22C3 - 2.2

22nd Chaos Communication Congress
Private Investigations

Speakers
Svenja Schröder
Christiane Ruetten
Schedule
Day 2
Room Saal 4
Start time 12:00
Duration 01:00
Info
ID 572
Event type Lecture
Track Society
Language English
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A way to fuzzy democracy

Using modern communication to transform the way we make political decisions

As we can see by the German voting results in 2005, there is a huge disenchantment with politics in modern democracies. The voting people feel powerless in a governance where the power should originally belong to the people. "Democracy" only tends to be the best compromise among other types of government, but it could be different.

Those modern means of communication most of us already use on a daily basis, like internet forums, webs of trust and possibly e-voting systems, can be used as a basis for political discussion and decision making as long as we are aware of their benefits as well as their limitations. This talk puts our traditional believes about democracy into question by closely looking at its roots in history. A careful deconstruction of that monolithic term will instantly lead to a very different perspective on the ideals behind it. It then becomes very easy to see how much closer modern technology might take us to the original idea of democracy.

To sum it up: There are much better strategies of mobilizing and informing people than consuming TV ads and then voting the lesser evil every 4 years.

This lecture first focuses on the roots of democracy as it was meant in the ancient world as direct realization of human rights and direct participation. As a theoretical fundament, there will be a brief overview over the history of democracy. We will take the original ideas behind democracy and show how and why -- very much justified by the state of ancient societies and ancient means of communications -- democracy evolved into a form of represantative election, which still is, after many centuries, the unadapted way we practice democracy today.

After deconstructing our modern idea of democracy, we will focus on different approaches to reach closer to the original ideals with modern technologies. We will elaborate on direct communication in forums and decision making, non-binary decision models ("fuzzy voting" by using fuzzy logic and statistics on vote distributions), webs of trust, online discussions and voting in forums and other means.

It is also very important to understand the implications of new technologies when used as a basis for democracy. There are severe limitations to the internet as we know it today. There are also limitations on who is able to cousciously and expertedly decide on certain topics. We will take a closer look on security as well as on how to define proper levels of decision ("Entscheidungsebenen").

We will finish the lecture by giving some example-implementations of "Fuzzy Democracy" to run small political parties, companies or associations. We the will then see how these implementations can be extended to any abstract political system that can be defined by its interfaces: even town councils or whole states, but how finding proper decision-levels and technology puts severe limits to this process.