An Interesting Thought

techpolitics

http://motherboard.vice.com/en_au/read/democracy-by-app

What a nice idea. Or is it? I mean on one hand it would be nice to have a direct vote, item by item, independently from your party or any influences, otoh most of us are too stupid to see the long-term consequences of what they are voting  for. And most people are voting with their wallet, which is always the most stupid way to decide on anything. And then lets not forget the vast majority of barbarians, who  would vote in favour of death penalty, no taxes at all for nobody and other super stupid stuff.

internetvoting

Maybe we should give the right to vote only to people who passed an IQ test or have basic political knowledge and who acknowledge and honour personal and human rights. Or something like that.

What do you say?

7 comments

  1. Orca. that’s a question people have been asking forever. Technology, unfortunately, is a misunderstood issue. It means “the study of tools” – that’s all. “Being good with tools” doesn’t mean “being gifted at making moral or political choices”, or two world wars wouldn’t have happened.

    Germany and Japan HAD super-intelligent people who were good with tools. Fortunately for the rest of us, Hitler chased the ones who knew enough nuclear science to make good A-bombs out of Europe for being Jewish (or in Enrico Fermi’s case, married to Jews). The people in Germany who weren’t Jews.. .well, those geniuses with great tech skills let a madman run their country. For that matter, no one’s seriously questioned the technical competency of Russian scientists. Look at who’s running things there.

    The idea that we ought to leave political decisions up to the good tool-users confuses technical and moral knowledge.

    Going to the United States for some bad examples, the US Federal Government authorized a study that ran over fifty years in which syphilis was left untreated on purpose in whole towns full of African-Americans, to learn how badly the disease could hurt someone if not treated. Even after German scientists were hung at Nuremberg after World War 2 for similar experiments, these American experiments went on.

    Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology winner Carleton Gajudusek, on collecting his prize, brought seven young boys with him he’d adopted from the New Guinea villages where he discovered that the brain disease kuru was caused by what we’d later call “prions”. While he educated these and many other New Guinean boys at his own expense (spending his Nobel Prize money to do so), he also had sex with some of them over many years. He eventually went to prison for it.

    Which shows that even a man who saved countless lives when the brain disease “mad cow” was understood to spread from cattle to humans the same way Fore tribesmen were catching kuru – by eating infected meat (in the case of the Fore, the bodies of their own dead), someone with incredible intellectual gifts can be a moral moron and utterly unqualified to make decisions for others.

    Barack Obama’s supposed intellect is a matter of debate. His tenure as an instructor in Constitutional law in an Illinois law school wasn’t (as his fans say) a “professorship in Constitutional law”). He was an associate professor at that school – the academic equivalent of a contract worker. And almost every attempt of his to grab power legally which was tested in the Supreme Court of the United States was overturned because it violated the Constitution. Obamacare was the exception – it passed on the technicality that, while the Federal government has no right to fiddle with people’s health insurance as such, it can tax that insurance and their health care several times in the chain from provider to patient, causing some people to pay inflated prices to finance other people’s coverage. which is what Obamacare does.

    So Barack Obama fails as being entitled to make our decisions for us because he’s so smart – the Supreme Court pretty much gave him a “D” in ConLaw during his two terms.

    Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others. That includes people who have great IQs but lousy morals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pat, I’m not entirely sure if I understood every point of your post, which was very American and I have no clue/interest in your internal politics. BUUUUT what I know exactly is that “scientists were hung” is wrong. “Hanged” would be the correct term in this case. =^.^=

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      • On “hung” versus “hanged”. But that’s actually a point of “usage” versus “grammar”. Both words are acceptable terms for the past tense of “to hang”.

        But to the main point: You asked for comments on whether or not we ought to restrict the vote to people with an IQ of some arbitrary level. I thought I’d explained myself well, but obviously got sidetracked on examples, not actual explanation. So let me go back to basics.

        Athens was a democracy. One man (of the right class, slaves need not apply), one vote. And it had orators, the ancient equivalent of our news media. They got suckered into a bloody war to capture Syracuse (the largest city-state on the Island of Sicily), were defeated when Sparta sent its best general, Gylippus, to organize the Syracusans into a fierce citizen army, and eventually were reduced from the greatest power in Greece to a besieged little city-state which took turns being raped by Sparta, the Persian satrapies all around it, and Philip of Macedon.

        Why? Because the democrats of Athens were powerful but lacked good judgment. They were, as Rudyard Kipling put it, “lured by the loudest throat.” into folly after folly. The general Alcibiades talked them into invading Syracuse with most of Athens’ manpower and ships – and Athens died as a free state as a result. They voted to murder Socrates and many other innocent men for pissing them off (in Socrates’ case, for pissing them off). Simply being “an enemy of the state” was enough to get you killed if an Athenian orator could convince most of the voters to do it.

        We think of Sparta as being the tyranny of ancient Greece because its government wasn’t as democratic as Athens’s was, but both Athenians and Spartans kept slaves. Arguably, Spartan women were freer than Athenian women – the “middle class” of Athens kept its women cloistered in their homes – only prostitutes and lower-class women frequented the streets routinely. Deciding things communally didn’t really help Athens keep the civilization they’d achieved, when they lost reverence for art, science and morality.

        The news media have shown they can slander anyone enough to get half the country hating him here in America, or hide the excesses of the worst crook simply by praising him and never reporting the bad things he does. The past sixteen years, they’ve done just that, until ordinary people here stopped listening to them. They elected Donald Trump because as bad as he is, he’s not as bad as the woman who took money to shape American foreign policy for four years and made as bad a mess of it as she possibly could. The news media convinced half the country she was great, so we didn’t get anyone better to run against Donald Trump. The news media and the people who believe everything they say gave us this mess.

        America could easily be the Athens of the Twenty-first century if not for a republican government where the power of the many over the few is sharply limited by our electing representatives to make our laws, which themselves are limited in their application by a written Constitution our judges can use to protect the rights of individual people from the crowd being lured by the loudest throat to do horrible things.

        Example? Bill Clinton had a Democratic Congress for a very short time as President before getting them do things which angered most people in America. The result was congressional election after election which put Republicans in power in Congress from 1994 to 2006. We got the Defense of Marriage Act (basically ruling that magically, only men and women could marry, have their property rights respected as partners, or share the benefits of their work as married people). It took the Supreme Court until 2014 to start tearing that down, and they didn’t finish until 2016. But that’s what the people did because they were understandably angry with the Democratic Party.

        They were lured by the loud throat of the news media to elect a moral idiot, then reacted to what he did to elect an entire Congress full of moral idiots, lured by the loud throats of their ministers, teleevangelists and other people who showed their moral qualifications weren’t great, either.

        And from 2001-2009 we got George W. Bush. The Democrats blamed that on the same thing they themselves used to inflict Barack Obama on us – dumb voters. No matter if you liked or hated either man, the truth is, counting votes got us people who made lousy decisions as President, and both sides of the political polarization (right versus left) claim they were crooks.

        A one person, one vote direct democracy won’t cure any of those issues. It’ll just give us larger follies, more efficiently, as people are fooled into voting for the wrong things by the news media, their favorite entertainers playing politics, or their preachers. We could easily become a tyranny just by letting people vote for laws directly, with no constraints on their power. I don’t want to live in a country where everyone gets to vote for stupid laws directly because someone else told them to.

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        • That is what I ought to have said before talking about how your suggestion to limit the vote to people of a given IQ woudn’t work. Smart people often do dumb things. America’s proof of that and has been for the last century, We’ve had mandatory public education all that time and the quality of the decisions our people have made has fallen continuously. A direct vote by people who can jump whatever IQ hurdle you set won’t help, because even Nobel Prize winners do and believe horrible things – like Carleton Gajdusek.. Like any number of talented scientists whose ideas for running society gave us horrible results.

          Be careful what you wish for. You could get it.

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  2. Your last suggestion – “Maybe we should give the right to vote only to people who passed an IQ test or have basic political knowledge and who acknowledge and honour personal and human rights. Or something like that.” just lets the people who get to decide if someone acknowledges and honors personal and human rights decide who gets to vote. In orher words, we get a tyranny of people who think the same way about things. That won’t work, either. I suspect from some of the simple-minded things you’ve said here that you wouldn’t let me vote if we lived in the same country. I grew up respecting everyone’s right to have a say in how their taxes are spent, how their country is won.

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    • Pat … OMG! 😮 TL;DR But I’ve overflown all 3 of your posts … kindasorta. Trying to formulate a kindasorta answer now:

      Yes, I say simple-minded things. Particularly in the realm of this bloggy which I, even in the rather primitive blogosphere of SL, consider something like the RL yellow press. So no deep think allowed on these pages. I know a blog isn’t Twitter and I can use more than 140 characters, but I refuse to get into politics that deeply. That’s where the fun stops and the labour starts. So I try to keep my posts short and restrict myself to battlecries and slogans rather than fullform terse prosa.

      Why wouldn’t I let you vote in my country? You seem to be well-informed and you make good points without touching the low level rethorics ppl mistake for discussion nowadays.

      You say you don’t wanna live in a country where everybody gets to vote for stupid laws directly because someone told them to. That’s the beauty of the direct vote system: Parties and politicians will become obsolete. No power to grab in a system of direct votes, no money to make. Of course we will have many manic street preachers but it’s better to see them spouting their mad shit to an empty parking lot than having the same idiots climbing the carreer ladders in parties and landing on important gov’mental positions.

      I dunno if you’ve watched the BBC series “Sherlock”, where Sherlock tells a rather stupid murderer he caught, he won’t be hung … but hanged.
      Here, found it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnlhKWeDWMA

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      • Ahhh… I see the issue. British vs. American usage. But trust me, hung is an acceptable past tense form for “hang.”

        I think you underestimate the power that lies outside the party system (at least here in the US). Consider that the Republican Party actually campaigned against Donald Trump before it became clear he was winning enough primary elections that he’d be the party nominee despite the party leadership’s wishes. For that matter, the “Tea party” was never a real political party – it was a group of people who organized, had meetings, debated and rallied in parks – and took over half the Republican party. And because they were outside the party system and attracting members who were disillusioned with the two major political parties in the US, the news media embarked on a campaign to demonize them.

        The news media in America actually act as an arm of the Democratic party, for the most part. It’s not an uncommon issue overseas, either – the Guardian and the Independent are Labour/Left newspapers, the Daily Telegraph is pretty solidly Conservative (I’ve lived in England, so I do know what I’m talking about). So, we could wave our magic wands and abolish every existing political party on Earth, and the news media would roll right into the vacuum they left, telling people too lazy or stupid to think for themselves what to think and how to vote.

        And money can always be made from politics, even without political parties. The Federal budget here runs to several trillion dollars, all of which is spent on SOMETHING. It’ll occur to someone to run ads on TV (or buy a news network( to tell the people they’d be best off letting Microsoft provide the government’s OSes, and Apple all their office computers. The decisions people arrive at in the privacy of their homes will be political because they concern policy. Even without parties. It’d be out in the open, and a smart guy like Mark Zuckerberg would do a little math and discover how much he had to spend to make Facebook the de facto world government.

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