Edit I've created a talk titled "Democracy doesn't have to suck" that counters some of the common critiques of Democracy in general. It also explains Persistent Democracy in as concrete terms as possible. https://youtu.be/wOW6_DwA87c
I'm also slowly working on a more "formal" description, which is in draft form here: https://persistentdemocracy.org/persistent-democracy-for-the-skeptical
I've been working on the concept of Persistent Democracy, a framework for continuous democratic coordination that aims to be:
- total: meaning it allows a group to make any decision
- flexible: meaning it allows a group to structure their coordination in arbitrary ways and doesn't impose deadlines or irreversible commitments that are unnecessary
- welfare optimal: it efficiently chooses the best possible option based on the democratic will (more on this in a second)
I think there's a very strong case improving democratic coordination is one of the highest impact things we could possibly do, since it acts as a force multiplier for other effort and provides a way to structurally solve problems instead of ad-hoc work.
I've written a short open source online book describing the main ideas and sharing a plan to validate and apply Persistent Democracy in the world. It's aimed at a general audience, so I've tried to explain things as intuitively as possible.
- Book link: https://persistentdemocracy.org/
- Source repository link: https://github.com/persistent-democracy/hopeful-path
I'm looking for feedback from EA folks! The "main" chapters are all complete, but there are many optional "detail" chapters that are just work-in-progress drafts. I've decided I need to get feedback now instead of continuing to keep rationalizing more and more work before it's "ready".
Please be extremely honest! I'm especially looking for feedback on these questions:
- Is the writing intuitive? Are any concepts difficult to grasp?
- Does the concept seem robust and useful enough that it's worth experimenting with? Are there any serious problems I haven't addressed? Does the book make a compelling and persuasive argument?
- For the philosophers/economists, does it seem plausible this system could be welfare optimal? I have inklings it could be, and have some extremely rough work-in-progress notes (you're basically trawling my brain) exploring a theory and proof sketches. This is the thing I've been continually iterating on without being confident enough to nail down, so guidance is appreciated. The proof sketches essentially rely on existing optimality proofs of things like Quadratic Voting and Harberger taxes and Pareto efficient markets to do all the heavy lifting, which is the only reason I feel at all confident the system could be welfare optimal. The notes also explore how this theory could interact with longtermism.
Thank you! I look forward to your thoughts!