For a desktop of proposition,
confrontation and deliberation

A new tool for associations, groups,
simple mailing lists and whole societies

Copyright 02/02/36 Danilo D'Antonio - Some rights granted - original 1, 2, 3, 4

Today we all regularly participate in mailing lists or forum. They are very powerful tools, but they still lack of something important. Precisely they lack of that further level of use, of that functionality that let individual and groups to approach general decisional processes, both for inner proposals and for those promoted by other people. Then, imagine a special software that let the single members of a mailing list, or a group, or an association, to take position respect to a motion, a petition, or any other proposal of social order.

Imagine a special web page containing a table: on a side there is the list of the proposals, of the decisions to be taken, of the calls, perorations, etc. but also special sections containing generic themes to be enlightened. On the perpendicular side there are the members of the mailing list who are available to publicly express their preferences, by voting the arguments in discussion.

Therefore, something like this:

           | Vincent |   Anna   | Sandra |   Dan   | etc. etc. etc.

rationing  |    no   |    yes   |   yes  |   yes   |

rotation   |   yes   |     no   |   yes  |   yes   |

density    |   yes   |     no   |   yes  |   yes   |

------------- ---------- ----------- -------- --------

turism     |     ?   |     ok   |    ok  |    ko   |

Naturally for every issue, call, theme, etc. there is a link that sends back to the document produced by the person or the group (but also by a delegated commission) in order to expose the matter. And also every member has a link to a document that let us know who is the person that has expressed that preference, and the same for every single decision or opinion, in a way that we can know the reasons, the objections, the doubts or points remained unresolved.

Through a page of this kind we obtain a general view immediately visible with only one simple glance. The decisional geography of a group appears immediately in all its extension. And we find a richness of shadings that only the contribution of every single person, of every individual sensibility and knowledge, can add to the proposed issue.

The very important thing, however, is the fact that this table must not be conceived like something inanimated, static, dead. On the contrary: we must see it like something dynamic, in continuous evolution, well alive, quite a pleasant meeting place to be attended even daily, like a club, but also and mainly a kind of desktop, of table for common work, a situation for confrontation in which, in basis to the decisions and contributions of everyone, everyone could also change his/her own decisions.

Periodically those conclusions that would reach the general agreement would be published with prominence informing other groups, the media, etc. Those issues that would meet yet disagreement should instead wait that further reflections and contributions lead to the result of a commonly felt thought.

Really, to a tool like this is easy add (at least through the imagination :) a long serie of complements. For example the possibility to order in different ways the whole table (to be realized probably with the technique of the database shared on line), and naturally various statistics.

Imagination however leads us to think that, in the case this dynamic and permanent desktop for confrontation and deliberation would effectively result useful and it's use would spread around, we could progressively conceive analogous cybernetic meeting places where collect at an higher level total data of several groups. Or we can imagine appropriate digital spiders that in short time, through an adequate form of standardization, and by assigning a unique protocol number to every motion, could carry out the extrapolation of a complete national feeling in relation to any issue.

The final result of all these possibilities could be a real tool of evolute democracy, participated electronically. Something well far from what is waiting for us next (to affix an "x" on an electoral card). And in effect this network of confrontation and deliberation desktops, of these "look and decide yourself!" pages could become another important, precise channel of Internet, a people's decisional and operative channel, a fondamental tool that we all need still today after the email, web, newsgroup and mailing list.

Danilo D'Antonio
Eudaemony Laboratory

CDD V1.3 - 27/11/36


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