vTaiwan: participatory democracy


I was just on a call with Colin from pol.is and we'll meet in new york next week too. Trying to find out more about how it works. Would you use something like vTaiwan (pol.is within a larger legislative framework) in your government?


Watched the intro video on the pol.is homepage, seems to be crowdsourced statements evaluated by crowd which is then grouped into clusters based on evaluation similarity. Consensus statements may be gleaned from this. Can probably uncover at lower expense info that would be unlikely and expensive to reveal through expert (eg regulatory agency) designed surveys. Seems reasonable, well worth a try.

I'm not 100% certain 100% of it is, but seems to be open source under AGPL-3.0.


Wow, that article is going to occupy my brain for a few days, I am sure. The first point that really popped out at me was this (emphasis mine):

  1. First, an artificial-intelligence facilitated conversation tool called pol.is is distributed through Facebook ads and stakeholder networks;


And they mention that pol.is is recently open-sourced (it is the AI thing). Gonna look into that, more. But then, they link to https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7282. That is both a useful reference doc, but also humming.

I apparently get really excited by the novelty of new, modern consensus frameworks... :slight_smile:


I asked Colin about open source--I... think?... all the software is, and I asked about hosting. He said that the business model is providing it as a service because it's hard to spin it up yourself, there are a lot of other services you need. I didn't pursue it, but I suppose it's theoretically possible to do it too.

He did say that it's very important for all of your code to be scrutinizable if you're going to use it for democracy.


Yeah, I think it's really fascinating, too. I also really liked this talk by Audrey Tang, who I am totally a fangirl of: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxMxg4ct-D8 (do i get a :shamrock: ?)