Upvoting and democracy

As an extension of my recent politics rant, this excellent Ideas Channel video sums up some of the problems I have, not only with like/crowdsourcing but also democracy in question. I mean, ask Sokrates about how the whole ‘going against the grain’ thing worked, and he was a ‘content creator’ and ‘super-user’ and probably ‘redditor’ of Democracy’s creation? Dissenting opinion didn’t work out so well for him did it?

It does seem that dissenting voices that don’t fit the site get pushed out, like forums of old funnily enough, but some pretty awful Gamergate type 4channery gets splattered all over these sites…the crowd isn’t always wise, nor egalitarian, I mean look who they elect?

As I wrote over there in the comments to this video:

Having been on the Internet coming up to two decades I’ve see these things rise and fall, from mailing lists, forums to Web 2.0 and social media, and in every one the weak spot to egalitarianism was people. People form hierarchies, in groups and out groups. I’m not saying some (scary? Not Roko’s Basilisk :-P) AI might do better, but not sure it would do worse in a way. These cliques seem to be a human thing, and then oddly everyone pretends it’s democratic, while pelting people who disagree with rotten fruit (or hemlock).

Already seen politics in the UK take leads from Twitter which is a scary prospect, meaning a relatively few people can sway opinion, people that are quite often rich, white, educated and can spend time and money on these sites spouting off (see Mail Online et al – do these people even have a life?) again taking control. The myth of the internet is that it’s an equalising force – it can be, but other people are well down the rung, like the fact that so many billions are not online, don’t even have electricity or Africa’s frankly pitiful tiny pipe connecting it to the world…

I’ve always favoured the idea that random people get selected as representatives, like Athens get 2-4 years to do their duty then go. Lack of corruption, and really most politicians these days have about as much clue having trained in politics and economics or law (not the real world) as the public has. Make it completely random like some diceware type program or selection, 18-60, all citizens. I can’t see it being much worse than now…leading into a terrible ‘all choices are bad’ election in the UK?

As you might have guessed with the last post I’ve been going on a YouTube splurge, big shouts to Laci Green, her MTV Braless and PBS Ideas Channel (I’m leaving the Fine Bros REACT channel tonight as I WANT TO SLEEP!), amongst many. YouTube content has come a long way from those early videoblog days where I mostly wasn’t feeling it, Wheezy Waiter excepted. And I’m not talking money or big production values, these channels didn’t have that originally (look at the older Laci Green ones, webcam!), but they saw a niche and went with it, and didn’t really need much (better cam, better lighting, and there you are!).

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