Late Night Epiphany


You know that time when you stare at the ceiling waiting to fall asleep and your mind meanders about ideas. Then every once in awhile, vavoom!, this answer comes from nowhere and you’re up until sunrise trying figure out where this train of thought is headed. Right? This happens to other people. Right? I can’t be the only modern day thinker who lies awake trying to piece life together on a social, philosophical level with late night epiphanies. Right? Well either way this latest “late night epiphany” concerns all of you. Yes, each and every one of you.

Last night I randomly started thinking about possible new answers to make our society run smoother. This led to thinking about the hurdles my generation faces in order to enact change, real change. Then, boom!, out of nowhere like a lightning bolt, it hit me. We digitize the House of Representatives, if not more of the current government.

It makes total sense. The House of Representatives is an archaic, old school answer to giving a national voice to the people. But when was the last time anyone has ever felt properly represented by current politicians? I know I’ve never felt that from either party. Which by the way, two parties, that’s it?! How has this lasted so long? Yet that’s the current mind set being passed on. You’re either liberal or conservative, democrat or republican. We are actually encouraged to vote and hold the ideals of one of the two and vote according to party policy. If you don’t relate to either side, well you’re shit out of luck and stamped an independent, which has no actual representation in the government. But I digress, so here’s my proposal.

I want to set up a nonprofit website that allows a forum for debate on local, state, and national issues. I’m calling it forthepeople.org for a preliminary name. When I say “forum for debate”, I picture a place where meaningful, thought out positions on issues can be discussed with actual real world decisions based upon the debates. The website will have volunteer moderators checking for trolling and stopping arguments from boiling down to, “Fuck you”, “No, fuck you”. I also am thinking about software written into the site that can recognize popular ideas or positions and bring them to the forefront so further debate can be had and possible answers found. People will login and based off the information given will be allowed access to certain areas for local and state threads. Security is obviously a main issue and concern. One I currently do not have an answer for.

To be honest , the idea is in its early stages. So why am I writing this? I want your feedback. I need your help. This could be huge if we can work this out. In no way am I savvy enough to write the needed programs or set up security. This is my plea to you; share this, repost this, please spread the word. I want as many to read this as possible. I want feedback, advice, help. Write comments, tell me your opinion. Your voice on this matters. My previous posts, truthfully, I couldn’t have cared less about how many people read and wrote back on. This is different. This could change how our democracy runs. It could actually be by the people, for the people, and of the people for the first time in history.

But something this big can’t be done alone, nor would I want it to be that way. I’m asking for action on your part. Nothing is set in stone, everything is on the table. Help me create this. I don’t want to make money, not a dime, off this idea. I want politics to be what it should; a public service. Politicians have forgotten who they work for, us. It’s about goddamn time we remind them of that fact. If this website could gain enough backing, there is no way politicians could ignore it. If they try to, then we’ll just fire their asses. Things can’t get any worse, but if we don’t try something new then things will.

I’ll repeat this one last time; share, repost, spread the word, comment, help out, act. I need to know if this is viable or if I’m bat shit crazy and need to go back to the drawing board of late night epiphanies.

– Fuck the Critics, Screw the Fans (well, maybe not so much on this one)

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2 thoughts on “Late Night Epiphany

  1. The Rattlesnake:

    “I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids—She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance.—She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage.—As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal:—Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her.—Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America?”

    Benjamin Franklin

    “Don’t Tread on Me”

  2. The first problem that came to mind is that of deciding which proposals, bills, amendments, etc. are worthy of discussion within a democratic congress. And this, of course, changes within each context: a county-level government should most certainly pay attention to minutiae such as water rights for a series of small ponds or a babbling brook; but talking about such things on the state level, much less in the national political arena, would be an utter waste of time. Delegation of matters to their appropriate levels of politics is essential for a system which serves hundreds of millions of people (and an equal number of at times mutually inclusive, and at times totally disparate interests) so that it may operate as smoothly and expediently as possible. A digitization of one of the two legislative chambers operating in this country would, as you suggest, require users of the digitized forum to provide legitimate, verifiable personal information so as to allow them to participate in the appropriate realms of such a forum. That is to say, a voter registered in the state of Montana in the Lewis and Clark county would be allowed to access only those parts of the forum which have relevance to politics concerned with L&C County, Montana, and then federal issues. Much as the delegation of political autonomy occurs between the federal-state-county-city level, similarly a registered Montanan voter would not be able to contribute to the conversations concerning county regulations in, for example, Ohio. That is simply out of that voter’s jurisdiction. Other means of spreading ideology are available – social media websites such as Facebook, email campaigns, boycotts, etc. – to allow the Outsider to participate in politics beyond her registered geo-political boundaries, so providing that service to the user would end in far too much net traffic, far too much data in need of monitoring, far too many white knight or troll campaigns against certain movements to allow a single federal entity the power of moderation.

    So who is it that decides which measures, ballots, proposals, etc. are worthy of being discussed on certain levels of the forum? I suppose a system of voting would be put in to practice, where any member could propose a piece of legislation, and other members of that same geo-political region could then vote for its legitimacy, its importance; if voted up enough, the initial author of the proposal is asked to rewrite his argument in a different area of the forum (“Ongoing Legislation” perhaps) where debate could be had, amendments could be made, and from that process a final draft could be created. This final draft would then be placed in yet another area of the forum designed specifically for the constituents of the appropriate geo-political region to vote on the measure.

    When a measure is voted by a majority to be enacted, then we see a confrontation between the digitized chamber and the human chamber, the Net House and the Human Senate. I believe that there is a necessity in having unfiltered-by-digitization human group of legislators in the process. I simply do not trust the net, nor the people (you and me) roaming its vast expanses enough to have a system wherein the net denizens vote for a measure, make it in to law, and thus the spheres of society affected by such legislation are immediately notified to the new laws: this would lead to far too many instances where groups such as Anon would hijack forums and measures one way or another and enact boorish, insipid, outrageous, or otherwise nonsensical laws instantaneously. There must be a live-human debate as a check against net abuses.

    This would not work as a non-profit. No politician that I know of has ever been bound by the words, promises, or threats (empty or otherwise) of a non-profit. This would have to be a concentrated effort by the various governments (federal-state-county-city) of the nation to digitize the House of Representatives. Construction, maintenance, moderation, and funding being responsibilities placed upon the Government then gives the forum itself legitimacy, power, meaning: because it is enacted by the government, it is a civil duty to participate.

    This is all I have for now. Other issues to contemplate are: in what way would the forum display threads (debates) on different issues so as to a) provide users with both important issues as dictated by the masses; b) protect interests of special interest groups by not allowing their threads to be overwhelmed and hidden by popular debates on hot issues like abortion, gun control, drug laws, etc.; c) who is allowed to become a moderator of the site, and what processes are involved in becoming a moderator, choosing a moderator, continued education of moderators; d) how would courts be affected by this mass-ification of law making; and e) accessibility issues which are dependent upon social, economic, cultural, and geographic contexts.

    Give them shits a thought. I had a lot of fun thinking about what you’ve proposed thus far, and hope this idea evolves somewhat. I have serious doubts of its viability towards application, but it is an idea which I have not examined in detail yet. Thus, it is worth exploring.

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