Better democracy initiative

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This page describes a transhumanist political initiative that is supported by Transpolitica.

The initiative is summarised as Better democracy via revived rationality.

Description of initiative

(The following description is taken from the chapter "An introduction to tomorrow's politics" in the ebook "Anticipating tomorrow's politics".)

Whereas the fourth Transpolitica regenerative initiative seeks to deal with the possible end of employment (in the wake of improved automation), and the fifth regenerative initiative seeks to deal with the possible end of humanity itself (in the wake of adverse usage of technology), the sixth seeks to deal with possible failures in the operation of democracy. These failures may arise from technology being, again, applied for ill purpose, by autocrats and other politicians desperate to hang onto power and influence. Unless it addresses this risk, society faces the unwelcome prospect that the full benefits of new technology will be restricted, subverted, or negated.

The underpinnings of a prosperous, democratic, open society include digital rights, trusted, safe identities, robust infrastructure, and the ability to communicate freely without fear of recrimination or persecution. Transpolitica therefore wishes to:

  • Accelerate the development and deployment of tools ensuring personal privacy and improved cybersecurity
  • Ensure the protection of critical Internet services even for the cases of wars and other emergencies (these services will include web archival, GitHub, Wikipedia, StackOverflow, trusted root keys, etc); for comparison, this protection is just as vital as the storing the seeds of critical food plants in the Norwegian Doomsday Vault
  • Extend governmental open data initiatives
  • Champion the adoption of “Democracy 2.0” online digital tools to improve knowledge-sharing, fact-checking, and collective decision-making
  • Increase the usefulness and effectiveness of online petitions
  • Restrict the undue influence which finance can have over the electoral and legislative process.

Government policy should be based on evidence rather than ideology:

  • Insights from the emerging field of cognitive biases should be adapted into decision-making processes
  • New committees and organisations should be designed so that they are less likely to suffer groupthink
  • AI systems should be increasingly used to support smart decision making.

Finally, to guard against a different form of oppression of free debate, all laws restricting free-speech based on the concept of “personal offence” should be revoked (this is a distinct concept from the crime of harassment). The principle should be advanced that anyone accepted into a country, whether as a visitor or as an immigrant, must confirm that they fully accept the principle of free speech, and renounce any use of legal or extralegal means to silence those who offend their religion or worldview.

With these safeguards all in place, the influence of politics on the development and deployment of technology should become beneficial rather than adverse. It will contribute to the creation of a positive feedback network of influences.