[ExI] electronic voting again

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sun Jul 8 21:18:37 UTC 2012

On 08/07/2012 16:06, spike wrote:
> Perhaps my premise is wrong: there really isn't much riding on this 
> election.

I think there is some truth to this. While we tend to think that the 
pomp and circumstance of our democracies are what matters, the real 
issues are seldom up for votes or political decisions: open societies, 
economic structure, dominant values. They change based on far broader 
trends - both a good and a bad thing, since they are hard to manipulate.

My guess is that what is really bringing the US down is a sclerotic 
institutional structure. US voting has the pathological properties it 
has not because of tech but because of the voting structure doesn't 
scale well - the system was set up based on assumptions that do not hold 
any more. Various checks and balances and feedback mechanisms seem to be 
if not out of kilter then in need of a big overhaul, but besides the 
high costs of doing so any constitutional tinkering is also problematic 
because the US is highly dependent on its constitution and its mythology 
for its functioning.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University

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