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Consider.it - Radical new Election System is Ready! (general discussion)

Board Elections 2015

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#1 Michael Toomim

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Posted 23 January 2015 - 09:44 AM

The Distributed Opinion
The Elections Committee needed a way for candidates to campaign, and for members to debate them. We could have used just another forum, but instead we shot for the cutting edge of distributed organization.

We've made a website that lets us deliberate and decide together without central mediation. Check it out at bitcoin.consider.it. The homepage visualizes all candidates' popularity in realtime amongst the distributed membership. Go give your opinion on someone right now—you will see the candidate move!

By using this site, you will simultaneously:
  • Learn about the candidates
  • See who is winning
  • Develop your opinion on who to vote for
  • And share your thoughts with other members, to improve their thoughts, influence their votes, and set the candidates' popularity
Contributing to a Distributed Opinion
You don't just blurt out a block of text. You will distinguish your argument's reasons and feelings, and the website will aggregate them into the hive mind. You express your feelings by dragging a slider. Watch the smiley face react as you drag.



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You express your reasons point-by-point, as separate Pros and Cons, that other people can adopt into their opinions by dragging and dropping.



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By dragging the same point, multiple people can speak it:

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This lets us raise and debate points without redundancy.
Thousands of people can express their opinions, in aggregate.
For the first time on the internet, we can visualize thousands of opinions on a single page:


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As you mouse around in the visualization, it will show you the different reasons for people of different feelings.


Rules of the site:
  • Anyone can participate, but only Foundation Members' opinions count on the homepage rankings.
  • To get member rights, you must create an account with the same email address you use to login to the Bitcoin Foundation.
  • Candidates are ranked as follows. A member's opinion falls on a scale from -1 to +1. Each candidate's rank is calculated as sum(all opinions on candidate).
  • I will moderate points and comments if necessary.
  • This site is for deliberation only. Votes are not binding. Binding votes will by tallied on a different site.
Come participate in the first Distributed Decision-Making for our Distributed Currency.

Big thanks to Brian Goss (the Elections Committee Chair) for all his hard work — he's got strong feelings that this software empowers us to deliberate and debate more effectively and make better choices for ourselves as s group.

Also thanks to Board Member Elizabeth Ploshay for her early support!

#2 Mike Hayes

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 05:05 PM

Significant negatives of this method are:

It forces a person to disclose personal information to an outside party.  Yet another spammer and aggregator of personal data.

It represents a public record of an individual's opinions, which is the exact opposite of a secret ballot, which an election actually is.

It most probably introduces a severe bias into the presentation of information.  For example, if readers of this forum (not even linked to through the BF's main page) are those who were "informed" about this site, and thereby post on it, the greater community, who do not ever read this forum, is obviously unaware of it, although many of them may well vote.

These are steps backwards, not forwards.  Yet another blunder due to the narrow focus and secretive nature of people who think they are good influences in the Bitcoin Foundation (and who also blunder thinking they are good influences on Bitcoin).

My hope would be simply that this election puts one or preferably two individuals on the board who actually look at concepts such as "privacy and anonymity" with something other than an uncomprehending stare of blankness.

#3 Brian Goss

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 06:16 PM

View PostMike Hayes, on 24 January 2015 - 05:05 PM, said:

Significant negatives of this method are:

It represents a public record of an individual's opinions, which is the exact opposite of a secret ballot, which an election actually is.



It's not what we are using for voting.

Oh, and yes, it's a soft roll out.

#4 Michael Toomim

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 03:12 AM

There is no "outside" party.  The site is run by foundation members (me, travis kriplean, and kevin miniter).  We've signed an NDA to keep the data secret.  It's as safe as the other foundation websites.

This is not where you will vote.

The site will be announced broadly to the entire membership as soon as we can. The public can use it to. You can help by sending the link to other people, please do.

You can post anonymously on the website if you just uncheck the "sign your name" box next to any point you write.

#5 David R Allen

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 06:10 PM

I still cant understand why people would need to post on Consider.it for the Bitcoin Foundation election discussion as anonymous.

What happened to people standing up for what they think and believe?

#6 Brian Goss

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 06:54 PM

I don't see much advantage to anonymity here, but, I don't see it causing any problems (yet?) either.

I'm more of the laissez-faire bent. If it turns into a problem, then we can spend time working on a solution.

#7 Mike Hayes

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 11:34 PM

View PostMichael Toomim, on 25 January 2015 - 03:12 AM, said:

There is no "outside" party.  The site is run by foundation members (me, travis kriplean, and kevin miniter).  

We've signed an NDA to keep the data secret. It's as safe as the other foundation websites.

Your answer is is not a rebuttal, but instead an affirmation of the problem which in part led to my post you replied to.  

You and your associates are, in fact, an "outside party."  Totally.  The NDA has no meaning or impact to me, not being signed and cosigned by me, and were that the case, it would be a weak instrument.  Google had trust, they lost it.  They deserved to lose that trust.   I have no interest in your opinion as to whether others should trust your work.

View PostMichael Toomim, on 25 January 2015 - 03:12 AM, said:

This is not where you will vote.

There is no need to attempt to mis frame my comments or to otherwise state the obvious.

I see we are back into the mode of having posts vanish, so I will simply mirror the thread, and have nothing more to do with this topic.

#8 David R Allen

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Posted 25 January 2015 - 11:52 PM

"We've signed an NDA to keep the data secret."

Really, this is not personal. This is THE problem. Period.

What if one of the four of you were kidnapped and tortured in an attempt to release the "secret data" which, as you point out, is as safe as the other foundation websites.

Like the time the trusted Executive Director decided to make all of our private, members only messages public with no notice at all.

Where have I heard this before? "Trust us."

How does the NDA protect our privacy?

#9 Brian Goss

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 11:21 AM

Mike and David,

A general rule of thumb: if you want to talk about something else, start a new topic. Things like privacy belong in another thread.

And yes Mike, I deleted a useless post of yours.

And I did so again. Stay on topic, start a new thread, or don't post.

#10 David R Allen

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 01:48 PM

View PostBrian Goss, on 26 January 2015 - 11:21 AM, said:

Mike and David,

A general rule of thumb: if you want to talk about something else, start a new topic. Things like privacy belong in another thread.


Brian, you are so wrong.

The subject is this radical new election system, which of course is NOT a radical new election system, but yet another possibly privacy compromised discussion system.

Take your finger off the button, bud.

Power corrupts.

#11 Mike Hayes

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Posted 27 January 2015 - 02:19 AM

View PostMichael Toomim, on 23 January 2015 - 09:44 AM, said:

.....You don't just blurt out a block of text. You will distinguish your argument's reasons and feelings, and the website will aggregate them into the hive mind. ....
Well, I am pleased to be informed that some people, associated with the Bitcoin Foundation, are of the opinion that we are not really people, individuals, spirits, or conscious, but instead, simply a cog in the grand HIVE MIND.

Of course some may differ with that opinion, and may opine that they are individuals, clearly apart from any fantasy of a collective consciousness, and certainly apart from insects which have a sort of low level neural network capability through group behavior.

I am in this category, and am certainly not OPPOSED to people who wish to think themselves as no better than insects, as I consider us creatures of free will, thus capable of losing it by commitment to the Hive Mind, capable of delusion by choice, as well as clarity of thought.

Life would indeed be simple and easy within the Hive Mind.

One would know nothing and care nothing about privacy and anonymity.

One would, simply, know nothing.

Unfortunately, the Hive Mind is a fantastical construction of fiction, as far as people are concerned.

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#12 Richard Wagner

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 03:54 PM

I just want to doccument my support for the consider.it system. I thought it was awsome and worked great for us. When I met with Michale last year he told me about what he was working on, but i didn't get it until this election. Great job bud!

#13 Sam Johnston

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 04:08 PM

Great website! A few points:
  • I felt it would be strengthened further if people could link to external sources in an easier way. Although people's opinions of candidates are great, I believe an emphasis on actual quotes/news sources/social media sources would cut out 'opinions' and let us base more of our decisions on actual candidate quotes (for the most part, opinions are also good). As an example of this someone claimed that xyz candidate made xyz statements in the past yet even though links were provided I had to go around trying to find the direct quotes. Having to personally spend time to track down quotes (when someone has already provided an opinion on what those quotes construe) is a needless obfuscation.
  • As well as candidates being able to provide private methods of communication (email/social network links) It should be possible to ask candidates questions directly & publicly through the platform (it is sort of possible by posting a comment and then hoping the candidate responds, but this means information is buried under several layers; ideally a section just before the slider dedicated to direct questioning would be great.
  • It is incredibly alarming that the most popular candidates remain at the top of the list at all times. It should be randomized on every page view for obvious reasons (the current system seems to promote a hive mind attitude).


#14 Brian Goss

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 04:18 PM

View PostSam Johnston, on 16 February 2015 - 04:08 PM, said:

  • It is incredibly alarming that the most popular candidates remain at the top of the list at all times. It should be randomized on every page view for obvious reasons (the current system seems to promote a hive mind attitude).

From an election administrator's point of view, helping the voters converge on the most desirable candidates is a positive thing.  In fact, it would be ideal if all members could get together before anyone becomes a candidate and decide what traits the ideal candidate would have or even decide ahead of time who they really want to elect!

Having the voters collude to elect someone is basically the point of an election :)

#15 Sam Johnston

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Posted 16 February 2015 - 04:24 PM

View PostBrian Goss, on 16 February 2015 - 04:18 PM, said:

From an election administrator's point of view, helping the voters converge on the most desirable candidates is a positive thing.  In fact, it would be ideal if all members could get together before anyone becomes a candidate and decide what traits the ideal candidate would have or even decide ahead of time who they really want to elect!

Having the voters collude to elect someone is basically the point of an election :)

I understand that, but if someone starts out early with a lot of interest then other voters could be swayed just by the amount of interest. In my opinion, considering the election takes place over a few days, people who have a head start shouldn't be at the top of the list just because of this.



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