, almost all people would agree with my mode of proof.
Issues such as politics and religion are much more complex
because of the multitudes of known and hidden variables, because of differences in initial assumptions that people consider to be authoritative, and because of differing interests and goals.
In this situations such as these, for the sake of expediency,
people turn to third parties to resolve their differences. Even if you and I were to like to argue with one another, if we were running a business together, we would need to come to conclusions to make decisions. If we needed to come to conclusions, we could use someone to be our tie-breaker. This third party would be an example of someone with *intersubjective authority* and *intersubjective
legitimacy* by means of our *mutual consent*.
SD2 looks for the locus of *legitimacy* by looking for the locus of *mutual consent*.
Q: Since SD2 is non-populistic, does this make SD2 elitist?
A: Yes, but elitist only in a way that the community determines as being "elite". In an egalitarian community, those that are determined as being the best at practicing egalitarian values would be selected as the "elite". This would make the community less "elitist" in the negative sense than if the majority ruled.
Q: What are the founding assumptions of SD2?
A: The assumptions of SD2 are:
1. Democracy is based on voting
2. Voting data MUST be analysed with an algorithm.
3. Algorithms are testable, and are therefore optimizable.
In science, a model is judged by its predicitve capacity. In engineering, a system is judged by its ability to generate desired result(s) compared design specifications and to competing systems. With SD2, a centrality algorithm is judged by is ability to predict future leaders as selected by competing algorithms. PageRank is the current prefered algorithm.
Q: Is SD2 easy to impliment?
A: Yes. Votes are taken. This voting data is analysed with PageRank using a free program like Visone. The highest ranked are the leaders. Since they are very accountable to the group, it is likely that they will create a very effective organizational and rule structure.
-Mark Rosst, Seattle