Voting smart mobs

published: 21 Apr 2003 | tags: ideas

Getting a whole political structure running inside of a computer network sounds like some interesting futuristic thing, that one day we'll have. I'm now thinking that this is the only way to bring democracy to the developing world. This idea popped up reading /. comments on wiring Senegal. Here's a great one:

I had a friend named Martin who was an expatriate from Sierra Leone. He worked with me at IBM. Talented guy, college educated. He spent a lot of his time rounding up junk computer equipment (what we'd consider junk) and shipping it to Sierra Leone. He'd go back and visit occasionally.

I asked him - if people can use these computers (implied literacy and education), then why can't they form up a westernized culture and enrich themselves, at least to the extent of getting decent housing and food self-sufficiency. His answer was that the lacking required factor was law and order. The leaders fleece the country, selling off natural resources at cut-rate to benefit western corporations. Eventually the enraged local youth (of a political bent) get fed up and revolt, and stuck in the middle are all the regular people of which this mythical culture would be fashioned.

What's the answer, I said. He shook his head. He does what he can.

We need to give this middle class of people oversight to their government. Every dollar the govt. spends should be logged and available to all citizens in real time. Every deal made needs to a web page with a comment forum at the bottom. Office holders will be tracked by whuffle.

I just wrote down on my TODO list in the "Net" section: "Nation scalable admin system for gov't based on capabilites"