Politics 2.0

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Politics 2.0 refers to improvements in the conduct of politics enabled by advances in collaboration technologies.

List of potential examples of Politics 2.0

Ways in which new technology could enable improved politics include:

  • Automated fact-checking taking place in real-time, rather than mistakes and errant claims being allowed to influence political discussion for too long
  • Relevant expert knowledge being quickly brought to questions of subsidies, regulations, standards, and so on – rather than politicians being out of their depths
  • A real “wisdom of crowds” supporting the decisions made by elected leaders, rather than leaders having to deal with the “folly of crowds” often displayed by present-day democracies
  • Prediction market based politics, including futarchy ("vote on values, bet on beliefs")
  • Utilisation of blockchain technology to support decentralised political structures
  • Politicians improving their own cognitive skills, as part of a process we can call cyborgization
  • External artificial intelligence augmenting the decision-making capabilities of human politicians
  • Analysis systems that highlight more clearly the key political decisions that need to be taken, shorn of their surrounding distractions.
  • Industry 4.0 [1]

Explanation of the terminology "Politics 2.0"

As a comparison, consider the transformation that took place in usage of the World Wide Web between around 1996 (“Web 1.0”) and 2006 (“Web 2.0”).

(This analysis is is taken from a Transpolitica essay "Why Politics 2.0?" and is originally due to pioneering Web 2.0 analyst Dion Hinchcliffe.)

This transformation from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 wasn’t just in terms of numbers of users of web browsers – moving from around 45 million to over one billion users over that period of time. Nor was it just that the web grew in size from around 250,000 sites to more than 80 million. Instead, it was a change in the character of the web, from a “mostly read-only web” to a “wildly read-write web”.

The result is that the web increasingly displayed collective intelligence. Users submitted their own content to sites such as Wikipedia, Amazon (book reviews), EBay, Facebook, YouTube, and so on. In turn, systems of collective evaluation highlighted the content that was worthy of greater attention.

In more details, the transformation between 1.0 and 2.0 can be described as follows:

  • Instead of the distribution of static intelligence through the network to its edges, P2P (peer-to-peer) connections enabled multiplication of intelligence within the network
  • Instead of a library (the readable web), there was a conversation (the writable web)
  • Instead of there being a small number of fixed authority figures (“oracles”), there were dynamic user-reputation systems, which enabled new figures to emerge quickly, with strong reputations as judged by the community as a whole
  • The model of “publishing and retrieval” was replaced by “collaboration and interaction”
  • Instead of innovation coming primarily from companies, it increasingly came from feedback and suggestions from users.

As for the improvement of the web, so also for the potential improvement of politics.

In fiction

In the Revelation Space space series, the Demarcists use a neural implant constantly polling them about ideas to shape policy.

Organisations investigating potential components of Politics 2.0

Note: the above list is awaiting classification, and the solutions need verification of their alignment with Politics 2.0 goals.

External links